The Arch of Dignity (Cesar Chavez Memorial), Near the Student Union

Public Art as Resistance in San Jose: A Walking Tour of downtown San Jose


Join us for a walking tour of public art in downtown San Jose!  This Spring 2024 "Public Art as Resistance in San Jose" walking tour is offered by the College of Humanities & the Arts, San Jose State University in San Jose, California. The project is part of the College's "Geography of the Arts" initiative and has been created by students and faculty at SJSU in addition to collaborations with community partners.

12 Public Works of Art in Downtown San Jose

The full tour of 12 works of public art begins on SJSU's campus with the history of the Cesar Chavez Arch of Dignity and the Victory Salute statue. Then, the tour moves off campus into downtown San Jose to visit public art that memorializes and commemorates the Japanese American Internment, Muwekma Ohlone, Vietnamese culture, Oaxacan-Mexican dreams, American activism, Chicano Mural Movement, and civic leadership. To read brief essays about public art works on this tour, visit our website, Public Art as Resistance in San Jose.

The Tour

The Full tour takes 3 hours and is accompanied by student and faculty tour guides - they discuss the neighborhoods from the perspective of art, art history, urban geography, and cultural development. The route (available here) takes you through neighborhoods to see art that you may have passed by every day! Our beautifully-drawn graphic map offers an overview of our route. We supply you with a print copy of the tour map, two student tour guides (with portable mics & speakers) and a faculty tour guide who are well versed in the 12 works of public art, and a logistics coordinator who will oversee all logistics for the tour. 


FREE but REGISTRATION REQUIREDEach in-person walking tour is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC with a limit of 20 participants per tour. Each person needs to be registered for the tour individually in order for us to maintain our limit of 20 participants per tour.

Tour Dates

  • Sat, April 27, 10am-1pm 
  • Sun, April 28, 10am-1pm 
  • Sat, May 4, 10am-1pm
  • Sun, May 5, 10am-1pm
  • Sat, May 11, 10am-1pm
  • Sun, May 12, 10am-1pm

The tour is for ages 12 and up. Due to limited space, please register for only one tour. In the event that a tour becomes booked up, we will notify you about being on a waitlist.


For more information about the tour route, distances, meeting spot to begin, or art work, please see our FAQ

If you need to cancel your registration, please email the project director, Dr. Katherine D. Harris:

This project was made possible with support from the City of San Jose, Office of Cultural Affairs & Economic Development and H&A in Action

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