August 2012

Volume 5, Issue 6  

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Jos Public Art Program 
In This Issue
Starbird Youth Center - New Public Art
Japantown Mural Project - Online & In-Person
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Current City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Starbird Youth Center's New Public Art Celebrates Youth, Community  
Photo: J. Poethig

Artist Johanna Poethig's new sculptural artwork is a series of colorful metal figures of neighborhood kids balancing on the entryway trellis in a composition of circles and shadows. The work energizes and enlivens the Starbird Youth Center. The installation depicts the youth engaged in a range of timeless activities: reading, playing music, skateboarding, soccer, hula hooping, and more. Additional hoops are scattered over the entryway trellis, casting shadow patterns that move with the sun.


Starbird Youth Center detail
Photo: J. Poethig 

The community had long wanted a public art project at this site. Poethig worked closely with community members and especially the youth in developing the artwork. They met with her to share ideas about what the Center means to them and how they like to enjoy their time there. She observed their activities while participating in community events at the Center and found rich inspiration and material for the artwork. Each image in the artwork directly reflects these experiences.


The youth took a keen interest in the work as Poethig was installing it. They came by to watch, ask questions and share their pride and excitement as they recognized reflections of themselves and their friends in the figures.


The Starbird Youth Center is at 1050 Boynton Ave. The Center is currently operated by Community United San Jose which provides after-school programs for youth.


More information about artist Johanna Poethig may be found at http://johannapoethig.com 


Japantown Mural Project: Use of Technology Expands, Enhances the Experience 
Sushi Shark by T. Rast.

The Japantown Mural Project, designed, curated and created by resident artist/designer Tamiko Rast, is a celebration of the vibrancy of San Jose's historic Japantown neighborhood through artworks by 50 local artists. The mural stretches a quarter of a city block along N. 6th and Jackson Streets in the heart of Japantown.  This undeveloped plot of land once served as the City of San Jose's Corporation Yard; it is now used as a parking lot and site for the weekend Japantown Farmers Market. With installation of the mural the chain-link fencing surrounding the lot has come to life; more than 60 large mesh panels of color, each measuring 5'5" high by 9' long, transform this into an attractive destination for residents and visitors to Japantown.

The content is highly interpretive, with personal and commissioned works that encompass a wide variety of mediums and aesthetics. It also includes references to the site's former life; 100 years ago, it was one of San Jose's very first Chinatown settlements known as 'Heinlenville.' A majority of the artists maintain art studios in Japantown, have displayed their artwork in neighborhood galleries, or consider this wonderful place their home.     


Late Rain by Fanny Retsek. with QR code on lower right.

The mural's large scale is exciting in-person. Each panel contains a QR code that, when scanned with a mobile phone/device, connects the viewer to a webpage that features the story behind each artwork and profiles the artist who created it.

The entire Japantown Mural Project can be enjoyed online: go to Japantown Mural Project - Online and explore it anywhere, anytime.



Public Art Committee Meeting Notice



Meeting Location: City Hall,  200 E. Santa Clara Street,  San Jose 

                               WING - 1st Floor Meeting Room W-119    




a. Illuminating Downtown partnership update

b. Vets Memorial maintenance and conservation update

c. Environmental Services Department Audit update

d. Other







a. Approval of concept proposal by Dan Corson for an Illuminating Downtown permanent lighting project under Highway SR 87 between Santa Clara and San Fernando Streets (District 3)





a. Approval of the Design Development Proposal by artists Freya Bardell and Brian Howe for Wired Wilderness, an artwork to be located in the Mineta San Jose International Airport Pre-Security Large Showcases. (Citywide)


b. Approval of the partial Design Development Proposal by artist Bill Gould for public art to be located at Vista Park. (District 10) 
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. 

On Exhibit at City Hall 

Fire Inspired: Asian Techniques and Traditions in Ceramic Art 

  Asian Inspired Ceramic Exhibition
The exhibit showcases a small but select sampling of the works created by seven contemporary ceramic artists working in the greater Bay Area. Although form, function, texture and surface color vary greatly, the work of all seven artists explores the sensory experience of clay. Each, in his or her own way, follows the Asian practice of marrying deeply established and satisfying traditions of function with evocative and modern visual aesthetics.    

Click here for more information about this exhibit.


Location: City Hall Tower - 1st Floor Lobby


On display during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM through March, 2013


Welcome to Coyote Creek


A view of Coyote Creek. (M. Budziak)   
An exhibit initiated by a group of San Jose
State University art students and their colleagues who were interested creating a community discussion to explore ideas related to San Jose's urban landscape.  


Click here for more information about this exhibit. 


Location: City Hall Wing - 1st Floor Corridor 


On display during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM through November, 2012



The Healthy Art Program: An Energy Smart Exhibit


             The Art Inspector, taking away 'high carbon footprint' materials from artist's studio.

The Healthy Art Program, an ongoing project created by The Art Inspector Danielle Siembieda, is aimed at assessing the energy consumption, material use and environmental impact of art making and at

educating artists about lowering their carbon footprints.    


Click here for more information about this exhibit.  


Location:  City Windows Gallery     

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


On display daily - all hours.  




Seven Days in San Jose  


An exhibit of photographs from the San Jose/Yekaterinburg Russia: Sister Cities Cultural Exchange that took place last year between artists from San Jose State University and Yekaterinburg Russia.


Click here for more information about this exhibit


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 through September 2012.



Rotating exhibits at City Hall 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 San Jose City Hall complex is located at 200 East Santa Clara Street,

between 4th and 6th Streets in San Jose. The exhibit spaces are located in various sites throughout the complex.


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.