Years of working in the silence of his own studio and also the solace he found during long walks in the peaceful Stanford hills -- where he delighted in watching soaring birds -- convinced Oliveira that each of us has an inner imaginative world that blossoms through observation and meditation. "If you persist and you believe in it your world opens up to you," Oliveira once stated. "Sometimes that takes an entire lifetime."
Beginning in the 1970s Oliveira worked on images of birds and flight that culminated in the paintings now permanently on display at the center. These images, in turn, led to the idea for the Windhover, which will extend the artist's uplifting vision into the future.
Designed by Aidlin Darling Design, the glass-enclosed center shows the influence of Japanese architecture. As they approach the building, visitors will pass through a long stand of bamboo that delineates a kind of barrier between the outside world and the center's meditative space. In the building's interior are three rooms that feature four Oliveira paintings -- Big Red, Diptych, White Wing and Sun Radiating -- all of which are visible from both inside and outside the building. Skylights and motorized louver drapes provide carefully modulated natural light. The thick rammed-earth walls, made from soil excavated directly from the site, help moderate heat and sound.
Windhover will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to students, faculty and staff.
A Stanford I.D. card is required to enter.
Docents will lead tours for the public from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays.
Visit the Cantor Arts Center website for more information.
Visitors are asked to refrain from using cell phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices while inside the center.
Windhover Contemplative Center Website
Nathan Oliveira on the Windhover Project (SFMOMA Video)