Painted Bears of Los Altos
May 05, 2023
Karen Druker
Painted Bears of Los Altos
I  will  talk about  the Los Altos  Rotary Painted Bears  Project
"Bringing the Bears to Life”    could be my title  or  “Los Altos Rotary Painted Bears Project”
My Rotary name tag says I am a Community Activist. I owned my own  Catering  and event planning business, "Celebrations and Innovations," from  1980-2000. To celebrate my retirement  I went on an around the world trip  for 3 months. When I got back  I decided I wanted to try painting. I got my training free by running water-media  workshops with the best water-media  instructors in the USA for the San Jose  based  Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society for 10 years. Then I  chaired their Exhibits team for 10 years.  I won  local, national and statewide  awards , and one of my paintings  traveled  around the  USA for a year as  part of  the  Yosemite Renaissance Gallery  exhibit.I was accepted into the Triton Museum’s  state-wide painting  competitions a number of times. I joined  galleries and participated in Silicon Valley  Open Studios. Currently I am painting ever larger and more abstractly.
I was art curator  for the Los Altos Hills Town Hall  for 10 years, and art curator of the Palo Alto based Environmental Volunteers  headquarters , the EcoCenter . Currently I am Art  Curator  for the Los Altos  Main Library . I founded  the Los Altos Hills Art in Public Places  Committee. I am also a philanthropist, donating or getting artists to donate  over 100 pieces of art and sculpture to  Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation and it’s satellites. . Recently the Foundation accepted  2 of my large works for installation  in Radiation Oncology.  My late husband was CEO and President  of PAMF.
I painted 5 of the 3’ bears for The Los Altos Painted Bear  Project, and sponsored one, and  got  artist friends to paint  9 of the  bears. I painted a Sutter Health bear, a construction worker bear, a handyman bear, a  gardener bear and a banker  bear who was literally made of money!  I felt that the project  brought life and fun and business to a  downtown which  was depressed by Covid. The project turned  downtown  Los Altos into an art  destination.