By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX) — A new wave of public art murals is popping up in an area of the South Bay where you might not expect.

It is part of a new effort to bring color and energy to suburban neighborhoods in South San Jose.

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“People drive by and are honking. Yelling out their cars how much they love it. Kids are on their balconies, saying its beautiful,” said Cameron Moberg, an artist painting a series of three two-story high panels on the side of a Marshalls at a shopping center on Cottle Road.

It’s all part of a San Jose partnership with the arts group PowWow! Walls in East San Jose and the Downtown area have long been the canvas for mural artists.

But this effort, spearheaded by San Jose Councilmember Sergio Jimenez, shifts the focus to the suburban south side.

“People are not going into art galleries or museums in many cases.  So having a something in the public can help connect with other people,” said Juan Carlos Araujo who is helping to oversee the project with Pow!Wow! San Jose.

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Artist Stephanie Sanchez is bringing color and vibrancy to an otherwise boring bathroom wall at Great Oaks Park in San Jose.

Across the park, other artists are adding geometric designs to an old skate park.

“It’s great to be able to bring this artwork somewhere else,” she said. “Folks from the community are coming around and they are just excited to see life and art come to this wall and this park.”

The painting is just the final step in a year long process of selecting artists and themes for the walls.

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But they’ll stand for much longer making walls and neighborhoods a little more lively.