Bay area painter Jose Arenas recently completed a mural commission in his hometown neighborhood of downtown San Jose, now the up and coming art district of the United States’ 10th largest city. Arenas is art faculty at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California; a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Davis, where he completed his MFA in 2000. He is currently represented by Hang Gallery in San Francisco. This interview was conducted at the completion of the San JJose mural, and will be included in a monograph of Arenas’ work to be published in early 2010 by Hunger Button Books.
Whirligig: You’ve just completed a mural in downtown San Jose that is 16 feet high by 108 feet long. How does that feel?
Jose: It feels pretty good especially now that it’s done. I now have time to look back and reflect on what happened in the last two months. I was really excited to work with other people. I usually don’t get that when working in the studio, in there it’s mostly alone time. So I got to work with a great team for about six weeks and at the end of the project we held an unveiling party. It was a really good way to give thanks to all of them for being involved in such a big project.