For denizens of Silicon Valley the concept of “repetitive stress” is a familiar one. With its constantly churning startup culture, emphasis on ever-higher achievement and the oppressive expectation of 24/7 connectivity, living and working here can be absolutely exhausting. And yet, even as we are beaten down by our modern condition, we also habituate the behavior.

“Everybody can relate to the idea of repetitive stress,” says artist Yvonne Escalante, who will be showing her metal work at an upcoming exhibit, appropriately titled “Repetitive Stress,” at the Art Ark Gallery. “There’s so much going on here all the time that somehow repetitive stress becomes second nature to us, just to survive for life.”

The exhibit, which opens August 1, will feature 12 South Bay artists and their interpretations of the Repetitive Stress theme in a variety of media—including sculpture, painting, mixed media and ceramics.

The show’s title prompts the artists to consider their own repetitive and stressful experiences with the artistic process itself—such as Malia Landis’ careful crafting of paper-thin, porcelain petals to make a lei, Escalante’s endless reworking of industrial objects to make a uniquely handmade piece, and Brittney Cathey-Adam’s retelling of a hero’s narrative through black-white photography.

Whatever background visitors bring to the Art Ark Gallery, curator Lauren O’Connor-Korb hopes the exhibition will create space for contemplation and that guests will walk away with an appreciation for the work ethic of the featured artists. “I just wanted to amass all the people around me who were doing great work and really push what they can do in their medium,” she says.

O’Connor-Korb also hopes that this exhibit will serve as a gateway for further exploration of arts and culture in San Jose—a city that Cathey-Adams says is frequently left unmentioned in discussions of Bay Area art.

Given that all of the artists showcasing their work at the exhibit are in some way connected to San Jose State University—either as lecturers, Masters candidates or alumni—O’Connor-Korb says that “Repetitive Stress” demonstrates the strength and eclectic nature of San Jose’s art scene.

Additionally, the gallery itself serves as a demonstration of the city’s commitment to the arts. The space is part of the on-site amenities of the Art Ark Apartments, located in downtown San Jose. The complex relieves a different kind of stress, by offering affordable housing units and a like-minded community for lower-income artists.

“It’s like a big art hub,” says Cathey-Adams. Though she isn’t a resident of the Art Ark (none of those in the show are), she recognizes the importance of affordable housing for artists, who often have to pay double rent for both living space and studio space for their work. “Many of the artists that I meet aren’t even from the Silicon Valley, where the rent is so much higher,” she says. “So with the Art Ark, the support system is great if it’s already built into the housing.”

The exhibit will run for about two weeks, from August 1-17 by appointment only. The gallery’s opening reception will be held August 1 from 6pm to 9pm.