Homecoming: the 2023 Works member exhibition

The member exhibition returns after pandemic and our move to a dramatic new space in downtown San José! 98 artists who help support your community art and performance center demonstrate and celebrate the myriad artistic expression in our region. Don’t miss this impressive salon of local talent in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, digital art, sonic AI, and more.

opening reception: Saturday, November 25, 5-7pm
exhibition: November 26 to December 17, 2023

exhibit hours: Fridays 12-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm
South First Friday art walk: December 1, 5-9pm
annual member meeting and closing party: Sunday, December 17, 4-6pm

CALL for Art: the member exhibition!

“Homecoming” will be the first Works member exhibition in our new downtown San José home!

Art drop off on 3 days:
4pm-6pm, Friday, November 10
2pm-4pm, Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and 12
38 South 2nd Street, downtown San José

One artwork per member, wall pieces are limited to a maximum of 9 square feet (slight leeway negotiable), and sculptural pieces to 9 cubic feet (slight leeway negotiable). Art must be ready to hang or display with hanging wire, frame, etc, as appropriate.

register your artwork here: https://forms.gle/pG95Eedct2PfPkGo7

Who are members? We’ve expanded that definition for this extraordinay time:
– those who donated for memberships throughout 2022 and 2023
– those who donated art to the 2023 auction 
– those who volunteered for 5 or more shifts of any kind in 2022 and 2023

Not a current member? Join or renew to participate under “membership” at: https://workssanjose.square.site

exhibition dates: opening reception: Saturday, November 25, 5-7pm
exhibition runs: November 26 through December 17
member meeting and closing party: Sunday, December 17, 4-6pm

“Afterlife” on view at Mexican Heritage Plaza through November 5

“Afterlife: a celebration of life and remembrance” is presented by Works/San José and School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza. A fantastic range of art coinciding with Avenida de Altares/Avenue of the Altars festival from 5:30 to 11pm on October 28. Regular hours are Saturdays and Sundays 1pm-4pm, with exhibit CLOSED on Sunday, October 29 for private event.

Mexican Heritage Plaza is at 1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Road in San José.
Free parking lots on both Alum Rock and King with 22 and 522 bus in front and others nearby.

Register for free on Eventbrite to attend Avenida de Altares on October 28!

Ketaki Adi
Augie WK
Joffrey Baylon
Antonio Castro
Sandy Del Rio
Jemal Diamond
Michelle Frey
Daniel Gautier
Sean Gil
Danny Feliz Hanson
Matty Heimgartner
Kiana Honarmand
Katharine T. Jacobs 
Mythili Kattupalli
Sabrina Kwong
Hana Lock
Valentino Loyola
Priscilla Marquez
Clayton Moraga
Karla Navarro
Jackelin Solorio 
Asha Sudra 
Geeta Taneja 
Eric Vasquez

curated by Joe Miller

Biophilia: humans and the natural world

South First Friday art walks: October 6 and November 3, 5–9pm

exhibition: October 7 to November 5, 2023
hours: Fridays 12–6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12–4pm

Artists Reception and Entanglements Book Launch
Saturday, October 14, 2–4pm

Shari Bryant 
Binh Danh
Elizabeth Gómez
Annette Goodfriend 
Emily Gui 
LeMonie Lightning Hutt
Yunan Ma
Kent Manske
Hector Dionicio Mendoza
Minoosh Zomorodinia
guest curator:
Nanette Wylde

Biophilia, a phenomenon brought into popular awareness by biologist E.O. Wilson, is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. According to Wilson, we humans have an affinity for the natural world that has evolved over millennia and is part of our genetic makeup.

The artists in this exhibition acknowledge human tendencies towards biophilia with an amazing scope of diverse creations. They respond to and mimic the natural world with both realism and abstraction, invention and science. They look to landscape, creatures, biology, and the elements, often hybridizing new forms of beingness. They employ art media and concepts as a means of communion with a concept of nature that is slipping beyond their grasp. Their artworks demonstrate close connection, consideration, and looking at human interconnection with the natural world. 

-Nanette Wylde, guest curator

exhibition webpage https://preneo.org/biophilia/

Works presents “An American Mosaic” at Mexican Heritage Plaza with the Mosaic Festival!

This annual exhibit, presented by Works/San José and Mosaic America in partnership with the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, gives just a small hint of the vast range of artists in and around San José.

on view September 9 to October 1
opening reception: Saturday, September 9, 5-8pm
hours: 1pm-4pm weekends at MHP, 1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Road
Chili Mole Pozole festival, September 16, 1pm-5pm
Mosaic Festival, September 30 and October 1, 3pm-9pm register free here!
Heidi Alonzo
Irene Berrones Kolb
Sean Boyles
Miguel Espinosa
Daniel Garcia
Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo
Julie Meridian
Kimberly Navarrete
Minhquang Nguyen
Priya Pattathil
Akeem Raheem
Itzayana Silva
curated by:
Joe Miller

“Expendition” on view through 9/17

artists: Tracy Fish and Scott Hinton
guest curator: Kerry Rohrmeier

exhibition: 8/25–9/17
hours: Fridays 12-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12–4pm
South First Friday art walk: September 1, 5-9pm
artists reception: Thursday, September 14, 5–8pm with artist talk at 6pm

join the reception event on Facebook!

This exhibition investigates the relationship between Nevada desert development and the Silicon Valley economy through views of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in rural Storey County, Nevada, just over California’s eastern border. Despite its storied history, the more recent inclusion in the Silicon Valley megaregion allows for the integration of high-tech industrialization. As we explore the expansive 107,000 acres of arid Great Basin, touted as the world’s largest industrial park, we encounter concerns around governance and sustainable growth. TRIC prioritizes capitalist ideals of production over environmental and public concerns. The result is imposing and monumental architecture often catering to those with power and privilege.

Upcoming at Works!

8/25/23 to 9/17/23: Expendition, guest curated exhibition. South First Friday art walk on 9/1, 5-9pm. Artists reception Thursday 9/14, 5-8pm with talk at 6pm.

9/9/23 to 10/1/23 An American Mosaic presented by Works at Mexican Heritage Plaza. Reception Saturday 9/9, 5–8pm. Mosaic Festival 9/30 and 10/1

10/6/23 to 11/5/23: Biophelia, guest curated exhibition

member art intake November 10, 11, 12

11/25/23 to 12/17/23, Works member exhibition

Sunday, December 17, member exhibition closing party and annual meeting

first of 2024—return of The (Anti) Valentine Show!

November 1: deadline for 2024 guest curator proposals

Works reopens with a Summer Party!

Saturday, July 22, 4:30-7:30pm Reopening Party with opening reception for Valentino Loyola’s “Generation Loss” installation!

RSVP here for this free reception event!

in the studio hall gallery:
Generation Loss

Works presents an extraordinary installation of prints and video by Valentino Loyola for the inaugural exhibition in our studio hall gallery. This contemplative body of work references climate change and local effects of environmental stress through visuals of the Guadalupe River in downtown San José combined with real and imagined scientific mapping techniques.

“All for Ray, Ray for All” community exhibition on view this summer

artist Ray Ashley with serigraph titled “No Message”

Ray was for all of us in local visual arts and that’s what this exhibition is about. As Works/San José settles into its new home with the grand opening of Open San José, we asked our community of artists to create a new work in collaboration with the late San José artist, collector, and patron, Ray Ashley. This exhibition includes a wide range of artists and artistic viewpoints working with and inspired by Ray’s art and extraordinary attitude towards life.

opening reception with grand opening of Open San José:
Saturday, June 10, 12pm-4pm
exhibition: June 10 to June 25 and returns July 21 to August 5

hours: Fridays 12-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm

Ray Ashley was a joy to know and be around. He was an artist, incredible collector of local art, and a supporter of Works since its inception in 1977. He was also a prolific artist who studied at San José State. Ray suffered severe injuries from a grenade explosion in the war in Việt Nam. After years of surgeries and rehabilitation he made hundreds of silk screen and monotype prints before eventually losing the physical ability to create more. Even then, Ray stayed focused on supporting other artists and arts organizations—especially Works.

Ray passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer, and had willed a portion of his estate to Works. As Works’ largest individual donor, starting a significant fund for the future of Works, Ray is a permanent sponsor of all our exhibitions. Most of his collection of more than 1,000 works by hundreds of regional artists is now in the collection of the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara.

Coinciding with the Triton’s showing of Ray’s collection in 2017, Works mounted an exhibition of Ray’s prints and experiments titled “One of a Kind: mono prints and more by Ray Ashley.” Works was given hundreds of Ray’s prints for the exhibit with the instruction that we manage and find homes for them, and not return any. Many were sold at that exhibit and since, and many given to fans. This exhibit seeks to bring new life to some of the remaining prints, and will include several originals we have set aside and preserved.

participating artists:
Raymond Ashley
Hadi Aghaee
Amy Beans
Elaine Marie Bello
Irene Berrones Kolb
Lydia Rae Black
Sean Boyles
Tachiya Bryant
Rebecca Bui
Robert Chavez
Sara Cole
Jemal Diamond
Kristen Everett
Danny Hanson
Susan Harding
Jonathan Kermit
Ally Kraus
Valentino Loyola
Patrick Lundquist
Rayos Magos
Tania Martin
Carolyn Meredith
Stephanie Metz
Joe Miller
Clayton Moraga
Gianfranco Paolozzi
Betty Proper
Francisco Ramirez
Bob Rose
Steven Rubalcaba
Kurt Salinas
Nona Weiner
Ashley Whiting
Geri Wittig
Jada Wong

all artists credited “with Ray Ashley”

More about Ray: Raymond E. Ashley, born October 15, 1942 in San Francisco, died November 28, 2016 in San José. Ray’s father’s military career took his family half way around the world before they settled in California. His mother, a nurse, also painted.

Ray was an activist opposed to the war in Việt Nam, and he moved to Canada with Irene Clark, whom he married in 1967. He applied for status there but was refused by Canadian authorities. So when he got his draft papers from the United States, he went into the army. Ray was hit by a grenade in 1968, within a year of being drafted. He was so close to the explosion that the metal fragments were white-hot when they pierced his body, thus cauterizing his massive wounds and saving him from bleeding to death.

Ray related, with some humor, that his various medical evaluations, when added up, pronounced him 200% disabled. With years of work in therapy, he regained his ability to talk and walk, although he had trouble with both for the rest of his life. Even with damage to his brain, doctors reported that he had an IQ of 168. He never complained. A sign in his house in west San José proclaimed a “no whining zone,” and he never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Painting in occupational therapy got Ray seriously interested in art, and he enrolled at San José State University, where he studied painting and printmaking. Ray became a beloved member of the South Bay art community. He lived simply and used his military disability payments to buy art. He notoriously outbid others at benefit auctions over the years and amassed an astounding collection local and regional art.

Ray was an early member of the Board of Directors of Works and served for many years on the organization’s Advisory Board.

Thanks to Anna Koster and Joe Miller for notes on Ray Ashley.

“Ignite: sjsu animation/illustration bfa 2023” on view through First Friday June 2

Opening night: Friday, May 19, 6-9pm
Exhibition: May 20-June 2
Hours: Saturday, Sunday 12-4pm; Friday 12-6pm
First Friday closing night: June 2, 5-9pm

Join the First Friday closing event on Facebook!

More than 70 new animation/illustration graduates from San José State University present work in story, visual development, character design, 3d modeling, and animation. This annual exhibition is shown for the first time in Works’ new 38 South 2nd Street home.

Death, Destruction, and Whimsy at Works!

Death, Destruction, and Whimsy
Artists: Chris Bunz, Cynthia Yadira Gonzalez, Hana Lock, and Lydia Rae Black, guest curator.

Opening reception on First Friday, April 7, 5pm-9pm
exhibition: April 8 through May 6, 2023
hours: Fridays 12-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm
Closing party: Saturday, May 6, 4-6pm with artist talks and refreshments

Beauty and trauma collide in this meditation on the failures of society to understand the artist as a complete person. Four artists from extremely different backgrounds have arrived at the same conclusion—the role of the artist is filtering noise, and art is a reaction and symptom of current conditions. Avoiding the onerous expectation of providing entertainment, artists rail against the soulless manufacturing of hopeful work in a social climate that can only be described as hostile to emotional health. The exhibition will present the paradox of creating for nobody but yourself, but wanting to set it in front of an audience anyway.

Although acknowledging the absurdity of art making and being completely aware of the futility of it all, the exhibition continues through May 6.

Tierra y Raíces/Earth and Roots on view at MHP through March 31

Works/San José and School of Arts & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza presents Tierra y Raíces/Earth and Roots, a community exhibition at la Plaza gallery, 1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Road.

Tierra y Raíces/Earth and Roots exhibition view

Opening preview night: Friday March 10 6pm-8pm
School of Arts & Culture gallery
Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Road

Exhibit hours, see School of Arts & Culture office for gallery access:
Wednesday-Friday 4pm-8pm
Saturday-Sunday 12pm-4pm

Parking lots on both Alum Rock and King and multiple bus lines
gallery CLOSED on these dates for private MHP events: 3/22, 3/23, 3/26

Closing night celebration with performance by MovingGround:
Friday, March 31, 6pm-9pm

Register here for the closing event! (opens to Eventbrite)
Our closing party features a special performance by MovingGround collaborators at 6:30pm. This will be an interactive, site-specific experience that encapsulates our senses of sight, sound, movement and touch as we connect with the land and trees, celebrating our shared ancestry of earth and roots.

Pilar Agüero-Esparza
Carmen Arjona Ariza
Antonio Castro
Robert @Chaver22
Alisha Coelho
Jemal Diamond
Vera Fainshtein
Rachel Ivanov
Elizabeth Jimínez Montelongo
Thuy Le
Leeonnista The Artist
Rayos Magos
Julie Meridian
James Mertke
Joe Miller
Francisco Ramirez 
Judy Rookstool
Yuting Wang

Community Art Auction is open—ends March 4!

2023 Community Art Auction exhibition view

Build your collection while supporting your community art center: 172 artworks are in the south bay’s most accessible auction! Exhibition and preview free! no registration fees to ‘buy it now’ during the exhibition.

opening night: first Friday February 3, 5pm–9pm
exhibition: February 4–March 4
hours: Fridays 12–6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12–4pm

Open on First Friday March 3 from 12pm–9pm with South First Friday art walk from 5pm-9pm (including Content Magazine pick-up party starting 6:30). Final free preview hours are 12pm–4pm Saturday, March 4.
Join the First Friday event on Facebook!

Auction closing night: Saturday, March 4, 5pm lots begin closing 6pm

Join the Auction closing night event on Facebook!
Bidder registration is just $20, $10 members of Works—includes admission to auction night! Register here on our Square site or at Works!

At Works’ new home: 38 South 2nd Street, downtown San José. 90 minutes free parking in the City garage next to Works—enter at 25 South 3rd Street. Santa Clara Street Light Rail station is just a few steps from Works.

Preview (most of) the exhibition below!

Community Art Auction CALL for Art!

Art drop off 2pm–4pm on 4 days:
Saturday and Sunday, January 21 and 22
Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28

Artwork registration link here! Opens Google form, no sign-in required.
Join the Auction Call event on Facebook.
Auction exhibition opens First Friday February 3, 5-9pm
Exhibition runs February 4 through March 3
Auction night Saturday, March 4!

This is a benefit auction for Works/San José community art center, but artists can split the proceeds with Works and retain up to 50% of the sale price. Be part of the return of the Community Art Auction!

A small look at the Auction art arriving (full exhibit preview to come):

The new Works is open! “Resilience(d)” is on view through 12/18

Works/San José is now open at 38 South Second Street!

an exhibition concerning adversity

on view: November 12–December 18
gallery hours: Friday noon–6pm, Saturday Sunday noon–4pm

Works is closed on Friday, November 25 for Thanksgiving holiday
reception: on South First Friday December 2, 5pm–9pm
closing party: Sunday, December 18, 4pm–6pm

jhina alvarado 
thai bui 
marie cameron 
sara cole
, guest curator 
theresa giammattei 
yolanda guerra 
irene berrones kolb 
victoria may 
natasha tahaei

Resilience(d) was originally scheduled for March of 2020 at the previous home of Works and part of Works’ guest curator program. The exhibit had a scheduled opening the week Covid-19 hit the United States. The exhibition was an endeavor born from the collective experiences and ideas of original guest curators Rosanna Alvarez and Sara Cole, based on earlier conversations between Sara and Joe Miller. After long pauses over the next two years due to the pandemic, the concept expanded and was reconfigured into the exhibition as it stands now.

Resilience(d) exhibition credits:
concept and artist selection:
Rosanna Alvarez and Sara Cole
with special thanks to Joe Miller for original concept
exhibition design:
Sara Cole and Joe Miller
exhibit installation:
Sara Cole, Johanne Marion, Joe Miller, and Clayton Moraga

Upcoming at Works and beyond:

Works/San José has moved to 38 South Second Street in the new Open SJ arts and nonprofit complex. Some upcoming events there, online, and at MHP as we settle into the space:

Flash Fiction Forum
Wednesday, October 19, 7pm

this longstanding reading series moves to 38 South Second
register to attend online or in person:

“Afterlife 2022” presented by Works at Mexican Heritage Plaza

October 24 to 29, open 5-9pm nightly
with artists reception and preview, Sunday, October 23, 4-6pm

coincides with Avenida de Altares festival on October 29, 5:30-10:30pm
Join us at the festival—FREE tickets here!
School of Arts & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza
1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Rd

regular hours begin at 38 South Second Street on Saturday, November 12, noon-4pm, continuing through December 18

our first full exhibition at 38 South Second Street!
more details to come!

Preview the NEW Works this First Friday!

October 7, 5pm-9pm at 38 South 2nd Street

with Haptic Synapses performance 7-8pm (or more!)

Works is moving! Preview our new space and talk with us about opportunities for artists! Haptic Synapses will help break in the new gallery with tech-driven beats!
Meanwhile, our booth in Street MRKT, two blocks away on South First, will feature family-friendly book creation with Susan Harding.
Steve Cooley of Haptic Synapses at the controls, Danny Kim to his left

An SJ City parking garage is directly behind Works at 25 South Third St, with the first 90 minutes free! Find downtown parking information at parksj.org

An American Mosaic on view at Mexican Heritage Plaza through September 18

“An American Mosaic” installation view

Works/San José presents “An American Mosaic” in partnership with Mosaic America at the School of Arts & Culture gallery at Mexican Heritage Plaza. This is the second annual exhibition curated and mounted by Works to coincide with the Mosaic Festival at the Plaza.

Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave at King Road, San José
Open August 13 through September 11, Saturdays and Sundays 1-4pm

Also open for the festivals below—see links to register for those events

Special final viewing day on September 18, 1-4pm; refreshments with the artists at 3pm (the Plaza is closed on September 17)
Closing Party 3pm-5pm—register here!

Mosaic Festival: August 26, 6-10pm and August 27, 2pm-10pm
Register FREE for the Festival here!

Chile, Mole, Pozole Festival, September 11, 1-5pm
$5 adults, free for children—register here

the artists:
Hadi Aghaee
Jessica Eastburn
Susan Harding
Matty Heimgartner
Rupy Kaloti
Miguel Machuca
Rayos Magos
Jorge Mieses
Lourdes Morante-Mieses
Eddie Ramirez
Elba Raquel
Jada Wong
Ruthie K. Yamada

Planter Box Artists on view through September 2—Works’ final exhibition at 365 South Market!

This exhibition is a celebration of our planter box mini-muralists on the Market Street side of the SJ Convention Center. Come celebrate these artists and Works’ addition to the vibrant public art landscape of San José.

Opens with the South First Fridays art walk 6-10pm August 5
Continues Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 12-4pm
Closes with the South First Fridays art walk 5-9pm September 2

the artists:
Betty Proper / Valentina Carillo
Sean Boyles
Antonio Castro
Jemal Diamond
Force129 / Fernando Amaro Jr
Theresa Giammattei
Andre Hart
Matty Heimgartner
Isaac Lewin
Rayos Magos
Julie Meridian
Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo
Suzy Radonsky
Francisco Ramirez
Steven Rubalcaba
Kurt Salinas
Michael J. Vaughn
Roan Victor

Exhibition continues to First Friday September when we close Works on South Market Street. See previews of our new downtown home coming soon at 38 South Second Street in this exhibit as well. Watch for updates on the new space!