Wed05042016

News

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Artist Finch brings obsession with light to SFMOMA installation in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Spencer Finch describes his “Back to Kansas” installation as more of a scientific experiment than a painting.

Artist Spencer Finch divulged details of a project in the works at an empty storefront at 242 State St. a few weeks ago, his creative energy filling the dark room with insight into how his obsession with light will weave itself into his commissioned piece for “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.”

While undergoing renovation, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized traveling SFMOMA On the Go displays all over the Bay Area, including Los Altos. With support from the city of Los Altos and Passerelle Investment Co., the multisite exhibition is scheduled to open Saturday and run through March 2.

Finch’s creation is slated for unveiling along with the work of five other artists commissioned by the museum at various Los Altos venues.

‘Back to Kansas’

At first glance, a large wall containing 70 symmetrical squares, each of a different color, may look like an abstract painting, but Finch described his installation as more of a scientific experiment than a painting.

“The idea was to do something in Los Altos where everything is about speed and being able to control images – in this case, the image controls you,” said the artist of his vision for a diachronic creation. “People will sit and watch as the colors disappear. Short wavelength colors disappear sooner, long wavelength later.”

Inspired by how “The Wizard of Oz” bursts from black and white into full Technicolor as Dorothy enters Oz, Finch said he wants his installation to emulate the transformation. Deriving each block of color from scenes found in “The Wizard of Oz” and designing his piece to fit the aspect ratio of a film screen, Finch’s work is appropriately titled “Back to Kansas.”

The canvas of squares is intended for viewing without the use of artificial color, as natural light floods in from the southwest via a floor-to-ceiling facade of transparent glass that illuminates the work. Benches in front of “Back to Kansas” allow visitors to observe the installation for extended times, with the periods before and during sunset the most dynamic. Placards available on arrival invite guests to record when they see the colors fade to gray as the natural light disappears.

“Everyone will see differently,” Finch said, noting how one’s gender and even what one ate for lunch could influence how he or she perceives the colors of his creation.

Although Finch would be surprised if a line of visitors queues up on the sidewalks of State Street to view his installation, he said he would be just as satisfied if his “Back to Kansas” resonates with a few viewers.

“I’m hoping that there are some people who really find it as interesting as I do,” he said, adding that he’s particularly optimistic that the science and technology innovators in Los Altos might understand his vision. “I think if there are two people watching it for half an hour, that’s much more important than 100 people looking at it for two minutes. I hope people are willing to give it a chance.”

For a list of contributing artists and more information on “Project Los Altos,” visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572.

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