Café Pomegranate Mural Initiative
Location: 221 East San Fernando St.
Owner: Pomegranate Cafe owner Affie Mahini
Collaborating Artists: Mireya Villanueva & Tulio Flores
Mireya Villanueva Madris was born on February 6, 1985 in the small city of Nuevo Ideal Durango, Mexico. Growing up in a small town was difficult at times, especially in a country like Mexico where opportunities were few and far between. When she was seven years of age Mireya immigrated to the United States with her family.
Mireya’s journey into art began during high school; her history teacher discovered that she could draw and encouraged Mireya to join him painting murals around the city of San Jose. Through this experience, Mireya became introduced to acryclic painting
The ideas for some of Mireya’s paintings and drawings come from the traditions she grew up, in. Surrounded with the Mexican culture, she gained inspiration from the strength and generosity of its people, the strong family unity system and most importantly religion. Her art introduces and reflects her humble Mexican upbringing and her beliefs.
Tulio Flores is a decorated and accomplished artist, based out of San Jose, California. He works with a range of mediums and his boundless commitment to working with many different materials makes his canvas limitless. He channels his life lessons and his daily stress into his canvas. With color his work aims to illustrate all the colors of his life. Every piece Tulio creates has an elaborate backstory. And the story of any one piece in a collection has an interesting connection with every other piece.
The majority of his art is mixed media work. He uses recyclable found objects such as wax, wood, metal objects, string, feathers, and plants combined with oil based paint.
Café Pomegranate opened in 2003 as owner Affie Mahini’s vision to create a casual dining experience in the heart of San Jose. The café blends her love of cooking with her passion to feed people. Drawing from her family’s Persian background, Mahini has created an eclectic mix of foods that feature the best form of Iranian, Mediterranean, Mexican and Californian cuisines. The café is located across the street from San Jose State University and just behind the new city hall. In the seven years Café Pomegranate has been open, they have become a favorite lunch spot for students and faculty of SJSU as well as the staff of the city.