February 2013

Volume 6, Issue 1   

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Jos Public Art Program 
In This Issue
2012 In Review, and Farewell by Barbara Goldstein
Public Art at Two Newly-Opened Libraries
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Current City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
A Look Back at 2012 & a Farewell from Public Art Director Barbara Goldstein   


I want to take this opportunity to look back over all that was accomplished by San Jose Public Art  in the past 12 months. 2012 was a rewarding year for San Jose Public Art as we built exciting new partnerships in both the public and private sectors. We initiated partnerships with the Valley Transportation Authority to manage public art projects for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the Berryessa BART station. Both of those projects begin design this year. In late May, we were awarded a $600,000 grant from ArtPlace America to initiate Illuminating Downtown, a project that will create dynamic light-based projects downtown using grant funds, City resources and private partners. Our first project Sensing You, designed by Dan Corson, consists of two illuminated underpasses of Highway 87 at Santa Clara St. and San Fernando St., which will be completed late this year. We are also initiating three other projects that will help redefine the look and feel of downtown.


Sensing You concept image by Dan Corson for night time illumination of Hwy. 87 underpass at Santa Clara St. 

We were proud to complete a number of projects in 2012:

  • We refreshed Angela Filo's photographic light boxes in CONNECTED: Silicon Valley + Bangalore at Mineta San Jose Airport. We also installed Brian Howe and Frejya Bardell's Wired Wilderness project in two airport display cases. This project examines climate change through constantly changing live webcam landscape images taken at the Blue Oak Reserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton.
  • We selected Organograph by Geo Homsey, Chico McMurtrie and Bill Washabaugh as the award-winning project in the Climate Clock competition and a working model of the artwork is currently on display at City Hall (see Exhibits, below).

We completed projects in community settings as well:

  • In June, the Japantown Mural Project, designed by Tamiko Rast and featuring artwork by 54 San Jose artists greeted the Obon Festival
  • In July, Joanna Poethig's Circles & Stars  was installed at Starbird Teen Center
  • In August, Marta Thoma's long-anticipated Brainworks was installed at Bestor Art Park
Mendoza's Citizen Tree.
In September, we were proud to partner with ZERO1 on a $250,000 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant project entitled Silicon Valley Inside Out. The project that emerged from the grant enlivened San Jose's SoFA District with a series of temporary artworks including BIOS Design Collective's ColoniaTecne; storefront installations by ten artists in a project called ArtHere, Future City Lab's Datagrove in the California Theatre courtyard, and iLounge by Marcella del Signore & Mona El Khafif in the newly renovated Parque de los Pobladores. In a few months we will be re-installing Hector Dio Mendoza's bright red Citizen Tree in the newly-expanded Parque de los Pobladores.



San Jose Public Art is looking ahead to unveiling many exciting projects in 2013. These include:

  • Potential by Sam Rodriguez and Matt Rodriguez at Seven Trees Library (see article, below)
  • Stratigraphy by Ron Baron at Bascom Library and Community Center(see article, below)
  • Nature Knowledge by Catherine Wagner at Educational Branch Library
  • Singing Stone by Living Lenses at Calabazas Library
  • San Carlos Lanterns by Steve Durie and Bruce Gardner, a wayfinding project joining San Jose State to the SoFA District downtown 
  • Tree of Ideas by Soo In Yang at the Convention Center
  • Merge Design's 8 Minutes at Fire Station 2, and
  • Bill Gould's Vista Park Community Room Gates

In addition, we're looking forward to sharing many new projects currently in design as the year unfolds!  


BGoldstein_headshot With the end of January 2013, I've retired from my tenure as Public Art Director for the City of San Jose to assume a new role as independent consultant. My work at the City of San Jose has been an incredible gift, giving me the opportunity to work with thoughtful and provocative artists, a talented and dedicated team of public art professionals, and collaborative staff members from other City Departments. San Jose is a remarkable place that I'm proud to call home. The City's eagerness to try new ideas and celebrate its unique personality has been a great testing ground for public art and, as a result, the artists we've commissioned have created memorable and beloved projects.  


Thanks for a wonderful ride!

 ~ ~ ~


Public Art Features Prominently in Newly-Opened Seven Trees and Bascom Libraries

In 2013 people across San Jose will celebrate the opening of four new libraries: all were previously completed but not able to open due to the City's budget issues; each features unique site specific public art projects.


One panel of Potential by Sam Rodriguez and Matt Rodriguez
The Seven Trees Branch Library held its grand opening on January 26, the first of the four to open. The Library features the artwork Potential by San Jose artists Samuel Rodriguez and Matthew Rodriguez, designed around the universal appeal of a bicycle and the idea of traditional model kit revisioned in large-scale. The model kit imagery and symbolism suggests how, through curiosity, imagination and determination, discrete elements have the potential to become a unified, functional whole; it is the artist's metaphor for building community. Here is a link to a Metro review of the new Library and artwork by Gary Singh, and a Fact Sheet about it.


Also at this joint Seven Trees Branch Library & Community Center facility is Seven for Seven Trees, the spectacular play area between the building and the ball field funded collaboratively by the Library and the Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services Departments. This artwork was created from recycled trees, many from this site. Artist Roman de Salvo also collaborated with members of the community to create an area that was fun for children and a place to relax for adults. Please see the Fact Sheet for more details about this project.


Stratigraphy, by Ron Baron. (G. Case photo)
Stratigraphy by artist Ron Baron was created for the new Bascom Library and Community Center. The patinated bronze sculpture set against a natural stone backing extends up the external two story elevator bay of the facility's central open 'sun porch' area, wrapping around to the 2nd floor mezzanine.

Stratigraphy is created around the idea of a layered archeological dig site where history is revealed in layer upon layer - Baron has used layers of objects to suggest stories of the area's history. A tree crowns the sculpture, an homage to the area's bygone orchards; figures from trophies dangle from its branches, the artist's suggestion of the fruits of aspiration. Please view the Fact Sheet for more information. 


Bascom Library & Community Center is at 1000 S. Bascom Ave.

The Grand Opening is from 2:00 - 6:00 PM on Saturday, February 23.  

This is a free, public event and all are welcome.


There is much more to come as the spring unfolds:  

  • Educational Park Branch Library will open on Saturday, May 11.
  • Calabazas Branch Library will open on Saturday, June 8.

See details about public art at these sites and the grand openings in the upcoming issues of San Jose Public Art eNews.



Public Art Committee Meeting Notice



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

                               WING - 1st Floor Meeting Room W-119    




a. Public Art Program - staffing transition and budget update

b. Public Art Maintenance and Conservation Plan for FY 2012-13 & 2013-14    

c. Other



a. Review of current public art projects     

b. Review of PAC liaison assignments to current public art projects  

c. Private Percent-for-Art Update
d. Upcoming grand openings at Bascom Library & Community Center, Educational Park Branch Library and Calabazas Branch Library  









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 

Upcoming:  100 Years of Art at San Jose State University: A Centennial Celebration will open; this major exhibit will be on display in most of the City Hall display areas and is planned to open mid-December.


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


Climate Clock    



Climate Clock Organograph model
Organograph concept drawing. 

The Climate Clock is a long-term project to create an iconic artwork for San Jose that uses Silicon Valley technologies to demonstrate climate change and affect behavior change. The exhibit in the City Hall wing niches describes the competition process, explores the work of the three finalists and showcases Organograph by Geo Homsey, Chico McMurtrie and Bill Washabaugh, the team that designed the award-winning project.


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



San Jose  "Green Buildings" Exhibit     

J. Brooker_at Roosevelt Community Center
Urban Rain by Jackie Brookner at Roosevelt Community Center slows and filters stormwater from the building roof as it flows toward Coyote Creek.


The Mayor Council Lobby is the venue for the San Jose Green building exhibit. The exhibit highlights buildings constructed in San Jose during the Decade of Progress, showcasing the features that contributed to the buildings' success as LEED-certified 'green buildings'. 


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 2013.



Coming Soon:    

A Rainbow in Curved Air,
A Farewell Exhibition by Association of Viet Arts


Exhibit opens March 11 and runs through September 15  


Location:  City Windows Gallery     

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


On display daily - all hours.  





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.