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Lecture series explores art, science, animation

Free Palo Alto Art Center talks take interdisciplinary approach to art

A photographer, a textile artist and the head of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission might seem an unlikely combination for a panel talk. But not when you're exploring the ways art and science connect with and inspire each other.

In this case, the textile artist is Los Altos' Linda Gass, whose art quilts of San Francisco Bay look at wetlands restoration and other issues. San Francisco photographer Robert Dawson focuses on drought, water development and even water wars.

The pair will join BCDC Executive Director Will Travis on Sept. 16, for the first event in a new speakers' series presented by the Cubberley Artists and the Palo Alto Art Center. Four free panel talks will be held Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the center through November. All take an interdisciplinary approach to art.

Center director Karen Kienzle said she hopes the series will introduce new people to the center and to the Cubberley Artists, who have studios in Palo Alto's Cubberley Community Center. The city rents space to the artists, who are chosen by a jury process for six-year terms.

Several of the artists speaking in the new series, including Gass, are from the Cubberley studios. All talks will be followed by audience discussion.

The Sept. 16 event centers on San Francisco Bay, looking at how art and science address climate change, pollution and other matters. "Can art play a vital role in furthering our understanding and response?" the press release inquires.

On Oct. 14, the topics are storytelling and character creation through animation. Cubberley's Patricia Hannaway, a Disney-trained artist who was a senior animator for the character of Gollum in "Lord of the Rings," will appear with James Buckhouse, whose work combines animation, drawing and painting.

On Oct. 21, five artists will speak on synergy and collaborating across disciplines. They are: Guillermo Galindo, whose work mixes music composition, film, performance and sound design; artist/educator/curator Fernando Hernandez; San Jose State University art professor Robin Lasser; photographer Adrienne Pao; and Cubberley artist Nora Raggio, who works in installation, painting and photography.

The last talk, on Nov. 18, features six Cubberley artists talking about working with found objects. They are: collage artist, painter and printmaker Inge Infante; mixed-media artists Marianne Lettieri, Julia Nelson-Gal, Michael Pauker and Christina Velazquez; and Peter Foley, who uses existing media such as symbols and artifacts in his work. His stated motto: "I appropriate."

All events take place at the art center at 1313 Newell Road in Palo Alto. For more about the Cubberley Artists, go to cubberleyartists.com. For more about the art center, call 650-329-2366 or go to cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter.

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