Welcome from the Director

“I think northern California is the most beautiful place on earth. And I adore New Orleans, but there’s something about the air, for instance. It changes from moment to moment, like one’s thoughts.” —Hilton Als

Welcome to spring in Northern California, where the blossoming almond and plum trees lead to flowering cherry and apricot, sweet pittosporum and wildflowers; a riot of color and scent. At the San José Museum of Art, we welcome you this spring to enjoy the new offerings from exhibitions and programs to our stunning new acquisitions for the permanent collection on long-term view.

Entering SJMA’s soaring lobby, you can’t miss Receiver in the Oshman sculpture court by Huma Bhabha, one of the most acclaimed artists working today. Known for layered and nuanced work that centers on reinvention and its expressive possibilities, Huma Bhabha’s work has graced the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and is now in San José—and here to stay. We invite you to meet Receiver and give us your feedback.

Also, on long-term view in the stair landing off the lobby is a new work by Elias Sime, called Tightrope: Behind the Processor #5. Assembled from obsolete electronic parts, Sime makes beauty from the circuit boards and wires manufactured and discarded by Silicon Valley.

We open a major new exhibition April 26 in the Plaza and Gibson galleries off the lobby, Seeing through Stone, the largest installation in the Visualizing Abolition series co-organized with the Institute of Arts and Sciences at University of California, Santa Cruz. With reference to poet Etheridge Knight’s evocation of those who have “secret eyes”—Seeing through Stone features artworks that chart the flourishing constellation of abolition by contemporary artists including SJMA collection artists Guillermo Galindo, Steffani Jemison, Sadie Barnette, Shilpa Gupta, and a major installation by Charles Gaines. Join us April 26, from 6 to 9pm.

Please also join us May 3 at 6pm as we bestow the Dr. Jerry Hiura NextGen Visual Arts Award to three Santa Clara county high school students. This year’s theme—Embracing Identity—inspired over 130 submissions. The Dr. Jerry award was created in honor of former Trustee Dr. Jerry Hiura, a beloved member of the SJMA community who dedicated himself to service, community, and the arts. That same evening join us for a blend of rap, poetry, and storytelling infused with jazz and hip-hop at our popular First Friday with the Francis Experience Quartet.

Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures opens June 7, and we invite you to join us in welcoming this insightful survey of this Los Angeles photographer presented with University of California Riverside Arts. Our connective tissue extends artistically from San José to Santa Cruz, Los Angeles to the Inland Empire and beyond, and we look forward to seeing you here at SJMA.

S. Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director

Image: Elias Sime’s Tightrope: Behind the Processor #5 on view now. Photo by Frederick Liang.