Bold Mural Project Inspires Community-Building and Celebrates Creativity
San Jose, CA – November 27, 2017 – Acclaimed multi-media artist Jaque Fragua of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico is transforming the museum’s massive stucco covered-entry into a pallet of brightly colored imagery and bold symbols inspired from community input. The artist created the iconographic motifs based on design ideas submitted by 50 Rocketship Alma Academy 2nd – 5th grade students, EY corporate volunteers, and museum staff. The mural will cover the length of the portico from ceiling to pillars, creating a dramatic and immersive experience as visitors approach the museum. The project supports the museum’s strategic commitment, Creativity through the Arts.
The mural is part of Community Pathways, the museum’s pilot program funded by San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs to activate the spaces outside the museum. The grant came from the city’s Creating Connections initiative designed to celebrate creativity throughout San Jose.
“We celebrate children’s creativity every day at the museum and we’re grateful for the city’s support to express this in such a remarkably public and beautiful way,” said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. “The museum has always seen itself as part of the fabric of downtown and this project furthers the collaborative work we’ve begun with our neighbors.”
Community Pathways is part of the larger collaboration with CommUniverCity and the Delmas Neighborhood Association, whose aim is to adopt, activate, and beautify the neighborhood surrounding the museum in support of Mayor Sam Liccardo’s goal of “beautifying San Jose.” Fragua’s work joins the recent mural on the north end of the portico facing San Carlos Street, a stunning portrait of a young Sophie Cruz by the renowned muralist El Mac, funded by the San Jose Museum of Art.
Jaque Fragua’s powerful work features visions drawn from traditional Native American ceramics, blankets, world designs, and more. He was introduced to the museum by Juan Carlos Araujo, the artist and muralist who worked with the museum to curate Community Pathways. Araujo owns Empire 7 Studios, the local firm that spearheaded the recent Pow! Wow! San Jose festival featuring muralists simultaneously painting throughout San Jose during the weeklong festivities celebrating art and music.
Art exhibit at the museum
All the design ideas submitted by Rocketship students, EY volunteers, and museum staff for the mural project will be curated into an exhibit titled, “Love.” The exhibit will be on display in the museum’s art gallery starting December 5.
More about Jaque Fragua
Fragua experiments with various mediums such as aerosol, found-objects, earthworks, poetry, music, messages of civil unrest, social justice, emotional introspection, and personal healing. He’s studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts and taught workshops and studio classes for figure drawing and painting. Fragua has worked with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture to produce progressive exhibits concerning the plight of Native America.
About Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
With over 150 interactive exhibits and programs, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is one of the largest museums of its kind in the nation. Since opening its doors in 1990, the museum has welcomed over 8.6 million visitors and has offered new exhibits each year that respond to children’s diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, hands-on exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations. For more information about the Museum, visit https://www.cdm.org/news/