SoFA Pocket Park Murals
Photographer: Hunter Ridenour (2022)
- “Braided Full of Sunshine” by Paige Mason
- “Huipil of Love and Home” by Yolanda Guerra
- “One Thousand Generations” by Maylea Saito
- “Future Leader” by John Barrick
- “Coins at Crossroads, Cucumber Seeds, and Me Too” by Sheng Lor
- “Auspicious Dragon” by Sidy
- “El Portal Del Regreso” by Evelyn Salguero (@handinhandhenna)
- “Gingham” by Ryan Carrington
After ambling past MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, you’ll find the SoFA Pocket Park tucked away next door to the San José Museum of Quilts and Textiles in the South First arts area of downtown.
This series of murals by eight invited artists focuses on textile arts from a diverse group of cultural traditions. Sponsored by Local Color SJ and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles at the site of the SoFA Pocket Park, a revitalized parking lot which now houses Veggielution’s urban demonstration garden, this group of murals is a site of resistance that depicts San José’s diverse communities through the lens of their textile arts.
Beginning with the challenge of depicting textiles in two-dimensional form and translating the sensory qualities of texture and material onto a brick wall surface, the artists each utilized personal style to explore their own cultural traditions. The resulting murals depict the intricate and unique aesthetics of traditional African textiles, embroidered Huipils from Mexico and Guatemala, Japanese sashiko embroidery, Navajo blankets, Hmong batik cloths, Chinese symbols, and gingham plaid from the United States.
The site functions as a beautiful and open outdoor gallery, available and accessible to all members of the public. In this way, and through the efforts of Veggielution and the surrounding cultural institutions, it serves as a site of community dialogue, engagement, and action.
Public Art as Resistance
The SoFA Pocket Murals, located in the South First Area of San Jose, are a celebration of the diversity that makes up San Jose. While also standing as a symbol of resistance in the face of development. As SoFA is rejuvenated, maintaining the connection to the cultural vibrancy that has been a hallmark of the community serves as a living memory that will inspire newcomers to ask questions and seek out its cultural history.
Equally as important, these murals are a welcome home to those who are from here and returning, and those who are just arriving. They are an invitation to add to the breadth of diversity of the city and a guard against forgetting the past.
Continue Your Walk
Right across the street, you’ll find the next two works of public art in the Parque de los Pobladores.
- SoFA Pocket Park Murals descriptions, San José Museum of Quilts & Textiles
- Description of each mural by Local Color SJ
- “SoFA Pocket Park Textile-Inspired Mural by 8 Bay Area Artists” video by Local Color