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FROM CONTROVERSY TO COOPERATION - THE STORY OF FIVE ARTWORKS
Public art is sometimes a catalyst for civic discourse; on occasion it can be the focal point for strong feelings and heated public debate. Like many other cities, San Jose has seen its share of controversy. What follows is the story of how the controversy around one artwork was the catalyst for the creation of others.
In 2002, nearly fourteen years after its completion, the City of San Jose dedicated a bronze sculpture (untitled) of Captain Thomas Fallon, the City's tenth mayor. Created by artist Robert Glen, the artwork is a depiction of Captain Fallon on horseback raising the American flag over the Pueblo San Jose de Guadalupe, accompanied by an unnamed companion.
This was the City's first major art commission, and it ignited a firestorm of controversy. Some questioned the lack of public process involved in the commission as well as the academic form of the sculpture. But it was the image of Thomas Fallon that drew the most heated objections. Fallon, born in Ireland and raised in Canada; was an adventurer who briefly settled in Santa Cruz. In 1846, shortly after the beginning of the Mexican American War, he raised a small band of volunteer soldiers and captured Pueblo San Jose by raising the American flag there.
Community members, including some of San Jose's large Hispanic population, took exception to the heroic depiction of Fallon as well as to the one-dimensional view of the area's history and culture represented by the sculpture. In response to several months of intense debate, the Historic Art Advisory Committee was created to formulate a resolution. It was eventually decided that the sculpture of Fallon would be placed and dedicated only after four other monuments had been commissioned and completed, each of which would commemorate a different aspect of San Jose's richly diverse history. Today all five artworks can be seen as follows:
The Weaver's Gift
(2001) by Alan Counihan. Stone elements in the style of Ohlone basketry and a listing of Ohlone trible groups in tribute to the original inhabitants of the area. Located in Confluence Park along the Guadalupe River near E. Santa Clara Street.
Commemoration of the Founding of the Pueblo San Jose de Guadalupe
(1996) by East Los Streetscapers. Made of tile, concrete and bronze elements, the artwork is four triangular columns and sidewalk insets that depict historic and cultural images; the columns are positioned on the primary compass points, which are marked in bronze in the sidewalk. Located at the junction of S. Market and S. 1st Streets in downtown San Jose.
Man of Fire
(1998) by Kim Yasuda. A commemoration of the great influential teacher and civic leader Dr. Ernesto Galarza. It consists of a large bronze table containing text, photographic images and symbolic objects. It also includes a series of quotations in both Spanish and English, created of bronze inset in ribbons of terrazo along the length of the Paseo. Located on the Paseo between Market and 4th Streets, linking Cesar Chavez Plaza and San Jose State University.
(1998) by Tony May is a tribute to San Jose's rich but rapidly vanishing agricultural heritage. It is located on E. Santa Clara Street at Highway 87. The artwork was featured in detail in the May 2009 newsletter, available in the Newsletter Archives. (Archive link is below.)
The Thomas Fallon
sculpture is located in Pellier Park on Julian Street between Highway 87 and Market Street, near the location of the historic Pueblo.
PUBLIC ART COMMITTEE
The Public Art Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 5:30 PM. The following action items are on the agenda:
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport 2008- 2010 Program
1. Public Art Core Team recommendation of an artist team to develop a Public Art Master Plan for the Diridon Station Area Plan (Citywide)
1. Design Development Proposal for the Arrivals Hall Suspended Artwork by Deborah Aschheim. (Citywide)
2. Design Development Proposal for the Hold Room Gate Platform by Gorbet + Banerjee with Margaret Orth (Citywide)
3. Design Development Proposal for the Baggage Claim Platform by Gorbet + Banerjee (Citywide)
Public Art Committee meetings are open to the public. The meeting is in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, Room W-119 in the Council Wing. The meetings are open to the public.
The Public Art Committee, a sub-committee of the Arts Commission, is advisory to the Commission and to San Jose 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.
|FOR ARTISTS: CALL-FOR-ARTISTS FOR INTERPRETIVE ARTWORKS AT WATER POLLUTION CONTROL PLANT
Extending the Green Vision - Water Pollution Control and Public Art
The City of San Jose Environmental Services Department is one of the newest clients to the Public Art Program. Current master planning for the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) in North San Jose is leading to some very exciting opportunities to integrate art with a very vital function of the infrastructure of San Jose and surrounding municipalities.
The following WPCP Public Art Program Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is still open:
Artist to develop interpretive artworks for long-term display at the Water Pollution Control Plant. The interpretive artworks will be an integrative aspect of the current WPCP tours that encourage visitors to reflect upon water conservation and use. The focus of this project will be on the creation of an artwork(s) that enhance the experience of and information about the WPCP provided through the tours. Open to artists nationwide. The deadline for artist submittals for this project is June 19, 2009.
For questions or additional information, please contact Public Art Program Coordinator Patricia Walsh at (408) 277-5144 ext. 18 or by e-mail at email@example.com
|SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART INVITES COMMUNITY INPUT IN VISION FOR FUTURE
What should the San Jose Museum of Art be in ten years?
The San Jose Museum of Art wants members of the community to share their thoughts and help the Museum to best align public programs with the interests of its audiences, continue to define its very unique role in the greater Bay Area, and shape an exciting vision for the next decade.
Community members are invited to participate in a breif but important online survey that will take 3-4 minutes to complete. The survey is an important part of the Museum's current strategic planning effort.
To participate, go to:
Community input will help chart the future course of the Museum: from the hours it is open, to the innovative international exhibitions, cross-disciplinary classes, family days, kids' camps and high-tech interactive activities it offers.
For nearly forty years, the San Jose Museum of Art has been a keystone of downtown San Jose's cultural offerings. The Museum serves over 35,000 school children a year and brings an array of stellar exhibitions and diverse cultural programs to its many constituencies.
For more information or if you have any difficulties with the link to the survey, please contact:
Executive Assistant, Director's Office
San Jose Museum of Art
|PUBLIC EXHIBTIONS, EVENTS & MORE
Current listings for June-July 2009 as of newsletter distribution
CITY WINDOWS GALLERY located at San Jose City Hall along the 4th Street facade, in Downtown San Jose.
BIKE SHOW: A CELEBRATION OF CYCLE ART & CULTURE
A free exhibit that explores the history and art of cycling in the South Bay.
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.The exhibit is scheduled through June 2009.
CITY HALL EXHIBITION PROGRAM:
ongoing exhibits located inside City Hall
HIDDEN HERITAGES: SIX AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILIES, SAN JOSE 1860-1920
City Hall Main Lobby, Tower Building
July 2009-March 2010
As the first and oldest city in California, San Jose's history is long and rich, reflecting the diversity of cultures, traditions, innovations and contributions that are the legacy of its earliest settlers. Six of San Jose's pioneer black families are brought to life in portraits pieced together from historical facts and public records, family recollections, artifacts, old photographs and artist's renderings, each telling the story of a unique community from a different perspective. Hidden Heritages: Six African American Families, San Jose 1860-1920
is the product of a far-reaching collaboration that has benefited from the passions, contributions and original research of local individuals and organizations, giving the citizens of San Jose a poignant glimpse into their collective past during a pivotal period in history.
SPEED CITY - FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO BLACK POWER
Council Wing, 1st Floor Corridor Gallery
POSTCARDS FROM LAKE CUNNINGHAM
Continues into Spring 2009
An exhibition presented in conjunction with History San Jose that presents a broad view of context of the controversy around the 1968 Olympics and the controversial expressions of protest by gold medalist Tommie Smith and brnze medalist John Carlos, both of whom trained at San Jose State University. The exhibition depicts the runners, their lives and the historic context of the times, curated by Urla Hill.
18th Floor Council Foyer Lobby Gallery (Tower)
Through July 2009
Vintage images from a beloved historic San Jose location.
TWO FUN WAYS TO EXPLORE PUBLIC ART IN DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE
Create your own walking tour!
Here are two ways you can enjoy public art in Downtown San Jose.
DOWNTOWN PUBLIC ART MAP - Updated 2009 Edition Now Available!
The San Jose Public Art Program's colorful, informative map of public art projects in downtown San Jose has recently been updated. The 2009 Downtown Public Art Map is a fun and easy way to see public in downtown San Jose.
Use it to create your own walking tour and include opportunities to stop and enjoy other features in the district including museums, galleries and restaurants.
RECOLECCIONES: THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. LIBRARY PUBLIC ART COLLECTION
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 Jose Public Art Program that will help you appreciate this extraordinary collection.
You can request a free copy of the 2009 Downtown Public Art Map or the Recolecciones - Library Art Collection brochure. Please e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
|MISS AN ISSUE OF SAN JOSE PUBLIC ART? FIND IT NOW ONLINE!
|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 www.sanjoseculture.org.
|MORE TO COME IN SAN JOSE PUBLIC ART!|
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