Earth Day Workshop at SJMA Invites Visitors to Bring in Items from Areas Affected by Climate Change

Release date 
Monday, April 17, 2017

SF artist Amy Balkin will collect items for A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting April 22. 

SAN JOSE, California (April 14, 2017)— On Earth Day, Saturday April 22, 2017, the San Jose Museum of Art invites visitors to participate in artist Amy Balkin’s ongoing project, A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting. Balkin’s archive is a collection of physical items from places directly threatened by climate change, including sea level rise, erosion, and glacial melting. Visitors are invited to bring in items to add to the archive. Balkin will be at the Museum 3 PM – 5 PM on April 22 to archive contributed items and to speak about the project. The program is free with Museum admission. Instructions and participation forms are available online at or at the Museum. 

Examples in the archive, currently on view at SJMA in the exhibition The Darkened Mirror: Global Perspectives on Water, include a broken phone charger contributed from New Orleans, a scientific sample bottle from Palmer Station in Antarctica, a beer bottle top found on a beach in Senegal, and the most recent contribution: a burlap sandbag retrieved from South 20th Street in San Jose in the aftermath of the Coyote Creek floods in February 2017. 

Contributions are welcome from anyone who lives along the San Francisco Bay Delta or other parts of California that are threatened to disappear, or displaced climate migrants now living in California. To participate, visitors are asked to select an item from a “sinking or melting” place. Objects can be anything found there: natural, manufactured, found, made, or discarded, including trash. The weight limit is ½ pound or less. 

A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting is available for viewing online at

The Darkened Mirror: Global Perspectives on Water, is one of a trio of exhibitions devoted to the subject of water. On view through August 27, 2017, the exhibition also includes video work by Gerco de Ruijter, Vibha Galhotra, Jesper Just, and Khvay Samnang, The exhibition is sponsored by the Myra Reinhard Foundation. 


The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time. SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for youth ages 7 -18. Members and children. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit

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Programs at the San Jose Museum of Art are made possible be generous support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, The Lipman Family Foundation, and a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José.