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Ceramic artist Ehren Tool will create a new body of work that honors local veterans while highlighting their challenges. Beginning in April 2014, the Palo Alto Art Center will invite community members to lend objects, images, and ephemera related to their own military service or that of relatives. In June, Ehren Tool will be in residence in a small ceramic studio inside the Center’s Glass Gallery, where he will incorporate these items into ceramic cups. He will scan images and photographs to create glass decals and imprint medals and objects into the wet clay.

Members of the public will be invited to visit during Tool’s working hours to learn about his process, and the cups will be fired with assistance from Art Center staff. As he produces the cups, Tool will display them, his installation growing and changing daily over three weeks. He also will work with master printmaker Kathryn Kain at the Center to develop a series of prints about veterans’ issues.

The resulting exhibition, Containers of Community, will be on view for two months. A culminating public program will feature other veterans’ groups and artists. Tool will distribute the cups from Containers of Community to the veterans and community members who contributed resource materials.

Tool, who served as a U.S. Marine in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm, creates ceramic objects and sculptures that address the experience of war. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation works to expand the reach and impact of the Palo Alto Art Center, which was established in 1971 by the City of Palo Alto and serves 70,000 people annually with high-quality art programs.