How many times did we stare at the wallpaper as kids right before dozing off to sleep? 

We saw faces in the designs and counted flower petals, geometric patterns and colored dots. Or perhaps, we dreamed of sailing ships, cowboys and covered wagons, and ladies and gentlemen in powdered wigs and bouffant skirts because the wallpaper prompted us to do so. 

Beginning Sept. 7, the Palos Verdes Art Center will pay tribute to those sometimes forgotten artists who have adorned the walls of our homes, offices and buildings during its opening reception for the latest exhibit: On the Surface: Wallpaper from 1797 to the Present, organized by PVAC and Boston artist and collector Scott Dahill. The exhibit runs through Nov. 16.

Artists describe wallpaper as “applied architectural surface design,” a lofty label by any account. But the seriousness of the exhibit speaks for itself.

Artist Dahill shared his thoughts on wallpapering with the PVAC organizers: 

“Throughout the history of art, the costumes, furniture, and wall coverings were either specially chosen or made for the majority of important portraits. And they, like the framed pictures, became luminous debris—heirlooms that remain as important, but more approachable, and more easily appreciated by a wider audience.” 

But there’s more. 

The public is also invited to enjoy an exquisite building wrap exhibition, where portions of the exterior facade of the PVAC campus are covered with the spectacular neo-baroque floral photography of Portland artist Deb Stoner. 

The panoramic mural was applied to the walls using 36-inch panels and took Stoner almost eight months to plan, scan and print the live flowers, plants and insects that adorn her theme.

Scott Andrews, Communications Director for PVAC said Stoner’s original presentation was chosen among almost 200 wrap presenters global wide by a selective art jury.

“The photos Stoner sent for the wrap were beautiful and surpassed anything we could have imagined,” Andrews said. 

Want to go:

On the Surface: Wallpaper from 1797 to the Present Exhibit and artists reception

Sept. 7, From 6 to 9 p.m. 

Palos Verdes Art Center’s  

5504 West Crestridge Road

Rancho Palos Verdes



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