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Groundwork and The Shadow Frieze

Artist: Amy Trachtenberg (2007)

Addressing the mid-century agricultural labor history in East San José, the artist worked with the project architects to design the shape of the rotunda, the columns, the terrazzo flooring and window openings. Each of the eight free-standing structural columns is composed of a stack of tractor tires; curved staves milled from recycled old-growth redwood, which are evocative of a harvest basket; the stainless steel can that pays homage to the canneries; and madrone branches, an indigenous tree revered by the local Ohlone Indians.

Trachtenberg was also captivated by the intrinsic beauty of the farmed landscape, inspiration which she captured and reflected in the other component of Groundwork: a series of twenty-six paintings called The Shadow Frieze. The paintings that encircle the rotunda below the window openings evoke the aerial views of tilled earth, orchards, and crop rows.

District: 5

Report a Concern: (408) 793-4330 or


Public Art - Groundwork and The Shadow Frieze - 2
Public Art - Groundwork and The Shadow Frieze - 3
Public Art - Groundwork and The Shadow Frieze - 4

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