Belonging in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto

As an artist-in-residence at the Palo Alto Art Center (PAAC), I developed workshops, art by teens, a zine, a gallery installation, a community mapping activity, and the exhibition title wall.

I led workshops with the Teen Leadership program at PAAC in Palo Alto and Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto to explore belonging and create calligraphy. I also invited PAAC teens to interview seven older adults at Avenidas. Then I conducted a workshop on creating comic-book-style portraits. These artworks were exhibited in a Venn-diagram-based gallery installation and in a 28-page zine.

I also created a community mapping activity in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The public was invited to pin their places of belonging on a map of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto/Lamchin (Ohlone village) or a map of the world. Additionally, I designed the calligraphy and painted the title wall for the overarching exhibition, Creative Attention: Art & Community Restoration.

Creative Attention was on view January 22–May 21, 2022. My map of places of belonging map will remain on display until August 20, 2022.

Cover of the zine, Belonging: Perspectives from Youth and Elders in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto

Learn more in the 28-page zine (PDF, 3.3MB).

Caption: Christine Wong Yap with contributors, Belonging in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, 2021–2022, social practice, community engagement, drawing, publication, digital prints, installation, dimensions variable.

Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts. Thanks to PAAC and community partners, especially Karen Kienzle, Ann Trinca, Grace Abusharkh, Lucy Larson, Tina Ehsanipour, Tracy McCloud, Joe Saxe, Anna Soland, Eimear Picardo, Celina Sandoval-Gallo, Stephanie Barajas, Karen Kwan, Jennifer Villegas-Naranjo, and Niko Razavi.

Gallery painting assistance: Kennedy Morgan. Zine production assistance & photography: Cole Chang. Zine copyediting: Kathryn Gritt. Gallery installation photos by Eimear Picardo, courtesy of PAAC. Community Day photo by Minoosh Zomorodinia.