Message from the Director

Happy 50th Anniversary! How fortunate and happy we are to have reached this auspicious milestone.

In 2019, the San José Museum of Art (SJMA) celebrates our golden Anniversary, and we will be delighted to lift a goblet with you at SJMA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala and Auction on September 21st. Founded by artists and dedicated civic boosters in 1969, SJMA has a unique history as a community-focused institution. Today, as we expand our programs to become a borderless museum, essential to the creative life throughout the diverse communities of San José and Silicon Valley, we continue to honor our forward-thinking founders and pay tribute to them.

At the gala we will salute Ann Marie Mix, a founder of the Museum and early supporter with her late husband Averill, and the former President of the Board and former two-term Mayor of San José, Susan Hammer. We will also celebrate the brilliant artist Leo Villareal, who has found fertile ground at the intersection of art and technology.

Our anniversary year has been marked by the recognition of visionary women artists on the centennial of women’s suffrage, starting with the spring openings of Undersoul: Jay DeFeo; Catherine Wagner: Paradox Observed; and the traveling exhibition Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World. Completing this suite of exhibitions is Beta Space: Pae White, opening July 18th. This Los Angeles-based artist creates large-scale installations, mixing media, art, and design. At SJMA, she presents new work including a monumental tapestry. As associate curator Rory Padeken says, this work evokes the “kinaesthetic— as much a bodily as a visual experience.” Please join us for Pae White’s glittering opening on the Third Thursday of July.

This year the Museum has been energized around our new strategic direction, prioritizing technology as a critical topic in our community and exploring the intersection between art and innovation. Networked: Digital Art in the Permanent Collection is a year-long installation that highlights artists who use digital technologies, and the exhibition will include works from early Jim Campbell to one of the newest artists to enter the collection, Ian Cheng. We are proud to present these collection artists: Andrea Ackerman, Petra Cortright, Zara Houshmand and Tamiko Thiel, Tony Oursler, Alan Rath, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jennifer Steinkamp, Diana Thater, and Bill Viola. Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin’s The Listening Post (2002–06) will make Networked a destination exhibition for digital natives and for those looking to expand their understanding of how artists change the language of art in an increasingly connected world.

These are artistic halcyon days at San José Museum of Art, and we invite you to bask with us in the golden glow—and to anticipate the dawn of the next half-century of artistic networking.


S. Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director