October 2013

Volume 6, Issue 3     

San Jose Public Art eNews
  The Online Newsletter of the City of San Jos Public Art Program 
In This Issue
Soo-in Yang's "Idea Tree" at San Jose Convention Center
"A Place in Time" - New gates for Vista Park Community Room
Does San Jose Have the Best Airport Art? Cast Your Vote!
For Artists: Affordable Healthcare Act Info
Public Art Committee: Next Meeting - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
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Soo-in Yang's Idea Tree Unveiled
 at Opening of San Jose Convention Center Expansion  
Idea Tree on the Convention Center's new plaza. (Photo: Daniel Garcia)
The unveiling of the newest addition to San Jose's public art collection, Idea Tree by artist Soo-in Yang, was a highlight of the festive public grand opening event for the expanded and upgraded San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Hundreds gathered to celebrate with the mayor and other dignitaries and community leaders as the artwork went "live" on Thursday, October 10.


Tweety Bird, a special guest at the Convention Center Opening celebration, is among the first to explore Idea Tree's "seed".


Idea Tree is located on the Convention Center's renovated entry plaza creating a large-scale interactive experience for visitors. The artwork references Silicon Valley's creative idea landscape that is alive and active within and outside the walls of the Convention Center. Adjacent to the Idea Tree canopy is a freestanding sound booth the artist calls the "seed" where the public can leave short voice messages; these messages are transmitted wirelessly to the central element of the tree's canopy that the called the "fruit." Idea Tree reassembles these messages into an ambient soundscape, audible from underneath the canopy. At night the fruit is crowned with a soothing pulse of LED light that signals the active mixing of sound.


Arts Commissioner Jessica Zenk speaks into 'the seed' to add a voice recording to  Idea Tree.

"The City of San Jose is thrilled to have Soo-in Yang's innovative Idea Tree as an interactive visual element that welcomes visitors and the community to San Jose's newly remodeled Convention Center," said Kim Walesh, director of Economic Development and chief strategist for San Jose. "The art piece reflects San Jose's leadership at the intersection of art and technology. It's a significant addition to our growing Illuminating Downtown Project."


For more information about Idea Tree and artist Soo-in Yang, please see the article in the Office of Cultural Affairs' Cultural Connection Newsletter.


Beautiful New Entry to Vista Park Community Room is a Work of Art
 Bill Gould's A Place in Time Revealed

On September 24th,
Vista Park community members celebrated the dedication and ceremonial ribbon-cutting for San Jose artist Bill Gould's  A Place in Time, the colorful new gates at the Vista Park Community Room.
Councilmember Johnny Khamis (center) is joined by (l-r): Arts Commissioner Nicholas Adams, Councilmember Sam Liccardo, artist Bill Gould, VEP Board President Marilyn Rodgers with two young community members, Cultural Affairs Director Kerry Adams Hapner, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio, and community member Dave Fadness in the ribbon-cutting.

The gates, constructed of colorfully-painted laser-cut metal on heavy mesh, contain words and symbols related to the history and activities of this neighborhood. There are also 3-8" diameter hand-made glass disks in the gates, each with an embedded object or image. Gould created A Place in Time as a tribute to the area's history and community life. The artist worked closely with community representatives throughout the design of the gates to identify ideas, themes and content. As Gould intended,  A Place in Time invites exploration and discovery.  


The artwork also addresses an important community goal for the project: something people will see from the street as they drive by. The gates add a vibrant colorful note against the earth tone of the Community Room building, giving it presence.

 Glass inset detail, seen from inside the gates.
A Place in Time is an excellent example of how public art can address both aesthetic and functional needs. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services was working with the community on the need to improve security for the facility. Everyone was excited that this could be done in a way that would both address the security issue while also enhancing the site with a distinctive artistic element.

Bill Gould,  a San Jose native, is both a public artist and architect. He has created many public art projects in San Jose and beyond. Visit his website www.artika3.com to learn more about his work. 
Does San Jose Have the Best Airport Art? Cast Your Vote Today!  

space observer jpeg
Bjorn Schulke's Space Observer on the Terminal B Mezzanine landing.
USA Today and 10Best are sponsoring a contest for the best 'art-in-airports. ' The 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest gives voters a chance to vote for the candidate of their choice. Your vote can help make the San Jose Mineta International Airport the winner!


It's easy! Cast your vote at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-u-s-airports-for-art/. Each person can vote once a day everyday for the run of the contest. Voting ends Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 11:59 A.M. EST. The winners will be announced on 10Best.com on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 11:59 A.M. EST, then later on in USA TODAY.


You can learn more about the San Jose Airport's Art+Technology Public Art Program at http://www.sanjoseculture.org/?pid=99220 or you can download a brochure at: http://www.sanjoseculture.org/downloads/2010brochuredownload.pdf

For Artists: Information about the Affordable Healthcare Act

Artists are among the community members who often have found it difficult and cost-prohibitive to have health insurance and healthcare. The Affordable Healthcare Act is intended to change that.

This link is one source of information about the Affordable Healthcare Act, with artists in mind:

Public Art Committee Meeting Notice

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

                                  Tower, 5th Floor,  Meeting Room T-119    






a.  Recommendation to approve the Concept Design for a pilot wayfinding project for downtown by AntiVJ as part of the Illuminating Downtown Project. (District 3) 










a. Recommendation to approve that the City Manager amend the agreement with Steve Durie and Bruce Gardner to increase the agreement by $41,000 to $110,000 to make available the Phase Two funding for the San Carlos Corridor project. (District 3)

b. Review and recommend that the Arts Commission appointment of Richard James as a member of the Public Art Advisory Committee. 




1. General   


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. 


More to come in San Jose Public Art eNews!


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