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.
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’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.
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.
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.
"Just do your work. And if the world needs your work it will come and get you. And if it doesn't, do your work anyway. You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I'm given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one's own vision." – Kiki Smith, artist
Welcome to SJMA's first ever interactive virtual exhibition featuring artwork from our kids summer art camp young artists, SJMA's gallery teachers and studio art educators, as well as our professional guest artists. The art you will view upon these virtual gallery walls are an expression of artists of all ages and levels of experience coming together and just doing their work, with unlimited vision.
– Amy Sargeant, Manager of K–12 Curriculum and Instruction
Many thanks to our young campers and families, guest artists Tony May, Dana Harris, Vanessa Marsh, Yojiro Imasaka, Imin Yeh and Leslie Shows. Appreciation to our Studio Art Educators Emilio Banuelo, Shannon Stearns, and Dovey Khechfe and Gallery Teachers Roan Bontempo, Linda Franklin, Maria Fox, Hannah Lehman, Radhika Tandon, STEAM expert Greg Brown and Education Coordinator Allora Armstrong. A special thanks to Eric Sargeant for his Sketchup mastery. Finally, thank you Education Director Jeff Bordona, Director Sayre Batton and many SJMA staff members and Board of Directors for their contributions of time, talent and unlimited support.
Almost Human: Digital Art from the Permanent Collection (through Sunday, September 27, 2020) highlights artists who use digital and emergent technologies from custom computer electronics and early robotics to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Almost Human seems to posit the question, what makes us human? Works are connected to our physical and emotional experiences while others record human connection and longing. Exhibition artists: Andrea Ackerman, Jim Campbell, Ian Cheng, Petra Cortright, Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, Zara Houshmand and Tamiko Thiel, Tony Oursler, Alan Rath, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jennifer Steinkamp, Diana Thater, and Bill Viola. Learn more HERE.
San Jose State University students enrolled in ARTH 101 with Dr. Dore Bowen winter semester, 2020. As part of their course, they visited San José Museum of Art and met with Museum staff for a deeper understanding of what goes into making an exhibition. The semester’s worth of study and research resulted in an online exhibition. SJMA is proud to be a resource and an extension of the classroom for all teachers and students.
ARTH 101: Introduction to the Practice of Art History Instructor, Dr. Dore Bowen
This undergraduate seminar applied art historical knowledge to real world situations. The course introduced students to the practices of art history with particular focus on visual analysis, research tools and strategies, project organization, and the politics of display. Students read and responded to essays, participated in site visits and workshops, and completed related assignments, ultimately applying these newly acquired skills to build a coherent curatorial proposal and exhibition.
The final exhibition was designed as a response to the exhibition on view at the San José Museum of Art (November 1– April 5, 2020*) concerning San Jose State University history—With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith. With this goal in mind, students learned about the current art ecosystem and its various roles, including the artist, gallery observer, critic, archivist, researcher, art historian, and curator.
Iconic: San Jose State Responds Exhibition
The exhibition Iconic: San Jose State Responds was created in response to the installation With Drawn Arms by Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, which refers to the stand two San Jose State athletes took against racism and injustice on October 16, 1968 at the Olympic Games in México City. For this virtual exhibition the students were asked to think about the installation by Kaino and Smith, and the historical moment it refers to, in light of our current moment—notably, the COVID-19 pandemic (which shifted the exhibition from real to virtual), and to consider: for what would you take a stand today? This historical view brought to light the differences that separate 1968 from the present, such as the currently outsized role of technology, the emergence of fake news, the divisive political environment, as well as, on the brighter side, a growing tolerance for marginalized groups and heightened ecological awareness, both of which took root in the US at the time Smith and Carlos took their stand.
Over the course of the semester the class visited the San José Museum of Art multiple times to view With Drawn Arms, meet with Museum staff Karen Rapp, Jody Parry, and Samantha Hull, who generously introduced the class to different aspects of the Museum and its work, and also arranged for the students to meet with Lauren Schell Dickens, senior curator; Richard Karson, director of design + operations; and Jeff Bordona, director of education. We whole-heartily thank the San José Museum of Art for working with us on this project, as well as class speakers Urla Hill, guest curator of Speed City originally on view at History San Jose, and Rigo 23, who spoke to the class about his Victory Salute (2005)—a 22-foot high sculpture on the San Jose State campus commemorating Carlos and Smith.
The Iconic museum is shaped roughly like the Olympic symbol, and each student team worked on one gallery “ring” in the museum. The exhibition was curated by Vickie Simms and Frank Boban, who were also responsible for one of the galleries. Gallery 1 was organized by Viridiana Millan and Kasandra Flores; Gallery 2 by Katie Austin and Luis Bolanos; Gallery 3 by Michael Ramos and Drew Korten; Gallery 4 by Tami MacDonald and Addie Brinker; Gallery 5 by Vickie Simms and Frank Boban; Project photographer, Diego Esparza.
Following the Santa Clara County orders to shelter in place. The health and safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and community members is our highest priority.
*The Museum closed on March 13 in accordance with the Shelter in Place ordinances made by the City of San José and Santa Clara County.
In 1993, Hans Ulrich Obrist together with artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, conceived do it, an exhibition based entirely on artists’ instructions, which could be followed to create temporary art works for the duration of a show. do it questioned authorship, challenged traditional exhibition formats, and championed art’s ability to exist beyond a single gallery space.
Today, as many of us around the world are under orders to stay at home, SJMA is joining Independent Curators International (ICI) and over 30 art spaces around the world in sharing do it (home). A version of do it,do it (home) assembles a set of artists’ instructions that can easily be realized in one’s own home. To Obrist, “do it has always been global and local, public and private—spheres of life that for many have coalesced in recent months.” do it (home) will take you away from your computer screens to create an art experience at home. It’s an invitation to follow an artist’s lead, enter their world, and realize an artwork. When you’re ready to return to the screen, share an image of what you did and tag with #DoItHome #SJMAEd #ArtAtHome @san_jose_museum_of_art
View and download all do it (home) instructions in English.View and download all do it (home) instructions in Spanish.
Artists Include: Etel Adnan, Sophia Al Maria, Uri Aran, Arca, Nairy Baghramian, Christian Boltanski, Meriem Bennani, Geta Bratescu, Critical Art Ensemble, Jimmie Durham, Torkwase Dyson, Tracey Emin, Simone Forti, Liam Gillick, Joseph Grigely, Shilpa Gupta, Koo Jeong-A, David Lamelas, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Lucy R. Lippard, Cildo Meireles, Jonas Mekas, Albert Oehlen, Precious Okoyomon, Füsun Onur, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Philippe Parreno, Thao Nguyen Phan, Marjetica Potrč, Raqs Media Collective, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Carrie Mae Weems.
do it (home) is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. do it (home) is made available to art spaces internationally free of charge, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with the support of ICI’s Board of Trustees, contributors to ICI’s Access Fund, and the Jeanne and Dennis Masel Foundation.
In 1984, local artist Sonya Rapoport imagined a future fantasy world in which we consult computers to assess how we feel. Rapoport was at the forefront of creating art that incorporated technology. As she continued to use traditional mediums like collage and drawing to reflect upon and record her emotions, Rapoport also looked to early computer programs to predict how she felt. By comparing and then combining these two sets of data points, Rapoport created pictorial languages that appropriated the visual motifs of emerging computer programs and technology. Learn more HERE.
Sonya Rapoport Biorhythm Audience Participation Performance On Friday, February 7, 2020, Sonya Rapoport: biorhythm opened to the community as part of Facebook First Fridays. The night featured a recreation of the artist’s interactive Biorhythm Performance, originally designed and held by Rapoport at WORKS/San José in 1983. Participants were asked how they were feeling as they entered the gallery. They then had their biorhythm read with a biorhythm calculator, and then were invited to have their palms read by a palmist. See the photos HERE.
In 1968, at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, San José State University runner Tommie Smith raised a gloved fist during the medal ceremony to protest human rights abuses around the world, and to bring international attention to the struggle for civil rights in the United States. This act of protest, which still reverberates today, is explored in a series of collaborations between Smith and Los Angeles–based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino. Learn more about the exhibition HERE.
Installation photo of Almost Human: Digital Art from the Permanent Collection through September 27, 2020 at San José Museum of Art. Photo by JKA Photography.
Sonya Rapoport: biorhythm Sonya Rapoport: biorhythm is supported by the SJMA Exhibitions Fund with generous contributions from the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation and Hildy Shandell Beville and Ross Harwood Beville.
Programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous support from the Museum's Board of Trustees, a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José, the Lipman Family Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, Facebook Art Department, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Adobe, Yellow Chair Foundation, the SJMA Director's Council and Council of 100, the San José Museum of Art Endowment Fund established by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and The William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Images: Installation view of Sonya Rapoport: biorhythm, San José Museum of Art, California, 2020. Photos by JKA Photography.
With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith is sponsored by the San José Museum of Art's Exhibitions Fund with generous grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Applied Materials Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from McManis Faulkner, Tad Freese and Brook Hartzell, and Tech CU.
Programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous support from the Museum's Board of Trustees, a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José, the Lipman Family Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, Facebook Art Department, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Yellow Chair Foundation, the SJMA Director's Council and Council of 100, the San José Museum of Art Endowment Fund established by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and The William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Image: Installation view of With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, San José Museum of Art, California, 2019. Photos by JKA Photography.