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!


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!


20th Latino Art Now! Art Auction & Exhibition


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.


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!)


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. 

El Mac Celebration with Sophie's family

This day of celebration was definitely a beautiful one. The rain cleared and the sun came out. Sophie and her family drove up from Southern California, El Mac took time out of his busy schedule to come up for one day as well. 

Prior to the celebration, Lauren Dickens, curator of the San Jose Museum of Art, invited us to her home to have a pre-event intimate lunch. It was nice to catch up and see everyone getting ready to celebrate this significant mural that was created by El Mac as a tribute to Sophie Cruz, the youngest activists who has become the face of the American immigration reform movement.

We had the honor to spend some time with Sophie and her family. This little girl is so phenomenal. When she's speaking to the crowd of people, everyone listens to her powerful words for human rights. Then the next moment, she's running around playing with her kid sister just like any other normal 9 year old. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to have worked with El Mac, SJMA, CDM and the Propeller Group. Bringing entities like these together is something E7S continues to strive as we work to build partnerships. 


SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, March 24

Join San José Museum of Art, Empire 7 Studios, and the Children’s Discovery Museum to celebrate the new public mural, Sophie Holding the World Togetherby El Mac in collaboration with The Propeller Group, at Discovery Meadow. Enjoy live music family-friendly activities, SJMA’s new Art Portal, and appearances by the artists and the subject of the mural, nine-year-old activist Sophie Cruz. 

Saturday, March 24, 2 – 4 PM
Discovery Meadow (180 Woz Way, San José) 
Admission is FREE

Joining Sophie Cruz will be special guests Juan Carlos Araujo, director and art consultant at Empire 7 Studios; S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, SJMA; muralist El Mac; Marilee Jennings, executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum; and Tuan Andrew Nguyen of the artists’ collective The Propeller Group; and a representative from the Consulado General de México en San José.

  • Live music by MaKrú (a fusion of Rumba, Flamenca, Ska, Cumbia, and other global beats) 2:15 – 3:30 PM
  • Family-friendly activities from the Children’s Discovery Museum and San Jose Jazz, 2 – 4 PM
  • Monopoly in the Park, courtesy of Friends of San Jose, 2 – 4 PM
  • Make some art in SJMA’s new mobile art studio, the Art Portal

Sophie Holding the World Together is a portrait of nine-year-old Sophie Cruz, who has become a face of the American immigration reform movement. Born in Los Angeles to immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, Sophie first made headlines in 2015 when she crossed a police barrier during Pope Francis’s visit to Washington, DC, to hand the pontiff a letter asking him to help all immigrant children. 

The mural is collaboration between El Mac and The Propeller Group, as part of the collective’s ongoing project, Viet Nam The World Tour. It is commissioned by SJMA, in partnership with Empire 7 Studios and the Children’s Discovery Museum, in connection with the current exhibition, The Propeller Group, on view through March 25, 2018

POW! WOW! San Jose in Hawaii...

Just a few weeks ago, we attended the very first Director's Summit and assist with the annual POW! WOW! Hawaii. 

We met with POW! WOW! Directors from all over the world. Guam, Japan, Taiwan, Worcester, Austin, Long Beach, Hawaii and Washington DC. This was a great way for us to all share our experiences, ideas and ways we can work potentially together to keep building on what we do.

Networking with all the artists who participating in this years’ POW! WOW! Hawaii was tremendous. We learned from each other and developed relationships during the week spent together. All the Directors were “hands on” and as a team helped run the Hawaii festival. 

Below are photos of some of the experiences through POW! WOW! Hawaii week and final murals. For photos of all the complete murals, visit http://powwowhawaii.com/

Weekend in LA

Took a quick trip to LA to visit the LA Art Fair, check out some art shows and enjoy some good food!


Sam Rodriguez LA Metro Project

Opening of "Chimaera" at Superchief Gallery with works by Lauren YS, Nomi Chi and Kristina Collantes

Murales Rebeldes exhibit at the La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Exhibiting murals by Tlacolulokos of Oaxaca at the LA Public Library

Mural wrap up for 2017...

We want to wish everyone a happy 2018! We've been a bit off the radar trying to reboot and plan for the future. We look forward to continuing the rebuild of E7S at our new space (which we plan to announce soon!)

2017 went by quickly and we are honored to have worked with so many talented artist to create commissioned work and added over 20 new murals to San Jose!

Post POW! WOW! San Jose, we didn't blog much but wanted to make sure we included the last 4 murals we did. Thank you for your continued support and keep following us on social media as we venture into 2018!

BUNNIE REISS for the Federal Building in Downtown San Jose

Bunnie's work is heavily influenced by her Eastern European background, with its tradition of folk art, bright colors and community engagement. Her brightly colored folk murals decorate many countries and can be found all over the world such as Los Angeles, Mexico, Italy, Paris, India, Philippines, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco and now San Jose!

Thank you SJ Downtown Association for making this happen!

Two new murals for the Children's Discover Museum by Jaque Fragua and El Mac

We were approached to create a new mural for the Children's Discovery Museum's (CDM) portico and thought artist Jaque Fragua was a perfect fit. While we were working on the details for this, the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) reached out to us to help find a ideal wall for El Mac as he was planning to paint a new mural in San Jose in conjunction with The Propeller Group exhibit opening at the SJMA.

E7S strives to help community building and bring together organizations to collaborate on a larger vision for our City. It was serendipitous when we brought together Jaque Fragua and El Mac since not only are they old buddies but they have worked on projects together in the past. Their completed murals at the CDM not only reactivated the portico but helped unify the whole space with the museum's beautiful architecture building by Richardo Legorreta.

Jaque Fragua of the Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico transformed the Children Discovery Museum’s massive portico with bright/bold symbols inspired from the community’s input. He created the iconographic motifs based on design ideas submitted by the 50 Rocketship Alma Academy 2nd – 5th grade students, EY corporate volunteers, and museum staff. “I'm using a method called stylization, which breaks down natural imagery into bold iconographic motifs. This has been a technique used by Pueblo artists for centuries and can be found on pottery, murals, and textiles. It has made visual language more direct and impactful for the viewer. I'm also inspired by Alexander Girard's folk art designs.” Jaque’s personal work experiments with various mediums such as aerosol, found-objects, earthworks, poetry, music, messages of civil unrest, social justice, emotional introspection, and personal healing.

EL Mac, who is an artistic historian in his own right, captures the influence of culture within his work. He transformed the exterior of the portico with a portrait of Sophie Cruz. Sophie (born 2009 or 2010) is an American activist. Her parents, Raul and Zoyla Cruz, are undocumented immigrants from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Her fears that her parents could face deportation have made her one of the youngest voices in the American immigration reform movement of 2016–2017. (via web). This mural was made possible by a collaboration with the San Jose Museum of Art and The Propeller Group (photograph by @ericheights)

A special "thank you" to the SJMA, CDM, and OCA for helping make this a seamless partnership!

New OPSKI mural with TASC youth in Downtown San Jose

We had the please working again with TASC (Teaching Adolescents Skills for the Community). They brought out a group of youth over a weekend to help paint a fence that was getting constantly vandalized. Artist OPSKI had worked with this group of youth earlier in 2017 and this was another opportunity around the corner from the first mural.

Thank you for SVCreates and the Santa Clara County department for making this happen! We look forward to continuing this partnership working with TASC!

Aaron De La Cruz new mural celebration this Saturday, December 2 in the Mayfair District


On Saturday, December 2nd community leaders and residents of East San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood will celebrate the creation of a new mural by acclaimed visual artist Aaron De La Cruz.

The event will take place from 11:00 am to12:30 pm, to commemorate the Zona Rosa mural, The School of Arts and Culture at MHP will host a celebration and ceremony featuring free food, coffee, and entertainment.

De La Cruz’s new Zona Rosa mural was commissioned through a partnership between The School of Arts and Culture at MHP’s Celebrate Mayfair Project and POW! WOW! San Jose. The Celebrate Mayfair Project is a creative placemaking an initiative funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.

Lead artist, Aaron De La Cruz, noted the historical inspiration for the mural, “The color usage was to also pay homage to the neighborhood and especially to the Pink Elephant district. This shopping district has a ton of historical importance and the people all over San Jose made that clear to me with the stories they shared.”

The mural celebration will feature remarks by Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco, the Executive Director of the School of Arts and Culture at MHP, Tamara Alvarado, and other community leaders. Hip Hop dance group FutureArtsNow! and DJ Ozzy will perform throughout the celebration.   

The Zona Rosa mural was painted during the week-long San Jose POW! WOW! Mural festival, which saw the creation of 16 new murals across the city. One of the goals of the Celebrate Mayfair Project is to beautify the community surrounding the Mexican Heritage Plaza. The Zona Rosa mural was commissioned with grant support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.


Jaque Fragua tonight at MACLA....

Jaque Fragua @warchildleftbehind will be part of a group show at MACLA @macla_sanjose tonight (Dec 1)

“Notes on Democracy” explores the depths of political discourse, process and the ideology of democracy.

Exhibit opens at 7pm. Artist talk at 7:30pm