MamaJ came down to see me recently and we decided to check out the San Jose Museum of Art. Neither of us had ever been, so we were looking forward to the visit. It’s not a very big museum, but in some way it’s the perfect size. There’s enough space to have a good display of art but not get overwhelmed. I’d say it’s like a special exhibit sized space at the De Yong or Legion with a little extra room. 


The main exhibit on display was themed around water – a collection of photographs by Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, Dorothy Monnelly. Such incredible images. I was particularly moved by Brooks’ underwater images. As I studied them I thought being underwater is like flying. It made me long for the water. Having been a polar bear in a past life, I have a great affinity for water.

Another exhibit was showing the work of Diana Al-Hadid, an artist out of Brooklyn. I have to say, her enormous sculpture on display, Nolli’s Order, was quite impressive. I could have spent an hour exploring that sculpture, and even more if I had a ladder!

Al-Hadid’s Nolli’s Orders
Al-Hadid’s Nolli’s Orders detail
Al-Hadid’s Nolli’s Orders detail

Another impressive piece was Sugar Face, by artist Victor Cartagena. The collection of masks were at first disturbing, but when I went back and read about the installation, I was deeply moved. 

During its exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art, Sugar Face will slowly melt and disintegrate, ultimately becoming as invisible as the farm workers were to their employers and to consumers. 

(from the installation detail card) 


Victor Cartagena’s Sugar Face (one mask of many)

There was an interesting exhibit on mindfulness. One of the pieces that was rather special – a piece by artist Mineko Grimmer – was a box fitted with bamboo slats and musical strings. Hanging over it was a frozen cone of pebbles. As the cone defrosts, the pebbles fall into the box below, hitting the bamboo and, occasionally, the strings. It was a pretty cool concept, and when I first realized there were strings inside, a surprise. I posted a video of the experience to my Flickr account. Make sure you have the sound on.

Overall, we both enjoyed the exhibits and space. I’ll keep an eye out for future shows. Check out the place if you get a chance.

A rare snarfffable panorama

We had a nice lunch break in the museum cafe during our browsing. After we finished going through the exhibits we did a little shopping in the museum store. I wish they had postcards of some of the art on exhibit; I had to make do with purchasing a pair of earrings and some other little things.

After we wrapped things up in the museum we walked over to the Bijan Bakery and had a lovely pastry and cappuccino (my new favorite cake -Princess Cake). What a great way to wrap our visit. MamaJ makes me happy!


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