Message from the Director
San José Museum of Art (SJMA) proudly launched Facebook First Fridays on February 1, a transformational sponsorship led by the Facebook Art Department. Our inaugural event included free admission to all exhibitions, and drew nearly 1,000 people enjoying a live DJ while in the galleries looking at works by artists from Francis Alÿs and Ginny Bishton to Glenn Kaino and Hiwa K, and upstairs by Gabriel Orozco and Dinh Q. Lê. Join us again for this free event every first Friday in April, May, June, and beyond.
SJMA’s commitment to borderlessness and expanding our presence offsite continues this March with the film series Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film March 20–24, co-presented with the Asian Art Museum (AAM), San Francisco. Twelve films including documentary, art, and feature-length films by Southeast Asian Filmmakers will be screened at the AAM, the California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco, and locations throughout San José.
For SJMA’s 50th Anniversary we are honoring visionary women artists, with the exhibition Undersoul: Jay DeFeo accompanied by public programs investigating the Beat generation. At the heart of this exhibition are four DeFeo paintings from SJMA’s permanent collection, as well as a nuanced examination of DeFeo’s extensive use of photography, on loan from The Jay DeFeo Foundation. The exhibition catalogue presents important new scholarship, with an essay by curator Lauren Schell Dickens and contributions by Kathryn Wade, curatorial associate.
Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World takes over the entire second floor of the Museum, “like creatures from another world,” opening May 16. SJMA’s curator Lauren Schell Dickens co-organized the exhibition with Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts curator of contemporary art Jodi Throckmorton to present the first mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work, an ambitious examination of Banerjee’s unique view of immigration, colonialism and feminism. To explore her work deeply, the entire Koret Gallery in the lower level will be devoted to a Rina Banerjee Learning Lab. Families and lifelong learners can explore the artist’s use of materials and learn more about the artist’s practice through interactive elements, created by the Museum’s Educators and Design Team.
I am particularly pleased to announce that now, SJMA’s exhibitions are free for youth through age 17, college students with ID, and teachers. This new access program advances a strategic commitment to break down barriers to participation and highlights SJMA’s long-standing commitment, through high-impact classroom-based programs like Let’s Look at Art and Sowing Creativity, free Community Days, and an extensive field-trip program, to serve as an educational partner and resource for our community. With this new program we celebrate SJMA as a classroom for ideas and a meeting place for the community. We look forward to deepening existing educational partnerships, and to welcoming new audiences across our majority-minority community.
S. Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director