We should all be as lucky as the staff at San Jose's Artik Art & Architecture, who work in an office constantly surrounded by amazing art.

Bill Gould, the architecture firm's founder, held the 20th annual open house art party Wednesday evening at Artik's offices/art studio on Umbarger Road in San Jose. It's normally an amazing event, part hoedown and part gallery show -- but this year was over the top to mark the milestone, with more than 100 pieces on display from about 90 Bay Area artists.

Mingling with the art-loving crowd were several artists whose work was either on display at the party or had been shown in previous years, including Al Preciado, Kathryn Dunlevie, Tony May, Tessie Barrara-Scharaga, Charlotte Kruk, Harry Powers, Lynn Powers, M. Louise Stanley, Lucy Traeger, Katherine Levin-Lau and Paul J. Gonzalez. There were paintings, sculptures, metalwork and prints wherever your eye would go. Some of the pieces are part of Gould's personal collection, but most were created for this and it was all carefully curated by Kathryn Funk.

Gould says filling the office with real, locally produced art -- and having an annual open house showcasing it -- was his way of bringing things together and bringing people together: artists, CEOs, teachers, builders and musicians.

"I wanted the art because I wanted my staff to think," he said. "There's work that people like. There's work that people don't like. To me, it doesn't matter. It starts a conversation."

Gould's own work continues to blossom, too, and he's leaving this weekend for a 10-day trip to Poland to begin installation on a community art project in the town of Lubin, close to where he and his wife, Jill, lived for two years in the 1980s. He'll start installation of the piece, "Maki," consisting of five 24-foot-high representations of poppies, in June and return to finish the job before the dedication.

"The dedication is Sept. 13, and that's 30 years to the day since Jill and I first set foot in Poland," he said.

CREATIVE CONNECTION: Silicon Valley Creates held a reception Tuesday night at the ZERO1 Garage in downtown San Jose to honor its Artist Laureates: San Jose Taiko founders Roy and PJ Hirabayashi, musician Van-Anh Vanessa Vo, artist Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, City Lights Theater Company Executive Artistic Director Lisa Mallette and sculpture artist Ryan Carrington.

Of course, with a crowd like that, the event couldn't help but get creative. There was a flash-mob like "call and response" that started during an original song composed by PJ Hirabayashi. And Vo gladly joined San Jose Taiko on the song playing her famed bamboo xylophone.

HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPIONS: Santa Clara County honored those who work to protect and advocate for human and civil rights Thursday night at its annual Human Relations Awards, held at the County Government Center on Hedding Street in San Jose.

This year's honorees were the Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN), which received the Human Relations Commission Award; Silicon Valley De-Bug, which received the Office of Human Relations Director's Award; and retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, currently San Jose's Independent Police Auditor, who was presented with the James P. McEntee Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also recognized at the event were award winners from each supervisor's district: Community Technology Alliance (District 1); Viet Nam Nguyen (District 2), the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County (District 3); the Equity Project (District 4); and Civility Roundtable Project of the Mt. View Human Relations Commission (District 5).

URBAN PARTY: The Circle of Palms between the Fairmont Hotel and the Museum of Art in downtown San Jose was overrun with urbanists Thursday evening, as SPUR San Jose welcomed hundreds of people to its annual Members Party. Among the faces in the crowd were Kim Walesh, director of economic development and chief strategist for the city of San Jose; San Jose Museum of Art Executive Director Susan Krane; commercial real estate broker Mark Ritchie; architect Rob Steinberg; Core Companies Vice President Chris Neale; San Jose Downtown Association Executive Director Scott Knies; and SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf.

"This is a big success for us," said Leah Toeniskoetter, director of SPUR San Jose. "Our goal was to bring a lot of people together, and we did it."

SPUR, which advocates for smart urban planning, has more interesting events on the horizon in San Jose, too, including a free forum on Latino Urbanism at its South First Street office on June 12 and a historic walking tour of St. James Park with Bonnie Bamburg and April Halberstadt scheduled for June 23.

For more information, go to www.spur.org.

MANGIA! MANGIA!: It sounds like there should be a great time had at "A Night in Tuscany," a fundraiser being presented by the Saratoga Area Senior Coordinating Council and El Camino Hospital on June 7.

The M.E. Fox Event Center at West Valley College will be transformed into an Italian trattoria, with wine-tasting provided by Cooper-Garrod Vineyards, a strolling musician and an Italian dinner. Tickets are $60, with proceeds supporting the Saratoga Adult Care Center. For tickets and more information, go to www.anightintuscany.org.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.