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Barring Freedom, co-organized by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, brings together contemporary artists and activists raising awareness about prisons and policing. The exhibition opens October 30 and is on view through April 25, 2021. Barring Freedom is an arts initiative, focusing on Visualizing Abolition, which includes the exhibition, online programs, and a public art project, Solitary Garden. Made in collaboration between artist jackie sumell, UC Santa Cruz students, and Tim Young—who is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison—Solitary Garden will simultaneously be on view at UC Santa Cruz.

With more than two million incarcerated individuals, a majority Black or Brown and virtually all from poor communities, the prison industrial complex reveals a troubled nation. Barring Freedom considers the strategies artists use to reveal this racist worldview and the social problems that it effectively creates and obscures. It also highlights alternative visions and future dreamscapes offered by these artists as a counter to the brutalities of our current reality. The exhibition is inspired by the teachings of noted prison abolitionist and scholar Dr. Angela Y. Davis.
Featured artists include: American Artist, Sadie Barnette, Sanford Biggers, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Sonya Clark, Sharon Daniel, Maria Gaspar, Ashley Hunt, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, Deana Lawson, Sherrill Roland, Dread Scott, jackie sumell, Hank Willis Thomas, Patrice Renee Washington, and Levester Williams.

Visualizing Abolition | An Online Series

Visualizing Abolition is a series of virtual talks and events presented in conjunction with the exhibition Barring Freedom, co-organized by SJMA, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS), and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The online events feature artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition and are coordinated by the IAS in collaboration with Professor Gina Dent, feminist studies, UC Santa Cruz. Learn more HERE.

Visualizing Abolition with Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent | Online Program

Tue, Oct 20, 4–5:30pm PDT | Free, registration required.
Join Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent, noted anti-prison activists, scholars, and educators, for an online conversation about critical issues in the arts, visual culture, and abolition. This is the first in a series of events that questions what it means to think of abolitionism as a vision—one that challenges the social, economic, and political worldviews that prisons promote. Register HERE.

Visit SJMA beginning Oct 30! | New Hours + Safety Measures

New hours are Fri–Sun, 11am–5pm*
The health of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and community members is our highest priority. Visit sjmusart.org for updates on how we are creating and maintaining a healthy and safe space to see art.
* SJMA has implemented a dedicated hour of each day for our most vulnerable guests to enjoy the Museum. We invite seniors, those who are pregnant, and those with underlying health concerns to visit from 11am–12pm.
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Pae White’s Noisy Blushes (2020) is a meditation on movement and time, light and color, material presence and the elusiveness of form. Commissioned by SJMA and supported by over 120 community members, the sculpture soars within the Museum’s thirty-foot high atrium and transforms its entrance into an experiential passageway, delivering a sublime experience for visitors. Selected from 10,000 options designed with custom software, Noisy Blushes is one of the artist’s largest hanging pieces and her most colorful. Sixty-eight colors sweep through the sculpture through an effect White calls a “blush.” Hues of gold, silver, and rose dominate to acknowledge the entwined histories of quicksilver mining in the town of New Almaden in south San José and the California Gold Rush of the High Sierras. White incorporated a few miniaturized versions of large-scale, geometric wall drawings by minimalist artist Sol LeWitt with designs of her own making, imbuing her sculpture with a multitude of references that addresses many things at once.

Pae White, Noisy Blushes, 2020
Ink, cable, and electroplated and polished stainless steel; 167 × 166 × 132 inches; 12,000 disks; 504 strands. Commissioned by the San José Museum of Art, in honor of its 50th anniversary. Photography © Fredrik Nilsen Studio.

Pae White on Beauty and the Power of Art

Pae White’s monumental hanging piece, Noisy Blushes is a gift to the City of San José and a beacon of light offering a moment of reverie to all who see it. Watch artist Pae White talk about what art and beauty mean to her and in her art, particularly in the period of Covid-19. Watch the artist HERE.

Pae White’s Noisy Blushes: Installation Timelapse

Pae White’s Noisy Blushes is the most ambitious commission in SJMA’s history. Let’s run the numbers to prove it: 12,000 disks, 1,129 cubic feet, 504 cables, 120 funders, 68 colors, 9 days of installation, 8 exhibition team members, 3 scissor lifts, and 1 artist. Watch the video HERE.

Pae White’s Noisy Blushes: A Bird’s Eye View

Get up close and personal with a bird’s-eye view of Pae White’s Noisy Blushes! See multitudes of colors and patterns emerge as the camera moves around, above, and below the sculpture. Watch the video HERE.

Artistic Styles: Pae White | Make Art at Home

Discover a new way to capture texture with paint. This art project is inspired by Pae White's paper clay paintings from the exhibition, Beta Space: Pae White, on view July 18, 2019–January 19, 2020. Watch the video HERE.

Stemless Wine Glasses Designed with Pae White’s Foreverago

In honor of the San José Museum of Art's 2020 Gala + Auction, the etchings on this limited-edition wine glass were designed by Los Angeles artist Pae White, based on patterns from her tapestry, Foreverago, (2017). Sales tax is included in price. Purchase your wine glass HERE!

2020 Gala + Auction | Encore Broadcast

Pae White was the artist honoree at this year’s Gala + Auction. Watch her acceptance speech and curator Rory Padeken speak about what her art means to SJMA and to the community. SJMA’s 2020 Gala + Auction Encore streams this Saturday, October 10 at 6pm PDT online at sjmusart.org/2020gala OR watch at 8:30pm PDT on Comcast channel 30, Apple TV, and Roku.

Support | Pae White, Noisy Blushes (2020)
Commissioned by the San José Museum of Art, in honor of its 50th anniversary, and acquired with funds provided by the Lipman Family Foundation, the Acquisitions Committee, Diane Jonte-Pace and David Pace, the Council of 100, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, and Brook Hartzell and Tad Freese, with additional support provided by the Docent Council, Toby and Barry Fernald, Evelyn and Rick Neely, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, C. Christine Nichols, Dorene Masterman, and Shauna Mika and Richard Callison.
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