San JosÚ Public Art 
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San JosÚ Public Art Program 
January 2009  Volume 2, Issue 1
In This Issue
New Mayfair Community Center Public Art
In Memoriam - Sculptor Robert Graham
Public Art Committee Meeting - January 20, 2009
Public Events: January - February 2009
Two Fun Ways to Explore Public Art!
View Past Issues of San Jose Public Art
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New Public Art Celebrates Culture, History & Community


Fernanda d'Agostino created Garden of Strength for the new Mayfair Community Center, a suite of three distinct artwork elements.  D'Agostino was inspired by the diversity and the rich cultural history of the Mayfair area neighborhoods and by the spirit of growth and renewal embodied in the flourishing Mayfair Community Garden adjacent to the site, one of the City's oldest community gardens. The garden as a metaphor for the community is a unifying motif through the three major elements in the project. 
mayfairWindowBienvenidos is an art glass window installation that form an archway in the Center's entrance. Photographic images depicting lush stalks of corn raising their leaves to the sun, swirling folkloric dancers and inspirational quotations are fused into the glass panels. The images, drawn from local subjects, are intended to impart an uplifting sense of welcome, aspiration and growth. By day the windows filter golden light into the Center's lobby; after dark, light from within the Center casts a warm glow outward.
Mayfair3sistersGarden of Life is a richly textured group of elements in the Center's tower; it is based on the idea of the nichos used in many cultures to honor items of special significance. The elements include: a glass mosaic niche patterned in celestial designs much like those used in navigation, in recognition of the journeys made by many people to come here; hand-crafted bronze and glass apricot branches by artist Jaime Guerrero in homage to the community heritage linked to farm labor and the widespread fruit orchards;  a timeline of Mayfair historic images on glass; a video installation featuring images of local history and culture; and more.

The Garden of Life artworks invite visitors to explore, and to pause and reflect on the cultural significance of this locale.

The Three Sisters are three stone sculptures that depict the time honored trilogy of squash, beans and corn, fundamental and sustaining food elements in several cultures. These were carved under D'Agostino's direction by master stone carver Mauricio Saldana; the artworks were modeled on actual plants grown by farmers in the Mayfair Community Garden. The Three Sisters are located in what D'Agostino calls the Discovery Courtyard. This is a reference to the central courtyard in many homes worldwide and the beautiful sense of discovery one has when emeging from a dark interior into a hidden courtyard full of light and life.
D'Agostino intended Garden of Strength as an aesthetic tribute to the vibrant heritage of the community around the Center. In creating Garden of Strength she worked closely with many community members and organizations, and she is deeply appreciative of all those who helped her build the content of the artwork by contributing their time ideas, stories, images and much more. She also collaborated with skilled artists in the creation of the work including Mauricio Saldana, Jaime Guerrero, and others.
The new Mayfair Community Center is at 2039 Kammerer Ave, San JosÚ 95116. The Grand Opening Celebration is Saturday, January 31, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM; the official ceremony begins at 10:30 AM. The artists will be present to discuss the work following the program.

Free. Please join us. Everyone is welcome!

Nationally-acclaimed artist was raised in San JosÚ
Robert Graham passed away in Los Angeles on December 27 at the age of 70.  Born in Mexico, Graham came to San JosÚ in 1950; he attended San JosÚ High School and also studied art at San JosÚ State College. He went on to garner national acclaim as an artist, often creating large works in bronze in many prominent locations across the country.
With many significant artworks to his credit nationally, he is best-known by many in San JosÚ for the creation of  Plumed Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) in 1994, the sculpture that is located at the southern-most point of Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown and one that continues to serve as a touchstone for lively discussion about public art in San Jose.  Another of his artworks, San JosÚ Fountain (1987), is located at the Federal Building entrance on 1st Street.
More information about Robert Graham is included in the article by San JosÚ Mercury News reporter Joe Rodriguez that appeared on December 28, 2008, which may be found at .

Next Meeting:  January 20, 2009 - 5:30 PM. 

The Public Art Committee 's regular monthly meeting is Tuesday, January 20 at 5:30 PM. The following action item is on the meeting agenda:

  • Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport Public Art: Review and take action on a recommendation to approve the Schematic Designs for Group I of the Art + Technology Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport 2008- 2010 Program. (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 meeting is in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, 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:

Meetings, Dedications, Celebrations, Lectures, Exhibits & More  

 Current listings for mid-January - February 2009 as of newsletter distribution   

featuring artworks by Fernanda d"Agostino. 
Don't miss the exciting Grand Opening of this beautiful community center in the Mayfair neighborhood. Highlights of the public art include art glass windows in the main entry, stone sculptures in the courtyard, and a rich array of artwork elements in the facility's tower.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, January 31; the Grand Opening  starts at 10:00 AM; the Ceremony is at 10:30 AM with other site activities ongoing through 12:30 PM.  (Please note that this information has been updated from the December newsletter to reflect a new date and time.)
LOCATION: 2039 Kammerer Avenue, San JosÚ 95116
Free. Please join us. Everyone is welcome!
For additional art activities that you can enjoy, please see "ONGOING EXHIBTIONS" listings, below.


Opening in City Windows Gallery on February 13 in conjunction with the San Jose Cycling Classic (, is THE BIKE SHOW.
The Bike Show is a range of expressions of the enthusiasm for bicycling found in the Silicon Valley environs, both historic and contemporary. From locally-made custom bicycles and finely-crafted bicycle parts to historic images and cycles demonstrating San Jose's long association with cycling, to more artful expressions of the sport.  City Windows Gallery is located in the storefront space located along the 4th Street fašade of City Hall. The exhibit is scheduled through June 2009.


SPEED CITY - FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO BLACK POWER: an exhibition presented in conjunction with History San JosÚ 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 JosÚ, 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 JosÚ location, on display in the 18th Floor Lobby Gallery (Tower) through July 2009.  


Roosevelt Filter WallWhile visiting downtown you can interact with Jim Conti's artwork Show Your Stripes at The 88, San JosÚ's new high rise residences at 88 E. San Fernando that enlivens downtown with its colorful and intriguing cascade of light patterns.

Call (408) 287-0128 after sundown. After you hear the tone, enter any three numbers, which can include # or *, from your telephone keypad, and then enter zero and hang-up. If the number sequence is programmed, then the colors should change in about 10 seconds. (Note: Not ALL 3 number combinations have been programmed yet, so if one you try doesn't work, please try another.)  Some fun ones to try include *25 for Christmas, or *14 for Valentine's Day. 


Create your own walking tour!

Here are two ways you can enjoy public art in Downtown San JosÚ.
DOWNTOWN PUBLIC ART MAP - Updated Edition for 2009 due out soon!
The San JosÚ Public Art Program publishes a colorful, informative map of public art projects in downtown San JosÚ. The Downtown Public Art Map is a fun and easy ways to see public in downtown San JosÚ. 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 JosÚ 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
San JosÚ Public Art is the way to keep connected and informed. Please stay with us for future editions.

We welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. You can e-mail us at
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