February 2012

Volume 5, Issue 1

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Josť Public Art Program 
In This Issue
Major Grants Support Creative Placemaking in Downtown San Jose
A Personal Experience of Public Art
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Current City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Major Grants Support Creative Placemaking in Downtown for 2012 

Over the coming year Downtown San Jose will benefit from a number of grant-funded projects that will enhance the downtown experience for residents and visitors alike.


San Jose Public Art, in partnership with ZERO1, was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant. This grant, which focuses on creative placemaking, was awarded for an initiative called Silicon Valley Inside/Out (SVI/O). SVI/O will wed the creativity of the tech and cultural sectors to create a 'mash-up' that will help make downtown San Jose look and feel the way people imagine the "Capital of Silicon Valley".


Rendering by artists Steve Durie and Bruce Gardner for the San Carlos Corridor streetlight project that features LED-illuminated LED light boxes on streetlights between Market and 4th Streets; through interaction, passersby can change the colors and patterns of the lights.


 SVI/O will result in a series of completed temporary art projects, and also the design development of permanent art projects sited in downtown that will connect the SoFA District with the Convention Center and SJSU via the adjacent San Carlos Street corridor. The multidisciplinary tech-based projects will include opportunities for active public participation. Many will be featured during 2012 ZERO1 Biennial this September with a theme of "Seeking Silicon Valley."  


Grant awards are also funding several other key initiatives. ArtPlace, a consortium of 11 private foundations, recently awarded grants to two San Jose organizations to further enhance the SoFA District in Downtown:

  • 1stACT Silicon Valley was awarded a grant to create a "pavement to paseo" project at Gore Park. This project will result in expansion of the park and closure of 1st Street from Reed to William to marry the park with the SoFA arts organizations adjacent to it.
  • ZERO1 was awarded a grant to create the ZERO1 Garage, a new home for the organization on South First Street that will be a laboratory for collaborative research and experimentation; to "co-contaminate thinking in order to reveal new innovations, frame new strategies, and/or identify new products, opportunities, and markets." ZERO1 Garage will launch during the ZERO1 Biennial in September 2012.


Stay with San Jose Public Art eNews in the coming months for more news and developments as these and more exciting projects come to Downtown. 


A Personal Experience of Public Art  
Some of the Migration Monarchs ascending a Library stairwell wall.
Recolecciones is the collection of artworks in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Main Library in downtown San Jose created by Mel Chin and collaborators; Migration is one of the pieces in Recolecciones. Since the Library opened, the artworks have been very popular with Library staff, volunteer docents and Library visitors. From time to time we hear stories or receive general comments from members of the community and visitors to San Jose; it is rare however we hear directly from the students.  That said, below is an excerpt from a letter recently received from a student which was a reminder that public art can be a very personal experience:


"I am doing masters in Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University. Since I started my masters here, I spend (much of...) my time in the library sitting on the staircase watching the Migration artwork. Frankly speaking I don't have words to say how it impacted me. The fabulous work done by ....(artist)  Mel Chin and his collaborators is great. Migration is an inspiration to me and I want them in my home back in India."

Some of the Migration Monarchs on the Library ceiling.

As described in the Recolecciones brochure, Migration begins with the ascension of thousands of brilliantly colored cast metal Monarch butterflies along the brilliant blue wall of the South East stairwell. The butterflies escape the stairwell and migrate toward the book stacks resting on the ceiling. Their destination is not arbitrary, but marks the location of significant books by Latin American authors of various disciplines. Migration acknowledges the contributions of these authors and further reinforces the concept of "circulation" - both of books and knowledge - as a major goal of the Library."

For more about Recolecciones and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Main Library public art collection, go to
:   www.sjlibrary.org/recolecciones. Docent-led tours of the collection are available through the Library as well.

Public Art Committee: Meeting Notice 



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




1. Illuminating Downtown Design Charrette

2. Public Art consulting contracts: Capitola, Montalvo, Mirassou, Fundred/ Operation Paydirt



1. Update on Japantown Project (District 3)




a. Skate Park - review of recommended artist Stephen Glassman (District 8)



a.  Action on the schematic and partial design development proposal for the McEnery Convention Center expansion public art by artist Soo-In Yang (Citywide)  



a.  Action on the design development proposal for the Guadalupe Lower Reach Mammoth project by artists Greenmeme. (District 4)



a.  Action to amend the agreement with Peter Richards to increase the contract for artwork at the Environmental Innovation Center by $20,000 to $198,600. (District 4)


b.  Action to amend the agreement with Merge Design to increase the contract for artwork at Fire Station 36 by $2500 to $106,750. (District 8)


c.  Action to amend the agreement with Steve Durie and Bruce Gardner to increase the design contract for artwork at the San Carlos Corridor by $4000 to $24,000; and to negotiate and agreement for the fabrication contract for Phase One of the project in the amount of $45,000 (District 3)


View/download the full agenda packet for the meeting at:


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 in various sites at San Jose City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA.


Now Showing:   


City of Champions: 2001, a San Jose Soccer Odyssey
City of Champs IMG1

Through artwork, photos, memorabilia and much more, the
City of Champions exhibit features items dating all the way back to the late-'60s, the era that eventually led to the NASL version of the San Jose Earthquakes, but the year 2001 is the main focus. That year, San Jose became the only city in United States history where the men's and women's pro teams of any sport both won championships. 


For detailed background information on this exhibit, read the October 12 feature article by Gary Singh entitled Kickin' It in San Jose's MetroActive.


Location: 1st Floor City Hall Wing Concourse Exhibition Area (Outside the San Jose City Council Chambers)


On display during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 




San Jose/Yekaterinburg Russia:  Sister Cities Cultural Exchange Exhibits

The following two exhibits are the result of an artist exchange the took place earlier this year between artists from San Jose State University and Yekaterinburg Russia. San Jose artists Robin Lasser, Adrienne Pao and Brian Taylor spent 7 days in Yekaterinburg in May 2011, and two Russian photographers from Yekaterinburg, Sophia Nasyrova and Denis Tarasov, spent a week in San Jose, CA in June.  


The exhibits are components of a large and far-reaching international collaboration. Both the book and film about this significant cultural exhcange project, currently in production by the U.S. Department of State, are due out at the end of the year. For more information about this cultural exchange project please visit www.russianamericanexchange.weebly.com .


TMs. Yekaterinburg: Camera Obscura Dress Tent by Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao.



Seven Days-Sister Cities-Artist Exchange 

Seven Days-Sister Cities-Artist Exchange, a comprehensive installation of photography, video, sound and handmade book art.


Location:  City Windows Gallery     

In the storefront exhibit space along the 4th Street side of the City Hall complex.  


On display daily - all hours.  


Sister Cities artist image 7 Days
Photo: Dennis Tarasov

Seven Days in San Jose 

Seven Days in San Josť, is a selection of sixteen photographs by photographers Ara Ahadi, Barbara Boissevain, Elena Polanco, Julia Weber, Jeffrey Opp, Sieglinde Von Damme, Eric Baral and Tamara Danoyan, graduate students in San Josť State University's photography program. Their work gives viewers a different perspective on familiar territory as the students photographed along side the Russian team.   


Location: San Jose City Hall Mayor's Lobby Gallery - 18th floor of City Hall    


On display 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday


The City Hall complex is located at 200 East Santa Clara Street, between 4th and 6th Streets in San Jose.


Both exhibits are open to the public and will be on view through Spring 2012.  





Exhibition: Invention: A Celebration of Silicon Valley Innovative Spirit


Location: San Josť City Hall Tower lobby cases


On display during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM through November 2011




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


Invention: A Celebration of Silicon Valley's Innovative Spirit turns the spotlight on an eclectic selection of inventors, artists, designers, engineers, visionaries and tinkerers from all over the greater Bay Area,  giving the residents of San Josť an opportunity to celebrate their creative regional brain trust and unique identity, one that is envied the world over.







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 publicart@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.