New mural by Juan Carlos Araujo in San Mateo, CA

I believe art is medicine and it allows us to be our ultimate self. As a kid, my connection to visions and drawing shapes led to painting them. Learning that the work has a long lineage to regions throughout the world has changed my prospective in life and art. Patterns like food and music connect us to thousands of cultures that date back before pre-colonization.

Painting has become my medicine through meditation. Each brush stroke pays tribute to countless lives that have no monument or recognition in contemporary life. This practice of meditation will pay tribute to ancestry around the globe.

Art has giving me freedom, and my life’s path has been a journey to be grateful of. The goal is to apply positive energy in every second of creating work. I hope that it captures the feeling, and helps someone step outside themselves to experience the moment together… even if there’s only one of us present in front of the work.

Like temple food there is temple art. We aim to make people happy and be happy in the process….to put positive energy into the work. My biggest influence to date is a monk by the name of Jeoung Kwan.

Here’s a quote from her that is profound, and I’d like to share her same wisdom and inspiration with you all. I wish you a happy and healthy life….

“Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you free yourself from comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly.

Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment.

You must not be your own obstacle.

You must not be owned by the environment you’re in.

You must own the environment, the phenomenal world around you.

You must be able to freely move in and out of your mind. This is being free.

There is no way you can’t open up your creativity. There is no ego to speak of. That is my belief”.

-Jeong Kwan

Photos by Ian Lundie













Lacey Bryant - Murals, tarot cards and more!

Lacey Bryant has lived in San Jose for the last 20 years and does majority of her work locally. Her work ethic is a force beyond measure. Weighing light as a feather and standing tall at the cutest measure, her impact is powerful and she has being painting several murals throughout the City.

Lacey was recently commissioned to paint a mural in support by members of the following Communities: Hyde Park, Japantown Neighborhood Association, District 3 Council Member Raul Peralez, County of Santa Clara Manager Cindy Chavez office, Burnette Academy, Knight Foundation, and Landscape Architect.

For this project, we partnered up with residents that truly care about their neighborhood. Activating spaces that are neglected in our communities need a small group of invested residents wanting to create change. Antonina Ettare, Victoria Tanaka, and Kathleen Perkins are treasures for their community. Our mission was to paint a wall directly across from Burnette Academy. It faces the main entrance of the school where students are welcomed by it daily as they were waiting for their parents to pick them up. It made us truely happy to see young people engage and enjoy the artwork. Many asked permission to cross the street and photograph the wall.

Mr. Garcia, who leads a leadership class, helped involve the students whom earned participation through being exceptional students. The young leaders helped steer the project and gave artist Lacey Bryant several ideas to incorporate into the concept and design. The wall offered a very unique opportunity for her to incorporate a pixelated theme with each square representing the evolution of a student’s path through the educational system. The wall stands four feet tall and over one hundred feet long. With the help of the students the mural references a young generation of individuals from all back rounds holding hands in unity empowering one another to believe in themselves, others, the future, hope, peace, love, education, community.

Many of the faces depicted are from local community members. “Believe” is the word that travels throughout the mural in different languages most prominent to our region and features the diversity our city has to offer.

We want to thank all parties involved that made this beautification project come to life. These projects are more than just murals painted on the walls. They are a homage to devotion and care for a neighborhood that can provide a better quality of life for others. It tells the neighbors you don’t know, that someone is looking out for you and that together we can accomplish great things.

When not busy with her mural work, Lacey has also been working in her studio to produce new works. She recently launched “The Slow Tarot This is a result of a personal art project that spanned over six years, a long labor of love realized through the careful and methodical creation of an original work of art for every card in the tarot deck. A richly designed tarot deck featuring full-color reproductions of seventy-eight original oil paintings, this was a major hit from her supporters. These cards were produced in conjunction with a solo exhibition at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco that nearly sold out.

Photos by: Ian Lundie @1ill510

LAX SFO curated by Thinkspace at Heron Arts

Last Saturday was the opening of LAX SFO at Heron Arts in San Francisco. A beautifully curated exhibit with artist all around the globe by Thinkspace Gallery. It was a nice chance to reunite with some of the artists and Andrew from Thinkspace after seeing them at POW! WOW! Hawaii and Guam!

If you didn't make it to the opening, the exhibit is up until July 6th. Contact Heron Arts for viewing dates and hours.

Warhol and JR ....and more ESPO please!

We had seen the Warhol exhibit when it first opened but it was super jam packed so we went back on a Monday and was able to enjoy the work without the crowd. This is a retrospective of his work from paintings and photographs to personal collections and sculptures.

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

On the lower level, we got to see the JR. "Chronicles of SF" which celebrates the voices of our extraordinary, unique, and diverse city.

Second time around seeing ESPO’s work was even more satisfying. No crowds and really had time to enjoy all the details he put into his work/installation!

For more info, visit: https://www.sfmoma.org/

Skate photo jam @ E7S

Thank you for the photos/article @pettigrewphoto

Here is a repost with a write up from Aaron Pettigrew:

“The Last Days of Empire 7 Studios”- In the beginning of March I was talking to @yourhomeboy_harv about certain changes that were happening in San Jose that were going to directly affect parts of the San Jose creative community. One of the affected areas was @empire7studios; it was going to be completely torn down to create room for more condos. As we talked about it, he introduced the idea of bringing some obstacles to skate and shoot photos on at the gallery as a way to kind of preserve some of the art there. After a few days of planning things out, figuring out how to get obstacles to skate and reaching out to the people I wanted personally to come out to skate and shoot with, a rough plan was set. We skated and shot all day, and just had fun with it. Huge thank you to @q.loc & @neverboredmag for giving me a place to turn this into an actual article, to @yourhomeboy_harv and Juan @empire7studios @powwowsanjose for giving me this opportunity,and to @debase @louiebarletta and @faithfulskateshop for providing the obstacles!!

Skateboarders: @chrisscorpuzz @sinath_sao @justincolvin @sjskateboarding

Artists: @griffinone @longnecklife @rremio @wegotem @powwowsanjose





ESPO at the SF MOMA

Last weekend, we took a trip up to SF to the opening of ESPO's "Daymaker" at the SFMOMA. The museum was very crowded but we were able to enjoy seeing all the hard work ESPO has created near the cafe area. A special treat as we were able to congratulate him and have him sign our books. Such a nice person with extreme talent who has produced SO much work over the years!

We definitely plan to go back and check out the work again (without the crowd). If you haven't check it out yet, don't miss out.

For more info, visit: https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/stephen-powers/

Blog posting....

We've been pretty bad about our blog posting because we've been laying low while we are working on new things coming our way. Since our last post, we have been working to rebuild our new space. Exciting news to come soon!

In March, we completed a new mural with Lacey Bryant, located on 2nd Street across the street from Burnette Middle School. This mural represents the diversity of local students that attend or have attended the school within the various seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. The pixels represent the things the students learn coming together to shape the people they become. Throughout the mural, there is a black box pixel with a drawing taken from the kids who drew things that made them think of the school year. Lastly the word "believe" was painted in various languages throughout the mural, again to represent diversity.

Thank you to the County who helped clear coat to protect the piece and provided a new landscape garden for the neighborhood to enjoy! Thank you to Antonina, Kathleen and Victoria....the neighborhood ambassadors who helped make this happen! Thank you to the neighborhood for embracing this new edition to our Northside community.

Photos by Ian Lundie

POW! WOW! San Jose - support more public art!

Hello friends of E7S.

It was just a couple years ago Empire Seven Studios launched our very own Go Fund Me for a new home.

We raised $25k thanks to all of you and it will be tremendously helpful when we find a new place to rebuild the gallery. Our goal was ambitious and didn't reach it's peak, ultimately we are still looking daily to get back to giving the public free art shows for years to come.

Until that happens, we have been working on projects outside of our gallery .....one being POW! WOW! San Jose. Partnering with a team of local producers we launched our first festival last year and produced 20 new murals within one week.

We're looking for people who love San José and want support and help us bring more art to our public spaces. From October 17 - 28, 2018 we are hosting our second annual POW! WOW! San Jose public mural festival, filled with week-long activities that include over a dozen large-scale murals across the city, art installations, panel discussions, music, and more!

We're looking to build off a successful 1st year and giving back to the city we love by adding more art to our city's landscape!

Here is the link with some juicy details: POW! WOW! San Jose 2018 Festival | Patronicity

If anyone is interested in donating a larger amount, they can contact us direct via email (to avoid percentage deduction).

Please help share with your friends, family, networks, and public art lovers! We look forward to seeing you all out there in October, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in us.

Warm Regards,
Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahn

Obi Kaufman at Forager....

Obi Kaufmann, poet and painter (@coyotethunder ) talked about his latest book “The California Field Atlas” . Many people had the opportunity to have their books signed and to create their very own watercolor piece with a demo by local artist @francesmarin .

Live music was provided by @ungramr and @philthydronez .

Thank you @peninsulaopenspacetrust for preserving sacred lands, and for bringing this event to San Jose’s @sjforager . Stay tuned for more @powwowsanjose presence at various pop-up events!

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Royyal Dog visits San Jose

We had the pleasure to spend last week with Royyal Dog, artist from Korea who we met in last February's POW! WOW! Hawaii. 

During his trip to San Jose, we took him to local places to eat, drove him around to show San Jose's landscape and even was able to take him to Santa Cruz to visit the NHS factory, see the beach and have local seafood. 

A special treat during his visit, Royyal Dog created 2 murals. One day he painted on a race car trailer during the Cukui Summerfest along with our very own, Juan Carlos Araujo who painted on the other side. 

The second mural was painted in the back area of The Continental, located downtown San Jose. A tribute to legendary Sade. We celebrated with a evening of Sade curated by our Ungramr team.

Part of POW! WOW! is the networking and friendships we build. Here is a perfect example. We look forward to the many paths we will cross and advocate for these hardworking artists!

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20th Latino Art Now! Art Auction & Exhibition

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Auction: Saturday, May 19, 2018 Doors open, 6pm Live Auction, 7pm

This popular, annual event culminates in a high energy evening with food, drinks, entertainment and friendly bidding. Here you will find art by Bay Area favorites as well as artists with national and international reputations. The work ranges from painting to drawing to photography to sculpture and jewelry. Highlights of this year's exhibition are Pilar Agüero-EsparzaMelanie CervantesAdrian Esparza; Bay Area favorites Aaron De La CruzSam Rodriguez, and Jessica Sabogal; and notable veterans of Chicana/o art GronkLinda Vallejo and Gilbert "Magu" Luján.

ONLINE TICKET SALES END ON FRI, MAY 19, 2018 AT 3PM. TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR OR BY PHONE AT 408-998-2783.

For more info, please visit www.maclaarte.org

47th Annual Stanford Pow Wow

This past weekend, we attended the the gathering of native american tribes at the Stanford Pow Wow. It was very spiritual and even after we left, the drumming and chanting was felt within us through the rest of the day.  What a beautiful ceremony. 

MALI trip to LA

Field trip with my MALI cohort. Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) is a leadership development program for people of color deeply involved in Arts, Culture, and Entertainment. It’s been almost a year now and we’ve come full circle! We are present and here to make a difference! 

On the first day, we received a tour of community art projects in and around LA's skid row by Hayk Makhmuryan of Advocate for Strengthening Communities Through Arts will be our guide.

The next day, we worked together to create a place-making event for Public Matter's "Love and Loss in Hi-Fi event" that took place at the Filipino America Service group (in Little Filipinotown)

This was as special trip we were able to walk and take LA's public transportation and enjoy being away from the daily traffic routine we live in. The group stayed in LA's Japantown and it was nice to see some of the public art that emphasized on the history of Japantown. In case you didn't know, there used to be over 40 Japantowns in the US and now there are only 3 (LA, SF and our very own San Jose!)

Jen

Quick trip to LA for a epic opening......

A quick trip to LA to attend the premier of Beyond The Streets was necessary. 

BEYOND THE STREETS, curated by Roger Gastman, is exhibition of graffiti, street art and much more!  This exhibit has a range of multimedia showcase of paintings, sculpture, photography, installations and more throughout 40,000+ sq ft of industrial indoor and outdoor space.

The exhibition opened to the public in Los Angeles on May 6 and runs through July 6, 2018.

For more info, visit Beyond The Streets

Opening at Minna Gallery....

A couple Fridays ago we went up to SF to check out the opening of two new exhibits at Minna Gallery. "Where'd The Wild Things Go" with new works by Sam Flores and "Head on Swivel" with new works by Chris Konecki. We first met Chris back in February during POW! WOW! Hawaii while working on his beautiful mural with Carly Ealey. 

If you're in SF, make sure you stop by to visit this beautiful exhibit. Runs through May 26, It was long overdue for us to revisit Minna Gallery. We are happy to see they are sustaining through tough times amidst many other galleries closing their doors over the years throughout the Bay Area. 

For more info, visit Minna Gallery.

Art Market SF

Art Market SF is a selection of contemporary and modern artworks that’s taking place all weekend at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion. I was able to attend the VIP opening night last week and it was great to catch up with artists we’ve worked with, meet new creatives and hang out friends we haven’t seen for a long time!

For more information, visit art marketsf.com @artmarketproductions

This Sunday!

This weekend! Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival & Bicycle Show on Sunday May 6, 2017 from 11am-4pm, at Kelley Park’s History Park, 635 Phelan Avenue, San Josè. 

This will be a full day of celebrating cycling and its history, a kids' space for free family fun, a free kids helmet give-away, music, great food trucks, craft beer, amazing exhibitors, BMX stunt riding shows, bike polo demos, community building, local artists, artisans and craft persons, free bicycle valet parking, and a spectacular bicycle show. 

This is the ONLY Bay Area festival that brings together recreation, racing, road, mountain biking, cruiser, vintage, fixed gear, lowrider, cargo biking, BMX, bike polo playing and cool urban lifestyle cyclists and their families. 

The Fest’s Kids' Space will be hosted by the Children's Discovery Museum, the San Josè Public Library's Summer Reading Program, and Our City Forest who will be offering lots of activities, giveaways and fun, with room nearby for parents to take a breather while they enjoy picnic lunches or food truck fare and craft beer. 

Ride to the Fest? Meet the Silicon Valley Bikes Coalition at the Rod Diridon Caltrain Station at 10:30 am or at Noon and ride together to the Fest. In the spirit of Jane's Walk make new friends, enjoy a safe bicycle ride and free secured bicycle valet parking at the Fest, also courtesy of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Visit our Fest’s “Getting to the Fest!” page on their website for details. 

This Festival is a not-for-profit volunteer-run collaboration of History San José, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Mineta Transportation Institute, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and Santa Clara Valley Brewing. 

For more information, please visit: www.siliconvalleybikesfestival.org

POW! WOW! Nepal

Lauren Napolitano @peptalks just wrapped up POW! WOW! Nepal with a team of artists from all over the World, in collaboration with the POW! WOW! World Wide Family.

After visiting and experiencing the event in our beloved City, Lauren knew that POW! WOW! Nepal was something the Koslei School in Kathmandu for underprivileged children could have benefit from. What this family of artists did for the school is truly beyond words. How they interacted with the students is heart warming, moving, and inspirational.

For one week we followed the artists on social media as they immersed themselves into Nepal’s beautiful people and culture. They worked intensely to paint a whole school with the students, and host DIY workshops.

It’s incredibly humbling witnessing such dedication and tribute to what being a giving person is all about.

POW! WOW! World Wide is a family of artists supporting a Public Art movement that brings people together, and contributes to undeserved communities. Many thanks to all the artists that continue to support small organizations that do huge projects with very little.

We will be posting, images, and videos of their experience to share with you all. For more info visit @powwownepal

Supported by @montanacans @montanacans_usa @47brand @monsterenergy @olukai @powwowworldwide

artists: @cryptk @lolo.ys @caratoes @shrineon @imagine876 @peptalks @pro_gress @burtonursaeminoris @pmtattoos @kitrutter @saadhux @artworkofkai @camnepal

📷 by @toesonthegoes @minouye @pravashpdn @pro_gress

 

Live Painting at Eastridge Center grand re-opening

Juan Carlos Araujo, founder of E7S, had the opportunity to do some live painting at Eastridge Center's grand re-opening. At Entrance C (where Barnes and Noble used to be), you will see the indoor mural he created and the canvases he painted inside the window storefronts. 

Eastridge, being the Nation's largest enclosed shopping mall in the West, was first opened on May 17, 1971 with the original Anchors: Macy's, Liberty House, J. C. Penney, Joseph Magnin Co., and Sears. Many of us who grew up in San Jose has some history connected to this place. If you haven't had the chance, visit Eastridge Center. Aside from the stores, food and activation of various events, they also have 4 murals around the exterior buildings by artists Aaron De La Cruz, Brendan The Blob, Cyrcle and Lila Gemelos.