About Us

Maddy McBirney

Director of Development & Outreach

Maddy is an artist and passionate about the arts. She has lived in Los Altos for 27 years. Her excitement for public art began with her volunteer position for 7 years on the Los Altos Arts Commission. While on the Arts Commission, she developed a community art project, The Artistic Bike Rack Design Competition. Approximately 10 racks were designed and selected by the community, and then manufactured and installed.

After attending several Public Art and Placemaking conventions across the United States, Maddy was inspired to bring outdoor public art to Los Altos. She also taught art at Almond School as a site-based, Art Specialist and volunteered as an Art Docent. Her education consists of a BS degree in Graphic Design and a single subject, K-12, Art, teaching credential from UC Davis.

Besides volunteering, Maddy likes to meditate, bicycle on her electric bike everywhere, practice yoga, take walks in nature, go to museums and shows in San Francisco. Spending time in her studio, creating mixed media paintings, along with printmaking brings her great joy.

Maddy’s volunteer position with Arts Los Altos is to co-lead the group, providing vision and direction for Arts Los Altos. She enjoys connecting with the downtown, commercial property owners, various organizations in Los Altos, and with outdoor artists, inspiring all to help make downtown Los Altos more vibrant and inviting. She does outreach and recruiting too.

Karen Zucker

Director of Communication & Development

Karen has lived in Los Altos for 20 years and has been a Los Altos Art Docent for over 15 years, teaching art in the Los Altos School District. Karen served on the Los Altos Public Arts Commission for over 7 years, where she developed her skills to implement public art and placemaking. She met Maddy McBirney when they were serving on the Public Arts Commission and have since shared their passion for outdoor art by co-founding Arts Los Altos in 2019.  In her spare time, Karen can be found walking her dog, biking, hiking, or playing volleyball, as well as sewing and making art.

Karen’s volunteer position for Arts Los Altos is co-leader. Karen is thrilled to have Intersection for the Arts fiscally sponsor Arts Los Altos. She is the point person for communications with Intersection for the Arts and Arts Los Altos. Karen works with property owners, artists and the Los Altos community in bringing outside art to downtown Los Altos. She helps with grant writing, outreach and recruiting.

Sherry Scott

Advisor, Art Curator

Sherry Scott has over thirty years of experience in Interior Design, lighting design and curating art. After graduating from the Art Institute in Philadelphia, she relocated to California. She does not carry any particular style in her bag, but prefers to create a special signature for each project.

Sherry served on the Arts in Public Places Committee for Los Altos Hills, is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Los Altos Village Association, is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a Certified Interior Designer in the State of California. She has garnered both local and national awards for her design work and has been published in a variety of books, magazines and newspapers.

Sherry’s volunteer position with Arts Los Altos includes the perspective of a merchant in downtown Los Altos. From her business and design experience, she provides direction for our vision. She assists in grant and policy writing, design choices, and all organizational needs.

Laura Roberts

Advisor, Nonprofit Best Practices

A long-time Los Altos resident, Laura recently retired as Executive Director of the Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation.  She has 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector, and 10 years experience as an IT professional in the technology sector.  With an MBA from Santa Clara University, Laura is uniquely qualified to bring private sector disciplines and low-cost technologies to public-benefit, nonprofit organizations.

Laura met Maddy McBirney when she and her daughters took art classes in Maddy’s studio where they developed a love for all types of art. In her spare time, Laura continues to take painting workshops and can be found at the beach painting and gardening. Her favorite medium is watercolor.

Mike Butensky

Advisor, Technical Support

Mike is a recently retired software engineering manager.  He has been assisting in the creation of the initial web site, e-mail, and contact database.  His interest in art comes from years of collecting works from emerging Bay Area artists.

When Mike is not in Los Altos, he’s probably out in the wilderness, long-distance hiking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Penny Lave


Penny’s volunteer position with Arts Los Altos is Advisor. As a long-time resident in Los Altos, her respected wealth of experience, knowledge, and connections with the Los Altos community over the years will be an asset for Arts Los Altos’ success. Her passion and appreciation for implementing Outside Art, will assist the board with her sound advice.

Mary Prochnow


Mary’s position with Arts Los Altos is Advisor. As a downtown, commercial property owner, her perspective and connections will assist and advise Arts Los Altos. Mary’s ability to appreciate the beauty of Outside Art for the downtown business district will assist in advising Arts Los Altos, sharing a Los Altos resident perspective too.