A Closer Look: Prints from the Permanent Collection

August 29- October 3, 2023


A Closer Look: Prints from the Permanent Collection

The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery is delighted to present A Closer Look: Prints from the Permanent Collection which opens on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and will run through October 6, 2023. This exhibition focuses on prints from the permanent collection, many of which have never before been displayed in the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery. The works in this exhibition are varied both in subject matter and in printmaking techniques showcased and show some of the major interests and concerns of contemporary artists working in the discipline between the 1950’s and late 1990’s with work by: Pat Adams, Jose Bedia, Robert Birmelin, Mike Challenger, Dan Christensen, Helen Gerardia, Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin, Rainer Gross, Liu Jian, Jane Kent, Michael Knigin, Inoue Kozo, Marcia Markus, Joanne Miller Rafferty, George McNeil, Lowell Nesbitt, Thomas Nozkowski, Jaune Quick-to-see Smith, Kikuo Saito, William Schwedler, Alan Sonfist and Douglas Vogel.

 Untitled, 1984, George McNeil Silkscreen,  2021.1.22

Untitled, 1984, George McNeil Silkscreen,  2021.1.22


Overseen by the Art Gallery Director, the San José State University Art Collection comprises more than 600 objects from faculty, alumni, students, and notable regional and international artists from across a variety of media. Ours is a teaching collection, one that allows for students in Art, Art History and Design to experience art and artifacts first hand and to learn from the work of masters in the fields of ceramics, painting, printmaking, graphic design and more. 

Moreover, under the stewardship of the university art committee, the collection has a much broader purpose, to serve the university public across disciplines and departments, and to reach out to the wider community of urban San José. Since its establishment, the San Jose State University Art Collection Committee has consistently collected artworks that define the cultural legacies of San Jose and the broader Silicon Valley region. Occasional large donations have brought artworks by nationally and internationally renowned artists which have allowed us to broaden the scope of the collection and create meaningful opportunities for students and the community to experience a diverse group of contemporary artists and their oeuvres. 


A Closer Look: Prints from the Permanent Collection

The San José State University Art Collection plays many roles; it is a historical ledger, visual catalog, and an object-based archive. On our campus, students across the disciplines learn through hands on experiences from some of the finest minds, and the most skilled artists and instructors in the world, and as a consequence, our role as collections stewards incites us to bring the work that is owned by the university, and kept right here in our building: to be viewed, appreciated, and used by our students.

Object based collections such as ours highlight the materiality of works of art: their size, weight, texture, their fragility and sturdiness. They show how materials and processes age and highlight the difficulties encountered in storing, moving, or displaying specific works of art. Most importantly, they show our students the products of their work and experimentation in action; while the artists who created some of the pieces we hold may have moved on to a different process or material, the work remains, and its condition, several years, decades, or a century later is an important learning tool for young artists embarking on their own journey of experimentation.

We would like to thank all of the supporters and donors to the San Jose State University Art Collection and Meyer Keslassy, for generous gifts of prints and Paul Man-Son-Hing for facilitating the donation.

Alena Sauzade, PhD

Gallery Director



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