The city of Palo Alto Public Art Program recently unveiled the latest group of projects to receive ArtLift microgrants. The program grew out of city efforts to foster connection and promote safe community engagement in order to counter the isolation of the pandemic. The 2022 ArtLift projects highlight both visual and performing arts, with temporary artworks and installations, as well as pop-up and scheduled performances. Projects are free and accessible to the public.
ArtLift projects will take place over roughly the next four months at locations throughout the city.
A number of the projects feature special events where the community can take part in the creation of a piece, including: workshops on Aug. 21 and 27 for the piece "Small Gestures," in which artist Victoria Heilweil leads participants through an exploration of ideas of value and beauty through postcard writing; and a series of drawing workshops Aug. 9-30 for "Mapping Palo Alto Together" by artist Perry Meigs where the process offers participants the opportunity to visualize how the patterns of their daily lives have changed over the course of the pandemic.
Artist Miguel Novelo's "Cinetero" transforms people's stories into live cinema on the spot, via a cargo bike trailer outfitted with video projection and sound equipment that creates a live sound and video feed, complete with ambient music and sound effects. Novelo will bring "Cinetero" to various city parks over the month of August and invite people to share their stories about Palo Alto, with the first stop on Aug. 6 at Mitchell Park.
Even the city's four-legged, furry or scaled denizens can take part in local art, with "Pets of Palo Alto: A Family Portrait Project," with arts professional Harriet Stern and photographer Federica Armstrong holding photo sessions for residents and their pets on weekends from Aug. 13 through Sept. 4. The photos will be displayed in an exhibit scheduled for October.
The community is also invited to bring donations of used K-cups, through Aug. 28, to be upcycled by artist Amber Smith into the piece "Cuppa Joe" — and get a chance to see Smith at work. Smith will lead community art-making events on Sept. 25 and Oct. 28.
In the fall, artist Kiana Honarmand holds two workshops on paper lantern-making as part of her piece "Beacons of Hope." The workshops take place Oct. 15.
To see all the projects and get more information, visit cityofpaloalto.org.
Look for our interviews with some of the featured artists later this month.