Message from the Director

Sonya Rapoport, Koch II, 1972–74. Spray acrylic and graphite on canvas; 72 × 96 inches. Estate of Sonya Rapoport.

With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith. On view Friday, November 1, 2019–Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Tommie Smith at the opening reception of With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith. Photo by Sharon Kenney.

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
—Alice Walker

Happy New Year! As we continue our 50th Anniversary celebrations at San José Museum of Art, we burst into the New Year with dynamic exhibitions and programs that continue our strategic focus to reach across borders, combining artistic excellence with community relevance. And we begin this new year with gratitude—thank you for your support as members and volunteers, and we also give thanks to the generous and inspirational artists at the core of our mission.

New projects abound in 2020, starting with Sonya Rapaport: biorhythm which opens on Facebook First Friday, February 7. In the permanent collection since her landmark SJMA show in 1974, this exhibition celebrates the Berkeley-based experimental artist whose work spans painterly abstraction to net art—a true pioneer in new media. Join us and get your biorhythm read!

We are continuing to pass the baton to the next generation of activists inspired by the exhibition With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, on view until April 5. Celebrating San José State runner Tommie Smith, who raised a gloved fist at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City to protest human rights abuses around the world, the Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino’s work is present in the galleries, as well as in a feature film SJMA will screen on February 25 at the Hammer Theatre Center. The film is executive produced by John Legend and Jesse Williams, directed by Kaino and Afshin Shahidi, and followed by a discussion with Smith and Kaino. Don’t miss this inspirational and engaging evening, which is sure to sell out.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum this winter, please join us at our public programs and advocacy workshops, Passing the Baton, inspiring personal activism to create positive change in our community. Happy 2020!


S. Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director