Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Downtown refreshed with 10 new student art works

Coronavirus epidemics halts program – but not before receiving 75 submissions

SAN JOSE – San Jose Downtown Foundation art selection committee has chosen 10 new Downtown Doors from 98 art works submitted by area high school students before COVID-19 sent students and teachers home to study for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

The 10 doors will freshen the downtown as businesses reopen and some employees return to work.  Like the judging session, a virtual reception took place over Zoom Thursday, June 18.

“As businesses begin to recover from the COVID-19 virus, we want downtown looking vibrant with art,” said Ramona Snyder, SJDF board president.  “With funding already secured from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, SVCreates and private donors such as Comerica Bank and Ernest and Irene Pestana Chari, we’re moving forward with half of the Downtown Doors program for this fiscal year and plans to proceed with the program when teachers and students are working together again.”

In its 17th year, the number of Downtown Doors in the city’s center has reached 302.  Downtown Doors occupies 110 sites located mostly on busy pedestrian rotes through the downtown core.  Student artworks are digitized onto vinyl coatings that are attached in their full colorful splendor to service doors and utility boxes throughout downtown.

“Downtown Doors provides young artists the opportunity to publicly express themselves,” Snyder added.  “Students of all ethnicities and demographics have been posting their messages of change and hope downtown for 16 years now.”

In past years, Downtown Doors art works have paid tribute to strong women and the courageousness of parent and grandparent immigrants.  Several selections this year – submitted in January and February before pandemic or the call for racial change -- are self-expressions.

“As always, the art selected is amazing,” said Jessica Vuong, program coordinator.  “I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Program donors and sponsors include:  City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs; Adobe, Comerica Charitable Foundation; Ernest and Irene Pestana Charitable Foundation; and SVCreates, and Councilmember Johnny Khamis.

Site hosts for the 2020 art work includes:  50 West, San Jose State University/Hammer Theatre Center; City of San Jose, Il Fornaio/Westin St. Claire; Fairmont San Jose; and The Studio Climbing Gym.

Art selection Committee: James Morgan of SJSU; Jeannine Flores, Santa Clara County Office of Education; Jeff Bordona, San Jose Museum of Art; Michael Ogilvie, San Jose Director of Public Art; Charlie McCollum, SJDF Trustee; and the Board of Trustees and Downtown Association staff which selected the 10th door today.

The Downtown Doors Class of 2020 includes:

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