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


Subject :

Artist Mari Andrews to Lead Nature Walks at Palo Alto Art Center and Rinconada Library
Participants will Collect Natural Objects for Inclusion in Wire Sculptures
Contact : Ken Heiman    6506173511
PALO ALTO, CA– Artist Mari Andrews invites members of the public to join her in a series of free Palo Alto nature walks as participants collect branches, twigs, leaves, pine cones, tree bark and other natural objects that will be turned into wire-based sculptures during her residency at the Palo Alto Art Center beginning in October.

Public tours will take place on October 15 and 22 at the Art Center from 2-4 p.m. Families are invited to drop in for a nature walk through the Art Center and Rinconada Library grounds to find and gather natural objects. Participants will then turn these collected objects into their own wire-based sculptures, directly inspired by the work of Mari Andrews.

To help participants better understand the objects they’ve collected, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will lead activities in plant identification and sorting, and a representative from Canopy will be available to provide information on the trees growing on the grounds. Additionally, Mari Andrews will be available to talk about her inspiration and examples of her work.

In explaining her creative process, Mari Andrews says, “I transform the material used in these sculptures to bring attention to fragile and often fugitive objects that might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Andrews’ 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.

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 on site, creating new work on-site at the Art Center. The third phase of the residency will culminate with their artwork being presented in an exhibition with related programming.

Andrews’ in-the-gallery residency will take place from January 14-February 27, 2017, and her exhibition will be held from March 17-May 21, 2017. A free exhibition walkthrough and reception with the artist will take place on March 17, 7-8 p.m. Mari Andrews will also give a free lecture about her art and creative process on May 4, 2017, beginning at 7 p.m.

About Artist Mari Andrews:
Mari Andrews received her BFA from the University of Dayton and her MFA at the Otis Art Institute. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and Chandra Cerrito Gallery and group exhibitions at the de Saisset Museum, the Bedford Gallery, the David Brower Center Gallery, the Palo Alto Art Center, and the Richmond Art Center.

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 eight  of 12 Palo Alto elementary schools and for Willow Oaks School and Brentwood Academy in the Ravenswood School District. By using a trained staff of science educators who provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, in-depth hands-on programs reach 16,700 students each year. Educators travel to elementary classrooms in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo 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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