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Montalvo Arts Center’s Centennial

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Silicon Valley's oasis of culture and nature since 1912

In 2012, the Villa at Montalvo Arts Center turns 100 years old! Built by Senator James D. Phelan, California's first democratically elected Senator, his beloved estate in Saratoga has evolved into one of the Bay Area's leading arts institutions and artist residency programs. It was at Montalvo where Phelan entertained artists, politicians, soldiers, scholars, and cultural figures until his death in 1930, at which time he bequeathed the estate to the state of California with a very specific mandate:

"I would like the property at Saratoga, California...to be maintained as a public park open under reasonable restrictions, the buildings and grounds immediately surrounding the same to be used as far as possible for the development of art, literature, music, and architecture by promising students."

Montalvo has kept Senator Phelan's legacy alive for all these years through the hard work and dedication of countless people who have supported the institution and the artists it serves with their time, creativity, and financial resources, all in recognition of the deep importance of the arts and nature in our everyday lives.

Join us throughout the year as we celebrate the history and future of Montalvo through these extraordinary events!

CENTENNIAL EXHIBITIONS:

Our Centennial year is the starting point for a series of thematically-related exhibitions which explore the relationships between Montalvo, its communities, and its histories. Montalvo is a unique place where past, recent past, and present overlap and converge. Over the course of this year, artists will imaginatively and critically examine such questions as: What does it mean to commemorate the history of a specific place? How does our understanding of history inform our experience of location? These exhibitions will prompt us to revisit Montalvo anew, inviting us to engage with this multifaceted place, its histories, present, and possible futures.

SPECIAL CENTENNIAL PROGRAMS:


  • 100 Trees for 100 Years

    Support our initiative to re-establish our Arboretum by donating to the 100 Trees for 100 Years fund!Montalvo turns 100 years old this year and to help celebrate, we want to plant at least 100 new trees on the grounds. Senator James Phelan, the original ...


  • Chit-Chat Club

    This series of conversations is inspired by James Duval Phelan’s participation in the San Francisco-based Chit-Chat Club. Founded in 1874, members met monthly for dinner followed by a presentation and discussion. These talks will explore key topics central to Montalvo’s ongoing mission and ...


  • O' Great Reverie Events

    Inspired by Montalvo’s centennial, this unconventional timeline exhibition examines such questions as what does it mean to create a history of a place? What makes something historical? Can art practice contest established historical narratives and generate new unexpected interpretations of place?This series of ...

UPCOMING CENTENNIAL EVENTS:

  • Ruth Mankin
    SAT JANUARY 28, 2012 NOON
    Downward Dog: Yoga in the Villa

    Paying homage to the yoga classes held in the Villa in the 1970s, Ruth Mankin, Montalvo Art Center’s Director of Education, hosts a drop in yoga class. Space is limited. Bring your own yoga mats.

  • The beautiful forests surrounding Montalvo.
    SAT JANUARY 28, 2012 1 P.M.
    Impressions

    Join arts educator Katie Bachler on an afternoon ramble exploring the textures of past and present, natural and manmade at Montalvo. Make rubbings and clay impressions of Montalvo’s buildings and grounds while investigating such diverse sites as the Italianate Garden and the redwood lined ...

  • Donna Conwell
    SAT JANUARY 28, 2012 1 P.M.
    Meet the Curator

    Montalvo Arts Center’s Associate Curator, Donna Conwell will greet visitors in the Project Space Gallery and discuss the process of co-curating O’Great Reverie with Montalvo Design Fellows, Scott Barry and Neil Doshi. 

  • No image for this event
    SAT JANUARY 28, 2012 3 P.M.
    Direct Criteria

    Los Angeles based performance group Direct Criteria will explore resourcefulness, DIY ethnics, local knowledge, scale, duration, flexibility, and contingent relationships.

  • Delmar McComb, Garden Curator
    WED MARCH 7, 2012 7 P.M.
    Chit-Chat Club: Sustaining Landscapes

    This series of conversations is inspired by James Duval Phelan’s participation in the San Francisco-based Chit-Chat Club. Founded in 1874, members met monthly for dinner followed by a presentation and discussion. These talks will explore key topics central to Montalvo’s ongoing mission and ...

  • Pamela Z
    WED APRIL 11, 2012 7 P.M.
    Chit-Chat Club: Choreographing Space

    This series of conversations is inspired by James Duval Phelan’s participation in the San Francisco-based Chit-Chat Club. Founded in 1874, members met monthly for dinner followed by a presentation and discussion. These talks will explore key topics central to Montalvo’s ongoing mission and ...

  • Arts Splash!
    SAT APRIL 21, 2012 11 A.M.
    3rd Annual ARTS SPLASH!

    Celebrating 100 Years of the Arts! Open House / Open Studios & Student Arts Festival  Montalvo throws open its doors far and wide to the entire community for the official Centennial kick-off celebration event! Join us for an afternoon of the arts, including student works and performances ...

  • Neil Doshi & Scott Barry of Women
    WED MAY 9, 2012 7 P.M.
    Chit-Chat Club: Undesigning Histories

    This series of conversations is inspired by James Duval Phelan’s participation in the San Francisco-based Chit-Chat Club. Founded in 1874, members met monthly for dinner followed by a presentation and discussion. These talks will explore key topics central to Montalvo’s ongoing mission and ...

  • A vintage wedding photo.
    SUN JUNE 10, 2012 2 P.M.
    Wedding of the Century

    Did you ever dream of having a Montalvo wedding? Were you married here and want to re-live your best wedding moments? Then you want to be here for the Wedding of the Century!The historic Villa will be decorated beautifully as you mingle with other ...


  • FRI JULY 20, 2012 7 P.M.
    Rock the Garden: Sculpture on the Grounds Opening Celebration

    NOTE: Free parking at this event is very limited.PLEASE carpool if you can!Join us for the opening celebration of the Sculpture on the Grounds 2012 exhibit Montalvo: Making Place PublicThis multidisciplinary event will feature newly-commissioned installations and works on loan, a spectacular projection ...

  • The historic Villa decorated for a Gala event!
    SAT SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 5:30 P.M.
    Great Gatsby Gala

    Thanks to our generous sponsors and 300 guests, Montalvo's Great Gatsby Gala really was the Party of the Century!We invite you to relive the moment if you were here. If you missed it, please enjoy a glimpse into a memorable night of glamour ...