Exhibit at JTown, the new luxury residential building in San Jose’s Japantown neighborhood, makes a strong claim for being the most creative and art-focused development in the city. And it also created the next chapter for Empire 7 Studios, which has a new home in the building.
Empire 7 founders Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahh on Friday opened a new gallery space that was incorporated into the apartment building’s design. The exhibition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the State of Grace tattoo shop in Japantown.
Members of San Jose Taiko perform in an outdoor art garden at the opening of Exhibit, a new residential development in San Jose’s Japantown neighborhood, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)
And there’s a lot more, including an outdoor art park, accessible to the public from sunrise to sunset, with murals, sculptures and other art installations. The building features three six-story murals on its outer walls, as well as another colorful mural by Roan Victor inside. The front courtyard is graced by a 35-foot-tall crepe myrtle tree that has been manicured to resemble a bonsai tree, standing in organic contrast to the glass and steel building behind it. Inside, the ground floor lobby has a fun neon sculpture chandelier above large, colorful paintings.
Residents get an even bigger perk: a top-floor gallery with rotating pieces from Exhibit’s collection, as well as art curated by Empire Seven Studios.
A 35-year-old, manicured crepe myrtle tree stands in the front courtyard of Exhibit, a new residential development in San Jose’s Japantown neighborhood, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)
It’s an amazing turnaround for a slice of land at Seventh and Empire streets that — with the exception of Empire Seven Studios — was once just warehouse space next to the train tracks. And while people were concerned when Empire Seven lost its space to make way for the development, Derek Allen — president of developer LandForge — said it was important to the project to enlist Araujo and Ahn as partners in creating the art-forward residence.
“We couldn’t help but think to ourselves how do we create a project that creates a more permanent home for them and celebrates the fact that they created something so special,” Allen said.
Araujo, who was still painting a sculpture for the art park just before the grand opening, said, “We have provided a home for artists at this site for …read more
Source:: The Mercury News