Message from the Director

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    Rory Padeken, Jean Conner, S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, and Kathryn Wade at the opening of Jean Conner: Collage.

    Photo: Frederick Liang.

Kids’ Art Camp is back in the Museum! For the first time since 2019, the students are on-site for week-long instruction with our San José teaching artists—learning and exploring new media, visiting the galleries, and up close interaction with professional artists, our curators and exhibitions teams, culminating in an exhibition they curated.

While the student artists take over the Wendel Education Center, SJMA springs forward with our new exhibitions and programs, and we continue to honor our growing permanent collection in new ways. On July 22, SJMA proudly celebrates exceptional works from the permanent collection with Evergreen: Art from the Collection, a long-term installation of collection favorites by artists including Louise Nevelson, Hung Liu, Llyn Foulkes, Elmer Bischoff, and Diana Thater—and includes new acquisitions by rafa esparza and Candida Alvarez, among others—SJMA’s gifts to the community and our students. Also on July 22, SJMA opens Brett Weston, featuring fifty photographs spanning 40 years, predominantly printed by the artist, which were recently donated to the Museum. Weston is a Bay Area favorite who became one of the leading photographers in the twentieth century.

Our commitment to becoming a borderless museum and programming outside the building continues with Wayfinder: Juan Carlos Araujo. See his original designs on banners in downtown San José along East Santa Clara Street through November 6.

Kelly Akashi: Formations opens on September 3, the first major museum exhibition of Los Angeles based artist Kelly Akashi, and features a newly commissioned series in which Akashi explores the inherited impact of her family’s imprisonment in a Japanese American incarceration camp during World War II. On view until April 23, 2023, the exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph on Akashi with an essay by Lauren Schell Dickens, senior curator, who organized the exhibition, Ruba Katrib and Dr. Jenni Sorkin, and a conversation between the artist and painter Julien Nguyen. The exhibition will travel nationally.

San José Museum of Art’s on-going goal to be borderless is embodied in connecting the work and ideas of Kelly Akashi to new expansive audiences. As the artist says:

“we’re talking about things that have a lot of distance and unknowns to them… sometimes that’s the hardest thing to learn with art, is how to leave space for the viewer to bring their unknown, their personal stories, history, experiences and have the work open to that.”

S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director