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By Sean Howell
Local residents will recognize many of the locales depicted in a set of paintings hanging in the Little House activity center in Menlo Park: landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, Bayfront Park, the foothills above Stanford.
They might also recognize the painter: Menlo Park Councilman Andy Cohen. A reception will be held for Mr. Cohen to celebrate the first public presentation of his work Thursday, Feb. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The 30-odd works span 25 years. There's an early ink-and-watercolor copy of an Edward Hopper painting, several still lives, and a lot of landscapes -- many of which feature places Mr. Cohen visited on day hikes and backpacking trips.
"I love what I know about the circumstances of what was going on when I was painting these, what I was thinking," he says.
Though painting provides a respite from Mr. Cohen's time on the council, political considerations aren't completely absent from his work. A painting of Bayfront Park, completed in 2006 amidst a debate over whether the land should be developed or restored, depicts a waste processing plant in the foreground of an otherwise idyllic rendering.
INFORMATION: The Little House activity center in Menlo Park will hold an artist's reception for Andy Cohen on Thursday, Feb. 5, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Little House is located at 800 Middle Ave., behind Nealon Park.