Spend any time in San Jose's Japantown, and you'll find yourself transported to a world of massive murals painted by the Empire Seven muralist crew. Founded in 2008 by Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahn, Empire Seven and its gallery Empire Seven Studios take art into public places, creating new murals inspired by the city's past, present and future. For them, community revitalization and beautification happens from the ground up, working with shop owners block-by-block throughout the neighborhood. Though their work is beloved by the public, street artists and muralists are no strangers to having their work defaced. Recently, Bay Area artist Jose Meza Velazquez filed a lawsuit against a real estate developer who painted over his iconic Mural de la Raza. Now is a critical time to document San Jose's murals and support the next generation of mural-makers.
You can follow a map of the Japantown murals with this interactive map made possible by Yan-Yin Choy of Code for San Jose.
SoMa Street Art