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San Jose ICA Presents The Word on the Street: Neon Signs by Ray Beldner
Ray Beldner, Kind Stranger, 2005, Neon mounted on panel with electronic components, Courtesy of the Artist and Catharine Clark Gallery.

SAN JOSE, CA.-From March 28 – June 14, 2008, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art ( ICA ) will showcase The Word on the Street, neon signs by Ray Beldner installed in the gallery’s front windows at 560 South First Street . The Word on the Street is part of the ICA ’s “Night Moves” installation series, an innovative program that gives the ICA a nighttime presence and animates the downtown cultural landscape by showcasing after-dark programming in the gallery’s windows.

Ray Beldner uses language from homeless signs to make poetic neon versions that reflect sentiments of our own shortcomings, losses and desires. An expert in appropriation and unexpected collaborations, Beldner’s work in part pays homage to Bruce Nauman's famous neon sign, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths. Responding to this statement, Beldner reveals human truths written by homeless individuals he has met on the street. Twisting what one would expect in a neon window display, Beldner’s signs cleverly reflect on what it means to be an artist and a human.

Born in San Francisco , Beldner received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland , California . He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and his work can be found in many public and private collections including the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Jose Museum of Art.

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