May 2011

Volume 4, Issue 5

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San José Public Art Program 
In This Issue
San Jose Public Art Receives National Endowment for the Arts grant
San Jose's Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, May 24, 2011
City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Office of Cultural Affairs Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant Award


The Office of Cultural Affairs is proud to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the City of San Jose's Public Art Program a $20,000 Access to Excellence grant to support the Public Art Program's Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor project.


The grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will help fund website development and other ways for the community to learn about, experience and enjoy the Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor. See more about the project below.

Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor: Story of a Neighborhood


San Jose's Alum Rock/Mayfair district has a particularly rich cultural history. Originally home to the indigenous Muwekma Ohlone, in later eras the area was resplendent with orchards, dairies and agriculture as well as canneries and packing plants. For many years the outskirts of town, this area attracted newcomers and immigrants; many who labored in the agricultural and canning industry under severe working conditions made it their home. With no civic infrastructure, the unpaved streets would flood, becoming muddy and impassable; this engendered the district's nickname "Sal Si Puedes" ("Get out if you can"). It was in this environment that César Chavez led the community to organize and initiate a civil rights movement that grew to national stature with the now iconic call to action and empowerment "Sí, se puedes!" ("Yes, we can!")


The San Jose Public Art Program commissioned the development of the Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor (ARCHC) Master Plan in order to raise awareness about this cultural legacy for the benefit of both residents and the wider community. Researched and compiled by local historian and cultural artist Maria De La Rosa in collaboration with San Jose public artist Diana Pumpelly Bates, the Plan provides a comprehensive approach to using public art, artist-designed site markers and other elements to amplify elements of the rich cultural history of the Alum Rock/Mayfair district.


The ARCHC Master Plan highlights existing public art elements that build upon the area's cultural history. These include: 


Mayfair Community Center:  Garden of Strength by Fernanda D'Agostino,a group of artwork elements that highlight varied aspects of the cultural and social history of the Mayfair community.




Emma Prusch Park: Monument to the Last Barn by Gloria Bornstein pays homage to the bygone era farming and agricultural that once shaped the landscape.


TheLastBarn-front view 


Mexican Heritage Plaza: Untitled Works by Ann Chamberlain and Victor Maria Zaballa are artwork elements that emphasize core traditional community values and honor the primary elements in nature of air, earth, fire and water.


  MHPGateand Mosaices 


But very importantly, the ARCHC plan identifies key locations for new public art projects and site markers. A number of these projects are already underway and will be completed in the coming months.


You can look forward to more exciting news about the Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor.   


Link to the Alum Rock Cultural History Corridor Master Plan.



Public Art Committee: Notice of Regular Meeting

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 5:30 P.M.


Meeting Location: City Hall, Tower 5th Floor - Meeting Room T-550, 200 E. Santa Clara Street,  San Jose. (Please note: this is a change from the regular meeting room for this month only.)  




Updates - various.





a. Action on de-accessioning Five by Five by Benjamin Kaiser from the San Jose Public Art Collection.

b. Action on de-accessioning Our Lady of the Golden Roses by Jessie Jacobs from the San Jose Public Art Collection.



No items.



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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 José 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 José, 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 José 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 Summer 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.