San José Sketchwalks

As a Creative Ambassador for the City of San José in 2023, Suhita Shirodkar will lead a series of walks in the city through the year. focussing on drawing to connect and discover. Each walk will be narrated by a San Joséan with a deep knowledge and connection to the location. The narrator will share stories, history, and memories on the walk while Suhita will guide you through drawing the experience.

Why Sketchwalks?

On Walking.
Writer Lauren Ekin says it beautifully.”Walking is mapping with your feet. It helps you piece a city together, connecting up neighborhoods that might otherwise have remained discrete entities

On Drawing.
To draw is to walk a surface with your eyes and follow that path with your pencil. Drawing slows you down and lets you connect deeply to where you are with all your senses.

On Sketchwalking in San Jose.
San José Sketchwalks combines the powers of walking and drawing for an experience that creates a lasting connection to neighborhoods in San José. Whether you have known these places for eons or have never walked these paths before, you will see and draw something you never noticed before. And that’s a promise.

The Who, Where, and How of Sketchwalks

Sketchwalks will be held through the year at different locations in San José.
They are open to everyone and you are especially encouraged to sign up and join in if you do not consider yourself an artist. The aim of these sketchwalks is to create a personal visual record of your experience in words and drawn images while gaining a deeper connection to San José.
A small sketchbook and drawing supplies will be provided to the first 15 registrants for each walk. Sketchwalks will be listed throughout the year.

To hear about San José Sketchwalks and other art classes and activities Suhita teaches through the year, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter here. Or, follow on Instagram at @suhitasketch

Preservation Action Council of San Jose is a project partner, and the Ambassador Program is sponsored by The Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of San Jose. Support for the 2023 Creative Ambassadors is provided in part by grants from the Arts and David and Lucille Packard Foundation.


San José Sketchwalks: Carmela Fallon, A Women’s History
(This sketchwalk is now FULL)

Date & Time: Saturday, March 4th at 4:00 pm
Location: Carmela & Thomas Fallon House

This 120-minute walk through Fallon House will explore the rarely-told histories of Carmela Fallon and her female kin while participants have the opportunity to sketch artifacts and rooms along the way. As Suhita guides participants on sketch techniques, educator and HSJ’s Visitor Experience Manager Sam Ricci will give participants behind-the-scenes knowledge of the house and artifacts.
Registration and more details here (This sketchwalk is now FULL)
Registration is free. Donations to History San Jose are highly appreciated and can be made here.


San José Sketchwalks: A Scavenger Hunt in Alviso
(This sketchwalk is now FULL)

Date & Time: Saturday, April 22nd at 10:00 am
Location: Alviso Marina County Park

Meet near the restrooms at 9:45am sharp to check-in.
No parking fee, but limited parking inside the lot. Overflow parking is available on Hope Street.

This 90-minute sketchwalk will explore historic Alviso, once a port town that connected San José to San Francisco and the rest of the world. Cassie Kifer, (author of San Jose Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for San Jose’s Hidden Treasures) will share local history and unique stories about the community while urban sketcher Suhita Shirodkar will guide participants through sketching techniques. You will participate in a scavenger hunt, seeking out and sketching unique sites and landscapes in Alviso.
Register here. (This sketchwalk is now FULL)
Both Suhita and Cassie will have their books for sale after at the sketchwalk.


Coming Soon: Back to the 90s with Gary Singh

Date & Time: April 30th
Location: TBA

Save the date. Details coming soon on this sketchwalk where Gary Singh of Silicon Alleys fame walks us through the music scene in the 90s in San Jose.


More Sketchwalks Coming Soon!

To hear about San José Sketchwalks and other workshops Suhita teaches through the year, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter here. Or, follow on Instagram at @suhitasketch

Sponsor: The Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of San Jose

Project Partner: Preservation Action Council of San Jose