Natalie and James Thompson Gallery
The exhibition program at San Jose State University is one of the most extensive and diverse among art programs in California, providing an essential resource for every single class that the department offers, while also serving as a cultural and educational focal point for the entire University and the communities of Silicon Valley. The main exhibition space is the professionally-curated Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, in the Art Building, funded through the Natalie and James Thompson Endowment.
In addition to supporting major expenses for exhibitions, publications, and special projects, the Endowment also funds a weekly Tuesday Night Lecture Series that brings a remarkable group of artists, designers, and scholars to campus. Further, it provides funding for visiting artists and scholars for lectures, demonstrations, and critiques within individual classes. In addition to the Thompson Gallery, there are six student galleries and numerous display cases lining the hallways, which showcase the work of our undergraduate, BA, BFA, and MFA students. Student exhibitions change weekly throughout the academic year.
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.
BA, BFA, and MFA students are required to exhibit their work in partial fulfillment of their degree requirements, resulting in some 150+ student exhibitions annually in the six student galleries, two performance/installation areas, and additional hallway spaces. This unique and extremely popular program of weekly exhibitions and opening receptions is an essential component of the students’ academic experience.
An acclaimed weekly lecture series brings in artists, designers, and critical theorists from around the world, broadening the students’ experiential base and complementing local offerings. All lectures and exhibitions are open to the general public free of charge.
San Jose State University’s 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.
Founded in 1857, San Jose State University is the oldest public university in California. Its Department of Art and Art History offers one of the largest, most diverse, academically accessible, and most highly selective public programs in art and design in the western U.S. It is the only CSU campus offering full BA, BFA, MA, and MFA studies to some 500+ graduates and undergraduate students per semester.
Located in San Jose, the most populous city in northern California and the population and psychological center of Silicon Valley, the Department of Art and Art History reflects the entrepreneurial and inventive nature of the region through the development of new programs, innovative collaborations with area corporations, and academic leadership in the fields of art, design, art history, and arts education.
Gallery [at] sjsu.edu
(408) 924 – 4330
Follow us online! @sjsugallery
Gallery Hours *during the academic year
Tuesday 10-4pm, 6-7:30pm
Monday – Friday 10-4pm
*and by special appointment.
Department of Art & Art History
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
For campus maps and directions, please click here.
For more information about the SJSU Department of Art and Art History, please click here.
*Note: By clicking these links, you will be redirected to San Jose State University’s main website.
Jo Farb Hernández, Gallery and Professor
Cynthia Cao, Gallery Technical Coordinator
The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery is a proud member of the American Alliance of Museums.