Space B SJ: A Hidden Gem of San Jose, CA
When we think of art and culture in the bay area, our immediate thought is San Francisco or Oakland, CA. Many people tend to overlook the hidden gem of San Jose, CA. There is a growing community of artist in the city that are trying to change that perception. Robbie and his girlfriend, Mari started Space B SJ a few years back as a way to expose people to San Jose art culture, and give upcoming artist a platform to share their work. The gallery is hosted at Boba Bar on South 3rd street in San Jose, CA.
During the night of Space B SJ’s “Tough Love” exhibit, we were able to talk to two dynamic artist that have so much love for San Jose’s art culture.
Meet Jane Ruby
Name? My name is Jane Ruby
Where are you from? I am from San Jose, CA
If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you? I am going to be 24 in a few weeks
What is your background as an artist? How did you get into this zine/ art/ culture space?
I have extremely high anxiety and I dream a lot, so I take all that stuff and I put it into creative nonfiction writing and I write in my diary all the time. I have been writing since I was 10, so I have a plethora of journals in my closet. I have kept all of them, and I really want to publish them and share all my thoughts and everything with everyone because we’re all one in a way. I want to share all of me with all of you.
“I want to share all of me with all of you.”
I really got into it when I started taking more history classes in college , art was my major and you know doing all that reading was so different than reading for math class or science or something like that and I think from that it’s like oh there are so many ways to creatively describe a piece of work. It was what I wanted to put into my non-fiction creative writing.
So that’s what I did, and even after college I was like you know what, you don’t have to be in like a big museum to put your stuff out there, you can put your stuff out on the streets.” What San Jose needs is more artists on the street. “
Why do you think San Jose needs more artist on the streets?
You know I have been here all my life and I feel like you always have that potential to grow but people are always wanting to leave because they’re like oh silicon valley whatever and like its so boring if you’re not into and whatever. But, they’re just like I need to leave and go to san Francisco, I need to go to portland, but it’s all here. There are creative people everywhere.
It’s all here and it’s growing every day, I want to stay here and continue with the process.
Why do you think people should care about art or why do you care?
It’s like this thing in life where nothing in life matters, but you put matter to it. You put meaning to it. So nothing means anything unless you put meaning to it. Why do I do it? I do it for my own sake, it heals my own soul and it makes other people happy. That little piece of inspiration is so precious because we have this fear of putting ourselves out there and I feel it’s so necessary in a way because you have to face it. I don’t want to ask art to do anything for me, we have to work together, so that way we can produce something and make something work. It doesn’t have to have money or value to it.
“You should do it for you first then do it for everyone else, because if you don’t want to do it for you, then you won’t do it for anyone.
What does the theme “tough love” mean to you? How would you define that?
Love is just the center of everything I feel for me I do this for the love of the community. Every day it’s tough love, we struggle every day. There’s always suffering. But how you lessen that is what you put into the day and your own love… I guess.
Meet Tad Malone of PAPINO
My name is Tad Malone, I am a writer, but I am here to sell my zine which is called PAPINO. It’s an acronym for poetry art pro’s in no order. I tag it as a literary magazine for people that don’t like literary magazines. It’s a nice medley of art, writing, and photography from people that are established poets to gang members.
What does the theme tough love mean to you?
There’s a grit to the beauty. There’s a resilience…
I’ve definitely been through some tough love experiences with very close people recently. But, I don’t know… it’s like rugged romance, There’s a grit to the beauty. There’s a resilience, an enduring, just a resolve, It may be rougher on the outside but it’s harder to break.
What does the theme “Tough Love” communicate to you about san jose, does that kind of reflect the culture?
Well yea, I think San Jose is always gonna be the little brother in the shadow of San Francisco. It’s finding it’s place in that and it’s definitely a tough go of things in terms of recognition and exposure. All those different things. But at the same time, on the other half of that, the love and the artistic community in San Jose is unbelievable. I mean…everyone knows each other, there’s no pretense really, there’s no like jocking for position. It’s for everyone doing their own thing. It’s an amazingly collaborative atmosphere.
Meet Cheers From The Wasteland
What is Cheers From The Wasteland?
We started the journal cheers from the wasteland because we felt like in San Jose it can be hard to find other writers and artist and like a lot of times, it gets misrepresented as being a creative wasteland. So the idea is cheers as in both the word meaning hello, and also like giving praise to the wasteland. We’ve been trying to create a place for people to share their work online, and this is our first print project and we have also been helping to organize different zene events.
Why did you guys set up here?
We thought that this would be a good place to release this San Jose love letters zene because of the theme and because this is such a crucial space in San Jose. Robbi and Mari the people who run this event have so much love for San Jose. It’s really cool.
This is a monthly event. People just know to show up every month.