San JosÚ Public Art 
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San JosÚ Public Art Program 
April 2008  Volume 1, Issue 4
In This Issue
City Hall: Destination for Art
Public Art Committee Meeting - April 15, 2008
Public Events: April - May, 2008
Climate Clock - Request for Proposals thru May 9
Downtown Public Art Map
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List


Celebrating art at the heart of the City

City Hall is a focal point in the blossoming of downtown San JosÚ. Envisioned as a true center of civic life for San JosÚ, public art adds a dimension of interest and experience to City Hall, both in the form of permanent artworks as well as changing exhibitions and temporary installations.

Waterscape at City Hall - side


City Hall features two major permanent public art works. Waterscape, the centerpiece water sculpture on the plaza, was created by artists Doug Hollis and Anna Valentina Murch. The design was inspired by the natural geological and artesian conditions underlying the San JosÚ region, and the desire to create a symbol of innovation and change for the future.


Waterscape is composed of two topographic fields of monumental granite slabs that slope from Santa Clara Street toward the City Hall plaza. Water ripples and flows down the surface of the field and over the vertical stone fountain edges, disappearing beneath the plaza. The water swirls around groupings of stone boulders, much like those in a river. Additional boulders set into the plaza provide casual seating. Stainless steel "misters" extend 20-28 feet into the air emanating cooling mists over the plaza and refracting prismatic light. The water activity is computer-programmed, responding to changes in time of day, temperature, season and/or availability of water to create different visual, sonic and atmospheric qualities. Waterscape is illuminated at night, animating City Hall's evening identity.


Parade of FloatsPinata-ChildrenAdjacent to City Hall along 5th Street on both the north and south side is Parade of Floats by artist Andrew Leicester. Parade of Floats is a whimsical gateway to civic center, a procession of 16 sculptural "floats" recalling parades that exist in cultures worldwide as an expression of community and celebration. Themes reflected in the floats' titles evoke San JosÚ's historic and contemporary identity, as well as community priorities and values:  Environment, Families, Neighborhoods, Arts & Creativity, Education, Trailblazers, Pueblo, Agriculture, Gold Rush, High Technology, Innovation, Diversity, Overcoming Adversity, Recreation, Children, and Future. The concrete bases of the floats, shaped as cars or chariots, provide casual seating; the sculptural elements are ceramic tile and vary in size, some as large as 30 feet tall.


1737Orchard full view1737 Trees, a work by Angela Buenning Filo, is on long term display in the City Hall Tower main lobby adjacent to the main exit to the plaza. The work, 1737 chromogenic prints mounted on a series of large metal plates, is approx. 20' high and 7.5' wide. It depicts actual images from one of San JosÚ's last orchards: each tree in the orchard was photographed by the artist shortly before the orchard was destroyed for new construction; the contours of the work reflect the actual shape of the orchard. It captures a vivid reflection of an important, cherished and bygone era in the City's history.


City Hall has become a destination for another type of public art experience: temporary installations and exhibitions. The San JosÚ Public Art Program is overseeing an ongoing series of exhibitions in City Hall that will feature culture, community and history. See "Upcoming Public Events" in this issues for information about the upcoming exhibition and the launch of the City Windows Gallery, an exhibit space located in the windows of the Fourth Street fašade of City Hall. 


In 2006, Zero One, an arts and technology festival featured Digital Kakejiku by Akira Hasegawa that used Hasegawa at SJ City HallCity Hall as the canvas for an amazing work of art in which ever changing patterns of light were projected across the face of the plaza each night. Zero One's 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge returns to San JosÚ June 4-8, 2008. City Hall will again be an important site for some of the festival's artworks.


Stay tuned to Public Art News for all the details!


Next Meeting:  April 15, 2008 - 5:30 PM

The Public Art Committee 's monthly meeting is Tuesday, April 15 at 5:30 PM. The following action items are on the meeting agenda:

  • Calabazas Branch Library: Artist Selection (District 1)

  • Happy Hollow Park & Zoo: Artist Selection (Citywide)
  • City Hall: Acquisition of a new Artwork (Citywide)
  • Mineta San JosÚ International Airport: Relocation of existing Terminal A murals to alternate site within Airport (Citywide)   

The Public Art Committee, a sub-committee of the Arts Commission, is advisory to the Commission and to San JosÚ City Council. The Public Art Committee monitors and provides oversight in the artist selection, development and design review of public art projects throughout the City.


The Public Art Committee meets in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, Council Wing Room W119. The meeting is open to the public.
To view the meeting agenda, please go to:


Meetings, Dedications, Celebrations, & More  

 Current listings for April - May as of newsletter distribution time 

APRIL, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, and ongoing
  • Look Again - the City's inaugural exhibition in the new City Windows Gallery, an exhibit space located in the windows of the Fourth Street fašade of City Hall. Launching in conjunction with the City's Earth Day celebration (see below) Look Again is curated by Kathryn Funk and features the work of artists who use cast-off materials and waste from contemporary life to create their art.  Artists in the exhibit include Ed Clapp, Marita Dingus, Charlotte Kruk, Rob Larsen, Mark Fox Morgan and Mary White.  The exhibit will remain on display until July 21.

Tuesday, April 22, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

  • Earth Day Celebration - City Hall Plaza. A multi-facted celebration that will include a San JosÚ Public Art Program information table, farmer's market, cultural entertainment, "Go Green" resources and information, and a Downtown Walking Tour at 12:45 that will include a spotlight on some of the public art. (All are welcome to the celebration, but space is limited for the walking tour. Please go to City of San Jose Earth Day 2008 Website for more information on this event.)
MAY 2008
Thursday, May 1,  5:30 - 7:00 PM
  • Public Safety Memorial Visioning Meeting - City Hall, Council Wing W-120, 200 E. Santa Clara St. San JosÚ, 95113.  Following up on a City Council resolution, this meeting will explore key elements of a vision for a Public Safety Memorial (Citywide) 

All are welcome!

ONGOING EXHIBITION                                                           WHO'S ON 1ST?/WHAT'S ON 2ND?
Profiled in the January '08 newsletter, temporary exhibitions along the Downtown San JosÚ Transit Mall continue in April and May:  
> (New) Helena Keeffe's RFK Remix is a series of performances, an 'audio walk' and a fabric sculpture at the monument, all aimed at temporarily renovating the site of the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Forum, a concrete monument in the form of a speaker's podium located in St. James Park, and reintroducing this forum for public debate and discourse in San JosÚ. The Memorial Forum commemorates a date in 1968 when Robert F. Kennedy spoke in San JosÚ, just months before he was assassinated. For more project information on the audio tour and other features, please go to the RFK ReMix website.
> JD Beltran's Downtown Mirror, video projections within storefronts and building windows reflecting both the local environment and the rich demographic and historical atmosphere of the downtown. Text from recent interviews and historic texts are superimposed on the videos revealing a fascinating time-spanning portrait of the downtown.

> Hector Dio Mendoza's Cultural Citizen multimedia project exploring what it means to be a "cultural citizen" in San JosÚ. The work includes a website, posters and banners along 1st & 2nd Streets, and in June 2008, a "cultural citizen tree" will be will also be sited in St. James Park. For more information and active elements of the project go to the  Cultural Citizen website.
> Bill Fontana's Sonic Cascade sound sculpture is playing on bell tones from the historic Trinity Episcopal Church. 

Please go to Who's on 1st/What's on 2nd for more details about the  times, locations, project details and coming attractions.

Proposals due May 9

Climate Clock
proposes to engage the use of public art, combined with information and measurement technologies, to gather and display climate change data.
Six semi-finalists will be selected in May to present their Climate Clock proposals at an international colloquium about art and climate change June 9-10, 2008 in San JosÚ; proposals will also be displayed during the 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge June 4-8, 2008.

The project is sponsored by a team of arts and civic entities.

For more information, please go to:

Climate Clock Prospectus


Create your own walking tour!

The Office of Cultural Affairs publishes a colorful, informative map of public art projects in downtown San JosÚ
You can request a free copy: e-mail us at, and include your mailing address, or you can access a printable pdf version of the Downtown Public Art Map at San Jose Downtown Public Art Map.
hope you 
Please Stay with us for future editions of San JosÚ Public Art
With so many exciting events and public art activities coming up in the Spring and Summer of 2008, San JosÚ Public Art is the way to keep you connected.
We welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. You can e-mail us at
Please forward this to people you know who might like to keep informed about public art in San JosÚ.