April 2013

Volume 6, Issue 2    

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Jos Public Art Program 
In This Issue
Public Art by Catherine Wagner for new Educational Park Branch Library
Public Art helps SJC Rank as a Top Airport for Kids
Arts Commissioner Tina Morrill Saluted for Community Art Project
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Current City Hall Exhibits
Explore Public Art
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Photographer Catherine Wagner Creates a Very San Jose Experience for the New
Educational Park Branch Library

On Saturday May 18, the city will celebrate the grand opening of the new Educational Park Branch Library. The new library replaces the prior one that will now become part of the Independence High School campus. The land for the new and old libraries, Independence High School and Overfelt Park were all part of a 33 acre land donation made to the City of San Jose by Mildred Overfelt in 1959.


Nature/Knowledge artwork installation detai
"Nature/Knowledge" artwork installation detail


The San Jose Public Art Program, in collaboration with the Library Department, commissioned San Francisco-based artist Catherine Wagner to create public art for the new library.  Overfelt's ideas of nature, reflection, and enlightenment, as well as the adjacent Chinese Cultural Gardens within Overfelt Park were the catalysts for the concept of this piece. Wagner created Nature/Knowledge a dynamic architectural frieze that investigates ideas about knowledge, nature, wonder and discovery. Source material for the photos includes trees, rocks and plants from Overfelt Gardens, as well as Chinese Scholar's Rocks from some of the preeminent collections in the United States.


This frieze, installed on the clerestory walls of the library entrance, consists of printed images laminated to aluminum panels. These prints are hung "salon style" (stacked and close to one another), according to how each image relates to one another conceptually and aesthetically.


The opening of Educational Park Branch Library marks progress towards a  significant milestone: it is the 18th of the 20 new libraries that will be built under the City's Library Bond projects. In 2000, the City embarked on what has been called its "Decade of Investment," an ambitious construction effort funded by voter-approved bonds to build new libraries, community centers and fire stations and police facilities in neighborhoods and communities throughout San Jose. SJPA has been a partner in most of these projects working with the design teams and communities to commission public art projects that are shaped by the unique opportunities, histories, and communities presented by each site. Visiting the libraries and looking at the artwork provides an engaging opportunity to see a wide variety of artistic and community expressions.  


Educational Park Branch Library is one of four libraries that were completed between 2010-11 but remained unopened due to the budget constraints; all will now open in 2013. Earlier this year the City opened the Seven Trees Branch Library, featuring Potential, a public art project by San Jose artists Samuel Rodriguez and Matthew Rodriguez that uses a bicycle kit as the 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 with photos and information about the artwork. Seven Trees Library & Community Center also includes a significant public art project by Roman de Salvo, a colorful, creative play area using recycled trees; view the fact sheet about this artwork for images and more information. The opening of the Bascom Library & Community Center followed and features Stratigraphy, a prominent bronze sculptural element by Ron Baron that uses representative found objects in a vertical timeline to suggest aspects of the area's cultural history; here is a link to the fact sheet for photos and more information about this project. 


Calabazas Branch Library is scheduled to open in June. The 20th and last of the bond-project libraries, Southeast Branch Library in the Evergreen area of east San Jose is currently in design.



Educational Park Branch Library Grand Opening

Location: 1770 Educational Park Drive, San Jose, CA

Day/Date/Time: Saturday May 18, 11:00 A.M.


This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome

For the link to the invitation for this event, go here

Public Art helps SJC's Ranking as Nation's No. 3 Airport for Kids

The San Jose Mineta International Airport was recently named the nation's third best airport for traveling with kids by Travelnerd.com, a blog site dispensing advice on air travel.     


Dreaming F.I.D.S. by Shona Kitchen & Ben Hooker 

Reasons cited for this distinction are SJC's many family and kid-friendly facilities offered by the Airport for comfort. Additional interesting and entertaining amenities helping the Airport achieve this rating are the Airport's free and fast Wi-Fi, allowing kids to entertain themselves on their iPads and other tech gadgets, children's play tables and seating in hold rooms for Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines; and Hicklebee's Children's Bookstore within the Authors retail concession in Terminal A.  And the Airport's public art contributed to SJC making the grade, notably Space Observer by artist Bjorn Schulke and Dreaming F.I.D.S., (the fish tank by artists Ben Hooker + Shona Kitchen).  Based on our on-site observations, these artworks seem quite popular with big kids as well the little one.


For more on the Airport's Public Art Program go to http://www.sanjoseculture.org/?pid=99220



Metro Newspaper Salutes Best of Silicon Valley 2013 Arts Commissioner Tina Morrill 

Cudos to City of San Jose Arts Commissioner Tina Morrill who was highlighted as one of "The Best of Silicon Valley 2013" by Metro newspaper in its March 27 issue in the category "Best Art-Boxer".   


17th and Julian Streets: Artist Shove Mink.

In the words of Metro's Gary Singh, " Thanks to the leadership of Tina Morrill, dozens of artists have now painted those hideous utility boxes on street corners all over San Jose."  


"Thanks to Tina Morrill, San Jose is a less boring and a less embarrassing place. Even the politicians understand this signal (sic) fact. Now, some background: A few years ago, Tina took the initiative and spearheaded what's now known as the Art Box Project, beautifying neighborhoods from downtown and out into the neighborhoods. Another muse, Cherri Lakey of Phantom Galleries, functions as the connection-machine to a large pool of creative talent throughout San Jose, resulting in artists of all shapes, ages and sizes taking their brushes to these repulsive boxes. As a result, communities are bonding with artists in ways they never have before, sponsors are emerging left, right and sideways, and even city council members are kicking in some pocket change."


Here is a link to the Metro's "Best of..." issue: http://www.metroactive.com/best-of-silicon-valley/2013/arts/editor-picks.html 


Public Art Committee Meeting Notice



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

                               WING - 1st Floor Meeting Room W-119    




a. Southeast Branch Library - Update on the selection of artist Susan Dannenfelser to design and fabricate a public art project for the new library. (District 8) 


a. Action on a recommendation to approve the Valley Transportation Authority Bus Rapid Transit Art and Enhancement Program's Strategic Approach by Merge Conceptual Design.   (Citywide)  


b. Action on the concept proposal by Eric Powell for a public art project on the median strip along Aborn Road between Alessandro Drive and Ruby Avenue as part of the Summerhill Ruby Avenue LLC private development of Evergreen Place. (District 8)  



a. Action on a recommendation to approve the revised Concept and Schematic Proposal for the Coleman Soccer Stadium Public Art Project by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues (Citywide)







a. Public Art Program - staffing transition and budget update

b. Other    


a. Educational Park Branch Library Grand Opening on May 4, 2013  

b. Calabazas Branch Library Grand Opening on June 9, 2013      

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.


A Rainbow in Curved Air  
A Farewell Exhibition by Association of Viet Arts
Powers of the Dusty Cosmic Seas II, 2011, by Christine Nguyen

Location:  City Windows Gallery     

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


Exhibit  runs through September 15    
On display daily - all hours.    
A Rainbow in Curved Air explores the intersection of art and science through alternative photographic/filmic processes and reflects on the relationship between inner and outer landscapes through the work of three Vietnamese American artists: Binh Danh, Christine Nguyen, and Gabby Miller. The exhibit is co-curated by Kuniko Vroman and Nora Nguyen.
Drifting Souls, by Binh Danh
A Rainbow in Curved Air
is presented by The Association for Viet Arts (AVA). Founded in 1992 by Hoa Trinh Glassey and Man Bui, the Association for Viet Arts was the first nonprofit Vietnamese arts organization in the Bay Area. For over two decades, AVA has fostered excellence in Vietnamese American performing, visual, and literary arts and enriched the cultural landscape of this region. A Rainbow in Curved Air is AVA's final program.


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 June, 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 June, 2013



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.