San Jose had a rare non-tech headline on this week with a blog post on local champions of the arts Cherri Lakey and Brian Eder, founders of Anno Domini art gallery in the SoFA District.

In the interview, “Silicon Valley’s Secret Subculture, Not So Secret Anymore,” the duo describes the gallery’s roots and their decision in the mid-90s to settle in San Jose, which “had a policy of zero tolerance out on the streets, and culturally it was stifled,” instead of San Francisco.

“You have to understand that we didn’t have the luxury of most big cities with a thriving art scene,” Lakey and Eder told Forbes. “There were so many artists with little to no opportunities to exhibit here. That was responsible for a constant exodus of young creatives for years. This definitely was and continues to be a motivating factor for us. Something had to be done.”

Eder elaborated on the theme during a 2012 interview with

“Growing up here, I felt we could add something to what was going on here, and even though it would be a harder path we chose to move here,” Eder said. “We thought if we could start something here in San Jose that actually helped to change the culture, it would really be an accomplishment for us.”

The gallery has since become a catalyst for major change in San Jose’s arts scene—particularly for artists who exist outside of the mainstream—with the popular monthly art walk South First Fridays and the annual SubZERO Festival.

The gallery continuously hosts exhibitions throughout the year, including the current solo exhibition by Joe Kowalczyk “Millions of Colors in the Shadow.” It’s also a regular Metro Newspaper’s annual Best of List and cultural tastemaker Juxtapoz ranked it No. 43 on its list of top 100 galleries and museums worldwide.

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[Photo courtesy of Anno Domini]