A&E Digest

This week's art news

Palo Alto Philharmonic sponsors a youth concerto competition, and a new public art project springs up in downtown Palo Alto.

PA PHILHARMONIC HOSTS COMPETITION ... The Palo Alto Philharmonic Association has announced it will sponsor a concerto movement competition for Bay Area youth. The organization encourages young instrumentalists and vocalists to submit a CD of five to 15 minutes of unedited and unaccompanied performance. Finalists from the competition will be invited to perform for a panel of judges in February 2015, and the winners will appear in concert at Palo Alto's Cubberley Theatre in May. Applicants must be 18 years old or younger, and must not yet have graduated from high school as of Dec. 31 of this year, which is also the deadline for entries. To learn more about the competition or to download an application form, go to paphil.org or call 408-395-2911.

NEW PUBLIC ART IN DOWNTOWN PA ... What is a city? That's a question Palo Alto residents and visitors may find themselves facing -- literally -- in the coming weeks. The city's Public Art Commission has commissioned Oakland-based artist Anthony Discenza to install a temporary art project that consists of 20 signs displayed on downtown light posts. Each sign confronts viewers with a series of questions, ranging from the mundane ("What are some of the best options for getting around in your city?") to the existential ("Generally speaking, do you subscribe to the notion that people are meant to be happy?"). According to the artist, the purpose of the installation is to engage the public in thought and conversation about the issues affecting Palo Alto. "This project is really exciting because it brings something fresh to the public art realm," said Public Art Commissioner Vikki Tobak. "People might think it's a mundane sign, and then be surprised to learn that there's more to it." Discenza has exhibited work both nationally and internationally, at galleries and museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Getty Center. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m., the artist will give a free public talk at the Downtown Library, followed by a guided tour of the artwork.

A map of the location of the signs as well as the full text of the project are available online.

For a longer version of this story, go to paloaltoonline.com/arts.

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