San José Public Art 
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San José Public Art Program 
September 2008  Volume 1, Issue 9
In This Issue
Public Art Honors Padre Mateo Sheedy
Public Art Committee Meeting - September 16, 2008
New San Jose Downtown Public Art Focus Plan
For Artists! Kit of Parts Roster RFQ
Public Events: September - October, 2008
Two Fun Ways to Explore Public Art!
View Past Issues of San Jose Public Art
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New artwork celebrates Padre Mateo Sheedy 


Padre Sheedy's Umbrella was created by
San José State University art professor Tony May and the student artists in his Art in Community class in commemoration of Padre Mateo Sheedy. The artwork is in the form of a stylized, 50' high, cut-metal umbrella mounted in a colorful, ceramic tile mosaic base that features images and remembrances of Padre Sheedy.
Padre Sheedy touched countless lives in San José where for many years he served as the pastor at Sacred Heart Church on Willow Street. He is well-remembered for his unwavering commitment to the community, to youth, to human rights and to education. He fostered many programs and initiatives to uplift the people around him. Padre Sheedy died in October, 2000 at the age of 49. His contribution to the community was so highly regarded that in April, 2005 the City of San José dedicated Parque de Mateo Sheedy in his honor, a new park created in conjunction with the City's Strong Neighborhood Initiative. 
Padre_Sheedy_detailThe artwork is a significant feature of the park. The  SJSU artist team engaged in a thoughtful process of developing the public art to ensure that it would serve as a fitting tribute to Padre Sheedy's vision, legacy. Their goal was to create an artistic celebration of the Padre and pay homage to a man who dedicated his life to serving and supporting this community.
Professor May and the artist team explored Padre Sheedy's legacy in a series of community meetings. From these explorations a vision emerged for the artwork. The community worked closely with the artists, contributing information and images to help shape the artwork.
The umbrella form of the artwork is an analogy for Padre Sheedy's protective influence in the community through the many programs and initiatives that he undertook with such joy. The umbrella also suggests Padre Sheedy's high aspirations of service and the sense of welcome that he extended towards all humanity.
The celebration and dedication of Padre Mateo Sheedy's Umbrella is Saturday, September 27 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon; Professor Tony May and the San Jose State University artists will be present to discuss their work immediately following the program. The location is Parque de Padre Sheedy, Floyd and Locust Streets, San Jose 95110
All are welcome! Please join us.

Next Meeting:  September 16, 2008 - 5:30 PM 

The Public Art Committee 's regular monthly meeting is Tuesday, September 16 at 5:30 PM. The following action and discussion items are on the meeting agenda:

  • Educational Park Branch Library Schematic Development: Approval of schematic design for artwork by Catherine Wagner for the new Library. (Council District 4)
  • East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library Design Development: Approval of a revision to the design development for artwork by Joyce Cutler-Shaw for the new Library. (Council District 3) 
  • Airport - North Consolidated Rental Car Garage Design Development: Approval of design development for an artwork by Christian Moeller on the facade of the North Consolidated Rental Car Garage at the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, and recommendation to enter into a fabrication agreement for the artwork.  (Citywide)
  • Airport - North Consolidated Rental Car Garage Design Development: Approval of the Gorbet+Banerjee Design Proposal for Non-Integrated Airport Arts Activation and pilot artwork design development and fabrication at the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport.  (Citywide)
  • De-accession Artwork: Approval of the de-accessioning of Essence to Essence by Donovan Peterson from the San Jose Public Art Collection (Citywide)
  • De-accession Artwork: Approval of the de-accessioning of the de-accessioning of Fountain of Knowledge by Elsa Flores from the San Jose Public Art Collection. (Council District 3)
  • Downtown: Discussion of artwork Plumed Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) by Robert Graham. (Council District 3)

The Public Art Committee, a sub-committee of the Arts Commission, is advisory to the Commission and to San José 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 meeting is in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street. This month's meeting is in Council Wing Room W-119. The meeting is open to the public.
To view a printable copy of the full, detailed meeting agenda and related documents, please go to:

City Council approves comprehensive plan
The San Jose Downtown Public Art Focus Plan received final approval by City Council on Tuesday, September 9.
Developed in response to San José NEXT!, theCity's new public art master plan, the Downtown Public Art Focus Plan articulates both a vision and an action plan for public art in Downtown. It identifies key opportunities and top priorities for art projects that draw on the ideas and energy of Downtown residents, businesses and the creative community.
The San José Public Art Program in the Office of Cultural Affairs will undertake these projects, with help from many partners, to further transform Downtown's streets and public spaces.
A copy of the San Jose Downtown Public Art Focus Plan is available at . 
New Roster to feature artists for design elements 
APPLICATION DEADLINE: October 14, 2008 11:00 P.M. (PST)
The City of San José Public Art Program invites artists from Santa Clara County to apply for inclusion in the new Kit of Parts Roster. This roster will be used by private developers and public agencies to select artists for a range of artist-designed amenities. It is intended for artists working in all media. 
"Parts" projects anticipated for artists to design include functional elements for buildings, streetscapes, parks and trails (e.g. benches, fences, bike racks, and interpretive signage). These projects are particularly appropriate for artists who are new to the public art field as they tend to have smaller budgets and scopes of work. For example, a painter could create two-dimensional designs that could be cut into the steel surface of a gate or the back of a bench. Or two-dimensional drawings may be translated into tile mosaics. Both 2-D and 3-D artists will have opportunities to design objects such as door handles and architectural appliqués.
Please go to for more information and to download the RFQ.

Meetings, Dedications, Celebrations, Lectures, Exhibits & More  

 Current listings for September-October as of newsletter distribution  


GREAT SPEAKER SERIES: "The Distinctive City" featuring Dr. Ann Markusen, Director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
DATE/TIME: Monday, September 15, 6:00 - 7:00 PM.  
LOCATION: San José Repertory Theater, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San José, 95113.

(Great Speaker Series events are free, but it is necessary to reserve a free ticket. Go to for more information on free tickets and on the Great Speakers Series.)   
BERRYESSA CREEK PARK PLAY AREA RIBBON CUTTING, & PRESENTATION BY WOWHAUS ARTISTS: Dedication of a new play area in the park with a special presentation about the Wishing Wands public art project by artist Ene Osteraas-Constable of Wowhaus, the artist team for the project.
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 19; 10:30 - 11:30 AM
LOCATION: Berryessa Creek Park - Play Area, Messina and Isadora, near Cropley and Piedmont, San Jose 95132 
PADRE SHEEDY'S UMBRELLA: Celebration & Dedication of a public artwork in commemoration of Padre Mateo Sheedy, created by Professor Tony May and artists from San José State University. 
DATE/TIME: Saturday, September 27, 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon.  
LOCATION: Parque de Padre Mateo Sheedy, Intersecton of Floyd and Locust Streets, San José, 95113. 

For additional art activities that you can enjoy in August and September, please see "ONGOING EXHIBTIONS" listings, below.

GREAT SPEAKER SERIES: "The Next Generation City "
featuring Carol Coletta, president, CEOs for Cities and host, Smart City Radio.  
DATE/TIME: Thursday, October 9, 6:00 - 7:00 PM.    
LOCATION: Le Petit Trianon Theatre, 72 North Fifth Street, San Jose, 95113.
(Great Speaker Series events are free, but it is necessary to reserve a free ticket. Go to  for more information on free tickets and on the Great Speakers Series.)
For additional art activities that you can enjoy in September and Octomber, please see "ONGOING EXHIBTIONS" listings, below.

OUT OF THE FIRE, the newly-opened exhibition in City Windows Gallery, the exhibit space located in the windows along the S. 4th Street façade of City Hall .  Out of the Fire features the work of artists from the Bay Area Glass Institute in San Jose. Curated by Kathryn Funk. On display through December 1.

SPEED CITY - FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO BLACK POWER: an exhibition presented in conjunction with History San Jose that presents a broad view of context of the runners, their lives and their controversial actions during the 1968 Olympics, curated by Urla Hill. On exhibit in the Council Wing 1st Floor Corridor Gallery through March 30, 2009.

SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES - PUBLIC ART IN SAN JOSE: An exhibition highlighting a range of aspects of public art in San Jose, many of which are usually not seen. On exhibit in the City Hall Tower Foyer Gallery through February 2009.  

 POSTCARDS FROM LAKE CUNNINGHAM: Vintage images from a beloved historic San Jose location, on display in the 18th Floor Lobby Gallery (Tower) through July 2009. 



Profiled in the June '08 Special Edition of SJ Public Art News, some of the temporary exhibitions in Who's On 1st/What's On 2nd continue thru the summer along the Downtown San José Transit Mall:  

Hector Dio Mendoza's Cultural Citizen multimedia project explores what it means to be a "cultural citizen" in San José. The work includes a website, posters and banners along 1st & 2nd Streets. A major new element, a "Cultural Citizen Tree" was installed in St. James Park in July, 2008. For more information and inter-active elements of the project go to the Cultural Citizen website at Ongoing through the year's end. 

Bill Fontana's Sonic Cascades broadcasts the live sounds of the bells of Trinity Cathedral, 81 N. 2nd, creating a sound sculpture that interacts with the urban landscape. It can be heard along N. Second Street and features combination of some traditional bell music and minimalist composition by Fontana.  Sonic Cascades will be featured on a continuing basis.   

JD Beltran's Downtown Mirror features four 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. Continuing into early Fall, Downtown Mirror video projections can be viewed in the following locations: in two storefront windows adjacent to Zanotto's at The Globe Residential Community located at 25 S. 3rd Street, at 38 2nd Street, and in a small storefront window on the Paseo De San Antonio, adjacent to Camera 12 Cinemas.     
Please go to  for more details about these projects.


Create your own walking tour!

Here are two ways you can enjoy public art in Downtown San José.
The San José Public Art Program publishes a colorful, informative map of public art projects in downtown San José. The Downtown Public Art Map is a fun and easy ways to see public in downtown San José. You can create your own walking tour and include opportunities to stop and enjoy other features in the district including museums, galleries and restaurants.  
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library includes an award-winning collection of more than 34 site-specific public artworks in locations throughout the library. Finding them is a process of exploration, discovery and is filled with surprises! A free colorful detailed brochure is available from the San José Public Art Program that will help you appreciate this extraordinary collection.  
You can request a free copy of the Downtown Public Art Map or the Recolecciones - Library Art Collection brochure. Please e-mail your request to, and include your mailing address.
You can also access a printable pdf version of the Downtown Public Art Map on the Public Art webpage of the Office of Cultural Affairs website at
San Jose Downtown Public Art Map.
Visit the online archive to view past issues! 
Current and past issues of San Jose Public Art can now be viewed on the Office of Cultural Affairs website on the Public Art webpages.
Go to
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