Dr. Jerry Hiura Next Gen Visual Artist Award

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    2022 1st Place Winner, "A Unified World" by Nishanth Joshi. 

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    2022 2nd Place Winner, "Peace Unknowing" by Natalie Lawson.

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    2022 2nd Place Winner, "AER Evacuate" by Kyle Lu.

The Dr. Jerry Hiura Next Gen Visual Artist Award honors Dr. Jerry’s passions through a scholarship that celebrates young visionary artists and supports their artistic practice and goals as they pursue higher education.


The San José Museum of Art Dr. Jerry Hiura Next Gen Visual Artist Award was created in honor of former Trustee Dr. Jerry Hiura, known affectionately as “Dr. Jerry,” a gifted individual dedicated to service, community, and the arts. A passionate advocate for multi-cultural arts, he served as chair of San José's Arts Commission and as president of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. Dr. Jerry’s commitment towards advancing the local arts community in San José also included co-founding the Contemporary Asian Theater Scene (CATS), the Japantown Community Congress of San José (JCCsj) and establishing the Three Japantown Landmarks Public Arts projects and Ikoinoba, quiet resting places, throughout Japantown. As a board member for Chopsticks Alley Art, he furthered the creative dialogue between Japanese and Vietnamese American art and history. Dr. Jerry’s countless contributions were recognized Statewide when he was appointed in 2002 by Governor Gray Davis to the California State Arts Council, where he served as vice-chair.

Dr. Jerry and his wife, fellow Trustee Lucia Cha, joined the Board of Trustees of the San José Museum of Art (SJMA) in 2017. He served on the Executive Committee and was a key partner in SJMA’s engagement initiatives with San José’s Vietnamese community. 

As a dedicated artist himself, Dr. Jerry explored his creative endeavors inexpressive forms. His paintings and drawings utilized a variety of media, including oils, watercolor, and acrylics – and ranged from whimsical topics to portraiture. As an author, poet, and editor, he published The Hawk's Well in 1986, a unique collection of Japanese American art and literature.


The Dr. Jerry Hiura Next Gen Visual Artist Award is open to high school students in Santa Clara County. 

Application Deadline: May 15, 2023
Winners Announced: June 2, 2023 at our First Friday Event
Award Amount: 1st prize: $3,000, 2nd / 3rd prizes: $1,000 each

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Scholarship Abstract

Theme/Prompt: Building Blocks

A diverse group of people with different cultures, hobbies, and interests has built the community around you. With parks, restaurants, schools, and hang-out spots, your world is open to boundless possibilities, and a vibrant community that constantly grows and changes.

Make a work of art representing a resource your community needs to continue to grow. Does it need a building? A garden? Perhaps community leaders or more teachers?

Prompt written in partnership with Elaine Li and Anh Lee, Chopsticks Alley’s Dr. Jerry Hiura Asian Artist Fellows 2022. 


  • Open media, 2D pictorial artwork, in response to the theme above
  • Only one submission per student
  • Students must be any high school aged student in Santa Clara County

Application Submission Requirements

Submit the requirements below through the application page.

  • A completed submission form with:
  • Your name 
  • High school name
  • Title of work
  • Description of work submitted including actual dimensions
    • An artist’s statement*
    • A high-quality image of your artwork in .jpg or .png format 
    • 1200 x 1800 px, minimum size 
    • Maximum of three views

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* The statement should be 200 words or less, describing who you are, what you make, and why you make it. The statement is a stand-in for you, the artist, talking to someone about your work in a way that adds to their understanding and experience of viewing that work. Highlight how your work connects to the theme of “Building Blocks.”

Please enjoy the below submissions from the 2022 application period

Students in need of materials to enter the Dr. Jerry Hiura Next Gen Visual Artists Award are invited to contact us at education@sjmusart.org.