San Jose joins growing murals and music movement

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Adele Renault is juggling dozens of cans of spray acrylic paint atop a ladder in a San Jose alley near SAP Center. The 20 foot high wall is her canvas this week where she is going to create a mural of colorful pigeons. Usually reviled, pigeons are much more beautiful than people realize, she says, and her mural is going to prove it. The Belgian-born Amsterdam artist is one of 20 hard at work, mostly in downtown San Jose, as part of a week-long event called Pow! Wow! San Jose, a global arts, music and cultural festival. By next weekend, the 20 artists will create 16 murals outside restaurants, small retail stores, bars, art galleries and other commercial buildings. Some artists are working in tandem, which explains how 20 will create 16 murals.

The Pow! Wow! concept was started in Hawaii in a drab warehouse district that needed public art. San Jose is the first city in the Bay Area to join the movement. Organizers say it will become an annual event with a goal next year to double the number of murals. The project is financed by donations, a foundation grant and in-kind services. The public is invited to stop by and watch the progress of the artists. A bicycle tour will be held next Sunday when the majority of the murals will be completed.
Many of the artists are San Jose based, including Lacey Bryant and Ben Henderson. Jet Martinez is from Oakland; his designs have been influenced by Mexican textiles from his youth living in Veracruz.

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MURAL SITES (all locations in San Jose)

  • Poor House Bistro, 87 S. Autumn St.

  • People Ready, 486 W. San Carlos St.

  • Nichi Bei Bussan, 140 Jackson St.

  • Empire Seven Studios, 251 E. Empire St. & 525 N. Seventh St.

  • Alameda Art Works, 1068 The Alameda

  • San Jose Learning Center, 490 W. San Carlos St.

  • LVL 44, 44 S. Almaden Ave.

  • 45 N. First St.

  • The Food Basket, 1043 Garland Ave.

  • The Stage, 490 S. First St.

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