Rey Giese: Painting the Town Since 1935

On behalf of the Giese family, KALEID Gallery is proud to present a month long exhibition of Rey Giese’s legacy works, and featuring new works from artists inspired by Rey’s designs, making one of a kind handcrafted pieces like Rey used to!

Rey Giese passed in April 2013. Giese painted signs for over seventy eight years, lettering much of the bay area’s history into his handcrafted signs, gold leaf, and lettering. In the latter months of his life, Giese’s grandson Bryan, met a small group of designers and tattoo artists who felt that his grandfather’s legacy lives on not only in sign, but in the shared regard of other artisans and in the legacy of a working artist. These people helped to light an idea that the signs and lettering that his grandfather did should live on, representing San Jose and the Bay Area’s history.

This exhibition at KALEID is not just the showing of a lifelong process of sign artistry, it is not just a reflection of the history of San Jose way back when it was the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”…it is also the uniting of several generations of artisans who carry a crucial but usually maverick, status in society. Rey’s passion was the same as theirs; a commitment to a personal standard of excellence and a desire to make art and make a business out of it. In a world of mass manufacture, we are very grateful to know artists are still perfecting their skills and enriching their communities, the way it was when Rey started painting in 1935. And in revitalizing some of his old designs, these artists are helping to carry on the tradition of the craft that Rey stood for. And that is something to be celebrated.

Opening Reception: First Friday February 7th, 7–11pm
Free and open to the public. Part of the South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk

There will be hand lettered vintage vehicles outside during the reception. The month long exhibition will feature much of Rey’s personal sign collection, and new one of a kind designs based upon some of Rey’s signs over the decades by artists: John Barrick, Lacey Bryant, Orly Cukui, Ken Davis, Bob Dewhurst, Jim Gardner, Rachel Giese, Abel Gonzalez, Benjamin Henderson, Jesico Serrano, Damon Styer, Lorna Sulgit, John Truong.

Exhibition: February 7–28, 2014




“Sign painter Rey Giese celebrated in San Jose exhibition” by Sal Pizarro, Mercury News

“Sign-Maker Rey Giese at KALEID Gallery” by Gary Singh, Metro Newspaper



88 South Fourth Street (@ San Fernando)
San Jose, CA 95112

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, noon -7pm
Free admission

3 thoughts on “Rey Giese Exhibition Feb. 7–28, 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *