Home World Colorful street mural takes shape in downtown San Jose

Colorful street mural takes shape in downtown San Jose


We’re painting a colorful 12,000 square-foot street mural on San Pedro Street this week. And “we” are the 1,250 volunteers who signed up to paint portions of the “Threads Woven,” a landmark artwork that will be a true community effort when it’s done.

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan and city councilmembers joined volunteers from Adobe and the San Jose Downtown Association on Tuesday for a shift, grabbing paint rollers and adding a coat to the wild mural designed by San Jose artist Jim Fonseca, also known as Jimmy Paints.

“This is truly a great moment for downtown San Jose,” San Jose Downtown Association CEO Alex Stettinski said. “What you see here is one of the largest community-engagement ground mural projects ever done in the region. It will become a symbol for downtown San Jose, which is all community, vibrancy, diversity and art.”

Despite having his name on the huge artwork — which should become an instant icon for downtown — Fonseca is pretty humble about the whole thing. He points out that while he designed “Threads Woven,” the only real painting he did was putting primer on the asphalt.

“This is all about the volunteers,” he said. “Now, its the community’s.”

Working with Local Color and with funding from Adobe, the San Jose Downtown Association set up two-hour shifts for volunteers to make their mark on the mural, with different shifts assigned different colors so nobody tracks wet paint everywhere.

The logistical organization has been amazing, with Local Color founder Erin Salazar and other volunteers leading orientation sessions for each shift and two dozen San Jose State students assisting in the effort. (Pro tip: Dress appropriately; San Jose Councilmember Domingo Candelas got away with painting in a suit Tuesday while colleague Omar Torres wore a T-shirt. Mahan split the difference with jeans and a dress shirt.)

A stunning amount of the mural was painted Monday and Tuesday, but there is still plenty of work left the rest of the week for registered volunteers, who will be adding additional coats, doing touch ups and filling in blank spaces that were left for pedestrian crossings during the early part of the week. Members of the public can also walk by to watch the work in progress and enjoy the atmosphere, which Tuesday included tunes spun by DJ Tommy Aguilar.

Voyager Craft Coffee co-owner Lauren Burns said she remembers how desolate San Pedro Street was after the pandemic forced businesses — including Voyager’s location at San Pedro Square Market — to close four years ago. The mural has her thinking there are brighter days ahead.

“I’m so excited this is here, and we get to look out at this every day,” she said.

ENTERTAINMENT ON THE HOUSE: Don’t forget that 3Below Theaters has an open house Saturday and Sunday at the downtown San Jose entertainment venue at 288 S. Second St. If you’ve never been to 3Below, this would be a great time to check it out, as they will be showcasing a lot of features offered there including movies, games, karaoke, kids’ activities and singalongs.

All those different parts are divided by “house,” so independent movies are the Arthouse, the live theater is the Playhouse, singalongs and other kids-oriented fare is the Clubhouse, theater camps and classes are the Schoolhouse and family game nights and open mic events are the Funhouse. And the food and drink offerings at the cafe are the Doghouse, naturally.

Activities will be going on from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and you can get the full lineup at sanjoseplayhouse.org/open-house. It’s all free to check out — including sample bites and drinks at the Doghouse if you RSVP — but 3Below’s Scott and Shannon Guggenheim would love to see people return in the future to spend some money.

HONOR ROLL: The Kiwanis Club of West San Jose hosted a special lunch Tuesday for this year’s 11 recipients of its Turnaround Scholarships at the Three Flames restaurant in San Jose. The scholarships, which are funded by the Kiwanis Club of West San Jose Foundation and the Leo M. Shortino Foundation, go to high school seniors in the West San Jose area who have made life changes to ensure their graduation and continue their education.

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