Downtown Murals

Mural City

Proud of our heritage and diversity

Downtown’s urban walls have always provided a wonderful canvas for large, vibrant, brilliantly colored murals.  Over the past decade or so, though, a mural explosion has occurred.

All totaled, downtown is home to 125 murals.  On this page, we celebrate some of the 40-plus murals commissioned by San Jose Downtown Association and fully supported by businesses and property owners.

 

Homage

This mural started the modern era of the mural movement in downtown San Jose.  Located next to the Fourth and Santa Clara streets Chevron Station artists Chris Duncan and Paul Urich pay “homage” to Mexico City Olympic sprinters and activists John Carlos and Tommy Evans. (2003)

Phylum of the Free

Jeffrey Hemming’s large mural on the side of the Lido Nightclub building put “eyes” on Fountain Alley — which at the time had some crime issues — also gaining funding from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office. (2015 – set for removal when Lido Building is razed)

The Techshop

Artist Mathew Scicluna brightened the corner of Second and San Carlos streets, home to TechShop until the building was demolished and The Graduate apartments were built. (FY 2015-16)

Symphony of Style - Color, Light and Sound

Instead of art crosswalk, the always innovative SoFA businesses got behind Scape Martinez’ street art, which was beloved for the short time it existed at the South First-San Salvador streets intersection.  This was a favorite for selfie-takers during South First Fridays – STREET MRKTs.  After a few years, the artwork showed the wear of tear caused by traffic and weather.  Martinez and Ennis Flint captured elements of this original design and put them into the crosswalks now at that intersection. (2015)

Afternoon

Artist Sainer painted this giant view of Italy over a weekend. Located where St. John and Almaden Avenue meet at the entrance to Little Italy, the mural covers a Guadalupe Parkway retaining wall and may be the best-positioned mural of them all. First it surprises passersby. who inevitably stop and study some of the scenes within the overall landscape.
(FY 2016-17)

Panda

Several iterations or touch-ups of the Pandas have existed along a stretch of South First Street near San Fernando Street, all by PMBQ Studios. This is another selfie spot — you can watch people almost every day get creative and interact with the pandas. (FY2017-18)

Mezcal Mural

Francisco Franco’s stunning mural on the western wall of Mezcal on San Fernando Street is a favorite of many. 
Fun Fact: This mural was inspired by owner Adolfo’s Oaxcan heritage and Oaxcan cuisine served at Mezcal. He has a personal connection to the mural as his grandmother is depicted in the smaller picture of the woman.
(FY2019-20)

Lacey Bryant Mural

The artist used the dividers on the wall of the Chase Bank on Santa Clara Street to frame her story of hope and happiness.  Bryant is also responsible for the art crosswalks at San Pedro Square. 
Fun Fact: This mural was inspired by owner Adolfo’s Oaxcan heritage and Oaxcan cuisine served at Mezcal. He has a personal connection to the mural as his grandmother is depicted in the smaller picture of the woman.
(FY2017-18)

Workingman's Emporium

Jim Fonseca pays tribute to our blue-collar workers. Inside, the store is full of high-grade quality clothes for workers. Located at North First and Devine streets. (FY2015-16)

Hella Garden Window Paintings

Dressing up downtown storefronts for the pandemic.  This occurred in spring and in fall 2020 on Santa Clara Street, Second Street and Paseo de San Antonio

Al Fresco K-rails

Nuestra Ofrenda

Nuestra Ofrenda” by Roberto Romo (@huesomacizo) with help from Francisco Rameriz (@fco1980)

This mural is dedicated to all the generous donor families of San José, inspired by two young local donors, Nancy Yahayra Gutierrez and Brandon Castellanos, who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. May they both rest in peace.

Nancy and Brandon are two of the hundreds of Latinx donors who have saved and enhanced thousands of lives through the years. Their portraits rest on either side of the ceramic milagro heart, created by various clay artists from Higher Fire (@higherfire_sj), which encompasses the young donor’s personalities through visual images and symbols.

Lilies at Market Square

Come downtown to see the new Market Square Mural, “Lilies at Market Square” by Jet Martinez.

Rubicon Point Partners collaborated with Jet to make this mural possible. The wall was a blank slate and they saw the opportunity to create something beautiful for both the tenants at Market Square off Market Street at St. John Street and the community at large. Their hope is that both tenants and pedestrians can stop and admire the calming nature of this new mural.

SoFA Pocket Park

Local artist Ben Henderson @brush.house revamped the SoFA Pocket Park wall with SJDA and Veggielution logos!
Swing by our SoFA Pocket Park with your pup to play in the dog park (open every day from 8 am – 8 pm).
Drop by the demonstration garden to hang out with Veggielution (open Thursdays & Fridays 3-6 pm).
Located on 540 S First Street.
We have a lot more to come on this page …
 
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