San José State University is located in the heart of San José, CA, the tenth largest city in the United States (pop. 1,042,094) and the hub of Silicon Valley. The city, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area recognizes and supports design and technology as cornerstones for regional development. As a major contributor to the artistic life of the area, the University frequently partners with the city to bring art programs to the area, such as 01SJ Biennial Global Festival of Digital Art and New Media.
San José State University, Department of Art & Art History’s main facility is located in the Art Building, which lies between the Student Union and Health Center. The closest parking structure is the Tenth Street Parking garage located at the intersection of Tenth Street and San Fernando.
With six student galleries in the Department of Art & Art History and a weekly lecture series, the exhibition program at SJSU is one of the most extensive among art and design programs in the United States. SJSU’s Galleries inspire visitors to explore the past, present, and future influences of art and design on our daily lives. We challenge conventional assumptions through scholarly research and public programs; champion diversity through the presentation of an expansive range of object-based and process-oriented genres, and facilitate an ongoing dialogue that diminishes the distance between studying and creating works of art and design.
The gallery program complements formal course offerings and serves as a cultural and educational focal point for SJSU and the surrounding community. The professionally-curated exhibitions in the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery create a direct link to academic curricula, and explore varied issues of contemporary and historical arts and design. Thompson Gallery exhibitions have traveled to other museums and galleries nationwide, documented by catalogues that provide in-depth interpretive analyses based on original scholarship.
The Visual Resources Library is located in room 139 of the Art Building.
In addition to the main Art Building, which houses facilities for Digital Media, Pictorial Art, and Jewelry/Small Metals, several facilities of the Department of Art & Art History are housed in other on campus locations. Ceramics and Glass classes are held in the Industrial Studies building located along San Fernando and Eighth Street. The Photography department is located on the fourth floor of Duncan Hall on Seventh Street and San Salvador Street, and now has a facility in the Industrial Studies building as well. The Foundry (metal working) is located off campus at 1036 South Fifth Street.
All programs are supported and enriched by a diverse schedule of exhibitions in the school galleries as well as weekly public lectures. Exhibitions present invited contemporary and historical art, as well as work by faculty and students.