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Original post made on Nov 16, 2007

It's not what you expect at your quiet neighborhood art gallery.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 16, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Art enthusiast
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Interesting article, thank you.
How strange, though, to see an article about the Pacific Art League without any reference whatsoever to the highly controversial sale of their building to a developer for what sounds like a very low dollar amount.
The decision will be made this month. I know I read about it in the Daily. Is the Weekly covering that interesting and important local story?

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Posted by Want to know more
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2007 at 9:27 am

It interesting and controversial. The developer who wants to buy the property is Jim Baer-Sand Hill Properties. They are also the owners of Edgewood Plaza, which is up for redevelopment.
I wonder whether there is a connection between the two properties.

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Posted by Stephanie Demos
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2007 at 9:41 am

I am delighted that Rebecca captured the essence of this exhibition. This is the Pacific Art League doing what it is meant to do -- introducing art into the community as a catalyst for conversation. Our call to artists asked for works inspired by politics - left, right, center; local, regional, global. We would have loved nothing more that to see examples from all degrees of the spectrum. Such contrasts foster healthy debate.

There have been controverties, but controversy in and of itself was not our goal. I hope that those who visit this exhibition will consider the inspiration for each peace. And I hope that regardless of the initial emotional impact, visitors will become in the kind of healthy debate and discussion that fosters tolerance and mutual respect.

The broader subject matter could not be more relevant to us at the Art League as we are indeed embroiled in a political debate of our own. It has been rewarding to juxtapose the quality and intensity of this collection of works with the ongoing dialog about where the Art League will be housed in the future. We have a tremendous opportunity to take a huge step forward -- to remain on this enviable corner opposite City Hall -- while at the same time ensuring our future through growth beyond this lovely, but compromised structure. For us this is politics at its most intimate level. Change is hard and the task before us simple. We must encourage change -- evolutionary, not revolutionary -- that brings this well beloved 86-year old institution into the 21st Century to fulfill our mission of enriching lives through art - education, exhiition and community.

Pacific Art Leagus is so much more than a building, an address or even a single extraordinary exhibition.

Stephanie Demos, Executive Director, Pacific Art League

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Posted by Want to know more
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Change is hard for many reasons mostly because the benefits of the change pretty much go to the people who are advocating it. Those who oppose the change probably do not see the benefit.
Property downtown is so hot! why not wait for a better offer, or at least one that includes a place to move to in the meantime? The city recently paid Ole's Car Shop 4 million dollars for the corner on Alma Street. Maybe you need an offer from someone who isn't part of the downtown "cartel." Why not take the time to mollify the people who are so opposed?
I would like to know if there is a connection to the Edgewood Plaza property, (same owners as your buyer) which is part of my neighborhood. They have been thinking for a very long time, deciding what they want to build there.

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Posted by Kat
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm

The Pacific Art League is a 501 non-profit for public benefit corporation. Its decision to display the blatant left-wing anti-war exhibit, with the oh-so-obvious lack of opposing opinion, and equally obvious political agenda, i.e., war is bad in all circumstances . . . "we hate Bush" mentality, should cause the IRS to remove their 501 non-profit status immediately.

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Posted by Jed
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 17, 2007 at 2:32 pm


Can you tell us about some right-wing art exhibits that you have scheduled in the near future? For example, themes related to indiviualism over collectivism; liberation of Iraq from Saddam?; the opportunities provided by capitalism vs. socialism?; The mass murder of socialism?, the depth of spiritual faith vs. psychology? There many possibilities. Who might you have in mind?

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Posted by Mae
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2007 at 11:18 pm

For Kat....there is one exhibit that begs for interactive participation...maybe you can post your comments there and make it the conservative view.

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Posted by Kat
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 19, 2007 at 9:17 am

Mae - What are you talking about?

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Posted by Art M.
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 19, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Kat is correct. This is a blatantly political message on a controversial issue. There is little "artistic" about it.

Moreover the flag with stars of David is very obviously anti-semitic.

The organization sponsoring this ought to be deeply ashamed. The fact that it "generates controversy" or "gets people talking" is irrelevant. The recent rape of a high school student got people talking too...


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Posted by Right On, Jed!
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I laughed when I read about the "courageous" or some such word exhibit and then read about the typical far-left interpretation of Iraq, oil, blah blah blah..The only courageous artist is the one who DOESN'T take the far left stance, and actually finds something good to say about America, about the freeing of Iraq and making the world safer, about Israel, about Jews and Christians, about Bush ( where was the last artist rendition of joy concerning NCLB and how it doubled Fed spending on k-12 spending, about Bush being the first to spend Fed dollars on embryonic stem cell research, about Bush bringing a severe increase in health care spending into Medicare, about Bush compromising on all fronts to appease the far left?? Never...)

The day I see a full picture window of an artist rendition celebrating the same thing the Iraqis are celebrating...their the day I will praise courageous artwork.

Being left-wing here is not courageous.

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Posted by Brian
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2007 at 2:23 pm

The US flag with a field of Stars of David in place of the 50 stars representing each State of the Union, is a racist and anti-Semitic caricature symbolizing Jewish control of America. There is nothing original about this; the theme of Jews controlling the great powers is as old -- at least -- as Hitler's Mein Kampf, and look what that led to! Genocide! And this is what passes as "progressive" these days? Just what is the Pacifica Art Gallery peddling here?

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Sounds as if the rightward-leaning among us skipped over the place in the article where Ms. Demos said: "But Demos said the league had put out a call for works representing all views and didn't receive anything that seemed right-leaning."

And Right On, many people have less praisesome opinions of Mr. Bush's actions, with ample justification.

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Posted by Kat
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Peter - Just where was this "call for works representing all views" posted or placed? Can't seem to get an answer on that question. Anyone know?

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Posted by Right On
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:32 pm

My point earlier was that it would be a "courageous" art exhibit in, say...Bush's home town, perhaps, or in pretty much any Red state, or even the many Red areas of California. But here, in this Bluest of
Blue areas of the Nation, the opinions masquerading as art at this exhibit are only the preacher preaching to the choir.

The majority of people here buy this way of thinking, therefore there is nothing courageous about expressing it.

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Posted by Want to know more
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm

There is an open meeting to talk about the sale of the building on Wednesday this
week, November 28 at the Lucie Stern Community Center at 7:30 p.m.
I think it may be more interesting than arguing endlessly about right wing/left wing.

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Posted by karen gutfreund
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2007 at 11:49 pm

Message to Kat and everyone else -- The "call to artists" went out to the PAL membership and was posted on various artist websites such as Craigslist,, Artsopolis and a few other sites I can't recall right now and then also forwarded via email to artist groups. The prospectus was written up by the curators and the PAL gallery manager and then distributed in these various channels. Artists then submit their work for possible inclusion--then juried in by the curators.

Various posters above are correct -- doing a political show in California is bound to be filled with a majority of artists that lean to the left. Art reflects the culture in which it lives. This theme may end up being a yearly exhibition and I personally would love to see art in other points of view and would welcome it as would the League. There's just not much if any "right-wing" art out there and none was submitted for this show.

I should point out that I'm the artist that did the painting "We Believe" which had the Stars of David on the flag. I'm not anti-semitic. I mis-used the symbol. Anyone who is interested in my artist statement can either go to the League and read the statement that is currently on the painting or they can google me, get my email and I'll be happy to send it to you. I'm on the Board at PAL, it's not hard to find me. I would be very happy to share my thinking behind the imagery in the painting.

Lastly, I really have to ask as I scratch my head in confusion -- WHY IN THE WORLD would/should an article about an art exhibition diverge into a conversation about the building project?

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Posted by Thank God for America
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 28, 2007 at 7:31 am

Fortunately, Karen, you don't have to worry about anyone beating you up, floggin you, or shooting you because they are "insulted" by your depiction... Good thing you picked the right people to make an error on.

Referring to the British woman who was helping to teach in the Sudan...and is about to be flogged for allowing her young class to name the class Teddy Bear after a kid in the class they all liked named....Mohammed. Someone took offense.

Thanks for clarifying your error.

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Posted by Palo Alto Place
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2007 at 9:09 am

"WHY IN THE WORLD would/should an article about an art exhibition diverge into a conversation about the building project?"

In Palo Alto, why would you expect anything else? :)

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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