VTA has provided opportunities for community review of proposed light rail station art concepts. The designs the artists presented were inspired and influenced by community input shared in January 2023's Meet the Artists meetings and coupled with the artists’ research.
Our first meeting, held on August 31, revealed the design for the Eastridge Station. Artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan presented Radiance, an abstract sculpture inspired by East San Jose’s community celebrations, agricultural history, natural environment, and quality of light. Radiance is a metaphoric graft of aspects of the Eastridge Station’s surrounding community and nature in which its diverse cultures and landscapes come together to form a radiant whole.
The sculpture forms a portal to be walked through. It is intended to be located to greet residents and visitors from many vantage points, at the nexus of the future light rail station, bus terminals, Park & Ride, and pedestrian trails.
The sculpture changes in appearance as people move around and through it. When viewed from the front, its lower arbor pipes form a subtle heart shape. Viewed diagonally, they form a moon-like ellipse. Viewed from the side, the vertical arbor pipes with the matrix on top suggest a grove of trees. Standing beneath the sculpture will be like looking up into a tree canopy of fruit and flowers. Walking through the sculpture is intended to be a small moment of magic.
Story Road Station
Building on the momentum and spirit of weaving in community engagement and historical research, artist Amir Fallah presented his design concept for Story Road Station, titled Interwoven, on September 13.
Interwoven was inspired by San José’s diverse patchwork of people, cultures, and landscapes. The concept transforms the three elevator towers, and pedestrian over crossing, into a feature gateway over Capitol Expressway. Collaborating with the architects, the original metal panels design has been reimagined in a custom blueberry color palette, designed to visually connect the three towers. The tower includes sixteen glass light boxes of various sizes. The light boxes are strategically placed to be seen from every vantage point, including the roadway, sidewalks, stairs, light rail platform, and from the train itself. The vibrant and colorful images, lit from within, will have an identity both day and night.
The design features a complex array of images that portray the intersection of landscapes and cultures that is San José. The lightbox element of the artwork includes pictures and patterning from the cultures making up the tapestry of San José, including indigenous, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and Persian. Throughout the artwork geometric designs refer to the larger theme of interconnectivity and community. A redwood tree refers to the nearby forests, a hand holding a mirror reflects a Mexican desert landscape, a detailed geometric motif commonly seen in East Asian artwork is placed alongside a traditional Mexican textile pattern. Driving south on Capitol Expressway a dreamed panoramic image, split in two, continues from the east elevator tower to the western tower.
Contributing an additional dimension to the work, Mr. Fallah will be commissioning San José poets, several from east San José, to contribute lines of poetry that will be a central component of the artwork. They will be prompted to respond to themes of travel, journey, voyage, and wandering. From the submissions, Mr. Fallah will select text as part of the artwork.
You have one more opportunity to see the artists’ presentations.
The City of San Jose Public Art Committee will receive similar presentations from the artists when they meet on October 3, 2023 at 5:30pm. Both stations will be reviewed with the artists in attendance. The San Jose Art Commission meetings are open to the public. Refer directly to the Public Art Committee website for meeting agenda and other information.