Art on the Grounds

Program Sponsors:

  • ArtForum SF
  • Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation
  • David & Lucile Packard Foundation
  • William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Wanda Kownacki

  • Sally Lucas

  • Silicon Valley Creates
  • Roger and Mercy Smullen Fund

  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
  • Facebook Art Department
  • The Ariko Family Foundation

  • Kathie and Bob Maxfield

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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.


  • 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 ...

  • Sudnya Shroff, A Common Thread
    By Sudnya Shroff

    Sudnya Shroff is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Altos, California. She has been invited to create a participatory installation in Montalvo’s gardens ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Christine Nguyen, Crystalline Capsule
    By Christine Nguyen

    During her residency at Montalvo, artist Christine Nguyen collected various plants in the area and salt crystallized them and constructed this plexiglass sculpture that ...

  • 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 ...

  • Bruce Munro, Dawn Treader
    By Bruce Munro

    Villa Montalvo’s historic stained glass window, depicting Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s galleon the San Salvador, was the vision that sparked Munro to ...

  • 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 ...

  • Four Bridges Four Bridges
    By Howard Hersh

    Four Bridges is a sound installation designed to be heard by listeners over mobile devices as they walk through Montalvo’s woodland environment. It ...

  • 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 ...

  • A Healing Walk
    By Susan O'Malley

    Examining the power of natural places to elevate and enrich human experience and health, Susan O’Malley’s A Healing Walk guides visitors through ...

  • Bruce Munro, Light Shower Montalvo Light Shower
    By Bruce Munro

    Light Shower is based on a concept that artist Bruce Munro has returned to again and again throughout the course of his career. Site-specific ...

  • Nest
    By Steven Siegel

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

  • 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 ...

  • Stephen De Staebler, One Legged Woman Standing
    By Stephen De Staebler

    Courtesy of Dolby Chadwick Gallery and the Estate of Stephen De Staebler.The fractured human form has long been a subject for acclaimed American ...

  • 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 ...

  • Tim Hawkinson, Sweet Tweet
    By Tim Hawkinson

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...