Teal Town is home to a number of meaningful murals and street art pieces. Today, we’re sharing where to find murals that really paint a picture of our city.
¡Alebrijes!, 25 W. San Fernando St., San Jose | By Francisco Franco
Brilliant and colorful, on the side of the Mezcal restaurant, this mural pays tribute to Mexican folk art, the spirituality of the Oaxacan region of Mexico, and the Zapotec people’s artistic and culinary traditions. The figure in the mural is the patron goddess of the plant from which mezcal is made, Nuestra Señora Immaculada de Juquila.
Afternoon, 323 W. Saint John St. | By Sainer
This Little Italy art piece depicts a tired elderly woman sitting in a chair and a young person playing a flute. Meant to represent a view of the Italian countryside, the mural sits at the entrance to the original settlement for Italian immigrants in downtown San Jose.
Gross/Holmes Building, 57 N. First St., San Jose | By Ricky Watts
Created as a part of the inaugural Pow! Wow! San Jose festival, the colorful looping 3D swirls of psychedelic gradients light up the side of the Gross/Holmes building.
Homage, 135 E. Santa Clara St. | by Chris Duncan and Paul Urich
A tribute to African American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, the gold and bronze medalists from the 1968 Olympics, who raised black-gloved fists during the national anthem. The San Jose State alums’ silent protest was also immortalized as statues on campus.
Life Abundant, 233 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose | By Jim Minor
Featuring the visage of a woman, a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, and a nod to the Egyptian Art Deco stylings of the Hotel de Anza (upon which this mural sits), the artist says the work reflects a deep appreciation for the South Bay’s agricultural roots.
Malama Aina, 86 N. Market St. | by Taylor Reinhold, Erik Smiley, and Casey Landaker
On the side of the Pono Hawaiian Grill, this mural celebrates the traditions, culture, and achievements of AAPI people. The phrase “malama aina” is a Hawaiian phrase meaning “caring for and honoring the land.”
Notorious RBG, 2 W. Santa Clara St. | By Chuba Oyolu
A towering mural overlooking downtown’s busy Santa Clara Street, the work, commissioned by the building, depicts the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The artist says he was inspired by the late justice’s work ethic + tireless commitment to her ideals.
Nuestra Ofrenda, 499 S. Market St., San Jose | By Roberto Romo and Francisco Rameriz
A dedication to the generous donor families of San Jose, specifically the organ donations of the late Nancy Yahayra Gutierrez and Brandon Castellanos. The hummingbird, representing the holy spirit, flies in front of a cempazúchitl flower (Mexican marigold). Also pictured are the likenesses of the two donors, cross legged, smiling, and at peace.
Phylum of the Free, 37 Fountain Alley, San Jose | By Jeffrey Hemming
Featuring a clash between space-age machines and towering giraffes, this mural rests on the side of the former Lido’s Nightclub. The artist says this piece is meant to represent the contrast between slick Silicon Valley technology and the yearning for natural spaces.
SAP Center 25, 8e E. San Fernando St., San Jose | By The Draculas
This mural is a collaboration between Empire Seven Studios, The Sobrato Organization, Digital Reality, and the SAP Center, in celebration of the venue’s 25th anniversary in 2019. Featuring the likenesses of professional ice-skating legend Kirsti Yamaguchi, the San Jose Sharks, performers Elton John + E-40, and many others.
Spirit of Generosity, Love, and Inclusion, 938 The Alameda | By Serge Gay Jr.
This bright and colorful mural showcases the many sides and struggles of the building’s namesake. William Price, who performed under the stage name “Billy DeFrank,” was an LGBTQ+ activist and community organizer in San Jose in the 1970s.
Want more murals? San Jose Walls has an interactive map showing murals around the rest of downtown.