News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Artist David Tomb to Begin Next Phase of Creative Ecology Residency
In-the-Gallery Work will include Colorful Diorama
Contact : Ken Heiman    6506173511

PALO ALTO, CA–Members of the community are invited to watch and interact with artist David Tomb as he creates colorful dioramas of birds, grasses, and marsh with a diverse range of materials during the second phase of his Creative Ecology residency beginning in February. Visitors to the Palo Alto Art Center will also have the chance to sketch bird-related images using mounted birds from the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo for inspiration.

David Tomb’s in-the-gallery residency at the Palo Alto Art Center will take place Saturdays, Feb. 6 and 25, as well as March 5 and 19, from noon-4 p.m.

During the in-the-field portion of his residency in January 2016, Tomb worked with community members on bird walks in the Palo Alto Baylands, then on art activities in which participants sketched mounted birds and engaged in science activities about the King Tides. The process mirrored his work, in which he observes live birds in their natural territory, and then draws mounted birds and bird skins in museum collections. Also at the Baylands, participants were given the opportunity to add to a diorama created by Tomb, in which their drawings augmented an installation of birds, grasses, and marsh the artist created.

Tomb says that his motivation for his work is unique; unlike many bird artists, he also finds inspiration in modern and contemporary artists. “For me, it isn’t about creating a realistic likeness of a bird, it is about creating a satisfying work of art,” says Tomb.

His effort is part of Creative Ecology: Exploring Our Environment with Art, Science, and the Community, an innovative program promoting appreciation of the natural world through scientific inquiry and the creative process. The effort includes artists, educators, and the larger community, and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and made possible through a partnership between the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo.

There will be four separate artist residencies as part of Creative Ecology. Each artist residency is divided into three unique phases. The first phase takes place in the field at a local open space preserve and engages different community groups and the public in a range of activities. During the second phase of each residency, artists will take inspiration from their time in-the-field, creating new work on-site at the Art Center. The third phase of the residency will culminate their artwork and will be presented in an exhibition with related programming.                                            

An exhibition featuring the artwork created by Tomb, King Tides and Elusive Rails, will be held April 26-July 3. An exhibition walkthrough and reception with the artist will be held on April 29, 7-8 p.m. Tomb will also be presenting a free public lecture June 9, 7 p.m., at the Art Center.

About Artist David Tomb:
San Francisco-based artist David Tomb received his B.F.A. from CSU Long Beach. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, Electric Works, the Triton Museum of Art, San Francisco Public Library and the University Museum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and group exhibitions at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, the Arkansas Art Center, and the Naples Museum of Art. Tomb’s work is included in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California, the Huntington Library, and the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

About The Palo Alto Art Center:
The Palo Alto Art Center is your place to discover art. See, make, and be inspired because everyone is an artist. Created by the community, for the community in 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center provides an accessible and welcoming place to engage with art. We serve approximately 90,000 people every year through a diverse range of programs.

The Palo Alto Art Center, Division of Arts and Sciences, City of Palo Alto is funded in part by grants from Silicon Valley Creates and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation gratefully acknowledges support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yellow Chair Foundation, private donations, and members.

About the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo:
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, Division of Arts and Sciences, City of Palo Alto has an 80-year legacy of inspiring a passion for science, an appreciation for nature and a love of exploration. The JMZ experience can change children’s lives by introducing them to science and nature at a formative state. We provide enhanced experiences for children, from birth to middle school, offering direct access to nature and science through undirected play and exploration.

The JMZ currently serves as a primary resource for science and environmental learning for 8 of 12 Palo Alto elementary schools and for six at-risk schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. By using a trained staff of science educators who provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, in-depth hands-on programs reach 19,128 students this year. Educators travel to elementary classrooms in Palo Alto and throughout the region to provide core science classes that complement school district curriculum.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.  To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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