December 6, 2019—South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk

South FIRST FRIDAYS presents ArtwalkSJ
First Friday, December 6th from 7–11pm
SoFA District (& beyond) downtown San Jose
RSVP on our event page.

The South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk is a self-guided, nighttime tour through galleries, museums, and independent creative businesses featuring eclectic art exhibitions and special performances.

All Art Walk venues are FREE admission & great for all ages.


Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design – 366 South First St. map

Join us for live music throughout the evening by Catch Prichard during the South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk. 

Change is the constant in the work of singer, songwriter and composer, Sawyer Gebauer. Moving to Sweden from the Midwest at 19, he formed and fronted the mercurial Brittsommar, a musical entity that took off in Europe with a rotating cast of talent.

Upon return to the States, Sawyer carved a new project, Catch Prichard, and recorded a collection of songs that exalt the narrative as much as the melody. The result? Eskota. A five-song EP carrying the name of the Texan ghost town in which the album was created.

Now, another chapter unfolds with Utter Disbelief, the first six tracks of a 16-song series that rivets and haunts. With Sawyer’ weighty baritone voice, out of the box drum machines, gritty Mellotron, and gliding pad melodies, this album is an amalgam of sound that resonates to the likeness of Popol Vuh’s Aguirre, Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love, and Cohen’s Ten New Songs.
Utter Disbelief is a mix of beauty and grit. It wrestles the vulnerability of the human condition. Anxiety, doubt, self-contradiction and choice. 

Sawyer’s Utter Disbelief spins stories that call to each and all of us. Those shared and those kept underground. You’ll hear it. Feel it. He snares mid-stream narratives we’ve all overheard in a crowded bar, the silent street and smoky church – the incomplete whispers we each use to create our own finish lines. These songs are memories birthed from the common thread. 
This album shows Sawyer’s advance into the collective. “When I record in the past, the process is powered by my immediate surroundings – a Berlin warehouse, an abandoned synagogue hitched to a frozen lake, a broken Brooklyn flat. This new collection was mostly recorded in the late night silence at the edge of my bed. It is a musical reflection of all that influenced and fed me for so many years. Call it a personal homage to the artists and music that have been so good to me. All the melodies and sounds that mine the secret this old world has hidden in its claws.”

Catch Prichard is currently based in Oakland, California. 

“Le Colosse Aux Pieds d’Argile” (Colossus with Feet of cClay), Nanterre,  FranceCcelebrating the 50th anniversary of May 1968.  20m x 7m, handcut stencils.In collaboration with Musée du Louvre and Université Paris Nanterre.

On view in galleryTWO: Sediments by Monkey Bird (Paris, France)

Monkey Bird, an anonymous French contemporary artist duo, began their work in Bordeaux in 2010 and have been leaving their signature all around the world ever since.

They are known for using symbolic anthropomorphism in their artworks, transcribing social and anthropologic enigmas into mural art.

Their work is based on elaborate symbolism, as well as an ideal notion of artists as craftsmen. They have established specialized practices in hand crafted stencil artwork and also use mixed medias such as spray painting, drawing, carving, silkscreen, and engraving.

The aim of the duo, through the figures of the pragmatic monkey and the utopist bird, is to incarnate the two faces of humankind split between their materialistic obsessions and their spiritual values.

Monkey Bird loves working on antique furniture, old walls, and abandoned ruins.In this way they offer a second breath of life to the oblivion, to consolidate the chain which links us to the past.

Prior to their current projects on the walls of museums and institutions, both artists worked on the street (which is where they first met). One of them was looking for a change in his graffiti and the other a change in framework and identity. The symbols came to them naturally, which were primarily an instinctive need. They have matured their concept with practice and common reflection, giving their approach an intellectual note.

Members of the crew are university graduates with degrees in graphic design and industrial object design. In their work, a search for balance of wisdom is visible as their goal is to become the alchemists of the living desire. The artists are inspired by art history, antique craftsmanship, monumental architecture, mythology, and religious artworks.

“Sediments” by Monkey Bird at Anno Domini is the duo’s debut solo exhibition in the United States.

Nothing is Stagnant, enamel on hand made skateboard, 4″ x 19.5″

On view in galleryONE: Passing Through by Ken Davis

To truly nurture the expansion of one’s soul, I believe travel has the potential to open you up like nothing else. The road has been where many of my most telling self discoveries have taken place.  Ambitions, plans, ideas, concepts, life moves all manage to enter my tiny chiseled corner in this world like monsoons of creative medicine when I travel. Though just like a monsoon, these psychic gifts from the ether have an almost certain potential to dry up just as quickly as they rain down.  

This is something that I struggle with upon returning home from the freedom and clarity that only new experiences and challenges in unfamiliar areas can provide. These “great” ideas often take a back seat once I resume a routine life in a growing industrial sea of nouveau societal norms that I was never taught in my formative years to value as real. The daily struggle to keep my nose merely inches above an ever rising water line only adds to the distracting sensory cacophony. 

Last year, while thinking about how few real excuses I actually had for not painting exactly what I wanted to in my free time, I set out to catalog and paint what came to me in travel. Countless influences from my past and present began to rain down in a monsoon that I enthusiastically welcomed. Family heritage, life changing experiences, perspective  altering sights, and of course the beautiful individuals one meets in travel all contributed to this medicine cloud. This body of work represented in “Passing Through” is a direct interpretation of being present whatever came my way while outside my comfort zones. We all must take it upon ourselves to look beyond fleeting distractions, systematic flaws and oppressions, and alarmist illusions to act upon our intuitive truths. Weave your own direct paths through life and create everything you feel compelled to without hesitation or doubt.  

~ Ken Davis August, 2019 / Somewhere in the desert.

Art Ark Gallery – 1035 South Sixth St. map

On view: More the Merrier

Salon style exhibition and art sale! Come buy art for the holiday’s and support your local art community!

Artists: @LostinScribbles, AGAS Katya Gazit, Al Preciado, Amanda Brannon, Amanda Kritzberg, Amy Steinberg, Andy Muonio, Anna Maiko, Anna Thomasdotter, Anthony Fisher, Bea Garth, Bob Rose, Budovsky Design, Caden Hastings, Carlos Pérez, Carolann Espino, Christine Gray, Dash Desai, Delilah Soulouman Bender, Duncan Cook, Gary Singh, Gianfranco Paolozzi, Jarold Cadion, Jay Collins Beach Town Art, jb Lambert, Juan Rodriguez, Julie Novakofski, Krista Fay, Marcus Espinoza, Maria Pazos, Marina Ilina, Nina Ulett, Nona Weiner, Oleg Kash, Roberto Fierro, Ruby Došen, Samantha Piña, Sasha Boyko, Stephanie Khodorkovsky, Tanya Britkina, Tetiana Taganska, Toafavieve, VINHIEN, Viva LA RAZA, Wenzdai, Yuting Wang, Zlata Rabinovich

Live music by the Paolozzi Tango Trio

Gallery Suha Suha – 45 E. Williams St. map

On view: A Strange Journey by Hye Jin Kim

“Picture Book” opens up the small cosmos that can be found in every person’s home or office: the desk drawer.  Hye Jin’s pared back colors, simple shapes, and deliberate use of textures and patterns convey how astonishing the items we take for granted are.  The curve of the tape dispenser evokes the acceleration and launch of a slide.  The angled planes of rulers and stencils build an elaborate fortress.  Through the eyes of a small mouse, objects we encounter and forget on a daily basis appear as strange and new as an alien landscape.

On this strange journey, we become unmoored by the floating and weighed down compositions of familiar objects.  Each scene is at once recognizable and whimsical, commonplace and fantastic.  With playfulness and awe, Hye Jin opens up the desk drawer and takes hold of the very aspects and elements we never knew were there.

KALEID gallery – 320 South First St. map

Artwork by resident artist David Mejia

Opening reception: HARK! Annual Holiday Show & Sale

KALEID  resident artists have created multiple works of art at affordable gift giving prices for this festival holiday show and sale.  One of a kind paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and jewelry will be available beginning First Friday December 6th at 7pm during the South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk. First come, first served–all works may be taken home at the time of purchase. 

Participating artists: Ed Attanasio, Maria Astadjov, Mariana Barnes, Sandi Billingsley, Steven Borelli, Jeff Bramschreiber, Karen Carlo-Salinger, Jennifer Carrier, Houyee Chow, Dotti Cichon, Gabriel Coke, Jonathan Crow, Jemal Diamond, Force 129, Katie Gutierrez, Kyle Harter, Matty Heimgartner, Patrick Hobbie, Leah Jay, Jonathan Kermit, Joe Mandrick, David Mejia, Julie Meridian, Jorge Miesses, Lourde Morante-Miesses, Masha Noir, Brittni Paul, Gianfranco Paolozzi, John Paulson, Jonathan Perea, Zlata Rabinovich, Steven Reece, Jenifer Renzel, and Zack Salerno.

Festive music by DJ T. Spillman

MACLA Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana – 510 South First St. map

Opening reception: Our Connection to the Land

Explore the vision of artists whose work reflects our connection to the land- from the food we eat to the distances between us and home.

Featuring artists: Abiam Alvarez, Arleene Correa Valencia, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, Narsiso Martinez, Susy Gonzalez. 

Plus a Holiday Boutique featuring music by DJ Ashlie & DJ Mar.  

Phantom Galleries at Culinary Corner Bistro – 321 South First St. map

Opening reception:  Let’s Skip Winter by Julie Bovee

Our ecosystem and aquifers in the Bay Area depend upon winter to replenish and recharge. While nature is rejuvenated by the cool, wet weather, we humans can experience seasonal affective disorder during the many dreary days.

“Let’s Skip Winter” doesn’t imply a desire to skip this integral part of the seasonal cycle. Instead, it considers the effect a shift of perspective might bring. A shift to feeling the brightness of spring even when the days are dark, damp and cold.

The title painting of this exhibition was conceived of and painted earlier this fall during a period when my mother sent me photos showing an early snowfall that had blanketed Michigan. Initially, the fresh, untouched snow is beautiful to behold, but I know all too well how cold and depressing it can become as the winter days wear on. “Let’s Skip Winter” encourages viewers to hold onto the feeling of spring approaching, even while winter is raging around them. 

This Phantom Galleries exhibit is curated by Robertino Ragazza.

PhantomGalleries at The Pierce – 2 Pierce Ave. map

On view: Wire We Here by Jonathan Kermit 

A long time collector of urban flotsam, I have always been attracted to the cast off, the leavings. Discarded twisted, rusty wire forms the basis of my current work. I coax the wire into anthropomorphic shapes, whimsical forms and dream like objects, working intuitively with a vague sense of plan. Influenced by Joan Miro and Alexander Calder, I sprinkle my work liberally with color and pattern. Working with found wire has a physicality that resonates with me; wire resists and pokes. I respect it and it rewards me, often with a happy accident.

Jonathan Kermit has been making art most of his adult life. Essentially self-taught, he loves the hunt for raw materials, especially those nobody else is looking for. He has lived in San Jose since 1976, still has a day job and the occasional side hustle. He is fascinated by tomatoes, spiders, exoplanets and other normal things.

San Jose Jazz – 300 South First St. map

Live music by San Jose Jazz U19s

Celebrate First Friday at the new San Jose Jazz office! Come see our new space in the SoFA District while enjoying some free music by our SJZ High School All Stars U19s. High School All Stars is a regional, audition-based music education program for students who are interested in the study and performance of jazz. The program includes a large ensemble and a combo. For this performance, the small advanced combo will perform three 30-minute sets of straight ahead jazz standards. Drop in anytime between 7:30 and 9pm!

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles – 520 South First St. map

Join SJMQT for First Friday! Live music from 7-10pm with Los Improvidores (jazz/funk music). and 3 new exhibitions on view!

Know Your Meme: Stitching Viral Phenomena

The exhibition explores the concept of the meme as a poignant method to summarize, understand, critique and share thoughts on important societal issues. All artworks depict, relate to, or reference a meme through a textile method such as quilting, embroidery, cross- stitching, knitting and crocheting, weaving, basketry, etc.

Stories of West Africa: Hollis Chatelain

Hollis Chatelain creates art quilts based on her photographs while she lived in the West African countries of Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Benin. From her photographs, Hollis drew the original illustrations for her coloring book titled Stories of West Africa. These drawings, done in colored pencil, were scanned, enlarged, digitally printed on cotton fabric, and then machine quilted.  Each quilt tells a story showing the strength of family and community, while the backgrounds show lively African fabrics which play an important role in the everyday life of this region.

Form & Function: Fiber Arts for the 21st Century (Second Artist Members Biennial)

Juried by artist and curator Karen Gutfreund, Form and Function: Fiber Arts for the 21st Century showcases works in both traditional and new media that emphasize art over craft with bold use of artistic elements—line, space, shape, form, texture, and color to tell an individual story.  Fiber artists utilize a multitude of methods to bridge craft and design, invoke new artistic concepts, and alter or refresh views of fiber. Each of our SJMQT Artist’s Members brings a personal vision and sensibility to his or her cloth. We want to celebrate this diversity and this exhibition is intended to promote an appreciation of fiber arts in the broader community.

plus Tricia Royal: Artist in Residence.

Works San Jose – 365 South Market St. map

On view: Benefit Art Auction 2019

Start or grow your collection with 100 regional artists in Silicon Valley’s most eclectic and affordable art auction! The exhibition and auction includes a wide range of local artists, from the most exhibited and honored to the new and emerging. As well as a survey of regional artists, this annual fundraiser to support community art has helped art enthusiasts at all levels start or grow collections. The exhibit opens with a reception on First Friday, November 1, and concludes on Auction night, December 7. Silent bidding and ‘buy it now’ is available before the live auction!

Pictured are work by Kurt Salinas.

Caffé Frascati – 315 South First St. map

On view Antscapes by Rachel Forrest

Throughout the history of art, landscape paintings have been coveted for their aesthetic appeal. But often unquestioningly, they have been painted, photographed and viewed from the human perspective. That is precisely what I keep in mind: perspective. There are countless creatures that contribute to life on this planet and through these images I strive to remind people that we are a minuscule fraction of this existence. When starting a new painting, I think from the perspectives of birds, ants, mice or deer, and I let the point of view I choose shape my composition. It may become clear or blurry, darkened or lightened, simplified or convoluted, close-up or far away.

I portray my subject matter by combining several stylistic genres, allowing my landscapes (antscapes, skinscapes, etc) to be unbound to any specific style. When I combine many visual elements—faces, lands, pebbles, fruits, mountains, rivers, the work becomes surrealist, but I do so in an impressionistic way. I capture the essence of these elements quickly and gesturally, noticing how the colors respond to one another. I take inspiration from medieval paintings as well as abstract work. What I love about medieval paintings is the highly descriptive and often disturbing way they are depicted, while I admire abstract work for being free from the object. These divergent inspirations feed my work, and my paintings result in still scenes that can be challenging to construe or simple to behold.

About the artist: An environmentalist painter living in the Bay Area, California, Rachel grew up spending a significant amount of her time exploring nature in Oklahoma. This appreciation of the more natural side of our planet in stark contrast with the city where she currently lives, drives Rachel to bring importance to those less celebrated: flora and fauna. In a world where people often look to other people or themselves for inspiration, she paints portraits of fruits, rocks, plants, the earth itself (dirt) in a surreal way that exalts what she says has equal importance to human beings.

First Fridays is Caffe Frascati Opera Night presented by First Street Singers. The Bay Area’s finest opera singers will be performing your very favorite holiday and classical arias and duets live in the cafe! for the South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk.

SJSU Muse Night at Hammer Theatre – 101 Paseo de San Antonio map

SJSU Muse Night at The Hammer

Stop by for live music by Voluntary Hazing and Official Armani, and student art ranging from ceramics to paintings!

Showcasing the work of Leon, Deviney Khann, Chinanze, Zaide, and Amber Cuenca

SoFA Market – 387 So. First St. map

On view: Abstract Thoughts by Force129

A large body of mixed media abstract art work by San Jose artist Force 129 will be on view and available for purchase from the artist.

Studio Climbing Gym – 396 South First St. map

On view: Lasting Formations: Nature’s Glow by Shadeh Begian

The pieces are inspired by rock formations that motivate adventurers, hikers, climbers and nature lovers to become more connected with their natural environment. I used watercolor and ink to capture the essence of these formations. The location depicted in each painting provokes a sense of awe and inspiration within each individual that looks upon them. Each person gains something different for themselves when in these beautiful natural places, whatever it provides, they have a lasting impression. 

Join us on Facebook ArtWalkSJ

The South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk is produced by Two Fish Design in partnership with the participating art organizations and independent businesses.