Museum Program Encourages Making Time for Art

By October 5, 2021October 7th, 2021Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Oct 5, 2021) In a presentation on how to fit art into daily life, local artists Denise Howard and Doreen Cohen will discuss “Making Time for Art,” a program held both at Los Altos History Museum and via Zoom on Sat, Oct 23 from 10-11:30am.

The two artists bring different perspectives on the subject. Howard, who holds a full-time job, has found ways to fit art back into her daily life by regarding it as her second career, rather than a hobby. Cohen, who had found outlets for artistic expression during her working years, turned her focus to art when she retired. Both are members of the Colored Pencil Society of America.

“Many people view a work of art and recollect how they drew when they were younger, but life got in the way. You hear the frustration and wistfulness in their voice,” Howard said. “Or they’re recently retired, or are empty nesters and have the time to pursue art but don’t know where to begin. Or they think they have no creative abilities so don’t even try. In this presentation, Doreen and I will give ideas and resources to help people jumpstart their art journey.”

Their presentation dovetails with the message of the Annie Knapp Fitz exhibition currently on display at the Museum in the Main Gallery through Feb 6, 2022. Fitz was an avid sketcher who taught herself to paint late in life. 

Denise Howard earned a B.A. in Art and a B.S. in Math/Computer Science from Truman State University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Ohio State University, focused on computer graphics. She is one of the developers of iPhoto at Apple, and earned movie credits on Antz and Shrek at PDI/Dreamworks. With little time or energy to pursue her art, it took over 25 years before she recommitted to her passion, and quickly received local, national and international recognition for her realist colored pencil and graphite work. She is a member of the UK Colored Pencil Society, and has Master Pencil Artist Status with the Pencil Art Society. Her book, 101 Textures in Colored Pencil (Quarto Publishing, 2017), is available to purchase in the Museum’s store.

Doreen Cohen is a retired Project Manager and former Librarian. While she has enjoyed artistic expression all her life, for many years she focused primarily on her family and work. Upon retirement, she devoted more time to artwork, especially fabric art and colored pencil drawing. She is a member of several art organizations, including the Pacific Art League, Los Altos Art Club and ArtVenturers.

“Art is therapeutic on so many levels, from general life satisfaction to good mental health,” Howard said. “It’s important to get creativity back in your life again.”

To register for the free program, go to To order Howard’s book, shop online at

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:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:
Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,