San José Museum of Art returns to in-person gala on September 24

Release date
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    Mildred Howard in her studio in South Berkeley, California, ca. 2017. Photo by Michael M. Santiago. Courtesy of Michael M. Santiago / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris.

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    Tad Freese and Brook Hartzell.

The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) is returning to an in-person event for its 2022 Gala + Auction on September 24 at 5:30pm PDT. After two years of online events, the Gala celebration will be held again at the Museum, on the Circle of Palms Plaza, with an evening of art, cocktails, fine dining, live auction, entertainment, and dancing. This year’s patron honorees are Brook Hartzell and Tad Freese, in recognition of their fundraising efforts, personal philanthropy, and Freese’s outstanding leadership as a Trustee. For over a decade, Hartzell and Freese’s transformative generosity and tireless volunteerism have helped shaped SJMA, deepening its community impact and catalyzing rapid growth of the Museum’s exhibitions programming. Mildred Howard will be celebrated as the artist honoree. Howard, a Bay Area luminary, has significant work in SJMA’s permanent collection and her practice is prominently featured in 50x50: Stories of Visionary Artists from the Permanent Collection, a free digital catalog published in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary in 2020. 

Tammy Kiely returns for a second year to chair this critical fundraiser in support of SJMA’s mission, 2020 gala honoree and Freese’s past board co-president Cheryl Kiddoo chairs the auction, and Robbie Gordy returns as the live auctioneer. The auction will feature contemporary works by Bay Area and internationally acclaimed artists, and gallery partners include Anglim Trimble, Gallery Wendi Norris, Haines Gallery, Hosfelt Gallery, Jessica Silverman, and Shulamit Nazarian. 

SJMA is thankful for the generous progress to date toward its $1M goal, with help from Visionaries Brook Hartzell and Tad Freese, Beverly and Peter Lipman, and Yvonne and Mike Nevens; Luminaries Cheryl and Bruce Kiddoo and Tammy and Tom Kiely, and the Swenson Foundation; Benefactors Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins, LLP; Sponsor Hosfelt Gallery; Contributors Glenda and Gary Dorchak, Claudia Worthington Hess, Wanda Kownacki, KPMG, McManis Faulkner, Cornelia and Nathan Pendleton; and Patrons Anneke and David Dury and Hildy Shandell. A limited number of sponsorships are still available, at the $5,000 to $100,000 level, and single tickets at $1,000 each release for sale on July 1, 2022. Pricing of its popular after-party tickets will be $25 each (previously $100), thanks to the generosity of the gala’s Visionary sponsors. 

“Although we faced many challenges during the past few years, our virtual galas exceeded our expectations and gave us an opportunity to look at how we fundraise with imagination and ambition, said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, San José Museum of Art. “We also learned that there are some connections that can only happen in-person. Returning to an onsite Gala is a wonderful opportunity bring our friends and supporters together again to celebrate the Museum and its impact on the San José community. The funds raised that evening will provide critical support toward our mission to become a borderless museum that makes making world-class art and inclusive arts education accessible to visitors from throughout the Bay Area and beyond.” 

The Gala will continue to feature local Bay Area artists, entertainment, and hospitality, in line with its commitment to spotlight community partners and contribute to the ongoing economic recovery and revitalization of downtown San José. A portion of the evening’s festivities will be live-streamed, and an online silent auction will take place Thursday, September 22–Sunday, September 25. The live auction 

will accept bids by absentee forms, in-person paddle raises, and phone. A Fund-a-Need appeal, both online and live, will raise additional funds to support the Museum’s education, exhibition, and equity initiatives and essential operations. 

For information on how to sponsor, contact Kathleen Backus at 



Tammy Kiely, chair; Cheryl Kiddoo, auction chair; Nadia Ahmad, Glenda Dorchak, Toby Fernald, Cole Harrell, Claudia W. Hess, Lys House, Robert S. Lindo, Suzette Mahr, Yvonne Nevens, Cornelia Pendleton 


The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) is a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to inclusivity, new thinking, and visionary ideas. Founded in 1969 by artists and community leaders, its dynamic exhibitions, collection, and programs resonate with defining characteristics of San José and the Silicon Valley—from its rich diversity to its hallmark innovative ethos. The Museum offers lifelong learning for school children and their educators, multigenerational families, creative adults, university students and faculty, and community groups. SJMA is committed to being a borderless museum, essential to creative life throughout the diverse communities of San José and beyond. 

SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The Museum is open Friday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm and until 9pm or later on the first Friday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and free to members, college students, youth and children ages 17 and under, and school teachers (with valid ID). For more information, call 408.271.6840 or visit 

As of March 18, SJMA requires visitors ages 2 and older to wear a mask. We will carefully and continually monitor the efficacy of these guidelines in real time and make further adjustments as needed. For details, go to