San Jose Public Art 
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San José Public Art Program 
February 2010 Volume 3, Issue 2
In This Issue
Plant Live - Photos by Robert Dawson
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting February 16, 2010
City Hall - Current Exhibits
For Artists: Two Calls For Artists - Now Open!
Explore Public Art
San Jose Public Art - Online Archive
Quick Links
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Join Our Mailing List




For five months, photographer Robert Dawson has been working as Photographer-in-Residence at the City's Water Pollution Control Plant. Dawson's work is intended to help generate awareness about this all-important aspect of community life.

A vast yet largely invisible system of water delivery and sewage treatment is a vital service for the region's population and for protection of the surrounding ecosystem. The City of San Jose provides this service on behalf of the eight tributary jurisdictions whose sanitary sewer systems discharge to the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant. Preventing pollutants from entering the storm drain system is crucial to a healthy watershed; without treatment, those pollutants would go straight into the creeks, rivers and the bay. The San Jose Water Pollution Control Plant in Alviso processes over 100 million gallons of sewage a day in a facility the size of Central Park in New York. The system directly supports the health of both the community and the eco-system of the San Francisco Bay. 



Dawson's residency, a project of the San Jose Public Art Program in collaboration with the City's Environmental Services Department, made it possible for him to explore this vital system in considerable depth. His photographs depict a huge, complex but delicate machine and fall into four general categories. These include structures, equipment, treatment processes and, importantly, the many types of workers whose labor ensures the system works effectively and without interruption: the scientists, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, maintenance and many others.




Dawson reflects, "Several things have impressed me from my work on the Residency. I am amazed by the enormous complexity of this system that deals with the wastewater of our culture. Like most people I was relatively unaware of the essential nature of the work done at the Treatment Facility. I have come to realize that our society could not function without this system. Also, I am impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the people that work at the plant everyday and deal with a subject that the rest of us ignore."


Dawson will be creating a series of projects with the photographs he has taken: a travelling exhibit that explains the work of the Water Pollution Control Plant, a web-page on his residency; a photography book and prints that will be permanently displayed at the Plant.


Images: (top-bottom)
1. Open Drain Pipe Cover.
2. Green Spot on Foam.
3. Science Lab Tests.
Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 5:30 P.M. The following report, discussion and action items are on the agenda:  



 a.) Approve artists to the pre-qualified Multiple Projects Artist Roster. (Citywide) 
a.) Approve the concept design proposals for the San Fernando Corridor public art project to be located at Site Two: VTA Project by artist Patrick Manning. (District 3) 
a.) Approve PACT recommendaton for an agreement with Valerie Raps to develop a design proposal and fabricate an artwork to be located in the Tropicana Shopping Center in an amount not to exceed $27,000. (District 5) 
a.) Approve the concept and schematic design proposal for a public art project by Peter Richards for the Environmental Innovation Center. (Citywide)
a.) Approve the concept design proposals for Water Pollution Control Plant public art project by Mark Brest van Kempen.  (Citywide) 20 minutes. 
a.) Approve the revised Design Development proposal by SuttonBeresCuller for the Art & Technology Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport 2008- 2010 Program. (Citywide)   

Public Art Committee meetings are open to the public. The meeting is in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, Meeting Room W-119 in the Council Wing.
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. 
City Hall - Current Exhibits

Current listings as of newsletter distribution   

The following exhibits are presented by the City Hall Exhibition Program, a project of the San Jose Public Art Program. All exhibits are free and open to the public. 
The Big Idea: Art on a Grand Scale

Location:  City Hall Wing Galleria 


BenBigArtPaintingThe Big Idea: Art on a Grand Scale
showcases the diverse and extraordinary talent of eleven local artists, all of whom create art works in large-scale format. Scale in art is about much more than size. Rather, it is a tool employed by artists to convey complex and often subtle concepts.  In This exhibit, large two-dimensional works on paper and canvas mingle with sculpture that explores weight and mass through the use of unexpected mediums. The Big Idea: Art on a Grand Scale will be on view through August 2010.   
Images (above):   
1. Top: The Decision Makers, Ben Alexy.
2. Bottom: Woman With Boa, Ted Fullwood.
Location: City Windows Gallery, the storefront exhibit space on 4th Street


Image (above):   Redbird, Stan Welsh, ceramic on plywood, 2008. 
Eleven area ceramics artists bend, twist and enhance their medium of choice in provocative ways in Earthbound. Bound to the elements  - earth, air, fire and water - each of these artists manipulates the medium to form their own expressions.  The intrinsic nature of clay lends itself to the expression of the human condition.  The personal and universal intertwine to weave narratives of history and present-day social and political circumstances.  Each has a tale to tell.  Each has a story.  But all have chosen to work with the elements.
The artists included represent but a portion of the exciting work being created in the greater Bay Area by artists working in ceramics.  They include Tessie Barrera-Scharaga, Kimberly Cook, Don Fritz, Ted Fullwood, Diane Levinson, Gustavo Martinez, Max Rain, Shelby B. Smith, Gabe Toci, Monica Van den Dool and Stan Welsh. Earthbound will be on view through May 15, 2010.  
Hidden Heritages: Six African American Families, San Jose 1860­-1920
Location: City Hall Tower, Santa Clara St. Lobby

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 renderings, each telling the story of a unique community from a different perspective and providing a poignant glimpse into San Jose's past during a pivotal period in history. Hidden Heritages will be on view through May 31, 2010.   

Face2Face: Highlights from the Student Art Collection at the Santa Clara County Office of Education  
Location: City Hall Tower, 18th Floor Mayor and Council Office Lobby Gallery  
Featuring artwork created by children in conjunction with the Young Artists Showcase, sponsored by the San Jose Water Company.  Face2Face will be on view through June 30, 2010. 
For Artists:  Call for Artists - 01SJ Accepting Submittals for Multiple Projects
  Open Calls - Deadlines March 8 and March 22

01SJ BIENNIAL- San Jose's Festival of arts, technology and more


The 3rd 01SJ Biennial will take place September 16-19, 2010 in San Jose, CA. The 2010 01SJ Biennial encapsulates the theme Build Your Own World, where the future is not about what's next; it's about what we can build to ensure that what's next matters. How can we, as resourceful, innovative, and knowledgeable local and global citizens build and participate in a desirable future in the face of global climate change, economic meltdown, political instability, and cultural divisiveness?


The 01SJ Biennial is an increasingly recognized international event and a premiere multidisciplinary arts festival in North America. As such, 01SJ represents a unique opportunity to present the groundbreaking work of local and international artists and to provide access to innovative, world-class art for a broad and diverse audience.


For details, go to http://zero1.org/01sj/opencalls

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.  
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  patricia.walsh@sanjoseca.gov, 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.
SAN JOSE PUBLIC ART - e-Newsletter Archive 
Visit the Online Archive to view past issues! 
Current and past issues of San Jose Public Art can be viewed on the Public Art pages of the Office of Cultural Affairs website.
Go to www.sanjoseculture.org
More to come in SAN JOSE PUBLIC ART!
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We welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. You can e-mail us at publicart@sanjoseca.gov.
Please forward this to people you know who might like to keep informed about public art in San José.