A mile off Highway 280, just north of downtown, hidden in a small sea of industrial facilities and drab warehouses, is arguably San Jose’s greatest artistic hive: The Citadel. A collection of more than seventy active studios, with at least 500 more studios to spare (literally), The Citadel and—by extension—Citadel Art Studios, has been active for more than two decades and is the largest artistic community in the South Bay.
Now the Citadel’s tenants are coming together for their first ever group-building show, entitled “FUSE: Distributive Cognition.”
Originally a cannery, the building’s layout provides for an incredible amount of usable space. Especially for Silicon Valley. Though it’s filled with working artists experimenting in every medium and scope imaginable—and also features a full-size gallery space—a passerby might never guess at the creative energy that hides behind the nondescript warehouse walls. This has been both a blessing and a curse for the creative-types who call The Citadel home. The quiet spaces are ideal for artistic focus. However, they also serve to shut out the surrounding community. Now the tenants intend to end their isolation.
“This group was formed because we were tired of having to wonder whether our next neighbor was going to be an artist or just someone looking for a cheap spot,” says artist Carlos Rodriguez regarding the shaky management history of the building. “There are really no other opportunities for artists to venture out and grow,” he adds. “I truly feel most of us are here because there’s no other place like this in San Jose.”
“FUSE” is the first time that a cross-section of Citadel artists have come together to share and collaborate. “Even though we were basically doing separate shows here, we never really came together as a group,” says long time resident and artist Al Preciado. And given the array of artists and styles (at least 20 of The Citadel’s residents will be presenting), from graphic acrylic woodcuts to traditional technique Renaissance oil painting, “FUSE: Distribute Cognition” will be an encyclopedia of the talents secretly thriving in San Jose.
“We wanted to ensure their is a community here that is focused on art, creating art for San Jose and—more importantly—letting people know we exist,” says Rodriguez.
FUSE: Distributive Cognition
Jun 4, 6pm, Free
The Citadel, San Jose