2014 Exhibits

Cristina Velazquez: Repurposed Black-Endless October 7- December 23

For Repurposed Black—Endless, artist Cristina Velázquez employs VHS tapes as material for large-scale, densely knit sculptures, transforming trash into art. VHS tapes, unsuitable for disposal and unwanted by many, form a major part of the growing landscape of e-waste. But these tapes hold vast amounts of visual information, including images, stories and narratives—those created from Hollywood as well as the ones we’ve recorded ourselves. The record of these narratives, now discarded and abandoned, resonates with a sense of fragility, impermanence, and loss.

In this project, Velázquez will work with the public to collect unwanted VHS tapes, unravel them, and knit them together with community members in “knitting circles” to create unique sculptures.

About Cristina Velázquez
Cristina Velázquez is an installation artist who reuses everyday objects and transforms them into works of art. She was born in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1987. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at venues including Gallery nine5, Art Ark Gallery, Meridian Gallery, Euphrat Museum at De Anza College, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, and MACLA. 


Artist-in-Residence

Dates: September 11October 4, 2014

Thursdays and Saturdays, 1-5 p.m.; Fridays, noon-3 p.m. Drop by the Art Center to see Artist-in-Residence Cristina Velázquez knit her installation Repurposed Black—Endless. Do you knit? Try your hand at knitting with VHS tapes!


Public Programs


Friday Night at the Art Center

Date: Friday, September 26, 2014, 7-10 p.m.
Location: Palo Alto Art Center

Get your knitting on at the Art Center. Meet the artist, see the tapes, unravel and knit!

Preserving Your Life: Saving a Record of the Past for the Future

Date: Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2 p.m.
Location: Palo Alto Art Center

Learn about digital preservation in this free lecture. Longtime Palo Alto resident and board member of the Palo Alto Historical Association Brian George will showcase the importance of media in preserving family and community history.

Exhibition Reception

Date: Friday, December 12, 2014, 6-8 p.m.
Location: Palo Alto Art Center

Artist-in-Residence Cristina Velázquez returns to the Art Center to celebrate her installation Repurposed Black—Endless. Light refreshments will be provided.


I'll Show You Mine: Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraiture

Exhibition Dates: September 27December 14, 2014

Jai Tanju, Untitled, 2012, digital print, 8 x 10 inches, courtesy of the artist

Jai Tanju, Untitled, 2012, digital print, 8 x 10 inches, courtesy of the artist


I’ll Show You Mine examines the unique ways that artists portray family through drawings, paintings, textiles, digital art, and photographs. Presenting traditional and surprising approaches to family portraiture, this exhibition features works by twelve artists exploring the often deeply personal nature of their own sibling, partner, parent-child, multi-generational, and chosen family relationships. These honest portraits invite all of us to reflect on our own familial ties, dynamics,
and structures.

However you characterize and define family, and for the joy, pain, and laughter it may bring, we welcome you to view the exhibition with your own family!


Public Program


Opening Celebrations

Date: Friday, September 26, 2014, 7-10 p.m.
Location: Palo Alto Art Center

Celebrate with the exhibiting artists! See and make art. Treat yourself to food truck fare and a curated cocktail!


THEN AND NOW: A BRIEF HISTORY OF FAMILY PORTRAITURE IN ART with Makeda Best, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Visual Studies, California College of the Arts

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6 p.m.
Location: Palo Alto Art Center

Why do contemporary artists continue to explore family portraiture? Join Makeda Best as she sheds light on portraits of family from throughout history.


Family Programs


Family Exhibition Tour with the Curator

Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Family Portrait Workshops

Date: Sunday, November 16, 2014 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sign up with your family for either workshop to create artwork inspired by the exhibition.
For more information, email: artcenter@cityofpaloalto.org or call: 650.329.2366.


Containers of Community: Ehren Tool

Exhibition Dates: July 1September 7, 2014

Containers of Community: Ehren Tool

For Containers of Community, veteran and ceramic artist Ehren Tool will create a new body of work that honors local veterans and highlights their shared experience. From June 7- June 29, Tool will work at the Palo Alto Art Center, creating thousands of ceramic cups (what he calls “war awareness art”) using imagery and objects collected from community members. As the cups are created, fired, and glazed, they will be displayed in the gallery, with the final exhibition on view from July 1-September 7.

Ehren Tool creates visually compelling ceramic objects that address the experience of war. He is best known for his cups, which are wheel-thrown and feature decal-produced and embossed images and symbols of war, violence, and the veteran experience. Notably, Tool has given away most of these cups, offering more than 14,000 of them to members of various communities since 2001. His primary intention with his artwork is to promote awareness: “I decorate cups with images of war and violence. The use of these icons reveals how abstract war is for most of our culture—so abstract in fact, that somehow it’s OK to use images of war as toys.” Tool has exhibited his vessels at institutions such as the Oakland Museum of California, the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Berkeley Art Center, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino, and the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University. He received his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley and his BFA from the University of Southern California.

This project was made possible by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by generous grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. 


Dana Harel: Between Dreams and Nightmares

Exhibition Dates: June 13September 7, 2014

Left: Dana Harel, When I'm Gone, 2014, Mixed media on paper, 72 x 103 in. Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco | Right: Artist Dana Harel Photo by Ronit Citri

Left: Dana Harel, When I'm Gone, 2014, Mixed media on paper, 72 x 103 in. Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco | Right: Artist Dana Harel Photo by Ronit Citri


Dana Harel: Between Dreams and Nightmares is a solo exhibition of new works by the Redwood City artist. Organized by Laguna Art Museum, this exhibition consists of fifteen mixed-media drawings of animal and human figures. Harel’s multi-layered works reflect the messiness of war and its effects on survivors, drawing on the artist’s personal relationships to the men in her family and ties to military life.

Dana Harel was born and raised in 1970 in Tel Aviv, Israel and works in San Francisco. She received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her recent solo exhibitions have been at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco; and Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Herzliya , Israel. Harel’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California; San Jose Contemporary Art Institute in San Jose, California; Napa Valley Museum in Napa; Root Division in San Francisco and Gen Art in San Francisco.

 Dana Harel: Between Dreams and Nightmares was organized by Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA.


Youth Art & Cultural Kaleidoscope

Youth Art Dates: April 27May 18, 2014
Cultural Kaleidoscope Dates: April 27May 25, 2014

Alex Leiman, JLS, Grade 7, Untitled, Cut paper collage, Leif Bridges, Age 7, Brentwood Academy, Grade 2, Untitled, 17 x 23 in. Ink on paper, 8.5 x 11 in.

Alex Leiman, JLS, Grade 7, Untitled, Cut paper collage, Leif Bridges, Age 7, Brentwood Academy, Grade 2, Untitled, 17 x 23 in. Ink on paper, 8.5 x 11 in.


Join us this Spring for our Youth Art exhibition, a beloved annual showcase of children’s artwork by K-12 students from the Palo Alto Unified School District. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with our annual Cultural Kaleidoscope exhibition, featuring children’s artwork inspired by cultures across the globe and showcasing the Art Center’s artist-in-the-schools program, in which K-5 students in East Palo Alto and Palo Alto work together with a teaching artist.


Pencils Down

Exhibition Dates: January 25April 13, 2014

Detail of Chris Sicat working in his studio

Join us this Winter for an exhibition that explores the creative potential and artistic possibilities of graphite. Transcending the potential of the medium of drawings alone, the exhibition showcases new applications of graphite as a material of drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation. Eight artists will be included, among them Chris Sicat (San Jose), who covers tree branches and stumps completely with graphite, and artists such as Kevin Chen (San Francisco), who creates drawings so small that a magnifying glass is required to view their intricate details.


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