The Project

The Japantown Mural Project is a celebration of the vibrancy of San Jose's historic Japantown neighborhood through artworks by 50 local artists. The environment is a barren, undeveloped plot of land that once served as the City of San Jose's Maintenance Yard. Chain-link fencing is now covered with more than 60 large mesh panels of color. It stretches a quarter of a city block along 6th and Jackson Streets in the heart of Japantown.

The subject matter is highly interpretive, including personal and commissioned works, and encompasses a wide variety of mediums and aesthetics. It also includes references to the site's former life; 100 years ago, it was one of San Jose's very first Chinatown settlements known as 'Heinlenville.' A majority of the artists maintain art studios in Japantown, have displayed their artwork in neighborhood galleries, or consider this wonderful place their home.

The Japantown Mural Project is truly representative of its own unique community and will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

by Bay Area Glass Institute: Rich Small, Treg Silkwoodglass and Kathleen Elliot

The Artwork
The Bay Area Glass Institute is the only public access glass studio in Santa Clara County. Our mission is to make the celebration of glass art accessible to all and to provide continued and educational growth artist, patrons and the community.


Kathleen Elliot creates sculptures out of flameworked glass, using a vocabulary of botanical forms, including leaves, flowers, fruit and vines. Her work has moved from the representational to the imaginary, in which plant forms incorporate human characteristics and convey a sense of alternative realities.

Elliot’s sculptures gained immediate recognition through many awards and articles, and are exhibited in museums, art centers and galleries across the U.S. including the Oakland Museum of California, Pensacola Museum of Art, Ellen Noel Art Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Triton Museum of Art, National Liberty Museum, Ringling College of Art and Design, The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences, Sculptural Objects and Fine Art in Chicago, Davis & Cline Gallery in Ashland, Oregon, Micaëla Gallery in San Francisco, and PISMO Art Glass in Denver and Vail, Colorado. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, as well as at Glass Art Society conferences, and has guest lectured at the San Jose Museum of Art, and Ohlone College in Fremont. Elliot served on the board of the Glass Alliance of Northern California, and is a current board member of the Bay Area Glass Institute. She currently studies art at De Anza College, resides and operates a studio in Cupertino, while happily married, with five children.

Sponsored By

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · Office of the Consulate General of Japan · Wesley United Methodist Church
Jack's Bar & Lounge · Dr. Stephani Nguyen of Japantown Dental · Kay's Shiseido · Dr. Jerrold Hiura & Lucia Cha

Contemporary Asian Theater Scene · Japantown Neighborhood Association · Union Bank of California · Chris & Minako Tsuji

Japanese American Museum of San Jose · Yu Ai Kai Senior Center · Banana Crepe · Halcrow Partners · Pan Pacific Bank · Alex Alsorady & Darcie Kiyan
Sophie Horiuchi Forrester · Helen Hayashi · Roy & PJ Hirabayashi · Aggie Idemoto · Reiko Iwanaga · Jeanne Katsuro · Tamon Norimoto · Kristin Okimoto
Jeffrey Oldham · John Ristow · Rev. Gerald & Kathy Sakamoto · Victoria Taketa · Leah Toeniskoetter · Joe Yasutake

With Thanks

Japantown Community Congress of San Jose · The City of San Jose Arts Commission · Dr. Jerrold Hiura · The Rast Family
Corinne Okada Takara · Ruth Tunstall-Grant · Cherri Lakey · DJ Ashford
Empire Seven Studios · The Arsenal · Sign-a-Rama of Downtown San Jose

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