Palo Alto Art Center brings back color 

By: Emily Young

The Palo Alto Art Center (PAAC) opened their new exhibit "Spectral Hues: artists +color," a tribute to one of their first exhibits 45 years ago. It celebrates color and the lasting impact that the PAAC has had on artists and residents of the Bay Area since 1971. 

The exhibit opened January 21st and will remain on display until April 9th. Spectral hues explores the interaction of light and color, the emotional influence of color on viewers, and the lack of color altogether.

Variation: Carta I-VI by Amy Ellingson

Twenty Bay Area artists are showcasing their work in the new exhibit, which has garnered lots of interest from Bay Area residents who are interested in viewing how artists from their community work with color.

Artist Mitchell Johnson is the father of an M-A student and is showcasing his work in the "Spectral Hues" exhibit. Johnson first discovered the Palo Alto Art Center in 1990 when the Cantor museum was closed from earthquake damage, and the Anderson Collection did not exist. The Palo Alto Art Center "was the only place you could see serious art exhibits," Johnson commented.

Artist Mitchell Johnson  standing in front of his painting: Piaggio 

Johnson has continued to value the PAAC, commenting "the Art Center is an important part of the greater Palo Alto community and this exhibit marks 45 years of supporting the arts in our area through both classes and exhibitions."

The PAAC was founded by the community to connect artists and art lovers. As well as to make learning about art, and learning how to make art accessible to the public. 

The PAAC not only provides a platform for artists to display their art to the public, but also offers classes, tours, and artist visits to aspiring artists in the community. Roughly 90,000 people partake annually in activities at the PAAC where they can learn a wide variety of mediums from painting to sculpting.

visitors at the Palo Alto Art Center take part in the project available for the night

Opportunities to create art are always available, whether they are unique projects, such as the one shown above, or long-term such as contributing to the work of Mari Andrews, the current in-house artist. Community members can be a part of Andrews' "Creative Ecology" exhibit currently displayed at the PAAC, directly connecting the viewers and the artist.

Other colorful art pieces show in the exhibit include...

Magic Hecksagons by Kristin Farr

Rock Piles by Leo Bersamina
Phase by Karrie Hovey
Maroon (grid) by Keira Kotler

The PAAC continues to support artists in the Bay Area like Johnson who commented that he "became and artist because [he has] a very powerful need to create things with color and to investigate how we make sense in the visual world."