February 2, 2024—South FIRST FRIDAYS #ArtwalkSJ

Please join us Friday, February 2nd as we kick off our 19th year of FIRST FRIDAYS ArtWalk SJ in SoFA District (& beyond!). Thank you for supporting our artists, galleries, and museums throughout the year contributing to the creation of lasting relationships and a more vibrant community for everyone. 

All ArtWalk venues are open 5–9 pm, are free admission, and family-friendly. 

SoFA District

ANNO DOMINI // the second coming of Art & Design – 366 S. First St. map

Opening reception: Dark Bird Palace  Kelly Moore (New Mexico) Solo Exhibition

10 years of Painting and selling my art at the Tesuque Pueblo flea market in New Mexico gave birth to my ongoing story of Dark Bird Palace.  It’s a place at the foot of a magnificent volcano in the High Desert of where the Dead Cowboy, Lost Child, the Naked Assassin, Dark Birds, White Buffaloes and Alchemy Wolves to name just few of the mythological characters first poured into my Art. 

When the flea market closed, I moved my studio to an open air barn at my home but worried my story was over.  I soon realized I was surrounded by Snakebite Chupacabras and Tricksters there as well! Dark Bird Palace lives on and goes wherever I go. Welcome to Dark Bird Palace.

these are my words
eye was born a Dark Bird
much to my parents dismay
on the 13th day of a Scorpio Moon
in the Arkansas Ozarks
they took me in
fed me, clothed me,
and sent me to school
eye attempted to live a normal life
finding employment, trying to marry
& even voting regularly
but mostly failed
until I realized
eye could no longer
deny my true nature
And began flipping the tables
& rattling cages
folks sayd eye was crazy
And told me to Stop
(those are the folks who will 
let you know your doing rite)
but eye knew this
was an important breakthrough
and immediately began looking
for matches and kerosine
have been settin fires
ever since
~Kelly Moore

KALEID Gallery – 320 S. First St. map

Opening reception: Terraforming the Uncanny Valley  Artist Julie Meridian in collaboration with Tech Artist Lucidbeaming

KALEID Gallery is proud to present a series of paintings from a collaboration between painter Julie Meridian and tech artist Lucidbeaming.

Lucidbeaming’s algorithmic remixing of historical landscapes is reimagined in paintings by Julie Meridian. His algorithmic experimentation with synthetic terrain combined with her eye for bringing realistic detail back in to virtual imagery yields a new kind of landscape. From a painting tradition that celebrated unspoiled nature to remixes made real through human interpretation, the end result is a vision that hints at a future when the environment re-forms after humanity’s presence…and the marks it has left with technology.

Both artists are deeply grounded in both traditional and digital art practices. They are pursuing ethical AI experimentation to better understand the nature of what can emerge.

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

Photo: Leo by Christian Rodriguez

Featuring: Sofía Córdova, Delvin Lugo, Christian Rodriguez 

ENVIANDO FLORES A MI TIERRA, loosely translated to “sending flowers back to my homeland”, features the works of Sofía Córdova, Delvin Lugo, and Christian Rodriguez. Honoring their origins while embracing the journey of the Latino diaspora, all three artists capture similarly unique stories about the transformative nature of immigration. What happens when one leaves behind the familiar for the unknown? How does one choose their new place of belonging? How do we continue to appreciate the memory of what once was, while living through all that was left behind?

About the Artist: Christian Rodriguez (b. 1991) was born and raised in New York City to immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He spent his childhood traveling between the two islands, experiencing two distinct cultures. His mother a cook at a Manhattan restaurant and his father a bodegero, a complicated beauty of his Dominican background led him to focus his craft on issues of immigration, cultural identity, and the Dominican diaspora. He prefers to use traditional methods within his photography and currently is experimenting with other methods, processes, and mediums. Utilizing light-sensitive materials and a more hands-on approach to telling his stories have been the primary focus. Rodriguez has exhibited work in New York City, Georgia, and Connecticut. He’s published photographs and writing samples in the New York Times and New York Magazine. In 2011 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Free performance: Esotérica Tropical, a queer Boricua bruja, defies boundaries with her intuitive folk harp, Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba rhythms, and electronic innovation. Her music transcends mere auditory experience, leading listeners on a mystical journey through magical, decolonial, and transcendent realms. Esotérica Tropical’s musical universe is rooted in a continuous process of discovery and care, where trauma is transformed into art. 

PhantomGalleries at The Pierce – 2 Pierce Ave. map

Opening reception: Inspired! Natural Forms, Layers and Flowers  Mason Roberts Solo Exhibition

Inspired!  Natural Forms, Layers and Flowers are part of a series of paintings and drawings that are inspired by natural forms of rock, soil, energy, flowers, sky and movement. They tell the story of times past and time present and the consistent motion that is generally imperceptible to most of us. Perhaps a reminder that much has come before us and that much is still to come. Color and line are meant to engage the viewer and expose the energy, movement and sanguine balance between abstraction and recognizable form.

About the Artist: Roberts seeks out and finds inspiration through travel and encounters with new people. He endeavors to create innovative and inspiring works of art based on his love of drawing and creating something tangible, which, in turn, allows him to share his most innermost thoughts and feelings with the surrounding world. The artist strives to find balance between recognizable shape and abstract form and to tell a story through their interaction and juxtaposition.

These forms and connections often take the shape of the natural world and its inhabitants and perhaps highlight the increasingly complicated relationship we have with each other, along with the numerous connections we all share. Intersection of line and shape creating form and figure. Introduce color—intense color, tones that scream or sigh when viewed. Vibrant color! For Roberts, line + color becomes a language that can create innumerable engaging and interesting narratives that can be experienced throughout this exhibition.

Opera San José at California Theater – 345 S. First St. map

Open Rehearsal: Rigoletto by Opera San José

Join Opera San Jose as we celebrate our 40th Birthday while presenting our third production of Rigoletto. A Verdi’s classic tale of honor, revenge, fathers and daughters is never out of the repertory for long. An instant success from the night of its premiere, it has been moving audiences around the world for generations. Armed with a gripping story, a shocking twist and one of the most blockbuster reputation making scores. Rigoletto is an indestructible, eternal testament to the sacrifices we make for our job, our family and our honor.

We are opening the doors of the California Theatre for an evening filled with music featuring singers from the production, our California Theatre Wurlitzer Organist- Jerry Nagano, a beautiful string quartet and tours of California Theater. To celebrate Opera San José Birthday there will be a balloon artist, cupcakes, and other fun birthday activities.

Tours: 5:30pm and 6:30pm.
Performances: 6pm, 7:15pm and 8pm

Institute of Contemporary Art San Jose – 560 S. First St. map

Heesoo Kwon, Leymusoom Garden: Following Naked Dancing and Long Dreaming 

In her first solo museum exhibition, Leymusoom Garden: Following Naked Dancing and Long Dreaming, Heesoo Kwon explores her spiritual journey connecting Korean shamanistic and indigenous perspectives to the land with her female ancestors. Her multimedia installation extends the queer feminist utopian digital space of Leymusoom to the mysticism of the garden, deepening her connection to the land and women’s freedom and desire. 

Adia Millett, Wisdom Keepers

Wisdom Keepers, a solo exhibition by Adia Millett, explores the parallels and interplay between a craftswoman and a warrior. In both cases “martial arts” is an intricate set of techniques and skills used with the intention of protecting, preserving, and building a community and its culture. While the tools used in this process differ for the soldier and the quilter, put side by side a shared story is revealed, providing a new perspective of our ancestral past, and perhaps our future. Millett’s new work is a response to an in-depth look at the African-American quilt collection at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). The four quilts on loan from BAMPFA present the viewer with a foundation for which Millett’s lineage of fabric, formal composition, and use of color palette derive from.

San Jose Jazz – 310 South First St. map


Come to the SJZ Break Room on First Friday February 2024 and hear our talented U19s performing at the SJZ Break Room. The U19s are a small ensemble chosen from the 2023-24 SJZ High School All Stars, exploring the art form and improvising as a separate group. Doors open at 6pm and the U19s play at 7pm!

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

Artwork: “Air Show” by Jonathan Shannon

Jonathan Shannon: Creativity, Collecting & Controversy 

Twenty pieces of the late artist’s work will be on exhibition, representing virtually his entire body of work. One of the standout pieces is Amigos Muertos (1994), a stunning quilt made by Shannon to memorialize the deaths of loved ones from HIV and cancer. In addition to exploring Shannon’s creative and collecting instincts, this exhibition will explore the impact of this quilt’s controversial rejection from the 1994 American Quilter’s Society show and, in turn, how this exclusion was pivotal in shaping public dialogue surrounding issues of censorship and political content in quilts.

SoFA Market – 387 S. First St. ma

Opening reception: Anime Influenced: The Art of Richard Hoffman

Richard Hoffman makes art inspired by comic books, cartoons, neo-expressionism, and Black culture. Typically with acrylic paint, and mixed media techniques, Richard attempts to delve in between “pop art,” “expressionism” and “traditional animation.

Fountain Alley Area

Chopsticks Alley Gallery – 38 S. 2nd St. map

Artwork: Great Sage of Heaven by Low Le

Opening reception: Mythological Icons and Fresh Ink

Participating Artists: Eva Argus, Thai Bui, Low Le, Michael Nguyen, Nessa Nguyễn and Kenneth Tan

Myths are as relevant to us today as they were to our ancestors. These sacred tales explain our experiences, instill pride in each generation, and inspire our artists’ works.

Today, the use of ancient iconographies has grown in popularity, yet it has not stopped tattooing from becoming taboo in contemporary society. The Asian communities’ feelings towards tattoos changed from respect to disdain, but even that can be overturned. Getting inked, as it was in the past, is a chance to honor ourselves, our cultural heritage, and artistry by displaying what we love on our skin.

7:30pm Tattoo Showcase by Artist Low Le

Works San Jose – 38 S. 2nd St. map

Artwork by Francisco Ramirez

The (Anti) Valentine Show

The (Anti) Valentine Show returns with more art than ever from 100 artists to Works’ new home! With so much tension in the world, and so much need for love, we put out an open call for artists to submit up to 2 pieces: one Valentine-ish work and one anti-Valentine-ish work. 140 works of art represent our community of heartfelt love and angst with a wide range of statements in a wide range of media: all manner of painting, photography, sculpture, and video. Come celebrate our shared our love of local art! 

Martha Gardens District

Art Ark Gallery – 1035 S. Sixth St. map

Opening reception: Painting Our Community: Works on Canvas by San Jose Muralist and Portrait Painter Roberto Fierro

Roberto Fierro has created 17′ floor to ceiling murals lining the walls of Art Ark Apartments spanning a city block. He’s painted neighbors, community members, homeless residents, vendors on our streets. He’s painted our city, his culture, his family and personal stories. We are so lucky to show his work inside the gallery and a 7:30pm site tour of his local murals on opening night.

FUSE presents at the Citadel Art Gallery- 199 Martha St. map

Opening reception: Two to Tango by Gianfranco Paolozzi and Emmanuel Cervantes-Mejia 

Fuse presents: Two to Tango. An art exhibit featuring artists Gianfranco Paolozzi and Emmanuel Cervantes-Mejia along with supporting artists from the Citadel Art studios. The exhibition captures and recreates the drama, romance and passion ever so present in the tango atmosphere-through paint.

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

Huipil Traditional Indigenous Garments from Mesoamerica and Guatemala. 

The Huipil has been beautiful typical garment among the ethnic groups that have lived in Mesoamerica since pre-Hispanic times. Huipilis are finely woven clothing and are expressions of Guatemalan culture. In some cases, the huipil has deeper meanings that relate to stories, myths and legends.

The Huipilis reflect the history of Indigenous women, who over centuries have maintained the exquisite art of Mayan weavings that are done on backstrap looms.

South FIRST FRIDAYS ArtWalk SJ is produced by CURATUS in partnership with the participating galleries, museums and independent creative businesses.

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366 S 1st Street
San Jose, CA  95113