Current Exhibitions

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, multigenerational, 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!


I'll Show You Mine: Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraiture
September 27 - December 14, 2014


Friday, September 26, 7 - 10 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center
Celebrate with the exhibiting artists! See and make art. Treat yourself to food truck fare and a curated cocktail!

with Makeda Best, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Visual Studies, California College of the Arts

Thursday, November 6, 6 p.m.
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.



Sunday, October 19, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturdays, October 18 and 25, 1 – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 16, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sign up with your family for either workshop to create artwork inpired by the exhibition.

For more information, email: or call: 650.329.2366.

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 the Artist:
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.


September 11-October 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!


Friday Night at the Art Center

Friday, September 26, 7 - 10 p.m.
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

Sunday, November 16, 2 p.m.
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
Friday, December 12, 6-8 p.m.
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

Double Take by Patrick Dougherty:
A site-specific installation

January 2011 -

Patrick Dougherty and detail of Ruaille Buaille (Hijinx)
2008, Parklands in County Offaly, Ireland.
Photo: James Fraher

The Palo Alto Art Center is honored to present a monumental, site-specific installation by Patrick Dougherty, one of the nation’s most prominent environmental sculptors. The public may view the artist’s creative process during his three week artist residency, January 11- 28, 2011, on the grounds of the Palo Alto Art Center.

Identified as the Jackson Pollock of saplings by art critic John Perreault, Patrick Dougherty is a process-oriented artist whose lyrical, organic works are created specifically for each site. Made from local and renewable willow saplings, his works embody natural life cycles, changing over time as the sticks settle and decay, eventually returning to the earth from which they grew. Dougherty has created over 200 monumental site-specific installations on the grounds of major museums, universities, botanical gardens, and private residences worldwide. The resulting works evoke a wide array of natural forms, ranging from nests to objects with a transparent architecture, like woodland dwellings, or basketry.

Environmental sensitivity is a major concern for the artist. Saplings are gathered from maintained sources so that the branches grow back to make new sticks for future uses. Dougherty does not use any artificial supports in his constructions because the inherent properties of saplings cause them to snag and entangle easily.

While there is a signature quality to his work, each of his compelling sculptures relates specifically to the physical site in a unique way. Dougherty believes that ideas percolate at the actual venue and that “the success of a piece lies in capturing the essence of a place and then playing with what you make of that essence.” Unlike other sculptors, he initially conceives of his work by making a series of word associations on both the physical and social qualities of a site. He is conscious of drawing in space, as he weaves sticks with lighter and darker colors and varying widths and lengths.

This project is commissioned by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission. It is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Documentary film of the Patrick Dougherty installation at the Palo Alto Art Center (You Tube)

Patrick Dougherty Lecture at the Palo Alto Art Center (You Tube)

Public Reactions to Double Take by Patrick Dougerhty (You Tube)
Last Updated: Nov 7, 2014