October is National Arts and Humanities Month. This seems like the perfect time to explore the best art collection in Mountain View. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Mountain View Center has an extensive collection of fabulous art. The PAMF is open to the public, not just patients and you are free to walk around the facility and enjoy the art. Most Mountain View residents know that there are two Dale Chihuly glass sculptures hanging inside the PAMF Center, and they are breath-taking, but there is so much more than just these two famous pieces. The two Chihuly pieces were donated to PAMF by former Los Altos resident and philanthropist, Ed Dowd. This generous donation is the crown jewel of Mountain View’s art. I spent some time in PAMF recently and was curious about how often the glass sculptures are cleaned and who does this task. I was told that there is a special team of “certified” people who clean Chihuly art. This team of steady hands is called upon once a year to come to Mountain View and very carefully clean our Chihulys. I’m hoping I’ll be invited to watch the next time it happens.
Most of the art hanging on the walls is by California artists. Some of my favorites were by Joanne Fox, a San Francisco artist who does mixed media, Barbara Sebastian, another San Franciscan who paints on ceramic slabs, and Judith Content, a Palo Alto artist who makes quilted images using hand dyed silk charmeuse. I loved that the Pediatrics Department of the medical center has art with images of children and toys. A few others that must be mentioned are Brigitte Carnochan, a Portola Valley artist, who has done some hand-colored photography of flowers and Pamela Moore, another mixed media artist, who has created some incredible images. I love that we have this amazing art collection open to the public and that most of the art is by local artists. Enjoy October National Arts and Humanities Month in Mountain View.