2018 Exhibits

Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood

Exhibition Dates: September 15December 30, 2018
Opening Celebration: September 14, 2018, 7-10 p.m.

Rania Matar, Barbie Girl, 2006, from the series Ordinary Lives, archival pigment print, courtesy of the artist

This exhibition explores the unique questions artists face, from both internal and external forces, when they become parents. It is our challenge to the once pervasive conception that artists cannot be dedicated to their creative work while raising a family.

Any type of generalization in reference to parenthood is problematic. The emotions, circumstances, challenges, and benefits involved are far too complex. What we can speak to, and what we hope this exhibition highlights, is the mosaic of issues and opportunities that arise for artists when they become parents, and the intimate, poignant, and illuminating work which results.

 Artists often feel as if they are what they create. When what is created is a child, however, a paradoxical and staggering loss of self can result. Less time in the studio, less time alone, the pressures of domesticity—all of these can contribute to a dramatic re-consideration of what it means to be creative. Using humor and often including his children in his work, Alberto Aguilar has gracefully found ways to blend his home life with his art practice. Children have a marvelous ability to touch everything, and parents have an innate capacity to receive their children into their lives completely. For artists Lenka Clayton and Rebecca Silberman, documenting this process of integration is their vehicle for expression.

 There are subtle ways the art world remains difficult for artists who have children. Very few residencies allow artists to bring their partners and children along, and those that do are highly competitive. These artists are often overlooked for opportunities because it is assumed they will not have the time. And the reduction in creative output that often accompanies having children can be interpreted as a failure to thrive by peers.

 But artists are not the only ones who face challenges when it comes to navigating a professional life while maintaining a healthy sense of self. Realizing the right balance, and finding strength within it, is a universal endeavor. Whether we are parents or not, we can all find inspiration in the union of personal and professional, intimate and formal, that these works of art represent.

 Curated by Selene Foster and Andrea Antonaccio

Participating Artists to Date

Pilar Aguero-Esparza
Alberto Aguilar
Lenka Clayton
Tara Donovan
Jeremiah Jenkins
Rania Matar
Jill Miller
Hilary Pecis
Claudette Schreuders
Lezley Saar
Manjari Sharma & Irina Rozovsky Rebecca Silberman
Tabitha Soren
Josephine Taylor

Being Human: A Social Practice Artwork and Workshop Residency with Artist Jill Miller

Exhibition Dates: SeptemberDecember, 2018

Jill Miller, Body Configurations, 2014

BEING HUMAN is an experimental, collaborative project between the Art Center, artist Jill Miller, and 10 San Francisco Bay Area artists who are also parents. Participants will use their parenting struggles and challenges as a catalyst for producing art. They will meet once each week for eight weeks, and each week’s activities will be inspired by one of Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. Followed consecutively, these stages trace the complete life span of a human being.

This workshop residency and social practice artwork will take place at the Palo Alto Art Center and is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood (September 15 – December 30, 2018).

Participating artists include: Alexandra BailliereElizabeth BernsteinBenicia Gantner, Karen Ficke Hathaway, Amy Hibbs, Jenny HynesRobin Mullery, Ashley Lauren Saks, Trevor Tubelle, and Vanessa Woods.

 We will be updating the Being Human website as the residency progresses.

Porchlight: Because I Said So...stories about parenting

Exhibitions Date: Thursday, November 1, 2018, 7-9 p.m.

Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte

Join us as the Art Center and Palo Alto Public Art join forces with San Francisco’s longest-running storytelling series, Porchlight, to present five accomplished storytellers and two audience members who will share their tales of parenting from the frontlines. Hosted by Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte, guest speakers will include Moon ZappaSusie BrightJeremiah Jenkins, and Bayo Omololu. The free event, Porchlight: Because I Said So…Stories About Parenting, ties in with the Art Center’s current exhibition, Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood, which runs through December 30. Click the link below for more information. Pictured from left: Arline Klatte and Beth Lisick. Photo by Ann Sullivan, courtesy of Porchlight. Cash bar provided by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation.

Paper Cuts: Large-Scale Collage

Exhibition Dates: June 16—August 26, 2018
Opening Celebration: Friday, June 22, 2018, 7-10 p.m.

Artist Talks: Sunday, July 22, 2018, noon-1:30 p.m. 
Location: Art Center Auditorium
Artists: EfrenAve, Laura Deem, Benicia Gantner, John Hundt, and Mary Anne Kluth

Efren Alvarez, Complement, 2016, fruit sticker assemblage, 48 x 48 in., courtesy of the artist

Collage is one of the most accessible artistic mediums. Requiring nothing more than paper and glue, it is easily achievable by people of all ages and skill levels. Often relying on found imagery, collage circumvents the need to generate new content and is a refreshingly non-intimidating form of self-expression. However, its seeming simplicity belies an influential, potent, and rebellious underbelly.

 The method and the word, collage, first became popular through the work of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Happy to upset the status quo, they began pasting paper from various sources onto their paintings. This seemingly small act marks what we now recognize as a pivotal moment in art history. It upset hundreds of years of Western painting tradition and influenced the shape of subsequent movements, such as Dada and Surrealism.

 The artists in this exhibition are also breaking with tradition, rebuffing the commonly intimate scale of contemporary collage. The large scale of their work beautifully illustrates the power of the medium. The energizing, bold collages of Rina Banerjee, Manuel Ocampo, and Travis Somerville read as brave declarations. The kaleidoscopic work of Sanaz Mazinani mirrors the inescapable collage of digital media permeating our daily lives. Ben Venom’s iconographic quilts are a sassy blend of collage and punk rock. Ray Beldner and Ann Weber’s creatural forms literally bend the medium by bringing it into three dimensions. The delicacy and seamless detail of Lisa McCutcheon, Catie O’Leary, and Kirsten Stolle reflects their use of paper as a tool for mark making, becoming as much drawing as collage. And Efren Alvarez and Mary Anne Kluth both succeed in tickling the mind with their edible, pulsing colors palettes and playful materials.

 The accessibility of collage, coupled with the rebellious spirit of these artists, make this exhibition an exceptional opportunity for you to see art, be inspired, and hopefully remember to indulge your own inner maker.

 Participating Artists

Rina Banerjee
Ray Beldner
Laura Deem
Tara de la Garza
John Hundt
Mary Anne Kluth
Hope Kroll
Sanaz Mazinani
Lisa McCutcheon
Manuel Ocampo
Catie O'Leary
Andrew Schoultz
Travis Somerville
Kirsten Stolle
Inez Storer
Ben Venom
Ann Weber
Leigh Wells
Vanessa Woods
Benicia Gantner

In the Glass Gallery: Mary Anne Kluth

Exhibition Dates: June 16August 26, 2018
Opening Celebration: Friday, June 22, 2018, 7-10 p.m.

Mary Anne Kluth, Collage proposal for Master Study, Grand Canyon, 2018, hand-cut archival photo collage, courtesy of the artist

Mary Anne Kluth is a Bay Area artist who works from photographs of fabricated theme park landscapes. Her collages, digital prints, and installations reference the American West and allude to the prevalence of collective fantasy in national identity. She received her BFA from California College of the Arts and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute, and has exhibited both locally and internationally.

For more information, visit Mary Anne Kluth's website.

Cultural Kaleidoscope

Exhibition Dates: April 28May 27, 2018
Opening Celebration: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 4:30-6 p.m.

Youth Art

Exhibition Dates: April 28—May 20, 2018
Opening Celebration: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 4:30-6 p.m.

Postcard for exhibition

Each year, the Art Center showcases youth creativity in two exhibitions that celebrate the artistic vibrancy of our community. Cultural Kaleidoscope displays the collaborative art projects created in the Art Center’s artist-in-the-schools program, Cultural Kaleidoscope. Youth Art features artwork produced by children and teens in the Palo Alto Unified School District. Featuring inspiring artwork in a wide range of media, these beloved exhibitions demonstrate the power of artwork for children of all ages.

Through That Which Is Seen

Exhibition Dates: January 20—April 8, 2018
Opening Celebration: Friday, January 19, 2018

Wendy Red Star, Four Seasons Series (Spring), 2006, archival pigment print on Sunset Fiber rag, 35.5 x 40 in., courtesy of the artist.

This exhibition will include sculpture, photography, painting, and video spotlighting the use of dioramas in contemporary art.

The history of dioramas goes back at least as far as 2600 BC, when ancient Egyptian royalty and nobles were buried with carved illustrations of everyday life, including boats setting sail, granaries, and scenes of bread and beer preparation. They were meant to ensure that the deceased would be taken care of in the afterlife, and included tremendous detail. For example, at least two boats were usually placed in tombs — one rigged for sailing south with the prevailing winds, and one rigged for rowing north with the current of the Nile.

Much can be said about why the practice of creating miniature worlds persists, and in particular why so many contemporary artists find this art form to be a useful tool of expression. Dioramas can turn even the most mundane of subjects into something special and worthy of attention; they direct focus and consideration on their narratives, encouraging an extended gaze; they are a means of escape from the everyday and a window into the dream world; they facilitate a suspension of belief; and at their best, like those earliest examples, blend fantasy and reality so seamlessly we are magically transported into another dimension.

 Each of the artists in this exhibition wants to tell you a story. Some of these stories are full of alienation and dark humor, and some crystalize a feeling of foreboding or a coming apocalypse. Others are carefully crafted social commentaries, either about current events or about the controversial history of the diorama itself. Many are pure reverie. All of them reflect the careful craftsmanship and inner dream worlds of their makers.

 Curated by Selene Foster and Andrea Antonaccio

Participating Artists

Matthew Albanese
Gregory Euclide
Abigail Goldman
Scott Hildebrandt
Misaki Kawai
Won Ju Lim
Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
Didier Massard
Michael McMillen
Nix & Gerber
David Opdyke
Curtis Talwst Santiago
Joshua Smith
Wendy Red Star
Charles Young

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