Our March San Jose Art Walk Experience

image of paint and sneakersOur First Art Walk!

My friend and I have been dying to go to the First Friday Art Walk events and finally caught one at the beginning of March! With Melissa's guidance, my camera, our good walking shoes, and a few galleries to look at, we went on our first adventure through the downtown art walk scene.  Continue reading to hear about our experience!

Meeting Up

My friend Melissa is an expert at getting around downtown.  Her experience walking through the different events in our city made her company almost mandatory for my survival.  She even kept us going a good pace so that she could get all her steps in for her Fitbit tracking for the day! Now that is staying motivated!  We decided to meet up outside of Kaleid, and begin our journey there.

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The art at Kaleid was really interesting.  Some of the art was very modern, other pieces were more classic, but the overall vibe was definitely cutting edge.  One focus in particular that caught my attention was the Word Art done by artist Donny Foley.  His art featured cartoon-ish images, with trees, bushes, skies, and grass all done in wording that told a story about the image itself.  The words were meticulously written and wouldn't even be noticeable unless you could get close enough to the artwork to see the detail.  Talk about dedication!

Kalied offered us hot apple cider and snacks, which included the best lemon bars that I have ever had in my life.  As we were leaving, a band was setting up to perform.  I kind of wished that we had stayed longer so that we could hear their performance, but we wanted to see a couple more areas before it got too late. Later I found out from the South First Fridays website that the artists were Freddie Vega and Avery Palmer.  Maybe we can catch them next time!

Read More About Modern Art

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San Jose High at the King Library

This display featured some of the work of the students of San Jose High, which is an International Baccalaureate public high school.  With an emphasis on political commentary and emotional depiction, these works of art showed an amazing range of talent.  Some of our favorite pieces were a series of scissors that represented different emotions, some with clear labeling and others in where we had to guess the emotions. What a cool twist, scissors with emotional range!  If interested, you could also talk to some of the artists who were in attendance.  For the sake of time, we had moved on.  However, in the future an interview or two may be in order.

Read More About Political Art

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MACLA - Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana

This exhibit at MACLA was great!  Featuring a lot of great art by the Hispanic cultural influence, there were beautiful paintings and impressive sculptures, all with very bold statements and messages which reflected the issues and society of the culture today.  We also listened to some music and watched some of the dancers in the performance area, which was being brought to us by Silvestre Martinez and his band, which included a fantastic saxophone player, Sheldon Brown.  The music of this band was vibrant, full of energy, passion, and spirit.  We had a great time here. More information on the other band members can be seen on the South First Fridays website.

Read More About Hispanic Art and Artists

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San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

When we first walked into the doors of this museum, I didn't think that I would be so impressed, with quilting seeming to me to be an old-fashioned technique.  Boy, was I wrong!  The modern weaving of tapestry is truly so much more than I had thought it was!  Some of the most incredible artwork was here, with interesting patterns, techniques, materials, and subjects.  I loved the way that the space was designed, to subtlety guide you through the different styles that were being made, ending with some of the most splendid work I have yet to see woven!  This display featured artists from 8 countries, and included some work done with the help of digital technology, painting, and photography! See more information on this incredible display

Read More About Quilting

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Coming up soon: Art Doors

Melissa and I also had a chance to look at a lot of the Art Doors found all over downtown San Jose! Stay tuned for a future blog post on this subject!

Your Experience

Have you been able to take in any of the Downtown Art Walks? Share some of the details of your experience in the comments section, I'd love to hear what you thought of some of the artwork!

Have any other helpful resources or books that you found in our catalog on any of the topics? Let me know where you found them!

Website References


First Friday Art walk for April is on Friday April 7th. Kaleid will be featuring new artwork by Julie Barrett and David Mejia. Both are talented local San Jose artists, and David is a library employee with SJPL.

Thank you for the information on the next event, I hope that a lot of people were able to attend! It is amazing to see talent within my own library system, as well as within the community in which we live. I can't wait to attend another event!

I had a great time exploring with you, Monique! Your post wrapped up the evening's events wonderfully! Can't wait for the next adventure!

Thank you again for being such a wonderful guide! I had such a great time.

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