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News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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