We have been very excited to introduce the community to the artists selected to enhance the new light rail stations planned for Story Road and Eastridge. Through a rigorous process of artist outreach and selection, Amir Fallah, and the team of Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, have been commissioned. These artists are all experienced public artists. Their work extends beyond their studios and responds to site and community. They also have track records for sizable, successfully maintainable, permanent public artworks.
The Station Art Enhancement Community Meetings held on January 9 and January 11 (facilitated in Spanish) were the “kick-off” for the artists’ design process, in advance of their design work. The purpose of the meetings was to acquaint the community with the artists, and to get a sense of their approach to public art. Each artist presented examples of previous public art installations, and their approach to the designs and mediums used. These meetings were also meant to provide foundational inspiration for the artists’ work in San Jose.
Through an on-line activity, participants responded to four inquiries:
- Which neighborhood are you connected to? What is important for us to know about it?
- Think about a place that is special to you in San Jose. Describe the spot and why you chose it.
- Please provide three words describing what is important to you personally, or which symbolize your community?
- What is one of your favorite public artworks in San Jose (or anywhere)? Why?
The meetings provided an opportunity for the artists to learn about the community. Participants represented a wide variety of East San Jose neighborhoods. When asked about a place that is special in San Jose, we heard about the foothills, the greenery, the views, and about the Mexican Heritage Plaza, Alum Rock Park, Eastridge Mall, Marks Hotdogs, Emma Prusch Farm, just to name a few.
Public response provided the artists with a good sense of the community, articulating the richness and diversity of East San Jose.
In case you missed it, the meetings were recorded. Due to a technical glitch, the meeting on January 9 had to be re-recorded. Instead of watching the activity, we share how it went. The meeting on January 11 went off without any glitches and the recording, in Spanish, has the same artists presentation, and you can watch how the activity was facilitated. Links to the recorded meetings are available on YouTube:
EBRC Station Art Enhancement 1-9-2023
EBRC Majora artistica la estacion 1-11-2023
Links to the slides available in English here: https://bit.ly/3IHE4X6
Links to the slides available in Spanish here: https://bit.ly/3XPZXYn
We are still accepting comments to the above questions via email: email@example.com, and we will pass them along to the art team.
Later this spring, VTA will host another meeting to update and share the concepts each of the artists has for the new stations!