Michael Light:
Planetary Landscape

June 17-August 27, 2017
Opening Celebration: Friday, June 16, 7-10 p.m.
Artist talk: Sunday, June 25, 3-4 p.m.

BIKINI ATOLL 06.02.03, Mile-wide, 200' Deep 1952 MIKE Crater, 10.4 Megatons, Elugelab Island, Enewetak Atoll

Michael Light is a self-described photographer and bookmaker based in Northern California. Over the last two decades Light’s work has been focused on “the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it.”  A Guggenheim Fellow, his work has been exhibited globally and is held in major museum collections. Beyond the exhibition of his work, Light has published six books of his photography, including large-scale artist books.

This exhibition will present an integrated examination Light’s work and will feature the premiere of new work commissioned by the Palo Alto Art Center. Included will be examples of Light’s aerial examinations of the varied landscapes of the American West, along with selections of earlier archival projects exploring the moon exploration of the Apollo and Gemini missions (Full Moon), and the photo archive of atmospheric (above ground) US nuclear testing between 1945 and 1962 (100 Suns).
Light sees his work as an exploration of landscape. By using an aerial perspective he is able to heighten awareness of the juxtaposition of what we consider to be “natural” versus the “manmade.” Our current time period has been designated by many scientists as the “Anthropocene Epoch” – the tail end of the geologic Holocene Epoch–defined by the mark making of human beings since the Industrial Revolution on the permanent geologic record. Light, with his imagery of man-made deserts, strip mines, and the lush lawns of suburbia bracketed by sand and rock, shows us that what we consider “the landscape” is now completely beholden to human influence.

Works will be presented as photographs and extremely large-scale artist books. Series represented will include LA Day/LA Night, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain, 100 Suns, Some Dry Space: An Inhabited West, and Full Moon. This exhibition is guest curated by Sharon Bliss.

Kija Lucas:
Collections from Sundown
May 27 - July 9, 2017

In Collections from Sundown, local photographer Kija Lucas uses notes written by her mother and grandmother to share an intimate portrait of Alzheimer’s disease. Sundown refers to Sundowners Syndrome, a set of symptoms common in Alzheimer’s patients that often get worse after the sun goes down. These symptoms include increased confusion, and, in the case of Lucas’ grandmother, the collecting and packing of belongings in preparation for a perceived trip.

Kija Lucas is an artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She uses photography to explore ideas of home, heritage, and inheritance. Lucas received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006 and her MFA from Mills College in 2010. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area as well as in Los Angeles, Italy, and Mexico. She has participated in Artist-in-Residence programs at Montalvo Center for the Arts, Grin City Collective, and the Wassaic Project. 

September 16 - December 30, 2017
Opening celebration: Friday, September 15

The ability to play is critical not only to being happy but also to sustaining social relationships and being a creative, innovative person.” –Stuart Brown

Play is done spontaneously for its own sake. It is pleasurable, voluntary, engaging, and there is no right way to do it. Research shows that consistent playtime makes animals smarter and more adaptable, fosters empathy, and makes complex social behavior possible. Animals, including humans, play under the most adverse of circumstances; it is irrepressible.

The artists in Play are all vigorously engaged in the practice of play. More than that, their work reflects this practice. Some use materials we recognize as play objects. Some make work that is meant to be played with. Some use imagery to explore the evolution of play. All of them believe what more and more researchers, educators, and creatives are upholding as truth — that play is integral to the psychological wellbeing of each of us as individuals, as well as to the health of our families and communities.

2016-2017 Advance Exhibition Schedule

Last Updated: May 12, 2017