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.

Late Rain

Late Rain

by Fanny Retsek

Fanny Retsek

The Artwork
"Late Rain" was inspired by a plum tree in full bloom around the corner from my house in Japantown. As I was heading home one spring night it was pouring rain, an unusually late storm but very welcome after such a dry winter. I stopped at a red light and was mesmerized by the plum tree blossoms that were bright pink against the dark sky. I remembered thinking to myself what a strange and beautiful sight when suddenly the blossoms turned bright green. I looked at that tree illuminated by the traffic light each night thereafter until all the blossoms had fallen.

Fanny Retsek combines traditional printmaking with drawing and mixed media. Often she uses the print multiple to create unique larger-scale “printstallations.” The subject matter addresses human rights, animal rights and environmental issues. Her prints are included in numerous private collections and have been exhibited extensively throughout the Bay Area, nationally, and internationally in Mexico and Australia. Most recently, Fanny has had solo exhibitions at Art Ark Gallery in San Jose and the Mohr Gallery at the Community School of Art and Music in Mountain View. In 2010, she was awarded a residency at Jentel Artists Residency in Wyoming. She also received an award from Mark Pascale, curator of prints and drawings at the Chicago Art Institute for her work exhibited in "(S)edition: the Print as Activism" at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Michigan. Fanny received an MFA in printmaking from San Jose State University.

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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