Trailblazers - San Jose, CA
Posted by: Metro2
N 37° 20.197 W 121° 53.105
10S E 598763 N 4132798
Quick Description: This sculptured column is one of 16 works in the 2005 Parade of Floats project in downtown San Jose, CA.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 5/3/2012 3:02:46 PM
Waymark Code: WMEBPC
This sculpture, along with 15 others, line Fifth Street in front of and behind San Jose's beautiful City Hall. See the map here (visit link
This work, entitled "Trailblazers" which also doubles as a bench, is set on a four wheeled cart (although the wheels are only half represented). The City's website describes the work thusly:
"San José is a community built by many individuals that showed great leadership and influence in catalyzing innovations and new ways of thinking: Cesar Chavez, Norman Mineta, Charles Harold, and Sarah Knox-Goodrich. The origin of the word trailblazer references those who mark the way through the forests. This float is a forest of trees that surround a representation of the San José Electric Tower, a 237-foot high iron tower illuminated night and day by carbon arc lamps, built in recognition of San José's standing as the first electrified city west of the Rocky Mountains. The tower stood over the intersection of Market and Santa Clara Streets until it blew down in a windstorm in 1915."
The City's website (visit link
) informs us:
"Parade of Floats
As part of the development of the new San José City Hall, the City's Public Art Program commissioned artist Andrew Leicester to design artwork to be located on North and South 5th Street that would create gateways and orienting elements for the City Hall.
Parade of Floats is a procession of 16 sculptural “floats” recalling parades that exist in cultures throughout the world, and which are an expression of a community coming together in celebration. In Santa Clara Valley, parades traditionally involved community groups, clubs, fraternities, businesses and civic bodies in decorating floats for these processions. Keeping with this tradition, the community was asked to contribute to the identity, vitality, and diversity of the project by submitting descriptions of float ideas. A panel of local artists, historians, and community leaders selected the 16 final themes from over 250 submitted ideas.
The themes represent a vision of San José's historic and contemporary identity, as well as community priorities and values. To view the sculptures click on this link.
The pre-cast concrete float bases are shaped as cars or chariots. The sculptures are ceramic tile over concrete and vary in shape and size. Seven have been developed in the form of columns, approximately 30 feet tall.