The SLG Art Boutiki and Gallery is an comic art gallery with a large performance space that serves as an all-ages music venue as well as a place for jams, open mics and other creative and artistic uses.
Carved out of the warehouse of comic book publisher Slave Labor Graphics, the Art Boutiki has become one of the best all-ages music venues in the Silicon Valley. Most of the music venues in San Jose, CA are either 21+ bars or community center spaces which only host music on odd occasions.
The SLG Art Boutiki began hosting live music in late 2009 with an eye towards making use of empty warehouse space in its publishing offices. Because most of the principals at SLG are musicians themselves or people who care about fostering an active music scene where bands and fans of all-ages can come and play or listen in an environment that is appealing, fun, safe and has a tremendous sound.
The Art Boutiki conversion has gone well beyond letting people play in a warehouse, thousands of dollars have been spent on installing a proper stage, adding lighting, professional level sound equipment and on making the space feel homey, fun and inspiring.
Currently the space hosts live music and holds other events sporadically as time and budget allows, but in the short time and small number of shows held here The Art Boutiki has quickly become one of the most in-demand places to play an all-ages show in the SIlicon Valley as well as a spot for local artists to show their work. Some bands consider it the finest music venue in San Jose, all-ages or not and while there are certainly larger and better art venues in downtown it is hard to deny the creative energy that flows through our building.
The Art Boutiki hosts live music during downtown San Jose’s art walks South First Friday as well as hosting a monthly Jazz and Art Jam called The Jazz Warehouse and is now the home to two bi-monthly music and art events; The Rock Hop (produced by two local bands Picture Atlantic and Please do Not Fight) and eMerging Arts put on by a local group of SJSU students.
But, don’t take our word for it, here are some comments from local musicians who have played here:
“The Art Boutiki in San Jose is by far my favorite venue to play in the Bay Area. The staff truly cares about the local music scene and treats the musicians as such. The exceptionally capable sound technician makes every band sound as powerful and well-mixed as any venue around. It is utterly refreshing to see a venue that treats everyone, musicians and local music fans alike, with the respect and courtesy of a family.”
Jason Senadenos - Weslester
"I've been playing live music in the South Bay since I was 17. In that time I've played a lot of venues here in San Jose, and not to mention all over the west coast. Nowhere have I played a place like the Art Boutiki. Not only is it a place dedicated to art and creativity but it has that Je Ne Sais Quoi that makes you want to keep coming back. In the last handful of months, along with Please Do Not Fight, my band Picture Atlantic has been hosting a bi-monthly event there, and without the Art Boutiki, these events would just be another San Jose concert. The Art Boutiki really adds something. Dan is a very real, very down to earth guy who cares a great deal about live music and about the bands that play The Art Boutiki. If there was anyone who deserved your support and attention it would certainly be Dan and The Art Boutiki"
Nik Bartunek - Picture Atlantic
In addition to the music events, the space at the Art Boutiki also hosts a regular exhibition of comic book and other artists called The San Jose Comics Festival, and an artist-in-residence lecture program called The Creators Studio.
Many of the events held at the gallery are free and even those that aren’t are low cost events ($10 or less for the most part).
The Art Boutiki is seeking funding to improve the building to allow for more events. Money raised will primarily be used to construct an ADA approved bathroom and for upgrading the existing bathroom to ADA standards as well as for the purchase of additional fire suppression equipment and for improvements to the electrical wiring of the building. Other things we will be fixing include patching up and painting the floor and installing additional lights for the stage.
All backers, regardless of the size of the donation, will get their name on our scroll of Very Cool People which will be hung in a nicely visible part of our performance area. As high as the ask for this project seems, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs and given the needs of the facility it can easily be said that any money raised in excess of the amount asked will be spent on making The Art Boutiki an even better place to be.