Art Center News

William Warrior Honors all the Animals He Encounters

Animal Control Officer William Warrior and his faithful dog, Lilly

The Art Center’s current exhibition, Encounters: Honoring the Animal in Ourselves, emphasizes real and imagined revelatory encounters the artists have had with animals. But for longtime Palo Alto Animal Control Officer William Warrior, up-close and personal interactions with wildlife are daily occurrences.


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Art Center Student Writes and Draws her own Book

Young author and artist Charlotte Anthony with the book she created

Menlo Park resident Charlotte Anthony may only be 11 years old, but her writing and artistic career is already taking off following the recent publication of a book.


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Art Center Mainstay Suzanne Ramirez Retires After 20 Years

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A typical morning in the lobby of the Palo Alto Art Center can flood your senses. The warm of the sun radiating through the large windowpanes. The smell of clay being shaped between wet fingers on spinning wheels in our ceramics studio. The taste of coffee in the air as the morning staff starts the day’s activities. And, if you are lucky, you would be greeted by the genuine smile and welcoming voice of Suzanne Ramirez. Program Assistant 2. Our mom.


Art Center Mainstay Suzanne Ramirez Retires After 20 YearsMore...

‘Encounter’ Art at the Art Center and Donkeys at Bol Park

Volunteer Jenny Kiralti gets a kiss from Perry the donkey

Once you’ve checked out the Art Center’s Encounters exhibition—on view through December 29—head out to the Barron Park neighborhood in Palo Alto and have a live encounter with the two donkeys that idly clop around in the Bol Park pasture.


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For Artist Kathleen Walkup, the Book IS the Art

Book artist Kathleen Walkup shows one of the books she made

Book artist Kathleen Walkup’s career trajectory involves a long journey of self-discovery as well as being in the right place at the right time. She is now a respected professor of book arts at Mills College in Oakland.


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Artist Bonnie Packer Connects Photos to Watercolor Paintings

Bonnie Packer

Watercolor artist and Palo Alto resident Bonnie Packer took a 50-year break between the first time she picked up a paint brush and her current foray into art, and she has no regrets.


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Master Printmaker Kathryn Kain Praises the Power of Printmaking

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As a professional artist, printmaker, and art instructor, Kathryn Kain sees herself on a mission to shine a light on the discipline of printmaking.


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Artist Rochelle Ford Welds her Way to Success

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Metal sculptor Rochelle Ford has been creating artwork for the past three decades, but admits she may have been a “late bloomer” when it comes to pursuing her passion.


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3D Printing Press: Making Printmaking Available to the Masses

Art Center Curator Selene Foster makes a print using the miniature printer

Many printers have to travel to a studio to use a large printing press to create their artwork. Now, thanks to entrepreneurs using a Kickstarter web site, artists can download software and 3D print their own printing presses.


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Fanny Retsek: Why Printing Matters

Fanny Retsek operates the large printing press at Paula Kirkeby Press

Studio Program Director and printmaker Fanny Retsek says she is pleased to see the craft of printmaking celebrated at the Art Center this summer.


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Palo Alto Blacksmith Shapes Iron and Public Perception

Blacksmith Greg Osborn pounds a hot iron bar with a heavy shaping hammer

When Palo Alto resident Greg Osborn reaches out to shake your hand, his vice-like grip suggests his hobby for the past 25 years: He’s a blacksmith.


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For Artist Angela Smith, the Message is the Medium

Artist Angela Smith

Artist-in-residence Angela Smith has a lot to say, and is not shy about using her artwork to convey a range of socio-political issues.


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Cultural Kaleidoscope Art Instructor Gertrud Turner Combines Teaching and Learning

Cultural Kaleidoscope Art Instructor Gertrud Turner

Cultural Kaleidoscope instructor Gertrud Turner thinks of her role in the classroom like a two-way street.


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Volunteering is its Own Reward for Jane Gee

Project Look volunteer Jane Gee

Volunteering for the past two years as a Project Look docent at the Art Center has turned into a win/win situation for Jane Gee.


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ACTL Program Promotes Leadership, Social Contact, and Fun

ACTL participants Helena Cirne (left) and Sophia Sierra-Garcia

High school students Helena Cirne and Sofia Sierra-Garcia first joined the Art Center Teen Leadership (ACTL) group for some real-world leadership experience, but stayed for the fun.


ACTL Program Promotes Leadership, Social Contact, and FunMore...

Ann McMillan Teaches her Students to be Kind to Themselves

Art instructor Ann McMillan sketches an artist in the studio who is painting

If there is only one thing that art instructor Ann McMillan wants students to learn in her classes, it is this: Be kind to yourself.


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Art Center Jewelers on a Mission to Haiti

Leslie Gordon and Ji Hwang stand in back of the jewelry-making materials they are taking to Haiti

When Art Center jeweler Ji Hwang mentioned to fellow jeweler Leslie Gordon that she was going to Haiti to show Haitians how to make and sell jewelry, Leslie jumped at the chance.


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Artist Val Britton Maps out a Territory of Mind and Space

Val Britton sits in front of her unique artwork in the Glass Gallery

Polish-American scholar and semanticist Alfred Korzybski once remarked, “The map is not the territory,” to metaphorically illustrate the difference between belief and reality. Seattle-based artist Val Britton, who has created an installation in the Art Center’s Glass Gallery for The Sheltering Sky exhibition, agrees with that sentiment.


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Seeing Nature Through the Sky

Sukey Bryan stands in front of her artwork, %22Sky Front,%22 on the Art Center's facade.

Palo Alto artist Sukey Bryan creates work that reflects her reverence for nature and her fascination with the ever-changing environment.


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Artist Shu-shia Chow Carefully Engineers her Jewelry

Jewelry artist Shu-shia Chow with some of her artwork

Who would have thought that a career as a hardware engineer and chip designer in high tech would prepare Shu-shia Chow to become a jewelry artist during retirement? “I treat every jewelry project as an engineering project,” she says. “I first come up with the idea for a piece of jewelry, make a drawing of it, and then create a three-dimensional model in paper to make sure I have the most efficient design.”


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Artist Monica Waldman Enjoys Creating Art People can Use

Ceramic Artist Monica Waldman at work

When artist Monica Waldman prepares to create her ceramics on the potter’s wheel, she likes to likes to have all of her shaping and scraping tools laid out before her, as a surgeon would in an operating room. “That’s a good comparison,” she says. “Like a doctor’s tools, they tend to get all messy and dirty when I’m creating a ceramic piece. In fact, we have a couple of people here working with clay in the Adult Studios who happen to be physicians.”


Artist Monica Waldman Enjoys Creating Art People can UseMore...

Artist Jill Miller wants People to think of Art in a Different Way

Collaborative artwork from the first phase of Being Human

As the leader of the Art Center’s Being Human art project, artist Jill Miller is engaging 10 Bay Area parent-artists who are using their parenting experiences as catalysts for producing art.


Artist Jill Miller wants People to think of Art in a Different WayMore...

A Funny Thing Happened to Jeremiah Jenkins on the way to Becoming an Artist

Jeremiah Jenkins

Artist Jeremiah Jenkins actually wants people to find his artwork humorous. “When I was an undergrad, I almost quit art to go and study comedy with Second City in Chicago,” says Jenkins, who is one of the artists participating in the Art Center’s Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood exhibition. “Comedians have always been a huge influence for me. But then I learned about conceptual art, and there’s something deeper to it than just jokes. When someone’s perception gets messed with in a way, it’s entertaining. And if someone laughs at my works, that’s a success for me.”


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Interns Invest their Time, Effort and Receive Rewards, Knowledge

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During the summer, the Art Center benefits from the assistance of several interns who hone their skills in Children’s Fine Art (CFA) programs, Exhibitions, Marketing, and Development. But these interns from California colleges say they also receive many benefits and rewards from working in a real-world environment at the Art Center.


Interns Invest their Time, Effort and Receive Rewards, KnowledgeMore...

Meet Artist Ben Venom—Punk Rock Quilter

Ben Venom at work. Photo courtesy of BenVenom.com.

The best way to describe Ben Venom’s artwork may be to compare it to an iron hand in a quilted glove. “My work is able to operate in three different worlds: fine art, crafting, and the counterculture scene,” says San Francisco-based quilt artist Venom, who is exhibiting one of his pieces during the Paper Cuts: Large-Scale Collage exhibition at the Art Center.


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Artist Benicia Gantner uses Collage to Promote Deeper Communication

Artist Benicia Gantner at work on her installation

Benicia Gantner, one of several collage artists participating in the Paper Cuts: Large-Scale Collage exhibition at the Art Center June 16-August 26, likes to create installations that compel people to examine the ways in which they communicate with one another and the world around them.


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Mary Anne Kluth’s Artwork is a Matter of Perspective

Artist Mary Anne Kluth stands in front of her installation in the Glass Gallery

If you were to simply look at a photo of one of artist Mary Anne Kluth’s artwork, you would not be getting the whole picture. Read the whole story to find out why!


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Art Center Group Focused on Building a Bridge between Tech and Art

Group member Jonathan Whitmore engages in design thinking

How do you engage more tech leaders and workers with the artistic community and boost philanthropic giving? That is the question being addressed by a group of tech employees and others who will act as “Art and Tech Ambassadors” within the technology community for the Palo Alto Art Center.


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Cultural Kaleidoscope Participant Learns Valuable Life Lessons in Program

Giada Parigi stands in front of some Cultural Kaleidoscope art

Giada Parigi has such fond memories of the artwork she created during the four years she spent participating in the Art Center’s Cultural Kaleidoscope program, that she decided to model a community-based leadership project around her experiences.


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Li Ezzell Believes in the Transformative Power of Art

Li Ezzell

The Palo Alto Art Center recently conducted an interview with Li Ezzell, the Art Coordinator for the Palo Alto Unified School District who is supervising this year’s Youth Art exhibition at the Art Center. Get the rest of the story by clicking the link!


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SACHI Builds a Strong Cultural Relationship with the Art Center

Kalpana Desai, president of SACHI

Sometimes, the best relationships begin with a happy accident. Read about the strong cultural relationship between the Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India and the Art Center.


SACHI Builds a Strong Cultural Relationship with the Art CenterMore...

'Youth Speaks Out' through Creativity at the Art Center

Artwork from Youth Speaks Out

Now in its seventh year, the Youth Speaks Out exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center, from March 23-April 19, will bring together hundreds of students from both Gunn and Palo Alto high schools who will express their hopes, fears, and visions of their own future through their artwork.


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Miniaturist Joshua Smith Finds Beauty in Decay

Joshua Smith, %22Discolandia,%22 2018, mixed media, courtesy of the artist

If it hadn’t been for cereal boxes and model trains, Joshua Smith might never have become an artist. Find out more by reading the rest of the story!


Miniaturist Joshua Smith Finds Beauty in DecayMore...

Installers Practice the Art of Making Art Look Good

From L to R: Lorrie Kempf, Danny Baggs, Lora Groves, and Joe Saxe.

Sometimes, what isn’t visible in an art exhibition can be as important as what is seen. That's the job of the Art Center's team of professional installers.


Installers Practice the Art of Making Art Look GoodMore...

Drop-In Collage Group Assembles a Sense of Community

Margaret Gaynes works on her collage project

The art of collage typically involves the assemblage of different forms of found images to create a whole new work of art. At the Art Center, disparate members of the Drop-In Collage Group meet on a weekly basis to create not only artwork, but a sense of community as well.


Drop-In Collage Group Assembles a Sense of CommunityMore...

Art Center Intern Strives for Inclusion in her Artwork

Art Center intern Evelyn Anderson in front of the mural she created

Palo Alto Art Center development intern and artist Evelyn Anderson says she takes a very broad approach to her artwork. For Anderson, art encompasses her own worldview as well as themes of diversity and inclusion.


Art Center Intern Strives for Inclusion in her ArtworkMore...

Art Instructor Paulina Shapona Draws Connection between Art and Life

Art Instructor Paulina Shapona

At the Palo Alto Art Center, “art is alive,” says Children’s Fine Art instructor and artist Paulina Shapona. For the last 17 years, Paulina has been teaching drawing, painting, pastels, cartooning, fashion design and puppet performance workshops with her unique perspective on arts education. Read more by clicking the link.


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Ceramic Artist Gurmeet Lamba Finds Inspiration at the Art Center

Gurmeet  Lamba

Ceramics artist Gurmeet Lamba, who will be exhibiting and selling his unique wares at this year’s Holiday Sale at the Art Center on December 2, said he is excited about the event for a couple of reasons.


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Margo Plageman Enjoys Taking Jewelry from Concept to Three Dimensions

Margo Plageman

Jewelry artist Margo Plageman says that her creations do not always turn out the way she imagined, but that she always enjoys the challenge of turning her ideas into something wearable.


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Palo Alto Art Center Ceramics and Jewelry Studio Holiday Sale: December 2, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Katy Shihhui Huang Ceramics

Artists from the Art Center’s Open Jewelry Studio and Ceramics programs will have original work for sale to suit all your holiday needs on Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Palo Alto Art Center.


Palo Alto Art Center Ceramics and Jewelry Studio Holiday Sale: December 2, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.More...

Robotic Art Making Sculpture Comes to King Plaza

The Artwork Forge

The Palo Alto Public Art Program presents a new temporary art installation at King Plaza: The Artwork Forge, a retro-style interactive robotic sculpture creating on-demand unique artworks for visitors in just a couple of minutes.


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The Power of Photography Celebrated during Art Center’s Summer of Photography

From Kija Lucas' %22Collections from Sundown%22 exhibitionCelebrate the creative and expressive potential of photography during the Palo Alto Art Center’s Summer of Photography program beginning in June.
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Design Thinking Class Empowers Teens to Fight Climate Change

News Image ID 56742Teens interested in learning the design process, creating change, and exploring a new way of thinking all while helping the Sierra Club fight climate change should check out the Palo Alto Art Center’s new Design Thinking class beginning April 13. The course, aimed at teens ages 14-18, will use the Stanford d.school process of interviewing for insight, conducting empathy fieldwork, synthesizing findings into compelling needs, ideating radical design alternatives, and prototyping. Click the link for the full story!
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The Art Cart Rolls Into the Art Center

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The Art Center is excited to debut The Art Cart—an activity cart filled with art supplies and activities for use in and outside our galleries! Created after more than a year of research and planning, the Cart is intended to provide families with engaging creative activities they can do together.


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Artist Lisa Solomon's Color Meditations with Teens

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Color is such an integral part of our lives. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the mood we are in is all linked by our personal preferences for color. Culture also influences. Ultimately, the thing that is so compelling about color is that it is completely and unarguably subjective and personal.—Lisa Solomon

Thanks to a generous grant from the California Arts Council’s Artists Activating Communities Program, the Palo Alto Art Center partnered with Oakland-based artist Lisa Solomon to create a series of workshops for teens focused on color and meditation. In the workshops, Solomon employed a process similar to a warm-up activity she utilizes for her own work—small, water color paintings in which she explores color through repetition of a simple shape. The exercise both clears her mind and get “into the zone” for further creative explorations.


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Art Center Celebrates 45th Anniversary with Year-long Series of Events

News Image ID 52429The Palo Alto Art Center has launched its 45th anniversary celebration with a year-long series of community events, ambitious exhibitions, ceramic artist residencies, an Art Center historic timeline, informative lectures, and much more.

The celebration kicked off in earnest on May 1 with a community tea, the public dedication and unveiling of an “Art Center Drive” commemorative sign with Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt, and a Spring Family Day.
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45 Days of Clay Artist Residencies

News Image ID 52432The Palo Alto Art Center has announced the selection of three ceramic artists for its 45 Days of Clay residency program. The artists who have been chosen to participate in the residency program from June 23-August 20 are Malia Landis, Wesley Wright, and Matthew Goldberg.
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Ceramic Artists Sought for New Clay Residency Program

News Image ID 50908The Feb. 29 deadline for all ceramic artists interested in participating in a new and exciting residency at the Art Center is fast approaching!
The Art Center’s 45 Days of Clay Artists-in-Residence coincides with the exhibition Big Clay, and is being offered this summer in conjunction with Art Center’s 45th anniversary celebration.
Ceramic Artists Sought for New Clay Residency ProgramMore...

Join Creative Ecology Artist David Tomb in the Gallery

News Image ID 50927What does the creative process actually look like? Artist David Tomb invites members of the community to find out as he creates colorful dioramas complete with birds, grasses, and marsh from a diverse range of materials during the second phase of his Creative Ecology residency in February and March.
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Art Center Winter Closure begins December 24

News Image ID 50327The Art Center will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 24-Jan. 4, 2016, and will reopen for regular business hours on Jan. 5. This past year was a great one for the Art Center, including the launch of our latest artist in residence program, Creative Ecology, the California State School Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for Cultural Kaleidoscope, and the creation of Palo Alto’s first Happiness Map by artist Kate Pocrass. 2016 looks to be another wonderful year with new classes, exciting art exhibitions, fun-filled events, and the celebration of the Art Center’s 45th anniversary! Have an art-filled holiday, and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!

Art Center Winter Closure begins December 24More...

For Glassblowing Artist Richard Small, Love for Great Glass Pumpkin Patch Shines Through

News Image ID 49104Artist Richard Small loves meeting the people who purchase his work, creating new pumpkins, and the creative spirit of the patch.

“The best thing about the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch® is the fact that I get to interact directly with the people,” says Small, who works out of his glassblowing studio in Campbell.
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Mapping Happiness in Palo Alto

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Artist Kate Pocrass wants to know: Where do you find happiness in Palo Alto?
The answer to that question comes in the form of a project launched by Pocrass, who has asked hundreds of Palo Alto residents to identify and describe their happy places throughout the city.

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Exhibiting at Art Center a Sound Experience for Kate Lee Short

kate lee short, hear this!, artist, palo alto art center
Short’s piece for the exhibition, Oculus, a 12-channel, 275-speaker installation, enticed viewers to step inside and listen to low-frequency sounds. She says that she learned a lot about her own art from the reactions of viewers and was honored to have her work shown alongside the other Hear This! artists: Chris Duncan, Mark Malmberg, Christian Marclay, and Julianne Swartz,

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Thank You, Art Center Volunteers!

2015 Spring Family Day VolunteersWhile National Volunteer Week takes place only once each year in April, volunteerism thrives year ‘round at the Palo Alto Art Center, as hundreds of volunteers routinely donate thousands of hours to ensure the success of the Center’s programs and events.
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Patrick Dougherty returns to the Palo Alto Art Center!

News Image ID 53814Internationally recognized artist Patrick Dougherty returns to the Art Center to create a new sculpture this November.
Patrick Dougherty returns to the Palo Alto Art Center!More...

Spring Family Day a Shining Success!

News Image ID 46843On a sunny Sunday afternoon at the end of March, we welcomed 365 visitors and 31 volunteers at Spring Family Day!
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Pottery Creek by Judith Content

News Image ID 31659Palo Alto artist Judith Content is best known for her textile artworks, which have been exhibited throughout the United States, in Europe, and Asia. But Judith got her start as a ceramic artist. Pottery Creek honors her background in ceramic arts as well as the important role of ceramics in the history and future of the Palo Alto Art Center.
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Celebrating 25 Years of Love at the Art Center

News Image ID 45848Although Palo Alto residents Claire Taylor and Charles Schulz first fell in love with each other 34 years ago, they fell in love with the Palo Alto Art Center in 1988 when they had their marriage ceremony and reception in the courtyard.
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Art Center closes for the holidays on December 24

News Image ID 45288All of us at the Art Center wish you, your family and your friends a happy holiday season and an art-filled New Year! The Art Center will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 through Thursday, January 1 and will reopen on Friday, January 2. We will kick off the New Year with fun and imaginative classes for children and adults and our winter exhibition, Hear This!, opening on January 17. See you at the Art Center in 2015!
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Artist-in-Residence Program Continues with May Wilson and Lauren DiCioccio

News Image ID 44830Community members have the unique opportunity to view and contribute to the creative process as artists Lauren DiCioccio and May Wilson begin their residency as part of the Palo Alto Art Center’s Artist-In-Residence program this month.
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Palo Alto Art Center Announces Artist-in-Residence Program!

The Palo Alto Art Center is honored to announce the 2014-2015 Artist-in-Residence Program participants. Artists were selected through a competitive process by a panel consisting of Art Center staff members from the exhibitions, education, and studio program areas.
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Birthday Parties at the Palo Alto Art Center!

News Image ID 32637The birthday program is tailored for our younger artists, ages 5-12, and provides the opportunity to explore art making and have tons of fun doing it!
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Youth Art/Cultural Kaleidoscope Spring Exhibitions

News Image ID 33977Celebrate the artwork of children at the Palo Alto Art Center’s spring exhibitions!
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Friday Nights at the Art Center! April 12 6-9pm

News Image ID 33882Take off with us we say bon voyage to our grand reopening show, Community Creates, and welcome the arrival of the Jewelry Studio.


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Friday Nights at the Art Center!

News Image ID 32630Join us on February 8 for the first in a series of fun and exciting evenings at the Art Center, the new place to be on a Friday night!
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A Transformed Palo Alto Art Center Opens For the Community!

News Image ID 31663October 6 marked the long-anticipated grand reopening of the newly transformed Palo Alto Art Center! Check it out!
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A Transformed Palo Alto Art Center Opens On October 6

News Image ID 30208The Palo Alto Art Center welcomes the public back to its newly transformed space after eighteen months of renovation. Created by the community more than 40 years ago, the newly transformed Art Center is the place where you can actively participate in the arts! Highlights of our renovated building include a new Children’s Wing with double the number of classrooms, transformed exhibition galleries, new lobby spaces and public areas and beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces for all to enjoy!

Click here for a detailed list of the days activities!
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A Mobile Place for Making, All for Teens

News Image ID 34460In the spring of 2013, the Palo Alto Art Center and the Palo Alto City Library embarked upon an exciting project with local teens—the creation of a mobile makerspace. Funded by a California State Library grant, this project will result in a mobile makerspace—created by and for local teens—that will premiere at the Art Center in August 2013 and then travel to libraries and community centers throughout Palo Alto.
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