Current Exhibitions

Kate Lee Short, The Oculus (detail), 2012, salvaged speakers, speaker wire, Motu audio interface, Mac Mini, amplifiers, wood, 192 x 168 in., courtesy of the artist; Photo: Phil Bond.

Hear This! explores the artistic potential of sound, inviting visitors to look, listen, and immerse themselves in the works of five contemporary artists working across disciplines and in a diverse range of media. Including sculptures, prints, tapestry, and video, this exhibition includes works investigating perception, the passage of time, and nostalgia. Encounter a range of visually compelling sonic works by artists such as Kate Lee Short (Oakland), who creates monumental sculptures composed of stacks of salvaged speakers. Make your own sounds on an amplified wire installation by Chris Duncan (Oakland). Listen to Julianne Swartz’s (New York) woven electrical wire tapestry. Watch and listen as Mark Malmberg’s (Petaluma) kinetic mobile responds to light, twitching, chirping, and clicking. Experience a video projection in which artist Christian Marclay (New York and London) repeatedly changes vinyl records, lifting and dropping the tone arm of a spinning turntable, searching for the word “love” in the song lyrics.


Exhibition Preview & Walkthrough with the Curator
Friday, January 16, 9 - 10 a.m.


Opening Celebration
Friday, January 23, 7 - 10 p.m.
Meet some of the exhibiting artists, experience a live sound performance by Chris Duncan with a film projection by Paul Clipson, treat yourself to food provided by Ada’s Café, or indulge in a cocktail!

Love of Sound: Live Sound Performances by Danny Paul Grody & Félicia Atkinson
Saturday, February 14, 2 - 5 p.m.
Join musician Danny Paul Grody, founding member of San Francisco bands Tarentel, The Drift, and Moholy-Nagy, and visiting French artist and musician Félicia Atkinson, as they explore the sonic potential of exhibiting artist Chris Duncan’s interactive installation.

Artists Panel
Saturday, March 7, 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Join exhibiting Bay Area artists Chris Duncan, Mark Malmberg, and Kate Lee Short for a conversation and learn more about their artistic explorations of sound.

Oculus: Interpretations: Closing Celebration for Hear This!
Sunday, April 12, Performances at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Join us at 1:30 p.m., and then again at 3:30 p.m., as we premier new compositions by 5 Bay Area artists presented in succession inside Kate Lee Short’s "The Oculus," a 12-channel, 275-speaker installation.

Participating artists/composers:
Jorge Bachmann (
Will Gluck (
Laetitia Sonami (
Jon Leidecker (
Anja Ulfelt (

Since opening in January, thousands of residents and visitors have enjoyed the uniqueness of our "Hear This!" exhibition. Stop by the Art Center and experience the works of Chris Duncan, Mark Malmberg, Christian Marclay, Kate Lee Short, and Julianne Swartz one last time!


January 17-April 12, 2015

Left: Lauren DiCioccio, Familiar, 2014, 18 x 8 x 12 in., mixed media, courtesy of the artist
Right: May Wilson, In Wobbling, 2014, 204 x 48 x 48 in., mixed media, courtesy of the artist; Photo: Andria Lo

Collaborating for the first time, artists Lauren DiCioccio and May Wilson will employ a range of techniques—sewing, stapling, riveting, weaving, wrapping, and stuffing—transforming fabric into anthropomorphic sculptures. For lift/HEFT, the artists will collect soft, organic textiles such as cotton, wool, and linen, and hefty, industrial materials such as vinyl, nylon, and commercial felt, to create a new series of whimsical forms.


Exhibition Preview & Walkthrough with the Curator
Friday, January 16, 9 - 10 a.m.


Opening Celebration
Friday, January 23, 7 - 10 p.m.

Artists Talk
Sunday, March 15, 2 - 3 p.m.

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: Apr 11, 2015