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


Subject :

Photography Exhibition at Palo Alto Art Center Examines the Impact of Humans on the Planet
Contact : Ken Heiman    650-617-3511
Michael Light: Mile-wide, 200’ deep, 1952 MIKE Crater, 10.4 Megatons, Enewetak Atoll, 2003Michael Light, Meteor Crater Looking Northwest, near Winslow, AZ, 2011

PALO ALTO, CA–Photographer and bookmaker Michael Light will explore the nature of landscape through a compelling collection of photographs during the free exhibition Michael Light: Planetary Landscape, June 17-August 27, at the Palo Alto Art Center.

This exhibition, part of the Art Center’s Summer of Photography program, will present an integrated examination of Light’s work and will feature new work commissioned by the Palo Alto Art Center. Included will be examples of Light’s aerial examinations of the varied landscapes of the American West, along with selections of earlier archival projects exploring NASA’s Apollo missions (Full Moon), and imagery made during US nuclear testing between 1945 and 1962 (100 Suns).

"If you keep going up and up, eventually the world becomes circular and alien,” says Michael Light. “You see the world quite literally as a planet."

Over the last 15 years Light has explored themes of mapping, human impact on the land, various aspects of geologic time, and the sublime. His imagery is political, provocative, and often challenging. It is also seductive, and insists we not look away from the marks humankind has made on more than one planetary landscape.

This exhibition is guest curated by Sharon Bliss. Michael Light will also discuss his work and artistic process during a free public lecture at the Art Center on June 25, 3-4:30 p.m.

Michael Light: Planetary Landscape is part of the Palo Alto Art Center’s Summer of Photography, designed to engage community members of all ages in the creative and expressive potential of photography. Through exhibitions, public programs, hands-on opportunities, and community partnerships, this initiative promises to introduce a new audience to the power of photography and reinforce its capacity as an aesthetic and expressive medium.

Other Summer of Photography events scheduled to take place at the Art Center include:

·         Palo Alto Camera Club exhibition in the Community Gallery, June 9-July 12
·         Friday Night at the Art Center, 7-10 p.m., June 16
·         Lecture with artist Michael Light, 3-4:30 p.m., June 25
·         Digital Photography with Curt Fukuda, 7-9 p.m., July 27 and August 3
·         Cyanotype Workshop with Ann Holsberry, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., July 30
·         Photography Family Day, August 6
·         Preserve your Family Photos with Curt Fukuda, 7-9 p.m., August 17

Children’s Fine Art Camps during the summer will also provide opportunities for children and teens to learn about photographic techniques and explore the medium as a tool for expression and creativity. In addition, an Instagram photo competition will engage the Art Center’s online community, and winning photographs will be exhibited in the Art Center’s Community Gallery space.

More information on Palo Alto Art Center events and exhibitions can be found on our web site at

About Artist Michael Light:
Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer focused on the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it. He has exhibited globally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among many others. 21 editions of his books have been published worldwide.

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 100,000 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.

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