Downtown Doors

20 ‘Downtown Doors’ for San Jose student art program’s 20th year

Annual exhibition adds color and vibrancy to city’s urban core

For the 20th year of its award-winning Downtown Doors program, San Jose Downtown Foundation has contributed to the downtown core’s vibrancy by adding artworks of 20 high school students to the city’s urban landscape.

“The best thing our foundation can do is continue this annual exhibition of street art, which keeps downtown appealing to residents, workers and visitors as well as gives students the opportunity to express themselves publicly through art,” said Ramona Snyder, president of the Downtown Foundation.  “The art they produce is always creative, colorful, thoughtful and reflective of what’s current on the minds of young people.”

The 2023 selected pieces are a combination of fantasy, self-portraits, cultural traditions and hope for our planet.  More poignant pieces challenged over-population and global warming.

A committee of members of San Jose’s arts community judged the 20 works tops out of a pool of 150 entries from 18 schools from throughout San Jose and Campbell.  The newly installed artworks are concentrated in the center of downtown’s core – from St John Street in the north to Paseo San Antonio and east-west between San Pedro and Fourth streets.

In 20 years, the downtown community has supported 349 artworks from more than 2,000 submissions to the jury. The number of total participants could number into more than 10,000 because each school must pare their submitted entries down to a maximum of 10 per round.

The program was co-founded by former City Councilmember Judy Stabile and longtime SJDA Executive Director/CEO Scott Knies, who wanted to enhance the look of downtown. In 2003, the first year of the program, eight entries from Lincoln High School students were submitted for four double doors located on what is now the Signia by Hilton.  

The program grew to students at 25 schools and as many as 115 sites and the greater meaning of the program was the condensed and intense arts education received by art students who had to compete for space to display their talents. Over the past 20 years, 349 artworks have been on display. 

Read the press release

The program is mostly funded by local grants and individual giving. Donate here

2023 Submissions

Selected Pieces

2023 Downtown Doors

Mt. Pleasant High School
Title:
The View From Below
Artist: Ava Kemmerer
Location: Plaza de Cesar Chavez at the Paseo
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Guests of Scott Knies’ “Exit Interview,” an SJDF fundraiser

Leigh High School
Title:
2017
Artist: Jiwoo Kim
Location: Third Street Side near the Paseo 
Site Host: Colonnade Apartments
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Leigh High School
Title:
Mesmerized By The Simple Things
Artist: Gina Gong
Location: 170 S Market St, north side of hotel
Site Host: Signia by Hilton
Sponsor: Adobe

Notre Dame High School
Title: Wishing Fish
Artist: Megan Luong
Location: Post and Market Street, northwest corner
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: The Core Companies

Independence High School
Title:
First Bite
Artist: Veronica Hong
Location: 90 S. Market Street
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Mezcal, Joshua Melander and Provident Credit Union

Leigh High School
Title: Crushed
Artist: Hain Shin
Location: North end of Plaza de Cesar Chavez
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Councilmembers
Omar Torres and Pam Foley

 

Leigh High School
Title: The Hermit
Artist: Arlie Lowe
Location: Market near Post Street
Site Host: 55 South Market
Sponsor: Block by Block

Yerba Buena High School
Title: Between The Horizons
Artist: Tam Tran
Location: South First Street, near Post Street
Site Host: Harvest Properties
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Independence High School
Title:
Visions of Iridescent Flames
Artist: Diep Van Pham Nguyen
Location: St. John at North First Street
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Independence High School
Title: Morning Commute
Artist: Lin Ho
Location: Northeast corner of Second and Santa Clara streets
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Republic Services

Notre Dame High School
Title: Aventurine
Artist: Thy Luong
Location: Third Street near E. San Fernando Street
Site Host: The 88
Sponsor: Hoge Fenton

Yerba Buena High School
Title: Into Vermeer’s Future
Artist: Kelly Tran
Location: The Globe alley between Second and Third streets
Site Host: The Globe Apartments
Sponsor: Bay Print Solutions

Independence High School
Title:
Amor eterno
Artist: Yhoalibeth Flores
Location: 170 S Market St.
Site Host: Signia by Hilton
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

James Lick High School
Title: An Artist’s Shoedrobe
Artist: Anh Nguyen
Location: Market and San Fernando streets
Site Host: San Jose Museum of Art
Sponsor: Google

Oak Grove High School
Title: Destruction of the Woods
Artist: Hong An Nguyen
Location:
Second Street near E San Fernando Street
Site Host: The 88
Sponsor: San Jose Downtown Foundation Board of Trustees

Santa Teresa High School
Title: Portrait of a Reader
Artist: Mira Pinto
Location: Santa Clara and San Pedro streets,
southwest corner
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: KBM Hogue and Steinberg Hart

Leigh High School
Title:
Looking Forward
Artist: Cindy Peng
Location: 88 E San Fernando St, Second Street side
Site Host: The 88
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Leigh High School
Title: Reclamation
Artist: Suzy Kim
Location: Fourth Street near Paseo de San Antonio
Site Host: Paseo Villas
Sponsor: Google

Notre Dame High School
Title: Self-portrait
Artist: Yulong Gong
Location: Between Post and San Fernando streets
Site Host: 55 South Market
Sponsor: Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant
from the City of San Jose

Santa Teresa High School
Title: Connect
Artist: Minh Pham
Location: Second Street by Paseo de San Antonio
Site Host: Hines
Sponsor: Republic Services

2022 Downtown Doors

Del Mar High School
Title: Ice Cream Sundae
Artist: Varsha Vimal
Location: Second Street at Paseo de San Antonio near Starbucks
Site Host: Hines
Sponsor: Republic Services

Independence High School
Title:
A Mother’s Touch
Artist: An Vu
Location: San Salvador Street and Market Street (alcove on San Salvador Street)
Site Host: 360 Residences
Sponsor: Deloitte Services LP

Mt. Pleasant High School
Title: My Sunshine
Artist: Erianna Solchaga
Location: 170 S. Market St.; west side of hotel near main entrance
Site Host: Signia by Hilton San Jose
Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Andrew Hill High School
Title: Tormenta
Artist: Cynthia Murillo
Location: 170 S. Market St., west side near entrance
Site Host: Signia by Hilton San Jose
Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Mt. Pleasant High School
Title:
Blossom Fish
Artist: Ivy Nguyen
Location: Almaden Boulevard traffic island at West Santa Clara St.
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Silicon Valley Community Foundation – Donor Circle for the Arts

Willow Glen High School
Title:
Dare to Dream
Artist: Elsa Engebretson
Location: 8 N. San Pedro St.
Site Host: Meacham/Oppenheimer Inc
Sponsor: Silicon Valley Community Foundation – Donor Circle for the Arts

Westmont High School
Title:
Opposites
Artist: Nikki Shekhtman
Location: San Carlos Street at South First Street
Site Host: City of San Jose
Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Bellarmine College Preparatory
Title: Under the Bridge
Artist: Theoren Brouillette
Location: 301 Market St.
Site Host: Marriott San Jose
Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Notre Dame High School
Title: Our Hair is our History
Artist: Dylan Crooks
Location: Third Street side of The 88 at San Fernando Street
Site Host: The 88
Supported by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose

Leigh High School
Title: Seeking Transformation
Artist: Suzy Kim
Location: Second Street near Paseo de San Antonio on former Pavilion
Site Host: Hines
Sponsor: Deloitte Services LP

2021 Downtown Doors

Independence High School
Title:
Floating Tears
Artist: Valerie Khau
Location: 150 S. First Street
(Between San Fernando & Paseo de San Antonio)
Site Host: Digital Realty Trust
Sponsor: Thanks to our individual donors

Independence High School
Title:
Black Girl Magic
Artist: Briana Wade
Location: San Salvador Street and Market Street, alcove on San Salvador Street
Site Host: 360 Residences
Sponsor: Comcast

Leigh High School
Title:
Entangled
Artist: Suzy Kim
Location: 150 S. First Street at Paseo de San Antonio
Site Host: Digital Realty Trust
Sponsor: Thanks to our individual donors

Gunderson High School
Title:
Prolific World
Artist: Erica Johnson
Location: 301 S. Market Street
Site Host: San Jose Marriott 
Sponsor: Thanks to our individual donors

Willow Glen High School
Title:
Good Ole’ San Jose
Artist: Annika Engebretson
Location: Northeast corner of Second and St. John streets
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Comcast

Yerba Buena High School
Title:
Nighthawks In Chinatown
Artist: Bramble Do
Location: Fourth Street parking garage at City Hall, between Santa Clara and San Fernando streets
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Thanks to our individual donors

Bellarmine College Preparatory
Title:
Is This A Game?
Artist: Ryan Milligan
Location: San Salvador and Market Streets, alcove on San Salvador Street
Site Host: 360 Residences
Sponsor: Republic Services

Andrew Hill High School
Title:
Floral Tiger
Artist: Tracy Le
Location: AC Hotel, 87 off-ramp and Santa Clara
Site Host: AC Hotel by Marriott
Sponsor: JP DiNapoli Companies Inc.

Yerba Buena High School
Title:
Mexican Farms Near Auvers
Artist: Alejandra Ibarra
Location: 135 San Carlos Street and Market Street
Site Host: San Jose Civic
Sponsor: Adobe

Dedicated to the Memory of Dennis Skaggs, 1953-2021
SJ Downtown Foundation Board Member and supporter of Downtown Doors

Santa Teresa High School
Title:
Mind Visualization
Artist: Myky Chau
Location: 1st and San Fernando near Rookies
Site Host: City of San Jose
Sponsor: Thanks to our individual donors

Fall 2020

Silver Creek High School
Title: 
Beauty and Destruction
Artist: Madison Sciba
Location: Hammer Theatre on Third Street
(101 Paseo de San Antonio )
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Willow Glen High School 
Title:
 Expand Your Horizons
Artist: Cindy Ly
Location: Hammer Theatre
(101 Paseo de San Antonio)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Santa Teresa High School 
Title: 
The Noodle Revolution
Artist: Allison Young
Location: Paseo Plaza (Paseo de San Antonio, between Third and Fourth Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Evergreen Valley High School
Title:
 Timeless
Artist: Selena Huang
Location: Studio Climbing Gym
(396 S. First Street – San Salvador/First Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Gunderson High School 
Title:
 Ananda
Artist: Alex Hayner
Location: Fairmont Hotel
(170 S. Market Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Silver Creek High School 
Title:
 Solace
Artist: Heidi Shin 
Location: Cesar Chavez Park utility box @ Paseo de San Antonio
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Andrew Hill High School 
Title: 
Untitled
Artist: Lilian Tran
Location: Fairmont Hotel
(170 S. Market Street )
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Del Mar High School 
Title:
 The Beauty in Blue
Artist: Sonia Portillo
Location: Utility box on Third Street @ Paseo de San Antonio
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Leigh High School
Title: 
Girl in Daisy
Artist: Michaela Sampas
Location: Philz Coffee
(Paseo de San Antonio between Third and Fourth streets)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Leigh High School
Title: 
The Boy in Red
Artist: Dinhe Calamateos-Abarca
Location: The Fairmont
(First Street/Fairmont Hotel)
Sponsor: City of San Jose

Spring 2020

Bellarmine College Prep
Title:
 Untitled

Artist: Oscar Diaz
Location: The Fairmont
(Circle of Palms Plaza at First Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Gunderson High School
Title:
 My Identity

Artist: Jeanne Clark
Location: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs (Third Street/San Carlos Street)
Site Host: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Del Mar High School
Title:
 The All Seeing Eye

Artist: Audrey Torres-Padilla
Location: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs
(Southeast corner of Market and Santa Clara street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Piedmont Hills High School
Title: 
Pandora’s Basement

Artist: Angela Li
Location: Hammer Theatre Center (Third Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Del Mar High School
Title:
 Light Creates Memory: Self Portrait

Artist: Cleo Cole
Location: The Westin
(San Carlos/First Street –
Il Fornaio)
Sponsor: SVCreates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara.

Santa Teresa High School
Title:
 Breaking from Routine

Artist: Allison Young
Location: 50 West
(Passageway between 50 W. San Fernando and the San Jose Museum of Art)
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Del Mar High School
Title: 
The Monarch’s Journey

Artist: Audrey Simone Garcia
Location: The Studio Climbing Gym (San Salvador/First Street)
Sponsor: SVCreates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara.

Santa Teresa High School
Title:
 Fan Lights

Artist: Thy-Thy Do
Location: Hammer Theatre Center (101 Paseo de San Antonio, facing the plaza and Second Street) 
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Silver Creek High School
Title: 
Untitled

Artist: Kristiene Pagaragan
Location: Hammer Theatre Center (Paseo de San Antonio/Third Street)
Sponsor: City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs

Silver Creek High School
Title:
 Perpetuity

Artist: Jordan Almaguer
Location: Hammer Theatre Center (101 Paseo de San Antonio, facing the plaza and Second Street)
Sponsor: Ernest and Irene Pestana Charitable Foundation

Downtown Doors Walking Maps

2023
2022
2021
Fall 2020
Spring 2020

School tally of selections, 2003-present

East Side Union HS District

Piedmont Hills – 23
Santa Teresa – 25
Evergreen Valley – 17
Independence – 20
Andrew P Hill – 14
Yerba Buena – 15
Mount Pleasant –  12
Silver Creek – 8
James Lick – 4
Oak Grove – 4

(142) East Side SubTotal

All other area high schools

Lincoln (includes Saturday Art Academy) – 53
Notre Dame – 38
Del Mar – 16
Leigh – 23
Homestead – 12
Gunderson – 14
Willow Glen – 12
Cupertino – 6
San Jose High Academy – 5
Bellarmine College Prep  – 8
Downtown College Prep – 4
San Jose High – 3
Westmont – 3
Leland – 1
Castillero Middle – 1

(199) All other districts subtotal

Sister Cities


Okayama, Japan – 2
Pune, India – 2
Tainan, Taiwan – 2
Dublin, Ireland – 1
San Jose, Costa Rica – 1

(8) International Subtotal

(349) TOTAL

2023 Downtown Doors supporters

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