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11 murals around downtown San Jose

Check out our guide to the many meaningful murals you can find around our city.

A picture of the mural "Leyendas de San Jose" depicting Jesus Valenzuela, 
Jose Martinez, Sonny Madrid, and Art Rodriguez.

Local Color is a nonprofit organization responsible for over 200 murals in San Jose.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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We all know that San Jose has a vibrant art scene – and we’re not just talking about the San Jose Museum of Art or the Anno Domini Gallery. One of our all-time favorite galleries? San Jose itself.

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.

A colorful San Jose mural depicting Nuestra Señora Immaculada de Juquila, holding a bowl of mole, from which is sprouting the maguey plant. There is a hummingbird, and a multicolored text saying "¡Alebrijes!"

The gorgeous "¡Alebrijes!” mural on the side of the Mezcal restaurant in San Jose.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

¡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.

A San Jose mural on the side of an overpass depicting an elderly woman reclining in a chair, and a young person playing the flute.

“Afternoon” at the corner of Almaden and Julian Streets in Downtown San Jose.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

On the side of a black and white building, a mural depicting multicolored gradient swirls.

The brightly colored mural lights up the side of the First Street building.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A downtown San Jose mural featuring a red, yellow, brown, and blue pinwheel, and the black silhouettes of two figures on a canoe, fists raised to the sky in the Black Power salute. There are black, white, and brown birds fluttering across the top of the mural. The words "Thank you" are written along the canoe.

An important moment in Olympic history with local roots.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A picture of a mural on the side of a building depicting a woman, a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, and stylized writing that says "Vida Abundante"

Vida Abundante is Spanish for “Life Abundant.”

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A photo of a mural on the side of a brick building, depicting a Hawaiian woman, water, and fish.

The mural was finished mere days before the devastating 2023 fires in Maui.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.”

A tall mural on the side of a white building depicting the stylized bust of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The towering visage of the late Supreme Court Justice looks down upon West Santa Clara Street.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A mural on the side of a black building, depicting various organs, a hummingbird flying in front of a marigold flower, and the likenesses of two smiling people sitting cross-legged.

The city celebrated this mural’s unveiling with a celebration.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A mural depicting a jarring juxtaposition of space-age technology and giraffes.

Since the 2015 unveiling, the mural’s building has changed owners.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

A mural on the side of a building with a parking lot, depicting the words "San Jose!" an ice-skater, airplanes, a hockey team, a shark, Elton John, rapper E-40, Metallica frontman James Hetfield, and stars.

The Draculas are muralists Jeff McMillan and Gary Musgrave.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

Mural on the side of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center, depicting the many sides of William Price, otherwise known as Billy DeFrank. The name of the organization "Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center" is on the mural, as well as the title "Spirit of Generosity, Love, and Inclusion."

Billy DeFrank was an important figure in San Jose’s LGBTQ+ history.

Photo by SJtoday Staff

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.

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