Community makes mark on transforming Downtown San Jose with mural

Dustin Dorsey Image
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Community makes mark on transforming Downtown San Jose with mural
San Jose leaders work to transform downtown though a community mural on San Pedro Street.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose leaders want to transform downtown into a place where the community wants to eat, work and play.

This week, they're using a splash of color to make that transformation come to life though a community mural on San Pedro Street.

What better way to make something yours than have a role in a creating something special and unique?

"We have a giant, paint by number, a big coloring book. It's been fun out here so far," Local Color Founder, Exec. Director Erin Salazar said. "Public art is one of the things that connects people to a place, and this is going to connect a lot of people to this place."

One-thousand two-hundred-fifty, in fact -- volunteers, that is.

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Their task: transform San Pedro Square into a 12,000 square-foot, 645 foot long and about 30 feet wide, with 10 colors - community canvas in San Jose. This project is designed by local artist Jimmy Paints.

"I wanted to represent the different cultures and communities of San Jose," Paints said. "So, it started off as a linear that kind of morphed and evolved to different shapes intercepting and overlapping and merging into something new."

It's a mural made for the community, by the community.

The call for volunteers went viral and all of the painting shifts, 50 an hour, made up of 250 people a day, were filled instantly.

Everyone was eager for the opportunity to literally make their mark.

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"Because it's my community," volunteer Pat Anderson said. "And if it's my community, I want to have a part of it that's mine. I've lived here 15 years and I just love to be able to walk everywhere with so many places to eat and things to do."

"I think it's special for everybody to be a part of it and I want the whole city to be a part of it because downtown is everybody's neighborhood," volunteer David Pandori said.

San Pedro Square became a pedestrian mall in January to help accelerate one of the nation's most successful downtown recovery efforts post-COVID.

Downtown Association CEO Alex Stettinksi says this mural is more than just paint on the ground. it represents the next step in creating a vibrant and thriving entertainment district for all.

"Bringing this type of vibrancy in and make the experience really unique to people who come to downtown, makes a difference and will attract more people to downtown," Stettinski said.

The painting of the massive mural is set to wrap up at the end of this week.

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