Message from the Director

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”  —Angela Davis*  

Welcome to 2022 and the excitement ahead! During current Omicron virus concerns, we are emerging cautiously from the holidays. We look forward to a transformative new year and are delighted to welcome you in person Fridays through Sundays. Please join us in our extensive free virtual programming available, highlighted on this website,

We couldn’t be prouder to present our powerful slate of exhibitions on view, inspired by artists fulfilling our strategic goal to become a borderless museum—Beta Space: Trevor Paglen resounds from the historic clock tower while the street banners by Clare Rojas in Wayfinder map the way from SJMA to our public mural Sophie Holding the World Together (2018), created by El Mac in collaboration with The Propeller Group, at Discovery Meadow. Once inside the Museum, you will find Hito Steyerl’s Factory of the Sun, which opened over the summer. Don’t miss our newest exhibition Our whole, unruly selves which presents an innovative take on figuration and inclusivity, featuring ninety works of art, including eighty-two from our growing permanent collection. New acquisitions by Laura Aguilar, Felipe Baeza, rafa esparza, Vanessa German, and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle are just a few of the artists joining Steffani Jemison, Hayv Kahraman, Senga Nengudi, Christina Quarles, Alison Saar, and Aislinn Thomas with Teatro Vision, along with commissioned performances by San Jose Jazz.  

San José Museum of Art kicked off a major strategic planning renewal project in November, working with strategists at LaPlaca Cohen, who published Culture Track’s Wave 2: Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation, which will guide us in our examination of shifts and key trends that have emerged during the pandemic in the cultural sector. We are bringing a think tank of arts and community leaders together to provide external perspectives and insights, followed by visioning work sessions to prioritize SJMA’s renewed plan, which will be delivered by late spring. Watch this space for more details as our education programs, exhibitions, and artist-centered programs focus on impact through a variety of activations. Our strategic work remains focused on nurturing strong, ongoing relationships with community partners and integrating them into program development. As we engage the public in creative and experimental ways, we invite you to help us think about how to “radically transform the world.” 

S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director 

*Angela Davis talk at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. February 13, 2014.