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November 1, 2019—South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk

South FIRST FRIDAYS presents ArtwalkSJ
First Friday, November 1 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

“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.

Artists’ reception 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.

Reception music provided by DJ T.Spillman

The Healer by Ken Davis, enamel and gold leaf on glass, 21.5″ x 21.5”

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

Opening reception: 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 during the reception by Amy Obenski

Gallery Suha Suha – 45 E. Williams St. map

Opening reception: 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

KALEID Gallery and its 60+ resident artists have moved to a NEW LOCATION in the SoFA District.  We’re thrilled to welcome you to visit the space as we debut two new feature exhibitions by resident artists Jemal Diamond, and Masha Noir.

Artist reception: Moon Landing and the Summer Breeze new drawings & paintings by Jemal Diamond

Moon Landing and the Summer Breeze is a meditation on the power of art therapy. This very personal collection of work was created while I’ve been recovering from Bell’s Palsy, a temporary facial paralysis resulting from inflammation of the seventh cranial nerve. Included in the collection are intuitive, improvisational meditations and experiments in ink, acrylics, and digital limited-edition prints. 

#TitleMe : All titles for this work are given by viewers like you, including “Moon Landing and the Summer Breeze” title by Liz F. What are YOUR titles? #TitleMe

Jemal Diamond is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MFA studio arts program and lives in the South Bay with his beautiful wife, writer Maggie Diamond, and son Jonovan. 

Artist reception: Specks of Yellow by Masha Noir

Dedicated to the life of Alexander Bolshakov

The light of a daughter’s love shines in increasing brightness within the long shadows of a father’s goodbye. Yellow Specks bring a vision of hope that may expand to radiate as the beauty of love and remembrance of her papa Alexander.

Masha Noir has painted the light that endures life’s dark times, losses and lessons. Her brush strokes paint the beauty of everything her father shared in their time together. 

In loving memory from Masha.

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

On view: On Film: Capturing the Then and Now featuring artists: Eliana Cetto, Thalia Gochez, Omar “El Oms” Juarez, Javier Mendoza Fonseca, Jazmin Garcia, Nuevayorkinos,  Felix Quintana 

On Film showcases the work of artists who use film to explore self-representation, identity, and pop culture.

Special performance by Dia de los Muertos con La Cumbiamba Colombiana – Cumbia de los Muertos

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

On view: Dreamscapes by Kushlani Jayasinha

“This is the newest series I am working on. It’s a series of acrylic on canvas. This series evolved after taking a weeklong meditation retreat and a refreshing seaside holiday with family.”

“My art comes from a place of meditation and inner search. It’s my path to freedom. It comes from a place larger than life that brings in a sense of awe. When people respond to my Art I believe they respond to a visceral part of themselves longing to be free. My wish is to empower them to the possibilities. 

Art sets me free. I fiercely guard my art to be authentic with no compromises. It is a place where I boldly express myself, where real Kushlani comes through. It unravels me, clarifies me, just the way meditation does. Coming from a Buddhist background, Nirvana is the blessed state to be. My hunch is, it is acutely being in the present moment with awareness. Like meditation, Art takes me closest to this state.”

Jayasinha Kushlani was born and raised in Sri Lanka and has been painting almost all her life. She obtained her PhD in Physics from The University of Oklahoma, where she continued as a post doctoral fellow. She worked as a software engineer in silicon valley. Throughout it all and raising her children she found time take art courses and workshops, and is now a full time artist. She has won awards for her paintings and her jewelry, and had been represented in many galleries.

This Phantom Galleries exhibit is curated by Robertino Ragazza.

PhantomGalleries at The Pierce – 2 Pierce Ave. map

Artist reception: 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 Museum of Quilts & Textiles – 520 South First St. map

Join us during First Friday for three new exhibitions, live classical music by soprano Nicole Cooper, and our Artist in Residence studio & hallway gallery will be open featuring Tricia Royal.

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.

Works San Jose – 365 South Market St. map

Pictured artwork by Monica Valdez.

Opening reception: 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’ begins at the opening reception!

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.

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

Café Afterlife featuring the SJSU CADRE Student Organization

A reality-bending mixed media projection installation. Café Afterlife is not just a mere spectacle, but a conjuration of ghouls, ghosts, and spirits! The dead will walk among us as the living world and the afterlife collide during Día de Muertos. Come and see what spectral happenings will occur as ghastly delights will fabricate in mid-air for passing-by viewers. Join us for a real treat and be amazed by the magic and tricks of new media art! 

As always an SJSU art gallery will be attached with this mixed media

SoFA Market – 387 So. First St. map

Artist reception: 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.