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Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
Downtown Palo Alto comes to life with art, crafts and activities on August 23 and 24 for the 33rd annual Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, occupying nine blocks of verdant University Avenue, just outside the entrance to Stanford University.

With its long history, the festival has become a destination for artists and craftsmen from all over California and the West Coast, attracting some of the best fine artists in a wide array of media in the entire region.

Painting, printmaking and photography are of course well represented, but there’s much more. Wearable art is a major category, with artisans working in fiber, leather and metal. Look for jaunty hats, scarves with flair and eye-catching bags. Also present are some 20 jewelry-makers, showcasing their handcrafted rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants for a fashion-forward accessory.

Sculptors are on hand with pieces big and small. Perhaps you’ll be tempted by something to set on your mantel, or a grander work for your garden. Kids will get a special kick out of the Reflections in Steel Sculpture Plaza, featuring whimsical, larger-than-life kinetic metal sculptures of lions, cows, giraffes and more.

Speaking of kids, the kids’ art studio allows them to get hands-on with art, creating paintings and decorating ceramics. They also get face-on with face-painting sessions. Another great kids’ activity is the chalk-a-lot area, where they can make chalk drawings on pavement. This is part of the famous Italian Street Painting section along Tasso Street, where artists make tremendous and intricate works of art on the street’s pavement, continuing an artistic tradition going back to 16th-century Italy.

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