SJMA Announces Spring 2021 Season of Online Public Programming

Release date 
Thursday, April 1, 2021

The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) announces its spring season of online public programs from April through June.  With SJMA reopened to the public since March 12, audiences are able to visit the Museum Friday through Sunday, 11am–5pm* and attend public programs online. The online format for public programs expands reach and accessibility for audiences while ensuring their comfort and safety. SJMA's public programs engage audiences with contemporary topics and themes related to current exhibitions led by artists, scholars, and creative professionals. For more details about SJMA’s public programs, go to

The Visualizing Abolition series features conversations between artists and scholars whose work focuses on the subjects of racial justice and mass incarceration. Featured speakers include Sadie Barnette, jackie sumell, Erin Gray, among others. The series is organized by Gina Dent, professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and Rachel Nelson, director of UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS). Visualizing Abolition accompanies the exhibition Barring Freedom, co-organized by IAS, which engages issues of prisons, policing, and abolition in the United States. Audiences can see the exhibition at SJMA through April 25, 2021. Learn more about the project and exhibition at

Kids Summer Art Camp returns this year with a virtual twist, consisting of six weekly online sessions for age groups 6–8, 9–11, and 10–14 for “Teen Art Camp.”** Kids Summer Art Camp’s curriculum focuses on STEAM-based art and science projects led by SJMA’s gallery teachers and studio art educators online. The camp also features professional guest artists from SJMA's permanent collection such as Diana Al-Hadid, Linda Besemer, Hayal Pozanti, and Imin Yeh. Kids Summer Art Camp will culminate in an interactive virtual exhibition. Weekly virtual art camp sessions begin June 14, 21, and 28, and July 12, 19, and 26, Monday to Friday 9am–12pm PDT. Registration begins week of April 5, 2021. Learn more at or at


April 2021

Visualizing Abolition: Abolition Beyond the State

Tuesday, April 6, 2021; 4pm PDT. Free.

A discussion about prison abolition featuring artist Sadie Barnette, writer Zoé Samudzi, Professor of American Studies at Wesleyan University J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, and Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley Eric A. Stanley.


Art-Fix Wednesdays

Wednesdays, April 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2021; 12–12:30pm PDT. Free; advance registration required.

View and discuss two works of art from current exhibitions in a virtual discussion with SJMA docents.


Art 101: Writer’s Workshop Poetry + The Physical Art Form

Saturday, April 10, 2021; 1pm PDT. $15 ($10 for SJMA members); advance registration required.

Award-winning author and Assistant Professor at University of San Francisco Laleh Khadivi leads a poetry workshop inspired by works featured in Barring Freedom.


Visualizing Abolition: Abolition from the Inside Out

Tuesday, April 13, 2021; 4pm PDT. Free.

A discussion about activism and collaboration between people inside and outside of prisons with artist jackie sumell, author Albert Woodfox, and poet Tim Young.


Third Thursday: 12th Annual Poetry Invitational

Thursday, April 15, 2021; 6:30pm PDT. Free; advance registration required.

Hear poets read new works inspired by art in the galleries, hosted by the Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County Janice Lobo Sapigao. Co-sponsored by Poetry Center San José.


Visualizing Abolition: (Re)Enacting Revolution

Tuesday, April 20, 2021; 4pm PDT. Free.

A conversation about art, revolution, and reenactments with artist Dread Scott and Assistant Professor of Black Literary and Cultural Studies at UC Davis Erin Gray.


May 2021

Visualizing Abolition: Documenting Justice

Tuesday, May 4, 2021; 4pm PDT. Free.

Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Dee-Hibbert Jones, Professor of Art at UC Santa Cruz, and Nomi Talisman present a curated selection of films, followed by a Q+A.


Book Club: Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet + Jitish Kallat

Wednesday, May 5, 2021; 12–1pm PDT. Free; advance registration required.

A book club discussing the similar themes between works of literature and visual art, comparing novelist Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet with artist Jitish Kallat’s Event Horizon (2014).


Visualizing Abolition: Futures

Tuesday, May 11, 2021; 4pm PDT. Free.

A conversation on strategies, activism, and liberatory futures with Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine Sora Han, author adrienne maree brown, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz Savannah Shange.


Visualizing Abolition: Music for Abolition

Tuesday, May 18, 2021; 4–5:30pm PDT. Free.

A project bringing together musicians across genres to create a soundtrack for abolition and freedom. Directed and curated by Grammy award-winning producer Terri Lyne Carrington.


Third Thursday: Mosaic Silicon Valley

Thursday, May 20, 2021; Time TBD. Free.

A special program bringing together artists from different cultural traditions to tell stories of mobility and migration through dance and music. Presented by Mosaic Silicon Valley.


June 2021

Community Day: Maker Day

Saturday, June 5, 2021; 11am­–3pm PDT. Free.

A day of hands-on art activities celebrating the spirit of innovation and creativity in Silicon Valley.


Third Thursday | Play On Words: Dramatic Readings in Celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month

Thursday, June 17, 2021; 7–8:30pm PDT. Free.

A collaborative literary arts series presented by Play On Words, featuring dramatic readings of original works by artists, theater enthusiasts, and community members.


Current and Upcoming Exhibitions


* SJMA has implemented a dedicated hour of each day for our most vulnerable guests to enjoy the galleries. We invite seniors, those who are pregnant, and those with underlying health concerns to visit Friday–Sunday from 11am–12pm.

SJMA acknowledges essential and frontline workers by offering free admission with a current work ID or pay stub. This includes those who work in grocery stores, custodial staff, and transit workers. Through April 9, 2021.

**Teen Art Camp runs 1–4pm PDT and will be offered with four weekly sessions.


San Jose Museum of Art

SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California near the Plaza de César Chavez. The Museum is open Friday–Sunday, 11am–5pm. SJMA has implemented a dedicated hour of each day for our most vulnerable guests to enjoy the galleries, inviting seniors, those who are pregnant, and those with underlying health concerns as determined by CDC guidelines, to visit SJMA Friday–Sunday, 11am–12pm. For up-to-date information about SJMA, visit Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and free to members, college students, youth and children ages 17 and under, and schoolteachers (with valid ID). For more information, call 408.271.6840 or visit