April 2011

Volume 4, Issue 4

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Josť Public Art Program 
In This Issue
Two Hidden Gems In San Jose Public Art
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Hidden Gems in San Jose's Public Art Collection


When public art is mentioned in San Jose, some of San Jose's high-visibility public art projects might easily to come to mind. But the San Jose public art collection is rich with many smaller works that add a special touch in neighborhood settings throughout the city. Here are two of these 'hidden gems'.





Birdhouse, Main entrance

Edenvale Park is the former location of Frontier Village, a popular western-themed amusement park that thrived from 1961, closing in 1980. To demarcate the site of Frontier Village, artist Jon Rubin created bird houses in five locations in the current park that geographically correspond to buildings and attractions that once existed during the heyday of Frontier Village.  Rubin's concept was to mark each site with a birdhouse replica of a historic Frontier Village building or attraction formerly located at that site. A professional ornithologist assisted Rubin in identifying local bird species and the proper bird house types to house each species. The birdhouses sit atop poles at heights of between 10 to 12 feet; their interiors and entrances were modified to accommodate particular local bird species. 


Front Vill Sign

Each pole features a plaque with historical photos and text that place the building within the amusement park. The interpretive plaque also describes the species of birds most likely to occupy this new house. By turning Frontier Village landmark structures into functioning birdhouses Rubin has commemorated the past while pointing to the site's current use as a complex natural ecosystem, drawing attention to an often-invisible avian ecosystem that is dependent on the park's current design.



Edenvale Park is located at  200 Edenvale Ave., San Jose, CA 95136  

For more about Frontier Village by Jon Rubin go to:



FORETOKENS by Barbara McCarren


ForetokensShamrockForetokens is a series of cast bronze amulets, each one attached to a sculptural base and placed at the tees in the Rancho Del Pueblo Golf Course. Ideas of icons of power that might affect fate (e.g., lucky tokens) is a universal concept. The long-held tradition of many golfers to carry good luck charms with them as they golf  inspired McCarren to create nine bronze talismans for the nine-hole golf course. The nine good luck charms, positioned at each of the nine teeing areas, represent symbols from cultures from around the world including a lucky penny, a horseshoe, a wishbone, a four-leaf clover, a hand milagro, a scarab, a rabbit's foot, a bat, and a Zuni bear fetish.


The artwork title Foretokens was inspired by the idea of beliefs around luck, and golf: the word "foretoken" means a sign of something to come, while "fore" is a golf term used to warn a person in the path of a ball.  Over time, these bronze tokens have gotten shiny spots from golfers rubbing them for good luck at the tee.


Rancho Del Pueblo Golf Course is located at 1649 Hermocilla Way, San Jose, CA 95116


For more about Foretokens go to:   www.sanjoseculture.org/public_art/collection



Public Art Committee: Notice of Regular Meeting

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 5:30 P.M.


Meeting Location: City Hall, Council Wing - Meeting Room W-119, 200 E. Santa Clara Street,  San Jose.   




Updates - various.





a.      Recommendation for an agreement with Bill Gould to develop a design proposal, fabricate and install an artist designed gate for the Vista Park Community Center for an amount not to exceed $50,000. (District 10)

 b.      Recommendation for an agreement with Johanna Poethig to design and fabricate an artwork for the Starbird Teen Center public art project for an amount not to exceed $35,000. (District 1)



 a.      Recommendation for an agreement with Marta Thoma to develop a design proposal and fabricate an artwork to be located at the Bestor Art Park in an amount not to exceed $70,000. (Council District 3)



No Items.



No Items.


The full agenda packet for either meeting is viewable in a downloadable format at www.sanjoseculture.org seven days prior to the posted meeting date.


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 Exhibits

Current exhibitions 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 exhibition spaces are located at San Jose City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA.




Now Showing



OrbSWARM. Robotic Orb created by SWARM, an international collective.Photo courtesy of the SWARM collective.


Exhibition: Invention: A Celebration of Silicon Valley Innovative Spirit


Location: San Josť City Hall Tower lobby cases

Dates: January 2011- November 2011



Video Guitar. Created by Ben Lewry of Visionary Instruments. Photo courtesy of Ben Lewry.


Embedded deep in the American psyche is the pioneer spirit, a longing for adventure and a passion for exploration. Central to our nationhood is a deep desire to leave no frontiers unconquered. Surveys and opinion polls taken over the decades reveal an American public with a profound faith in technology, soaring imagination, and a prodigious appetite for the new-fangled. Nowhere is this national spirit of innovation and invention more prevalent than in San Josť, the capital of Silicon Valley. By turning the spotlight on an eclectic selection of inventors, artists, designers, engineers, visionaries and tinkerers from all over the greater Bay Area, Invention: A Celebration of Silicon Valley's Innovative Spirit gives the residents of San Josť an opportunity to celebrate their creative regional brain trust and unique identity, one that is envied the world over.






The Conscience of the City


Location:  City Windows Gallery in City Hall

200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA   

In the storefront exhibit space along 4th Street



R.Dawson photograph of wastewater in motion. 



Exhibit continues into April, 2011


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 generate awareness about this invisible part of our daily lives. His 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.



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.


The San Jose Public Art Program's  colorful, informative map of public art projects in downtown San Jose has recently been updated. The 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 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.


More to come in San Jose Public Art eNews!




San Jose Public Art eNews is the way to keep connected and informed. Please stay with us for future editions.

We welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. Please 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 Jose.