Wanted: a new home for a Palo Alto forest. That is, the collection of photos on glass, hung with wood, wire and acrylic, known as the art installation “The Palo Alto Forest.” PA photographer Angela Buenning Filo gathered and assembled the photos, which are taken by locals of their favorite trees in town. The work has been on display as part of the grand-opening exhibit at the swanked-up Palo Alto Art Center, but the show is coming down soon and the work has nowhere to go.
Art-center director Karen Kienzle is fond of the piece, but “we’re not a collecting organization,” so the center can’t keep it. “Maybe it could go in a corporate lobby?” she wondered aloud. “She doesn’t want to put it in storage,” she said of the artist. “She wants it to be enjoyed.”
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Photo by Jim Filo.
“That’s a heck of a piece of glass,” a man said behind me as we admired the Madonna-and-child made from smooth, beautiful blue Murano glass. I then went across the room and stared for a long time at an impossibly intricate terra cotta Nativity scene from Italy. Even the tiny sheep faces were rich with tender emotion.
It was a very nice Sunday at the annual Christmas Creche exhibition in Palo Alto. I recommend it. There are some 350 creches from various countries and in many materials, including this pictured one (thanks, joepemberton) made from paper wrapped around quills. Several take the form of Russian nesting dolls; others are made from ebony, fabric, metal, crystal … the list goes on. Organizer-curators have also done a lovely job surrounding the creches with flowers, succulent plants and twinkling pine branches. When we were there, a harpist played and people spoke in reverent whispers. A peaceful holiday event, on daily through Dec. 5.
The front window of Bell’s Books, always a magical land. These days, the Palo Alto shop is boasting a new collection of Oziana. And for those of us who can’t get enough of the latest Daniel Day-Lewis flick, a signed limited first edition of Gore Vidal’s “Lincoln.” $65.
Photo by Rebecca Wallace
A striking image waiting for me in my inbox upon my return. San Jose artist Kyoko Fischer won first place in the current juried print exhibition at the Pacific Art League with this abstract etching, “Fuuyu — Colors in Flux VI.”
The piece is part of her series on the curiosities of life on Earth; more specifically, depicting “that which we cannot see floating in the air constantly,” as she wrote. “Fuuyu” means “floating” in Japanese.
Why black and white? Why not, if you can make a ceiling lamp look like a marvelous stained-glass fractal without any color?
Fine-art photographer Cole Thompson, he of the lamp fractals, will address that very question in a talk on Oct. 24 at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. The Palo Alto Camera Club is bringing him in to speak about his philosophies and techniques, and perhaps about the black-and-white world he grew up in.
The image above is very much part of the modern world. It depicts a ceiling lamp that Thompson shot in a Minneapolis Ikea in 2010, a photo that’s part of his striking series. “The first time I really noticed a ceiling lamp was in a hotel lobby in Uniontown, Ohio,”Thompson wrote on his website. “I was intrigued by how it looked when I stood directly below it; from that perspective it was an abstract kaleidoscope and didn’t resemble the functional object that I had viewed from the side.As I lay on the lobby floor, studying the lamp, I decided to produce this portfolio.”
He added, “Everywhere I go, I still find myself looking up.”
Pet peeve: people sending me pitches for “sneak peaks.” Unless you represent a secret mountain, knock it off.
Fortunately, the Palo Alto Art Center didn’t do this. The folks there just sent me a cool preview pic of one of the exhibitions up in the newly renovated center. Called “Palo Alto Forest,” this installation contains photos shot by residents of their favorite Palo Alto trees. Local artist Angela Filo assembled it all.
These and several other installations are open to the public starting Oct. 6, when the center reopens after being closed for more than a year. Welcome back, PAAC.
Photo by Jim Filo.
The city views from the 11th-floor roof at the Channing House senior tower recently improved, which has nothing to do with air quality. Resident artists painted a new cityscape mural under the guidance of artist Carolyn Hofstetter, and spruced up another mural across the way that depicted a rural scene of California poppies.
A little bird told me that the artists ranged from their late 70s to age 102. There seems to be a good arts scene in the tower. The last time I was over there I walked right past rehearsal for an a cappella group.
Channing residents apparently got a great view of the shuttle flyby last week, too. While I was following the developments on Twitter via my phone from the Weekly roof, they were getting updates from their ham-radio operators. Technology. It’s all good.
Pictured: The in-progress mural. Photo courtesy of Channing House.
I found this fascinating old Palo Alto city directory in Stanford’s Green Library today. It’s a city directory instead of a phone book because not everyone in 1933 had a phone.
The phone section is very small, but the street directory is a gold mine, including such gems as “McGinn John S. (Dorothy) lab Veterans’ Administration Hosp h243 Kipling.” At least the wife made it in there somewhere. Representing career women are several “tchrs” and “nurses,” and “McGinn Evelyn H women’s furnings 510 Waverley h243 Kipling.” No word on how Dorothy felt about this.
Best in Show goes to page 10, the “Palo Alto Statistical Review” of 1933. Telephones in service: 7,729. Four banks. One freeway. Too bad I cut off the part of the page that says how many streetlights there were.
Is it me, or is this an odd juxtaposition of words? And also, the driver was a middle-aged-looking blonde putting on mascara at the stoplight. I don’t know what to make of this statement on pop culture in Palo Alto.