Lectures and Exhibitions

Tuesday Night Lecture Series

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Every Tuesday evening the Department of Art & Art History in partnership with the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery hosts an “Open House” that includes a weekly free public lecture or presentation from 5 - 6pm, followed by receptions in the six Student Galleries located throughout the Art Building and in the Industrial Studies Building.

Upcoming Events: Speakers and Schedule 

Students from within the School, the College, and the University--as well as members of the community including private collectors, alumni, and the general public--make use of these free cultural events to hear a noteworthy regional, national, or international artist, designer, or art historian lecture, view art in a non-intimidating atmosphere, and experience a sense of community sometimes difficult to find on this urban, commuting campus. 


In-person presentations will be held in the Art Building Lecture Hall, Room #133, from 5-6pm.

Registration for all events is open to the public free of charge.


Lift Off – Professionally curated and produced 'off-site' Graduate Exhibition (MFA & MA)

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At the beginning of their final year at San José State, MFA students in art practice join with MA students in art history to negotiate that strange territory between theoria (thinking), poiesis (making), and praxis (doing). Both groups of students find their own voices through one another’s practices.


The essays within these catalogs reflect this temporally determined pairing: the graduate students in art history write about the work of the fine arts students. The visual artists and art historians come together and produce text, image, and object on their own terms; without assignment. Every year in the Spring, the results of this collaborative endeavor result in the publication of the Lift Off catalogue.


Lift Off Official Site


Thompson Gallery

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The mission of the SJSU Art Galleries is to provide an extensive and diverse exhibition program that serves as a cultural and educational focal point for the University and the San José community. The privately endowed Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, in particular, creates a bridge between the campus and the regional, national and international worlds of professional art practice. 


SJSU Art 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 Gallery create a direct link to academic curricula, and explore varied issues of contemporary and traditional arts. Thompson Gallery exhibitions have traveled to other museums and galleries nationwide, documented by catalogs that provide in-depth interpretive analyses based on original scholarship.


Gallery website


Upcoming Exhibitions and Gallery Events

Visit the Gallery – Current & Upcoming Exhibitions page.


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Dr. Alena Sauzade

Gallery Director, Curator and University Art Collections Manager


Alena Sauzade comes to SJSU from the City of Pleasanton, where she served as the Visual Arts and Gallery curator at the city’s Harrington Art Gallery. She earned her Phd in Art History from Stony Brook University, where she specialized in public art and commemoration and wrote a dissertation on memorials to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. She's currently working remotely from a pillow and blanket fort built by her two and four year old daughters.


Visitor Information 

Art Building 127
Department of Art & Art History
(near 10th/San Carlos Street)
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95129 

For more information, driving directions and campus maps – click here.


Contact Information

Phone: (408) 924 - 4330
E-mail:  gallery@sjsu.edu

Events Calendar:  gallery.sjsu.edu

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