APRIL 2021 — In-Person and Online Art Exhibitions & Happenings

The South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk is resurfacing slowly, safely but surely in compliance with current COVID-19 safe practices. In this newsletter, you can find current in-person and online art exhibitions and cultural happenings that you may attend and or view beginning First Friday, April 2nd. We miss you all and look forward to seeing you downtown. Stay healthy, happy and strong and keep an eye out here as our culture finds new and creative ways to help keep us all inspired.


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

“El Arenero”, Deno (Madrid, Spain), acrylic and gouache on paper, 22.75″ x 19.75”

Black Dagger group exhibition

ANNO DOMINI // the second coming of Art & Design is proud to present the debut exhibition of Black Dagger Books; a group exhibition of tattoo artists featured in their first year of publications.

Black Dagger Books are a series of inspirational collections of works by prolific modern tattooers. Launched in the beginning of 2020, they have featured over a dozen artists diligently making an impact on the industry by showcasing the art, design, and ideas being made that augment their tattooing.

Through monthly publications and gallery exhibitions, Black Dagger is a highlight to some of the most innovative creatives in one of the oldest art forms in human history.  As an ongoing volume of books featuring a roster of artists dedicated to their work, this anthology will remain a staple of inspiration for years to come. 

Featured Artists:
George Campise (Berkely, CA)
Josh Chapman (St. Louis, MO)
Deno (Madrid, Spain)
Will Geary (Chester, Cheshire UK)
Chad Koeplinger (Nashville, TN)
Salty Walt McDonald (San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato)
Shamus Mahannah (Montreal Quebec Canada)
Christopher Marchetto (Northhampton, MA)
Lorena Morato (Cologne, Germany)
Joseph Nickley  (Northern, NM)
Samuel Parker (Louisville, KY)
Christopher Scott  (Albuquerque, NM)
Marie Sena  (Dallas, TX)
Robert Ryan (Asbury Park, NJ)

Exhibition dates
: March 5–April 10, 2021

In-person gallery hours: Fridays 5–9pm, Saturdays Noon–5pm, and by appointment. Free admission, social distancing and mask required.


Art Ark Gallery – 1035 South Sixth St. map

“The Persistence of Yearning” by Al Preciado
Using sculpture, painting, drawing and watercolors Al explores the notion of muse, the beauty, grace and above all the strength of women. 

Special event: May 8th literary event with Gary Singh, Mike McGee and friends. 6-8pm
Opening reception: first Friday April 2nd 6-9pm
Exhibition dates: April 2–May 8, 2021


KALEID Gallery – 320 South First St. map

KALEID is proud to present two new feature exhibitions by resident artists Jemal Diamond, and David Mejia for the month of April.

“Pretty Things on the Upswing” by resident artist Jemal Diamond.

“Pretty Things on the Upswing” is a collection of new one-of-a-kind paintings on paper in acrylic marker. With light at the end of a dark tunnel, pretty things grow from the ashes of the past. This new work is improvisational, with no intended outcome – only hopeful surprises. Within that spontaneous framework, there are intentional embedded dichotomies of line and shape to create a playground of visual cues and possible meanings. All titles for this collection are given by viewers like you, including “Pretty Things on the Upswing” title by artist Jenna Huisken. 

About the Artist:
Jemal Diamond is a resident artist at KALEID Gallery, and has a studio at Visual Philosophy Studios in San Jose, California. He is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MFA program, and lives in the south bay with his wife, writer Maggie Diamond, and son Jonovan. 

Online Artist Talk:
Sunday, April 11, 2021 2–3pm
“Contradicting Lines and Affirmation”
Join me LIVE on ZOOM for an artist talk, “Contradicting Lines and Affirmation.” I’ll sit down for an informal chat with friend and artist, Johanne Marion for a short conversation about this collection and take some questions from the chat window. 

Artist Talk ZOOM Link:
• Meeting ID: 878 0158 5875
• Passcode: 423869

“Ancient Greek Mythos” new illustrations by resident artist David Mejia.

I have always been fascinated by the ancient Greek mythology.

It is exciting, as an adult, to re-imagine that world through my own art. It is a well that feeds and feeds. A study of history reaffirms ancient Greece as the foundation of our own Western Civilization. Everything from philosophy, science, engineering, religion, math, writing, architecture, etc. One can recognize it in so many contemporary things and activities we take for granted such as architecture, democracy, debate, drama, and the concept of individuality. The deepest roots for me are the myths. How the ancient Greeks, and even their forebearers imagined the Universe and forces of nature as anthropomorphized into Gods and Goddesses, all vying with each other, into an uncertain hierarchy, balancing chaos with order. Dominant themes include retribution for a wrong, the punishment for hubris, and sex as a creation force, just to name a few. With my art show, I have selected a few random myths which stood out for me, and attempted, like the artists before me, to tell as much of the crucial components of the story as could be presented. A knowledge of the myths is helpful in interpreting the paintings. And I do hope to inspire a renewed interest in the old myths, and well as having the work inspire on its own. 

About the Artist:
David Mejia is a lifelong resident of San Jose. He has been drawing since the age of six, and focused his talents towards painting in 2011. He is known for his skills in watercolor and ink. His greatest inspirations are Joseph Campbell, R. Crumb, and the artists of the Italian Renaissance. He enjoys discussions on philosophy, art, mythology, politics, and the vast realm of the human psyche. He lives in downtown San Jose with his wife Lisa, and their ridiculously cute pet rabbit.Opening reception: First Friday April 2nd, 5pm–9pm with artists in attendance.

Opening reception with Artists in attendance: First Friday April 2nd, 5–9pm
Exhibition dates:  April 2–30, 2021.

In-person gallery hours:
Fridays 5–9pm, Saturdays Noon–5pm
and by appointment by emailing info@kaleidgallery.com
Free admission. Social distancing and mask required.


MACHU PICCHU Gallery of the Americas, Est 1974 – 199 Martha St. map

Art & Folk Art of the Americas 

Featuring Contemporary & Traditional Art from Latin America:
Marisol Velez Aquino from Puerto Rico
Hector Urquidi from Bolivia
Elvin Arroliga from Nicaragua
Andean weaver from Peru 
Huichol yarn painting artisan from Mexico 
Wooden toy trucks from Mexico, Costa Rica & Colombia 
Ceramic Water jugs from rain forest of Peru 

Gallery hours: Fridays 2-5pm or by special appointment, and first Fridays 5-8pm.

San Jose Jazz – 300 South First St. map

“Pandemic”, Diann Klink, acrylic, 2020

San Jose Jazz’s spectacular 35-foot video wall, outside its new popup venue The Break Room, hosts the work of artists that participated in the City of San José’s “Holding the Moment” exhibition at Minetta International Airport. The exhibition was famously taken down last year when one work, Eric Bui’s “Americana” proved controversial. Eric’s work and nine other pieces will be shown, accompanied by artist statements and links.

Exhibition dates: April 1–May 31, 2021

SoFA Market – 387 So. First St. map

The World Is yOUR Canvas by The Kid At Heart 

Juane Pruitt better known as The Kid At Heart is a California artist born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Growing up art was never in his plans and he wasn’t aware of his gift until after college. Inspired by his father’s art, The Kid At Heart uses his art as a platform to inspire others and create change.  He believes, “The World is Our Canvas.” He enjoys drawing/painting: classic 90’s cartoons, Disney, DC/Marvels and customizing kicks.

Open hours:
Monday–Sunday 8am–7pm


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

Teen Tech Center at MACLA will be having an exhibit titled “408s and Heartbreak.” Our TTC members work is themed in heartbreak and life in the 408. This is the Teen Tech Center’s first in-person exhibit in over a year and will be open from 7-8pm. For public safety we are only allowing 4 people inside the space at a time, but we will also have some life performances outside the space. 

ONLINE Exhibitions & Events

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

“Virtual First Friday Stitch In!”
with Spring Artist in Residency, Abby Holmes
Friday, April 2nd, 6-8pm

Join San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and new Spring Artist in Residence Abby Holmes for a virtual Stitch In. Meet other creatives via Zoom, finish up a sewing project that you’ve been working on and enjoy community with this free, drop-in style social event. 

Learn more and register here: www.sjquiltmuseum.org/events/stitch-in

Works San Jose – 365 South Market St. map

Whiskey Split, Julie Meridian, acrylic on canvas, 2019

Gallery of Artist Members

Works presents an expanded online gallery of artist members of Works with a launch coinciding with April South First Friday. Works members contribute to the San José arts scene in many ways, from volunteering time to contributing art and resources to keep this community art space vital and evolving. From established to new and emerging artists, Works presents a wide range of these contributors online in a new and expanding website. As we look forward to a return to in-person exhibits, this showcase will also permanently represent our current contributing artists from throughout our communities.


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.