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Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration

March 17, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration

January 22-May 21, 2022

Christine Wong Yap, Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration. Digital design. Courtesy of the artist.

Image description: A digital artwork with a background of light blue at the top, fading to light pink at the bottom, and with calligraphy-style text in blue, purple and pink that reads: “Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration”.

About the exhibition

Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration will feature the work of 18 artists from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The exhibition will showcase alternatives to our chaotic world of stress and anxiety, through practices of mending, healing, restoration, belonging, sustainability, and resiliency.

Some of the work that will be included in the exhibition looks inward—addressing past personal struggles with illness, addiction, and loss. Other artists turn their attention outward to connect with those who are suffering and to find solidarity in our shared adversity. Universally, what begins in the studio alters the life of the artist, who in turn brings that change to the world.

Artists in the exhibition will include: Johnna Arnold, Lynn Beldner, Wes Bruce, Caledonia Curry (SWOON), Paz de la Calzada, Angela Hennessy, Alexander Hernandez, Jeremiah Jenkins, Corita Kent, Tucker Nichols, Marcel Pardo Ariza, Maria Paz, Jessi Rado, Leah Rosenberg, Lisa Solomon, Esther Traugot, Christine Wong Yap and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle.

The exhibition will feature several site-specific installations, including: a wall painting by Paz de la Calzada featuring plants collected in nearby City of Palo Alto Community Gardens; a site-specific collection of Flowers for Sick People, a multimedia art and health project by Tucker Nichols; an immersive installation by Wes Bruce exploring the meditative and healing properties of water; and Expanding Space Project, a project that combines meditation, photography, and social practice by Johnna Arnold.

The Creative Attention exhibition is part of a larger initiative that includes artist residencies, community art therapy workshops, and wellness programs. Christine Wong Yap will engage local teens and seniors in a residency project focused on places of belonging in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, resulting in a site-specific Belonging Map that will be installed in the galleries beginning in March. Marcel Pardo Ariza will work in residence with the Avenidas Senior Center’s Rainbow Collective, hosting a series of workshops celebrating intergenerational LGBTQ+ personal stories. Art therapist Anh Tran will work in collaboration with community partners Dreamcatchers, Stevenson House, and Palo Alto Housing on a series of free art therapy workshops. Free wellness programs will also be presented during the run of the exhibition.

Special events

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Art Center will provide in-person and online programs:

Friday Night at the Art Center opening reception—Friday, January 28, 2022, 6-8 p.m., FREE
Join us at the Art Center for a special celebration of Creative Attention. This event will feature exhibition walkthroughs, a chance to hear from exhibiting artists, hands-on art activities, and a specialty cocktail and cash bar provided by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation.

Creative Attention Virtual Artist Residency Conversation with Christine Wong Yap and Marcel Pardo Ariza—Friday, March 4, 2022, Zoom
Join our Creative Attention artist residents for a virtual presentation about their work and their residencies in conjunction with the project.

Community Day Celebration—Sunday, April 10, 2022, noon-4 p.m., FREE
This Community Day Celebration will feature hands-on art activities, a sound bathing activity with Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and a special drag queen performance led by Grace Towers. Bring your worn clothing and repair it in a special workshop with The Mending Collective, a collective of artists who wish to create a space for people to come together to learn and practice visual mending techniques.


Thanks to the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Creative Attention exhibition will continue accessibility components initiated by The Art of Disability Culture exhibition, including audio descriptions and Braille labels. Social narratives will also be provided and available online for visitors with autism.

Creative Attention was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.


Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94303 United States
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