BIO & RESUME

BIO

Born, raised and trained in San Jose, California, Lila Gemellos started her own business over 10 years ago in the Arts, first drawing on skateboarding shoes.  With over 25 years of technical training, today Gemellos employs different styles confidently.   She distinguishes herself as a visual story teller and a local creative business force.  Her first large commission was Falafel’s Drive In.  Her first large public art opportunity was at 1133 Lincoln Avenue.  Gemellos brings her strong San Jose roots to her artistic narratives through “sense of place” murals.  Lila Gemellos has an expertise in retail and placemaking.

Gemellos creates new relationships between Art, Business and Technology – finding opportunities to publicize a company’s good will or generate more traffic to a shopping center with hashtags and inspired photography.  Gemellos’s Social Media impact is strong, adding value to each public project.  Lila prides herself in making the clients’ vision come to life by listening and continuously asking how to make the mural more meaningful.  For a Visual Artist Resume, please click here.

After studying Oil Painting at the University of California, Riverside, Gemellos returned to San Jose and found rejection in the narrow Arts scene in 2004.  Instead, she pursued another direction and began a career in commercial real estate and property management, with a Construction Industry Technician certificate from Clemson University through the San Jose Builders’ Guild.  She’s worked for developers, property owners and specialty contractors.  When the construction industry was downsized during economic instability, Gemellos confronted adversity head on by relying on her artistic talents to make ends meet for the first time.  Gemellos’s first creative endeavor was selling skateboard shoes with custom artwork.  Her second was a scarf made from sari scraps.  Lila Gemellos brings those experiences, along with proper due diligence, careful research and authentic, whimsical inspirations to her Art.  She’d like to be the kind of contractor she, herself, would hire.

Gemellos negotiates a clear contract with artwork approvals both her and the client sign off on beforehand.  With a more-the-merrier attitude, she feels that collaboration is a real privilege, not a challenge.  While executing a mural, Lila can either limit the impact to businesses and/or publicize the processes based on the owner’s need.  The proper preparation mitigates damages throughout the process.  Gemellos enjoys the opportunity to engage the public during the process with a focus on engagement throughout.  Lila Gemellos understands the concerns of her client, because she’s worked on behalf of landlords and business owners in other capacities.  Gemellos isn’t timid in tenant/landlord situations, taking detailed notes of everyone’s input first, then designing within the parameters of each party, the structure and all limitations involved.  Lila Gemellos always explores areas to grow and develop her portfolio.  She does not shy away from a challenge.

Each new project is a joy and an opportunity not taken lightly by this hardworking mural artist.  Gemellos appreciates a challenge – artistically, architecturally or conceptually.  Lila Gemellos has been brightening public and private schools in East San Jose and Downtown San Jose, bringing edge and new life to businesses, easing pediatrics patients in offices and adding to people’s dream homes with the murals she paints.  Gemellos now looks to take her inspired narratives to the public art scene all over the country.  Murals for retail is Gemellos’s expertise with a keen eye for social media.  Her concentration on collaboration and placemaking set her apart in her field.

PERSPECTIVE

My art career began as a child.  I won Best of Show ribbons in the County Fair for oil paintings and had my first commissions at eight years old.  In high school, I entered beauty pageants for scholarship money and world peace.  I pursued my talent at UCRiverside and spent five years in construction and property management, with a Certificate of Construction Industry Tech from Clemson University.  I understand now that my obligation as an artist is to create peace at the ground level.  Art that does good is my life’s work.  I am the change I’d like to see.  As a lifelong artist, I have two areas of focus – color that evokes and use of space.

 

Public Art has been a natural direction for my career, spurning from a desire to rejuvenate blighted public spaces.  I consider the audience when I design and even collaborate broadly throughout Communities to understand what holds value to the audience.  What the Public responds to most within my work is my use of color designed to shift your attention like the swipe of an ipad and the meaning to each mural.  Public Art can creatively make a place new again with a little paint.  Public Art excites me because it ought to engage and capture.  My projects are designed to be interactive whenever possible.  It is how the younger generation engages with Art.  Whenever possible, Public Art should be taking advantage of technology, especially social media, and finding business partners that require good public relations.

 

EXPERIENCE

I’ve painted murals full-time for 8 years. I began painting murals to public schools that face graffiti in rough San Jose neighborhoods. I saw what a little art does for a public space. The Falafel’s Drive In, a long standing, trendy San Jose eatery, was my first commercial opportunity because it was getting hit by pervasive tagging.

 

I realized the responsibility artists have in easing Community tensions when possible. Color and “Sense of Place” is where Community member and property owners alike can agree.  I see Public Art murals as the cost-effective art installation which also can do more than beautify.  They can educate.  They can provoke thought.  Murals can, in this case, provoke play. With Eastridge Mall, I turned a loitering and graffiti hotspot into a hall of color to engage with through social media.  Subsequent to my painting, there’s been a stage, photo competition, music videos, and even a pop-up park all happening around these murals.  The engagement through color has been spectacular.

 

Likewise, through use of color, my fans know my work even though the style changes based on the needs of the client.  Children pause in their tracks to tell me about a mural at their school with which they have a relationship.  When asked, I find out that it’s a school I’ve painted.  Whether it’s because I’ve developed my talent since I was a Lisa Frank loving kid or because I’m a rebel about it, the exciting color is my brand.

 

VISUAL ARTIST RESUME

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Gemellos Murals, San José, California
Sole-proprietor Artist, Entrepreneur Full-time January 2009-Present

  • Manages all aspects of Gemellos Murals, sales, legal and mural execution
  • Interior, Exterior, Ground and Floor Murals up to 5000 sq. ft.

 

PRIOR EXPERIENCE TO VISUAL ARTIST

Mid-Pen Housing via Accountemps April-November 2010
Data Entry Specialist, 6 month contract, offered permanent position
• Inputted Compliance data for Sec 8 & subsidized housings, coordinated with Housing Agencies
• Created forecasts and rent schedules based on trends and new regulations
• Tracked Property Management Expenses – often finding minor maintenance issues costing thousands of dollars annually through forensic expense trending
• On-Site residence tax reviews, Waitlist Monitoring & Compliance

 

RFI Enterprises October 2009-March 2010
Contract Coordinator
• Coordinated new contracts, entered purchase orders & billing data
• Coordinated subcontracts
• Updated systems, often stepping up to help others

 

JP DiNapoli Companies June 2004- October 2009
Filing clerk to Construction Coordinator, CIT
• Started filing while attending classes
• hired on to file & light accounting input•
• Responsibilities grew to Property Management and year end roll-over
• Coordinated construction contracts & acquisitions of real property, signing off on completion and release of liens, and preparing documents for & being at public hearings

 

EDUCATION

Silver Creek High School ‘03

University of California, Riverside ‘07, oil painting *did not complete due to illness

Construction Industry Technician Certificate, Clemson University, San Jose Builders’ Guild ’06

 

Awards:

What’s the Biz, D3, Sept. 2018
Belle Foundation Grant, 2015
*multiple college scholarships in 2003

*multiple Santa Clara County Fair awards

 

REFERENCES

 

Kenneth Rodrigues

Kenneth Rodrigues and Associates

445 N Whisman Rd # 200, Mountain View, CA 94043

(650) 965-0700


Lynne Rogers

City of San Jose, Office of Cultural Affairs, Public Art Department

200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95112

(408)793-4339

 

Michael Mulcahy

SDS Nexgen Partners

1112 Willow Street, San Jose, CA 95125

(408) 298-4264

 

Najla Kayyem

Pacific Retail Capital Partners

100 N Sepulveda Blvd Suite 1925, El Segundo, CA 90245

(310)641-8060

 

 

Body of Work

SOLE ARTIST ON ALL PROJECTS

 

VRISSI

  • Greek Fountain Mural and 4 stage backdrops, May 2001, Play performed in Rethimnon, Crete, Greece July 2001, 824 sq. ft., acrylic on canvas

SUNNY BREAKFAST NOOK

  • Sun centered on Light fixture, March 2004, 49 Norton Ave, San Jose, CA 95126, 225 sq. ft., interior acrylic

REPAIRS AND RESTORATIONS

  • Vintage Wallpaper and wall blemish repairs for County of Santa Clara and JP DiNapoli Companies, September 2009, various locations, less than 1 sq. ft., epoxy, acrylics, and various texturing patches for repair

FAUX ADOBE RESIDENTIALS

  • Home Improvement and Small Jobs on the side June 2010-June 2011, private residences, interior matte acrylics, 200-800 sq. ft. per, semi-gloss glaze and pastel chalks

CHABOYA PHASE 1

  • Chaboya Middle School Labeling Project (11 murals) June-September 2011, 3276 Cortona Drive, San Jose, CA 95138, 1,728 sq. ft., acrylics

 

SOMETHING SAN JOSE

  • Falafel’s Drive In, November 2011-April 2012, 2301 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, 95128, 5000+ sq. ft., various acrylics

ACCENTS

  • Home and Small School Jobs June 2012-June 2013, KR Smith Elementary, Evergreen Elementary, private residences, 100-300 sq. ft., various acrylics

MONTGOMERY COURTYARD

  • Montgomery Elementary School Phase I (3 murals) June -August 2013, 2010 Daniel Maloney Dr, San Jose, CA 95121, 270 sq. ft., exterior matte and acrylics

CHABOYA PHASE 2

  • Chaboya Middle School Gym Murals, (3 murals) June-August 2013, 3276 Cortona Drive, San Jose, CA 95138, 140 sq. ft., exterior matte and acrylics

SBIA IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

  • Classroom Murals and Prayer Calligraphy Vinyls, (4 installs, 1 mural) September 2013, 325 N 3rd St, San Jose, CA 95112, vinyl applique and interior semigloss

BRACE SIMPSON

  • Santa Cruz Orthodontics Signage October 2013, 930 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 128 sq. ft., exterior acrylics

EXAM ROOMS I

  • Aasha’s Pediatrics Phase I November – December 2013, 1569 Lexann Ave #230, San Jose, CA 95121, 1500 sq. ft., interior acrylics

SMALL JOBS

  • Lobbies and Exam Rooms, January-March 2014, Private businesses, 100-400 sq. ft., various acrylics

SHAVED ICE

  • Shaved Hawaiian Ice Murals (4) May-June 2014, 1597 Meridian Ave E, San Jose, CA 95125, 450 sq. ft., interior acrylics

COURTYARD COMPLETION & BALL WALLS

  • Montgomery Phase II & Ball Walls (5 murals) June-August 2015, 2010 Daniel Maloney Dr, San Jose, CA 95121, 1080 sq. ft., exterior matte and acrylics

GIRLS LOCKER ROOM

  • Chaboya Girl’s Locker Room, August 2015, 3276 Cortona Dr., San Jose, CA 95138, 150 sq. ft., interior acrylic

UNDERWATER DENTIST OFFICE

  • Dr. Navarro’s Smile Dentistry November 2015, 750 N Capitol Ave #C, San Jose, CA 95133, 180 sq. ft., interior matte acrylics

STUDENT BODY SPEAKS

  • Laurelwood Ball Wall April-June 2016, 4280 Partridge Dr, San Jose, CA 95121, 500 sq. ft., exterior acrylics

RED WHITE AND ROSE BIKE

  • Peet’s Coffee, Exhibition District & ABA, Bike, June 2016, 1295 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126, 30 sq. ft., exterior acrylics *Did not seal, reflected in price

MATH’S COMMON CORE FUNCTION

  • Chaboya Middle School Coordinate Planes (2 murals) July 2016, 3276 Cortona Drive, San Jose, CA 95138, 320 sq. ft., exterior matte, acrylics & industrial spray

EXAM ROOMS II

  • Aasha’s Pediatrics Phase II (9 murals, varying sizes) July-August 2016, 1569 Lexann Ave #230, San Jose, CA 95121, 810 sq. ft., interior acrylics

LIFE IN WILLOW GLEN, #lifeinwillowglen

  • Willow Glen Business Association, September-November 2016, 1133 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125, 900 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

VENDROME BOX AND CRITTER BOX

  • City of San Jose Artboxes, 2017, approximately 50 sq. ft. each, various acrylics

SAN JOSE LOVE PHOTO MURALS, #heartofsiliconvalley, #valleyofheartsdelight, #sanjoseskyline, #heartofsanjose

  • Eastridge Mall Murals (4 murals) March-April 2017, 20 day execution, 2200 Eastridge Mall Loop, San Jose, CA 95121, 2,500 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

CREATE CONNECT COLLABORATE

  • Ninico Communications, June 2017, 255 N Market St Suite 246, San Jose, CA 95110, 32 sq. ft, exterior acrylics and mural sprays

BENICIA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STADIUM

  • 9 ft. Benicia High School circular logos on seven (7) buildings, September 2017, 1101 Military West, Benicia, California 94510, exterior acrylics

WHIMSICAL MORGAN HILL

  • City of Morgan Hill Public Art Mural, March 6-13, 2018, 17280 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, 400 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

ERIKSON PARK

  • City of San Jose Public Art Mural, April 15-23, 2018, 4280 Fell Avenue, San Jose, CA 95136, 800 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

MIDTOWN 76 STATION

    •  Polanco Enterprises, August 2018, 602 W. San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95126, 350 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

LAWRENCE STATION CENTER

  • Marchese Family Properties, September 17th – October 17th, 2018, 3550 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051, 1200 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

SANTANA ROW BOXES

  • Federal Realty, October 23rd – October 30th, 2018, 3098 Olsen Dr, San Jose, CA 95128, 300 sq. ft., exterior acrylics and mural sprays

SOFA MURAL

EASTRIDGE MALL, GOING UP

BOLLINGER ARTBOX

DOVE HILL

LAURELWOOD

SOFA MURAL (2)

SANTA CLARA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

UBRAN CATALYST

SAN CARLOS ARTBOX

HAMANN PARK

DEPOT MARKETPLACE

SAN PEDRO SQUARE

APNA BAZAAR, FREMONT