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Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016 |©  Daniel Hartwig/Flickr
Anne & Mark's Art Party 2016 |© Daniel Hartwig/Flickr

10 Emerging Contemporary Artists from San Jose to Know

Picture of Justine McGrath
Updated: 3 June 2017

San Jose is often praised for its contributions to technology, but it’s also home to a plethora of creative types. The city’s flourishing artist community draws in talents from all mediums, whose works are often showcased throughout the Bay Area. From photographers to painters, here are 10 emerging contemporary artists to know from San Jose.

Valerie Bobadilla

This Bay Area local aims to bring joy and light to a world that sometimes feels like it’s full of darkness. Through drawing and painting, Valerie Bobadilla creates images that are beautiful, charming, and thought-provoking. And yes, her work often depicts adorable animals in hilarious situations.

Demetra Theofanous 

Looking for something different? Demetra Theofanous creates blown glass sculptures that are truly one of a kind. Her work has been featured in public galleries as well as private collections, and redefines what it means to be “creative.”

Easter Godwin

Not only does Easter Godwin create interesting, nature-inspired scenes that feel mythical, but she does so on a variety of backgrounds. Her work is created on everything from paper to wood, which makes for an interesting piece to display inside your home. Godwin draws witchy women and ethereal forest creatures, always making sure to include charming, delicate details.

Shannon Amidon

Shannon Amidon is an inspiring mixed media artist who often focuses on encaustic painting. Encaustic painting is the process of mixing colorful pigments in with hot wax to be used as a traditional paint substitute. Her work focuses on the brevity and transitional qualities of life, as reflected by her frequent depictions of natural elements and beautiful backgrounds that look like they came from a dream.

Bonnie Smith

As a true master of textiles, Bonnie Smith creates fiber art. Her fabric-based works depict stories – ranging from tales of triumphing over hardship to what it means to be part of a family. The San Jose-based artist paints an interesting picture of her own life, with lessons that apply to all humankind.

Charlotte Kruk

Have you ever wanted to wear something that made you feel like a piece of art? Charlotte Kruk can relate. The Bay Area artist designs wearable sculptures, custom jewelry, and cheeky ceramics that play on the idea that women are “eye candy.” By challenging the male gaze, Kruk reclaims her power.

Gettin' intimate with the cupcake ladies. #glazing#kruktart #ceramic

A post shared by Charlotte Kruk (@charlotte.kruk) on

Lisa Teng

Acquiring her Master of Fine Arts at San Jose State University, Lisa Teng is a star on the rise within the photography world. Her work often focuses on light, shadow, and reflection, but she has recently begun to branch out into art installations as well. 

Zach Bohny

As a Master of Fine Arts student at San Jose State University, Zach Bohny has studied what it means to create quality art. His work proves that he was listening during his lectures. Abstract, colorful paintings define his body of work, and we can’t wait to see what he produces next.

Rachel Lazo

Using drawing and painting as her mediums of choice, Rachel Lazo expertly crafts abstract works. Her art incorporates abstract lines and shapes as well as representational landscapes. Whether you’re gazing upon one of her abstract pieces or admiring the way she captures daily life, you’ll feel calmed and content by her use of color.

Genki Hagata

Genki Hagata is an interdisciplinary artist. Residing in the Bay Area, he’s combined his love for art and his passion for technology. His most popular work to date is “Pedal California.” The interactive installation allowed viewers to hop on a stationary bicycle and feel as though they were riding from Santa Cruz to Pismo Beach (with the aid of video and sound enhancements).