Spring Programs at the San José Museum of Art

Release date 
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spring forward to a season of engaging and fun public programs at the San José Museum of Art (SJMA). This April, May, and June, SJMA will offer several series of public programs in connection with current and upcoming exhibitions, as well as collaborations with the communities of Silicon Valley. Talks by artists and creative professionals are included alongside celebrations and late-night offerings. For more information about upcoming events at the Museum, visit sjmusart.org/calendar. 

Free Admission 

SJMA is proud to kick off our spring season with two newly implemented initiatives to offer free admission opportunities. Launched on Feb 1, 2019 with support from Facebook’s Art Department, Facebook First Fridays features free admission and extended hours from 5–9pm the first Friday of each month. Additionally, starting March 9, 2019 SJMA began offering free individual admissions to young visitors ages 17 and under, as well as undergraduate students and school teachers with valid ID. Read the full press release at sjmusart.org/NewAdmissions. 

Be sure to save these upcoming dates for free admission to all visitors: 

  • Facebook First Fridays 

Friday, April 5; May 3; June 7 | 5–9pm 

Free admission to all from 5-9pm and featuring art and artists, music, a cash bar, food, and more. 

  • AAMD Art Museum Day | Viva Calle SJ 

Sunday, May 19 | 10am–3pm 

Free admission to all as part of the Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) annual Art Museum Day and Viva Calle SJ, San Jose’s popular open streets program promoting walking, biking, and community engagement. 

  • Community Day: Maker Day  

Saturday, June 1 | 11am–5pm  

This free, day-long museum program honors the creative process with hands-on activities for all ages and maker-inspired demonstrations including the San José Public Library’s Maker[Space]Ship. 


Creative Minds 

This series provides an opportunity to meet and hear from contemporary artists who offer a new perspective into their creative process. 

  • Catherine Wagner and Glen Helfand 

Friday, April 5 | 5:30–6:30pm 

SF-based curator and critic Glen Helfand chats with artist Catherine Wagner about the work and process in her exhibition, Catherine Wagner: Paradox Observed, on view April 5– August 18, 2019. Doors open at 5:15pm. Free admission as part of Facebook First Fridays. Space is limited; advance reservation required.

  • Rina Banerjee 

Wednesday, May 15 | 7:30–8:30pm 

Celebrate the opening of Rina Banerjee: Make Me A Summary of the World, the artists’ first mid-career retrospective, and hear Banerjee in conversation with SJMA curator Lauren Schell Dickens. Make Me A Summary of the World is on view May 16 – Oct 6, 2019. $12 ($6 for SJMA Members), includes admission to the reception following the talk.   


Lunchtime Lectures 

Celebrate new ideas and make connections with art and the community of Silicon Valley. Lunchtimes Lectures happen the first Wednesday of every month at noon through May. Bring your lunch or purchase a meal onsite at Café Too.

  • Spontaneous Minds: The Creative Ethos of 1950s San Francisco 

Wednesday, April 3 | 12–1pm
Charlotte Wendel Education Center  

Learn about the Beat era generation of poets and writers in our local history with Jerry Cimino, Founder and Director of The Beat Museum in San Francisco. Free with Museum admission.  

  • The Intersection of Art and Science 

Wednesday, May 1 | 12–1pm 
Charlotte Wendel Education Center

Join Laura Schelhas, associate scientist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, for a cross-disciplinary lecture exploring technologies that allow us to see beyond the capacity of human vision. Free with Museum admission.

Art This Way 

The Museum debuts a special summer series to explore the exhibition Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World with featured experts from a variety of fields and genres who will offer visitors a guided tour of the exhibition through the unique lens of their discipline. 

  • Art This Way: Environment + Poetry 

Tuesday, June 11 | 12pm 

Tour led by Bruce Olszewski, lecturer with the Environmental Studies Department at San José State University and Director of the Center for the Development of Recycling (CDR), and Tonya Foster, poet and Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts. Free with Museum admission. 

  • Art This Way: Sociology + Food 

Tuesday, July 9 | 12pm

Tour led by Dr. Tanya Saroj Bakhru, lecturer of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Science Department at San José State University, and a culinary expert. Free with Museum admission. 


Third Thursdays 

SJMA is open late on the Third Thursday of every month with a different array of activities and themes. Tickets to the galleries are discounted after 5pm. 

  • 10th Annual Poetry Invitational 

Thursday, April 18 | 7–8:30pm 

Listen to a select group of Bay Area poets read new work inspired by artwork currently on view at SJMA. Hosted by Santa Clara County’s Poet Laureate Mighty Mike McGee, this evening is co-sponsored by Poetry Center San José. $5 after 5pm (free to SJMA Members); galleries open 5–8:30pm. 

  • Common Sounds

Thursday, May 16 | 7–9pm 

As part of New Terrains: Mobility and Migration and in response to Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World, Chamber Music Silicon Valley returns with another presentation of Common Sounds, a groundbreaking ensemble with a bold purpose: to serve as a bridge, uniting disparate cultures through the universal language of music. $5 after 5pm (free to SJMA Members); galleries open 5–9pm. 

  • ArtRage

Thursday, June 20 | 6–10pm 

Join Mosaic Silicon Valley for an evening of live performances inspired by the art and themes of identity, tradition, and culture expressed in Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World. $5 after 5pm (free to SJMA Members); galleries open 5–10pm. 


Kids Summer Art Camp  

Register early for SJMA’s widely popular all-day Art Camps for children ages 6–14. Children at Art Camp will investigate the world around them through art. Class sizes are limited to ensure quality instruction and classes fill quickly to capacity. Details at sjmusart.org/kids-art-camp-summer.



The San José Museum of Art reflects the diverse cultures and innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. Through its exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and collections, SJMA connects the present and the past, the art of the West Coast and the world. The Museum fosters awareness of artists’ broad contributions to society and engages audiences with the art of our time and the vitality of the creative process.

The San José Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm and until 8pm or later on the third Thursday of each month. As of Friday, February 1, 2019, SJMA is also free to all on the first Friday of each month from 5–9pm.

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Programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José, and the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation.