Skip to content

August 7, 2007

For More Information, Contact:
Sarah Mason at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) today announced his selection of Palo Alto-based muralist Greg Brown as the Eleventh Senate District Artist of the Year.

For more than three decades, Brown has embellished the buildings of Palo Alto with his whimsical trompe l’oeil murals.  Originally a member of the City of Palo Alto’s Artist-in-Residence Program, Brown began in 1975 with a mural for Mitchell Park’s skating rink, which led to further commissions for the City of Palo Alto’s “Palo Alto Pedestrian” project, as well as private commissions.

“I’ve admired and enjoyed Greg Brown’s work for years,” said Simitian.  “Greg’s work is a constant reminder that art is a part of our daily lives – at least it should be”. 

As Simitian noted in his selection announcement, “Because Greg’s work is so often integrated into our daily surroundings, it has become a part of the fabric of our community.  It’s not an add-on or an extra; it’s part of what gives our community a sense of place, distinct from other parts of our region, state, or nation.  And,” said Simitian, “more often than not, Greg’s work makes us smile, and that’s no small thing.”

“It is always nice to be acknowledged.  The thought that my work is recognized as meaningful is very rewarding,” said Brown.  “I thank Senator Simitian for this honor and opportunity.”

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a youth, Brown moved to Palo Alto, where he began taking lessons from Italian master painter Roberto Lupetti at the age of twelve.  Brown later received a grant from CETA (Comprehensive Educational Training Act), and took the position as a Palo Alto Artist-in-Residence.  His work, oftentimes featuring local subjects, can be found on the sides of buildings in downtown Palo Alto and at private residences, and has been shown in many local galleries.  Brown also created the art for the City of Palo Alto’s 1994 Centennial Celebration poster in honor of the city’s 100th birthday.

The Senate established the Artist of the Year award in 1997 to recognize contemporary California artists.  Each Senator selects an artist from his/her district to exhibit their artwork in the State Capitol for a year.  Brown’s drawing, “The Altercation,” was recently hung in the State Capitol. 

In addition to showcasing Brown’s work in the State Capitol, the Senate has included his biography and an image of his work in their annual art collection catalogue. 

For more information about Brown’s art, visit


Related Pages: Press Releases