San Jose Public Art e-News
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San JosÚ Public Art Program 
September 2010Volume 3, Issue 9
In This Issue
Artwork by CoLab featured in new Edenvale Community Center
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting September 21, 2010
Lost Murals of Miguel Covarrubias at City Hall
Exhibit by E.S.D. Photographer-in-Residence Robert Dawson
Art on San Fernando Continues
City Hall - Current Exhibits
Explore Public Art
San Jose Public Art - Online Archive
Quick Links
Join Our List
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Edenvale Community Center Opens with Artwork by CoLab Studio

View of a window bay art element by CoLab Studio.



CoLab Studio, the artist team of Matthew and Maria Salenger, created the public art for the new Edenvale Community Center.



The artwork is titled Not If But When, a title that came from the community's stated aspirations for their young people. The artwork consists of two elements: bronze sculptures adjacent to the three entrances to the building, and vinyl drawings on the large gymnasium windows facing Branham. All the elements are based on objects, images and ideas cultivated by the artists from the community. The artists engaged in extensive interaction with the Edenvale community in the creation of the artwork. They went out to schools, neighborhood and community gatherings, youth centers and the Library to encourage community members to "Be a Part of the Art" by contributing objects, stories, photos and memorabilia that represented their own lives.



The window drawings in the long glass window wall depict a series of doors, many photographed in the adjacent neighborhood. The doors become an entry point to different ideas the artists wanted to convey, based on the community outreach and their own research.



A bronze sculpture element prior to installation.




Sculptures are set in boxes that are inset in the fašade of the building. The sculptures are hybrids of many of the donated and discovered items from a very diverse community brought together in a surrealistic way to inspire new thinking about everyday objects as well as the long and interesting history of the area. The bronzes are accompanied by quotes from a book of inspirational thoughts by Mary Hayes Chynoweth, an early and colorful settler in the Edenvale area, and builder of the Hayes Mansion.


A view of the north facade of 20 windows, each with a unique  graphic artwork element.



Edenvale Community Center Grand Opening


Meet CoLab artists Matthew and Maria Salenger, learn more about the artwork and celebrate the Edenvale Community Center Grand Opening


Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010


Time: 12:00 Noon-3:00 p.m.; ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m. ; Q & A with the artists to follow.


Location: Edenvale Community Center

330 Branham Lane East, San JosÚ

Everyone is welcome. This is a free community event.


Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 5:30 P.M.
The meeting is in City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, Council Wing - Meeting Room W-119.
The following report, discussion and action items are on the agenda:   



a.  Design development proposal for a public art project by Peter Richards for the Environmental Innovation Center, and continuation of the project into fabrication and installation pending funding. (Citywide)


Approve agreement for an amount not to exceed $60,000 with SJSU School of Art/Tower Foundation to develop a solar design project for the City of San Jose Solar Demonstration Site. (Citywide)
The full agenda packet can be viewed in a dowloadable format at www.sanjoseculture.org
Public Art Committee 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 planning, artist selection, development and design review of public art projects throughout the City. 
City Hall To Showcase Lost Murals of Miguel Covarrubias



Exhibit continues through February 28, 2011

Location:  City Hall Wing Galleria 

San Jose City Hall

200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA   


This blockbuster art exhibition will feature rarely seen murals created by the Mexican painter Miguel Covarrubias for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island. In partnership with History San Jose and Mexican Heritage Corporation, this historic exhibition will present the murals at San Jose City Hall along with rare examples of Covarrubias' artwork from the private collection of collector and Covarrubias expert Adriana Williams.


On the brink of America's entrance in a World War, the Golden Gate International Exposition was the last moment of glory at a critical juncture in America's history. Covarrubias six murals depicting the Pacific Rim in all of its cultural and natural glory became the centerpiece of the fair.  With the onset of World War 2, Treasure Island - once a grand showcase of art and architecture - became a war-time naval base. 

When the fair ended in 1940, the murals were sent to New York City's American Museum of Natural History. At some point, one mural went missing.

In the late 1950s, the murals returned to San Francisco and were displayed at the Ferry Building; they were removed in 2001 during building renovations. Due to their immense size they are typically crated up in storage in Oakland but recently there has been much discussion about where the murals should be permanently located, presumably in the San Francisco area. One was recently installed at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park; another will be on long-term display at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. The San Jose City Hall exhibit of the remaining three is a rare opportunity to see three of them displayed together, much as the artist originally intended.  


Mr. Covarrubias, who died in 1957, was a well-known artist and anthropologist during the 1930s and 1940s and a contemporary of other great artists of that era including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Doug Weston and others. His caricatures were featured in Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and in many books. The colorful pictorial maps he created for the world's fair, one of a number of artworks commissioned from prominent artists for the event, reflect his research into indigenous cultures.

Exhibit by Photographer Robert Dawson Explores Wastewater in Silicon Valley

The Conscience of the City

A Photographic Exhibit through February 2011

Location:  City Windows Gallery at
San Jose City Hall in the storefront exhibit space on 4th Street

200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA   




"The sewer is the conscience of the city. Everything there converges and confronts everything else. In that livid spot there are shades, but there are no longer any secrets."  Victor Hugo, Les Miserables



Robert Dawson has worked for six months with the City of San Jose's Office of Cultural Affairs and the Environmental Services Department as the City's first Photographer-in-Residence at its Water Pollution Control Plant. Dawson's work is intended to bring attention to this invisible part of our daily lives, and to help generate awareness of when government works.




Today it is hard to imagine a world in which there is no sewage treatment. The great sanitation movement that began in the 19th century helped extend the average lifespan in the 20th century by an astonishing thirty-five years. The San Jose and Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant is a continuation of that 19th century movement; it now processes over 100 million gallons of sewage a day, a scale of the work that is enormous.  


Dawson's photographs depict a huge, complex but delicate machine and explore four key elements:  the People who work diligently to keep the Plant functioning efficiently and the South San Francisco Bay alive; the Place, consisting of a massive infrastructure that surprisingly includes areas of astonishing beauty; the Treatment, a highly complex, environmentally sensitive process that never ends; and the History showing changes over the Water Pollution Control Plant's fifty-year history since it was built in 1962.


Additional events not to be missed:
Plant Life - A 2nd Exhibit by Robert Dawson at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library,150 E San Fernando St, San Jose in the 4th Floor exhibit space through September 30. 
A Lecture by Robert Dawson (free)
DATE: Wednesday, October 6 at 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Dr. Martin Luther King Library,150 E San Fernando St, San Jose, 2nd Floor, Room 255-257 
Art on San Fernando: Revisioning the Corridor Continues Through the Fall 
Particle Falls at Almaden and San Fernando by A. Polli & C. Varga  
Featured in last month's Public Art e-News, the six temporary public art projects along the San Fernando Street corridor between Diridon Station and Market Street at the San Jose Museum of Art will continue to animate and enliven the streetscape through November 15 and beyond.  
For more information and details on viewing the artworks, go to http://www.sanjoseculture.org/?pid=99224 
Last month's feature article can be viewed in the Public Art e_News Archive at www.sanjoseculture.org and click on Public Art, then on Newsletter. 
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. 
Lost Murals of Miguel Covarrubias
Location:  City Hall Wing Galleria 

See detailed description in article, above.  

The Conscience of the City: Photographer Robert Dawson 
Location: City Windows Gallery, the storefront exhibit space on 4th Street
See detailed description in article, above. 
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 September, 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 September, 2010. 

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 and discovery that 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.  
To 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.
A printable pdf version of the Downtown Public Art Map is also available on the Public Art webpage of the Office of Cultural Affairs website at
San Jose Downtown Public Art Map.
San Jose Public Art e-News 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 e-News!
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