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San Jose Convention Center incorporates public art into new expansion

Public art will be incorporated into San Jose Convention Center, the main convention center for the city, as part of its expansion project.

Idea Tree, a key aspect of the renovation, provides an iconic, artistic and technology-driven element to the main entrance of the convention center. The expansion will add an additional 125,000 square feet of flexible ballroom and meeting room space, increasing the convention center by 550,000 square feet.

Supporting the last step of installation, the convention center is offering a media photo opportunity meet-and-greet with Idea Tree artist, Soo-in Yang. Held in the convention center plaza on Sept. 3, attendees will also be able to view the final steps of the expansion, including crane placement and final welding of the Idea Tree canopy. Also attending the meet-and-greet are city council members and city officials; Kim Walesh, director of economic development and chief strategist, City of San Jose; Michael Mulcahy, board chairman and public art selection panelist, Team San Jose; and Bill Sherry, CEO, Team San Jose.

The original idea came from Yang, placing the canopy as a “layered experience providing shade, a point of public interaction and an audio soundscape best described as a ‘self-sustaining ecology of ideas’.”

Idea Tree is being implemented through the Public Art Program of the Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development and funded through the City’s Public Art Ordinance that utilizes 1 percent of City capital improvement project funding to support public art within the San Jose community.

The San Jose Convention Center and Idea Tree will officially open on Oct. 10 with a Community Day celebration, free and open to the public.

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