45th Anniversary


45 Days of Clay 

The Art Center kicks off its 45th anniversary programing with an organization-wide initiative—exhibitions, workshops, hands-on opportunities, and residencies for all ages--dedicated to celebrating the Art Center’s role in providing more than four decades of ceramic art and education in the community. 45 Days of Clay will engage the entire community in seeing and making ceramic art!
Fired Up: Monumental Clay
June 18-August 28, 2016
Fired Up celebrates the powerful potential of clay on a monumental scale. The exhibition takes over the Art Center galleries, public and outdoor spaces with large-scale ceramic sculpture and installation. 

Studio Gallery: Raku by Gary Clarien
June 18-August 28, 2016
Gary Clarien will exhibit his raku work, all made and fired at the PAAC Ceramics Studio. Clarien’s great respect for the traditional use of clay as an art form has inspired the use of the raku process in his contemporary forms.

Public Programs

Teen Ceramics Summer Drop-In
Thursdays, June 15-August 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Friday Night at the Art Center
Friday, June 17, 2016, 7-10 p.m.

Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival
Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 , 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Percolate: Big Clay by the Bay
July 28, 2016, 7-8 p.m.
Nancy M. Servis, curator, writer, and historian who has been specializing in the history of Northern California ceramics for 20 years will discuss Northern California's ceramic history and her upcoming book, State of Clay: Bay Area Ceramic History.

Director Walkthrough of Fired Up (PAACF members only)
Sunday, August 7, 1-2 p.m.

Fired Up artist panel discussion
Sunday, August 7, 2-3 p.m.

Family Clay Day
Sunday, August 7, 2016, 2-4:30 p.m.
This free event will showcase the creative potential of clay, featuring hands-on clay activities for all ages. In the adult studios, Gary Clarien and the Artists-in-Residence Malia Landis, Wesley Wright, and Matthew Goldberg will be working and discussing technique and process from 3-4:30 p.m.


               Malia Landis                                Wesley Wright                       Matthew Goldberg
Please join us in welcoming the Art Center’s 45 Days of Clay Artists in-Residence Malia Landis, Wesley Wright and Matthew Goldberg. From June 23-August 20 the artists will create new work in our Ceramics Studio, engaging with students and members of the community. 

Malia Landis and Wesley Wright:
A Collaborative Residency
Malia Landis and Wesley Wright have been creating their own separate ceramic-based art in the same studio for the past nine years. As a married couple, they have greatly influenced each other’s art, but have rarely collaborated directly on a body of work. This residency will provide the unique opportunity for both artists to work collaboratively on a new body of work that engages the Art Center community in a conversation about ceramics and the natural world.

Malia Landis
Inspired by place and environment, my sculptures highlight endemic and indigenous species of plants and animals found among my roots in Northern California.—Malia Landis

Malia Landis’ exquisitely crafted sculptures find inspiration in the natural world. The artist was born and raised in St. Helena, California and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii as a child—she continues to influenced by both landscapes in her work. Recurring motifs appear throughout her work, delicately sculpted plants that represent growth, braided hair to represent the passage, fish and birds to convey movement, flight, migration and nesting. She finds continual inspiration in the complex chemistry of clay and its inherent ability to take on any form.

Landis received her BA from Humboldt State University and an MFA from San Jose State University. Her work has been exhibited at the Mendocino Art Center, the Palo Alto Art Center (Bird in the Hand), and the Morris Graves Museum of Art.

Wesley Wright
My work addresses environmental issues through highly detailed and playful sculptures.           —Wesley Wright

The imaginative animal sculptures of Wesley Wright are abundant with expertly crafted details. His works combine the human and animal, the decorative and figurative in unique ways that are both beautiful and grotesque. For the artist, each of his creatures tells a story or recalls an archetype. The chimp offers a symbol of evolution—humans in their rawest form—the armadillo represents protection, the rhinoceros showcasing strength and vulnerability. Wright hopes his viewers experience the same sense of wonder in his work that he encounters in the world at large.

Wright received his BA from Humboldt State University and his MFA from San Jose State University. His work has been exhibited at John Natsoulas Gallery, the Art Space Gallery in Fresno, and the Halden Gallery at Lake Tahoe Community College.

Matthew Goldberg
My work is simple natured, running on the fuel of joy, humor, gesture, exploration, and experimentation.—Matthew Goldberg
San Francisco-based artist Matthew Goldberg employs the same love of mundane objects and quirky sense of humor visible in the California Funk ceramic artists who came before him, such as David Gilhooly and Clayton Bailey (both of whom are included in our Fired Up exhibition). Uniquely though, Goldberg’s pieces include found objects—such as pastry boxes, posters, wood elements—that at once engage and confuse the viewer. Goldberg delights in presenting the most unusual juxtapositions to create a funny sense of the unexpected. A turkey leg textured with real fabric flocking? A donut with lobster claws? A volcano with cheese balls? Goldberg enthusiastically says yes in his imaginative work.

Goldberg received a BA in studio art and art history and a BS in advertising from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited at venues throughout the Bay Area, including Root Division. He is currently a ceramics instructor at SOMarts and the Excelsior Boys and Girls Club. 

Artists-in-Residence Public Programs

45 Days of Clay Artists-in-Residence Reception and Artist Talk
Thursday, June 23, 6:30 p.m.

Workshop with Malia Landis and Wesley Wright:
Floral Decoration: Carved & Press-Molded Surfaces
Tuesdays, August 9 and 16, 6-10 p.m

Workshop with Matthew Goldberg:
Translating Drawings into Sculpture – Large Scale Hand Building
Tuesdays, July 19 and 26, 6-10 p.m.

For more workshop info, please email fanny.retsek@cityofpaloalto.org or call 650.617.3525.

Fired Up: Monumental Clay and 45 Days of Clay are supported by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, Peggy and Yogen Dalal, and The Lennox Foundation. Fired Up is also supported by the Dorothy Saxe Exhibition Fund.

Last Updated: May 3, 2016