Learn about inventors

Learn about inventors

So, when you google Menlo Park you will get a lot of results talking about Thomas Edison. Who, it turns out lived in Menlo Park, New Jersey and that development was named after the Californian town.

 

1920s general store at the Museum of American History, Palo AltoThe Museum of American History in Palo Alto is running a current exhibit titled: Thomas Edison and His Rivals: Bringing Electricity to America.

You can learn about American ingenuity and the rivalries between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla, until February 18th, 2018. They also show a lot of different inventions from the three tech pioneers.

The subject is not surprising for the Museum of American History, which focuses on inventions and technology from 1750 to 1950.Melmac at the Museum of American History, Palo Alto

The permanent exhibit features a 1920s general store, an early 20th century kitchen and outside a replica of an auto-repair-shop, a print shop and the marvelous garden.

It is a great museum to spent some time inside and outside. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.

What is your favorite invention?

Find Arnautoff’s murals

Find Arnautoff’s murals

Ever since I saw the murals on the Roth Building in Palo Alto I was intrigued to find out more about Victor Arnautoff. The Roth Building located on 300 Homer Ave is the former Palo Alto Medical Clinic and the soon-to-be Palo Alto History Museum.

 

Mural by Victor Arnautoff depicting Sir William Osler and a patient at the Roth Building in Palo AltoWhen the hospital first opened in 1932 it was quite a stir due to one of Victor Arnautoff’s murals depicting a half undressed woman receiving treatment. In fact it caused a traffic jam on Homer Ave due to the cars driving by so slowly to get a glimpse of the art work.

 

Arnautoff himself a Russian-American artist who trained with Diego Rivera and came to Palo Alto to teach art at Stanford is most famous for his artistic contribution to the Coit Tower. The Roth Building frescos are among his earliest works in the United States.

 

Replicas of Victor Arnautoff's murals at the Palo Alto Medical FoundationWhen the Palo Alto Medical Clinic moved to 795 El Camino Real, it placed replica medallions of the artworks at its front entrance. On my search for these replicas, I talked to a woman from the hospitals philanthropy department, who knew there had been a story about Arnautoff on KQED that morning. Apparently a once lost mural had been found in the Richmond post office and is now waiting to be restored for the Richmond Historic Museum. (https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2017/10/04/richmond-mural-rediscovered/)

 

But this does not conclude the Arnautoff concurrences. The San Francisco State University Library currently has an exhibit about Arnautoff: “Arnautoff and the Politics of Art” which runs through December 12th. You can see it Monday – Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

 

Have you spotted Arnautoff’s work?

 

Resources:

https://richmondmuseum.org/arnatouff-mural/

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2015/10/02/richmond-post-office-mural-missing-for-decades-rediscovered/

https://news.sfsu.edu/news-story/library-exhibit-features-new-deal-era-murals

http://www.sfchronicle.com/art/article/Famed-labor-murals-reproduced-at-SF-State-12178439.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Arnautoff

http://www.frugalfun.com/discovered.html

http://www.pastheritage.org/Tours/Homer/HomerWalk.html

http://www.pastheritage.org/Articles/ArnatouffMF.html

http://www.pamf.org/about/pamfhistory/moral.html

https://library.sfsu.edu/exhibit/victor-arnautoff-and-politics-art

Play! with art

Play! with art

The new exhibit at the Palo Alto Art Center is called Play! An artful approach to make us realize that we all need to be more playful.

Installation at the Palo Alto Art CenterThe first installment entering the gallery reminded me of my son’s wish when he was younger that he wanted a rollercoaster in the house. The slide came out of the wall and connected with colorful paths up and down the wall.

The most fascinating installment for me was the moving globes. Nils Voelker’s Bits and Pieces  felt like they are doing a dance for us. Nils Voelker’s Bits and Pieces at the Palo Alto Art Center

My son retreated to the nook, folding origami objects.

Andy Warhol’s and Billy Kluver’s Silver Clouds at the Palo Alto Art CenterWe all enjoyed Andy Warhol’s and Billy Kluver’s Silver Clouds. We spent quite some time throwing the silver balloons towards the fan.

The Art Center also offers events around the theme of playA Season of Play offers a lot of family workshops from integrational playdates to stop-motion animation.  

 

Where do you go and play? 

Take a watercolor journey

Take a watercolor journey

The Foster in Palo Alto is a relatively new art space. Featured are watercolors from Tony Foster who chronicles his wilderness adventures in aquarelles.

Tony Foster's pop artFoster a trained pop culture artist turned to self taught plein air painter in hope of protecting the wilderness he depicts.

He journals his paintings with diary entries, little map pieces, and found objects or souvenirs. 

I was warmly greeted by Kathleen who introduced me to Tony Foster. His painting supplies are at the entrance to get an understanding on how a plein air painter works – everything has to be light! I also liked the map of the places that he traveled to and painted.

Christ in the Desert Monastery, Tree and Rock in a Blind Canyon by Tony Foster

Going into the exhibit I decided to take the audio tour with explanations from the painter himself and wander off by myself. I did not stick with the audio tour, mainly out of time constraints, but it is another reason to come back and experience the pictures in a different way.

I really enjoyed my visit and was surprised how well the space was used; it seemed like you could meander with pictures forever.

Have you heard of Tony Foster?

Sit by the Stone River

Sit by the Stone River

Andy Goldsworthy’s sculptures in San Francisco’s Presidio are well known and worth seeking out. But did you know that Silicon Valley has one of his nature sculptures?

Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone River at Stanford UniversityAcross from the Anderson Collection at the Stanford University you can sit in the park and enjoy a picnic, while you marvel at the snake like sculpture. Goldsworthy’s Stone River. It took about 128 tons of material to build in one month. During his work on Stone River, Goldsworthy has also created a “heap of pieces with grasses and leaves” just a few yards away from the sculpture.Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone River at Stanford University

Every third Sunday, at 11:30 a.m. there is a free 1 ½ hour docent led tour for the outdoor sculptures. Tours start at the front of the Cantor Arts Center.

 

Have you walked along the Stone River?

 

Experience code:Art

Experience code:Art

I love how devoted Palo Alto is to public art. Their latest installment will only last through this weekend code:ART.

Eight installations starting at City Hall are meant to involve the audience and inspire the dialogue of passerbys.

Advertised as a laboratory for urban experimentation the artists reimagine public spaces through interactive sound, light and motion installations.

The Murmur Wall, the first installation at City Hall, displays search terms from Palo Alto on multiple LED screens connected with lights. On the website: http://www.murmurwall.net/Whisper you can enter your own “whispers” that will be displayed instantly. This will be the only piece that will remain after June 3rd. Since it is LED lights I bet it is better viewed at night.

The soTomo Saito's Save and Soundund installation of Tomo Saito is active twice a day at 2 pm and 6 pm.  It is a concert made by the people that sit down in the chairs.

Across the street you can be part of the art making and let Palo Alto know what your dream city will look like.

Sensory Garden by Elaine Uang, Sandra Slater & Megan Stevens

 

My favorite piece is the Sensory Garden. In an alley next to Bell’s books the artists try to evoke all of your senses. You can touch moss, smell herbs, admire the chalk mural or rattle some cow bells. 

Will you check out code:ART?

Let everyone play

Let everyone play

Since 2015 Silicon Valley has a truly inclusive playground in Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park; the Magical Bridge Playground. The design is uplifting, you see all children embracing the fun. There are different climbing and sliding options, a fully accessible tree house for role play, multiple installations to experience sounds, and a nice shady picnic area.

Plays tructure at the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo AltoThis is by far the coolest playground I have ever seen – and mind you I’ve seen a few. The great news is that they are expanding. The Magical Bridge Foundation plans to open up another magical playground in Redwood City late 2017/ early 2018. Please consider to donateEntrance to the Magical Bridge playground in Palo Alto

 

Have you been to the Magical Bridge Playground?

Walk the trails between Bay and posts

Walk the trails between Bay and posts

The BYXBEE Park in Palo Alto is named after John Fletcher Byxbee, a local engineer, who first recommended developing the Baylands as a public park.

The park lies behind the Palo Alto airport and is part of the Baylands Nature Preserve, one of the largest areas of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay.

People here appreciate the long, flat trails for a nice walking, running or biking workout. The unique mixture of tidal and freshwater habitats makes this a welcoming terrain for birds of all kinds.

Art installation in Byxbee Park, Palo AltoThe art that is displayed might make some people wonder: Posts that start small but grow in height, lining a small path up a hill.

These 72 posts made from concrete highway barriers symbolize the mesh between former landfill and new nature sanctuary.  Art installation in Byxbee Park, Palo Alto

 

The artists Peter Richards and Michael Oppenheimer in a collaboration with the landscape architects Hargreaves Associates, developed this 29 acre park and won the national ASAL Honer Award in 1993.

Have you ever pondered about the posts at Byxbee Park?

You decide: Rodin vs. Papua New Guinea

You decide: Rodin vs. Papua New Guinea

Stanford is famous for their large Rodin collection. In fact the bronze collection with over 200 pieces is amongst the largest in the world. Two of the best known sculptures are  ‘The Gates of Hell’ and ‘The Thinker’. You can admire them inside and outside the Cantor Arts Center. They also offer docent lead tours Wednesdays at 2 pm, Saturdays at 11:30 am, and Sundays at 3 pm, rain or shine. Meet in the main lobby. Learn more

https://museum.stanford.edu/view/rodin.html

The two gates of hell at Stanford University

A different display of art is the New Guinea Sculpture Garden. As a modern / tribal collaboration project they mixed traditional stories with modern ideas. When they learned about the famous Rodin sculptures one of the artist proclaimed: ‘”I can do this – even better!’ Their versions of ‘The Gates of Hell” and ‘The Thinker’ can be found among a multitude of other sculptures.

Which is the better version will be in the eye of the beholder.  If you are willing to judge or explore you can find the garden on the corner of Lomita and Santa Teresa.  They also do a tour every third Sunday at 2 pm.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papua_New_Guinea_Sculpture_Garden
Which artist do you prefer?

Wander around the weaved Whiplash

Wander around the weaved Whiplash

The latest public art installation in Palo Alto is a willow weaved whiplash from artist Patrick Dougherty.

Patrick Dougherty's whiplash at the Palo Alto Art CenterThis is his second work, the first one, also made from natural materials was dismantled in June. This new one, called Whiplash, stands in front of the Palo Alto Art Center facing Embarcadero Rd. and is an impressive construction, with multiple rooms and windows, that lead you into a courtyard.

It is made out of only natural materials and a very enchanting place. The smell of the willow was very strong on my visit, maybe because it rained? This definitely added to the experience.

I can see little kids run through the crafted arches, or play hide and seek. (I’m sure kids will be even more inventive!)

If you still need to satisfy your art hunger you can check out the sculpture garden and the current exhibits in the Art CenterAt the sculpture garden at the Palo Alto Art Center

Have you seen Patrick Dougherty and over 60 volunteers work on this for three weeks in November?