Heritage Orchard Sparks Exhibition and Celebration at History Museum

By September 14, 2021Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Sept 14, 2021) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Altos History Museum invites the public to consider the importance and preservation of the Los Altos Heritage Orchard in an event combining art and green technology. An exhibition of apricot-themed artwork opens in the J. Gilbert Smith House with an artist meet-and-greet. A groundbreaking ceremony celebrating a water-conservation grant to improve irrigation will be held in the orchard. Both activities are slated for Oct 2 from noon to 1:30pm.

The exhibition, titled “Community Orchard Art,” showcases the creativity of Los Altos ArtVenturers, a group of artists sponsored by Los Altos Parks and Recreation’s Adult 50+ program. The art forms range from fabric collages to textural paintings featuring multiple techniques that reflect the importance of community and the rich heritage of Santa Clara Valley. The exhibition is on display in the Gallery of the historic Smith House Sept 30, 2021 – Feb 20, 2022.

The groundbreaking ceremony in the Los Altos Civic Center Heritage Orchard celebrates the installation of water conservation technology, courtesy of a grant awarded to the Museum by Valley Water in the amount of $4,997. By switching from spray irrigation to drip irrigation, this grant will help save thousands of gallons of water, and demonstrate how citizens can adapt similar technology on their own properties to conserve water.

In a related program, a panel of experts will discuss “Water Conservation: Smart Irrigation,” on Tuesday, Oct 12 from 4:30-5:30pm on the Zoom platform. Panelists include Manny Hernandez, municipal services director, City of Los Altos; Frank Niccoli, program director, Department of Environmental Horticulture and Design, Foothill College; and Phil Doetsch, orchardist and contractor, A Farmers Son Tractor Service.

“Our Heritage Orchard is truly the heart of this community and the Civic Center,” said the Museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Elisabeth Ward. “The art exhibit in the Smith House celebrates its beauty, while the move from a spray to drip irrigation system will help make caring for the orchard, planted by J. Gilbert Smith in 1901, sustainable. We are delighted to hold this event in conjunction with the City’s opening of the new Community Center, as we underscore our commitment to caring for our past, present, and future.” 

To register for the free panel discussion, visit losaltoshistory.org/SmartIrrigation.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours subject to docent availability. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org
Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org