Art on the Grounds

Funded in part by Applied Materials Excellence in the Arts Grants, a program of Arts Council Silicon Valley.
Made possible through support from

The Jo and Barry Ariko Fund
for Artistic Programs

Supported with grants from:

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Montalvo’s Art on the Grounds program is envisioned as a platform for artists to present art works in the context of a 175-acre public park. Montalvo is home to diverse range of native and non-native plant and tree species, and includes a redwood and live oak forest, an expansive grass lawn, and a succulent and cactus garden. Its diverse buildings encompass a Mediterranean-style villa built in 1912, outdoor and indoor theatres, and the Lucas Artists Residency Commons building and studios. Artists are encouraged to experiment with innovative models of artmaking in the public sphere and consider novel ways of engaging with Montalvo’s varied grounds and publics.

Works produced through the Art on the Grounds program range from sculptural objects to time-based performance events and experiences, durational projects developing out of community engagement activities and workshops, sound works, and interventions. Works on view are often displayed in association with exhibitions in the Project Space Gallery. During the summer, Montalvo celebrates its annual Art on the Grounds exhibition opening with an art party featuring live music, food trucks, and performances. Beginning in late 2010, Montalvo began acquiring a small number of select permanent sculpture works that now form part of its permanent collection.

Art on the Grounds is open for public viewing during Montalvo's normal park hours, Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm and Friday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.


  • Hugh Livingston, Birds of Invention: A Garden Opera
    By Hugh Livingston

    With Birds of Invention: A Garden Opera, Livingston presents a unique sonic menagerie of invented birds located in Montalvo’s Italianate Garden. After recording the dawn chorus ...

  • Broken Wing
    By David Middlebrook

    Broken Wing (2004) is a bronze work that represents objects, often taken for granted, that are depended upon as part of our daily routine - like a wing ...

  • Control Tower
    By Cameron Hockenson

    Cameron Hockenson's environmental artwork is concerned with the vernacular landscape and issues of biocultural diversity. His sculptures and site-specific installations address place as an outgrowth of ...

  • Counterpoint
    By Amy Trachtenberg

    The Creekside Studio is an outdoor environment designed for communal gathering, art making and engaging with nature. This new space at Montalvo was produced by landscape architect ...

  • Fieldworks Collborative (Trena Noval & Ann Wettrich), Curiosity Fieldstation
    By Fieldworks Collaborative (Trena Noval and Ann Wettrich)

    Fieldworks Collaborative (Trena Noval and Ann Wettrich) invites casual walkers, hikers and nature enthusiasts who frequent Montalvo’s woodlands to assemble, curate and share objects of wonder ...

  • Matthias Neumann, Double Bench (Basics)
    By Matthias Neumann

    Basics is an ongoing body of work exploring abstracted notions of form, space and utility, based on a constructive logic of additive 2 x 4 wooden studs ...

  • Judith Darragh, FOIL
    By Judith Darragh

    Constructed from hundreds of handful-size balls of scrunched up aluminum foil attached to BBQ skewers and planted in the ground, Lucas Artists Fellow Judith Darragh new work ...

  • Kenny Scharf, Fountain of Life
    By Kenny Scharf

    This blue tendril-like water fountain combines cartoon-like features with abstract biomorphic shapes that evoke living forms like plants and bodies. While LA-based artist Kenny Scharf often uses ...

  • From Within, So Without
    By Ali Naschke-Messing

    Upon arrival in the Lucas Artists Residency Program, Ali Naschke-Messing was immediately drawn to the enormous Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii) on the Great Lawn and was inspired ...

  • Shane A. Myrbeck & Emily Shiski, Hyphae
    By Shane A. Myrbeck, Emily Shisko

    In recent decades, ecologists have uncovered how trees communicate with each other via expansive underground networks of fungus called mycelium. As research continues, this hidden communication has ...

  • Owen Driggs, Mapping Biointimacy
    By Owen Driggs

    With engineering by Johnny Chen and Art OkadaDid you know that grizzly bears used to live in Montlavo’s woods? Have you ever wondered which trees are ...

  • Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green)
    By Walter Kitundu

    Located on Montalvo’s expansive front lawn, Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) consists of a handmade rocking chair installed on a low circular ...

  • Nest
    By Steven Siegel

    Over a three-week period beginning September 2005, Steven Siegel created this monumental sculpture, Stories of Katrina, on the front lawn by the Bunya Pine tree, and a ...

  • Ann Weber: "O California, best beloved land"
    By Ann Weber

    California artist Ann Weber transforms the ordinary medium of cardboard into impressive large-scale sculptures reminiscent of pods, gourds and organic spires. "O California, best beloved land" was ...

  • Taraneh Hemami, One Voice [Yek Seda]
    By Taraneh Hemami

    In Persian the word yek seda means one voice or shared sound/voice. With One Voice, Hemami presents a modular sculptural installation that connects voices, and carries ...

  • Steven Simon, PLACE
    By Steven Simon

    Steven Simon’s sculpture is both a functional series of benches and a text-based intervention on the Great Lawn. Spelling out the word “Place,” Simon’s benches ...

  • Taro Hattori, Rolling Counterpoint
    By Taro Hattori

    Commissioned by the Lucas Artists Program, Rolling Counterpoint is a new interactive installation that uses the concept of the traditional Japanese tea house as a point of ...

  •  Soundings: Lucas Artists Composer Fellows
    By Carmina Escobar, Michael Gamble, Motoko Honda, Wayne Horvitz, Jen Shyu, Henry Threadgill, Theresa Wong, Nina C. Young

    Soundings: Lucas Artists Composer Fellows, presented in partnership with local start up Detour, is a curated guided walk that brings the concert stage to the great outdoors ...

  • Tim Hawkinson, Sweet Tweet
    By Tim Hawkinson

  • Artwork: Orla Mc Hardy, inspired by a collage by Stephen Vitiello Taking Sound Cues from Wings
    By Stephen Vitiello

    Featured performers: Dan Callaway (French horn); Nora Krahl (cello); Jane Rigler (flute); Shelley Roden (Foley effects -- recorded at Skywalker Sound);  Sara Soltau (violin); Stephen Vitiello (piano, field ...

  • Christopher Loomis, Twisted Heart and the Eucalyptus Muse
    By Christopher Loomis

    Through a select juried process, Bay Area artist Christopher Loomis was commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center in the fall of 2015 to conceive and create a new ...

  • Untitled, 2014, by Allison Weise Untitled
    By Allison Wiese

    Using appropriated language taken from mid-20th-century pop culture, movies, and novels, Wiese’s sign-based sculpture features a rotating series of texts, including pick-up lines such as “Here ...

  • Stephen De Staebler, Winged Figure Ascending
    By Stephen De Staebler

    Courtesy of Dolby Chadwick Gallery and the Estate of Stephen De Staebler.Acclaimed Bay Area sculptor Stephen De Staebler first began an extended series of winged figures ...