Local artist Gass to show works at museum

The Los Altos History Museum has scheduled Linda Gass, a local artist motivated by her love of the environment, to present a slide lecture on her work 7 p.m. May 2 at the museum. A reception follows the free event.

Gass' presentation is one in a series in conjunction with the museum's current exhibit, "Scene from Above: Maps & Aerial Photos of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills." The exhibit, extended through May 27, explores how and why mankind has charted the Earth, from hand-drawn Spanish diseños to aerial photos to GoogleEarth. The photos demonstrate the changes on the Peninsula since the time of the Spanish missionaries.

Gass, a Los Altos resident and fiber artist, creates art informed by maps, aerial photography and her activist passion. She said her work brings awareness to the need for sustainable water resource management in California by portraying aerial views of affected landscapes. Gass said she employs the beauty in her work to encourage people to face the hard issues. Historical and modern-day maps and aerial photography play significant roles in her research for each work of art.

Gass' work includes quilted paintings, textile wall hangings and land art. She said fabric offers viewers an immediate sense of familiarity and comfort. Silk is her favorite material because of its natural beauty, luster and sensuousness, she said.

The photographic slide journey illustrates the places that inspire Gass' work: the wilderness areas of California and some of the significant water interventions in the American West. She will show images of her artwork that reflect her experience of the landscape and her research. Examples of her work will be on display before and after the presentation.

Gass graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in computer science and worked in the software industry for 10 years. She transitioned from software development to fiber artist 13 years ago.

Now her work is on view internationally in galleries and museums. Many of her renderings are published in books and magazines, including "Art Quilts: A Celebration," "Fiberarts Design Book 7," "American Style," "Fiberarts" and "Surface Design." She won the Quilt National Rookie Award for "After the Gold Rush" in 1999.

A founding member of The Main Gallery in Redwood City from 2000-2003 and community volunteer, Gass serves on the board of the Textile Arts Council of the de Young Museum and the advisory board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation. She served on the boards of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and was a member of a wilderness search and rescue team, the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, for 10 years.

The Los Altos History Museum and J. Gilbert Smith History House are open noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and are located at 51 S. San Antonio Road. Admission is free. For more information, call 948-9427, ext. 14, or visit www.los

Photo Captions:

After the Gold Rush, 1998, by Linda Gass. Quilted fine art painting on silk. Photograph by Linda Gass. Copyright © 1998 Linda Gass

Portrait of the artist, 2006. Photograph by Robert Steiner.

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