An unexpected joy of publishing Content Magazine for 12 years is the establishment of some traditions. At 12 years, I am taking the liberty of declaring reoccurring themes and features as “traditions.” One of these developing traditions is featuring the Creative Ambassadors of the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Since 2019, the Office of Cultural Affairs has commissioned local artists to develop projects, works, and programs to spread art in the San Jose Community.
The city has supported Content in various ways since our start. The city being the most significant supporter of the arts in the South Bay and San Jose being my hometown and where our headquarters are, it makes sense to feature the artists they are also looking to develop. What is unique this year is that we have already featured most of this year’s ambassadors in previous issues. But don’t worry; this is not a repeat or a rerun.
For example, we featured Bertrand Patron Paule as a solo artist in issue 4.5, “Ritual,” in 2012 (our first year), and Suhita Shirodkar in issue 6.2, “Device,” in 2014, during times that they were both emerging and connecting with the community. Now, we are pleased to feature them—as they are arriving at an established point in their careers—as Creative Ambassadors. Also finding a niche in which to channel artistic talents and serve the community, are James Mertke and Yaya Bautista, who we are excited to present in this issue. We hope to see them in the future as they establish themselves as creatives.
Getting back to traditions, an aspect of my vision for Content goes unnoticed. We like to place emerging artists alongside established artists to build networks and career opportunities. Even though some of these “established” artists have great followings within their fields, we desire to create a mix of disciplines and genres to expand their audiences and build appreciation from other creatives and among our readers. Thus, having tattoo legend Abraham Ortega and hard-working muralist Paul J. Gonzalez coupled with emerging poet Elodia Benitez is an intentional strategy to expose various communities to each other. Ultimately, the one tradition that I want Content to be known and recognized for is that we help build the creative community by profiling local artists and developing a community that supports and values the creatives of all genres.
Featuring: Tattoo Artist – Abraham Ortega | San Jose Storyboard – Bertrand Patron Paule | Nonprofit organization – B.L.A.C.K. Outreach San Jose | Poet – Elodia Esperanza Benitez | Painter – James Mertke | Filmmaker – May Yam | Developer – Michael Messinger | Multidisciplinary Artist – Pantea Karimi | Muralist – Paul Gonzalez | San Jose Museum of Art Curators – Senior Curator: Lauren Schell Dickens, Assistant Curator: Juan Omar Rodriguez, Curatorial and Programs associate: Nidhi Gandhi | Artist & Illustrator – Suhita Shirodkar | Together We Create | Elba Raquel, Mesngr, Wisper, Roberto Romo | Meraki by Yaya Fashion Design – Yaya Bautista | Data Artist & Professor -Yoon Chung Han | Poet & Storyteller – Yosimar Reyes | DJ – Weezmatic, Aaron Aquino