We will all be going on a deep dive into art in San Jose and our opening section will fully cover the best art galleries and museums near you over the next few minutes.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like local art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.
If you are after any specific section you can jump straight to it using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a San Jose art map with all of the various places we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
You can look through more of our posts on Northern California and the Pacific Northwest right here.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In San Jose
The best art galleries and museums in San Jose would be:
- San Jose Museum Of Art at 110 S Market St
- Art Ark Gallery at 1035 S 6th St
- San Jose Institute Of Contemporary Art at 560 S 1st St
- Midtown Arts Mercantile at 460 Lincoln Ave
- Anno Domini Gallery at 366 S 1st St
- Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery at 499 S Market St
- Kaleid Gallery at 320 S 1st St
- Works San José at 365 S Market St
- Gallery Pristine at 1202 Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale
- Triton Museum of Art at 1505 Warburton Ave, Santa Clara
- De Saisset Museum at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) opens at 11am Friday through Sunday and is a modern and contemporary art museum that was founded in 1969 with a permanent collection that has a focus on West Coast painters of the 20th and 21st centuries. The SJMA has earned many honors from the American Alliance of Museums and is a member of North American Reciprocal Museums.
The Art Ark Gallery is part of the Art Ark Apartments which is a proud initiative of the CORE businesses as an Artisan Village located six blocks south of SJSU in the Martha Gardens Arts District. In 2006 Art Ark was founded with the goal to produce public exhibits by artists and curators that engage, educate, and inspire people.
The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art which was founded in 1980 and is open from noon to 5pm Thursday through Sunday as an important part of the cities cultural fabric engaging audiences via creative visual art exhibits and public activities.
Since 2000 the Anno Domini Gallery has symbolized urban contemporary art and culture and you can see waht they have to offer from noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday and noon to 5pm on Saturday.
Dan Dermer founded Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery which is located in the center of downtown’s South First Arts District in a restored and rebuilt warehouse with high ceilings, wood beams, and plenty of natural light from the studio’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
In December 2006 Phantom Galleries art in abandoned storefronts and alternative places initiative spawned KALEID which is Greek for beauty and shape. Over 90 local fine artists and designers utilize a 6,000-square-foot retail space to display their work which includes paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and textile art. The artists range in age and experience from youthful and inexperienced to seasoned and accomplished. All of the artwork is for sale and you can check it all out from noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday and noon to 5pm on Saturday.
Works San José opens at noon Thursday through Saturday as an all-volunteer non-profit alternative art and performance facility committed to providing a platform for artists, ideas, and images that broaden the breadth of cultural and creative experience that was founded in 1977 by local artists.
Gallery Pristine is a Sunnyvale based art gallery that is open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday where contemporary, etching, and classic art are all featured in their one-of-a-kind collection.
A community destination for 55 years The Triton Museum of Art is open from 11am to 4:30pm Tuesday through Sunday offering a space where artists in your area may show alongside regional and national creators and where students of all ages can learn about art and the creative process. Located across the street from the Santa Clara Civic Center Triton acquires and shows contemporary and historical works with a focus on artists from the Greater Bay Area. Every year over 40,000 people visit the museum on-site for exhibitions, education, and community activities and nearly 100,000 people visit the museum’s satellite gallery and exhibitions.
Materials & Supplies Near You
There are quite a few stores in this city to buy art supplies and materials like:
- Jet Pens at 2050 Gateway Pl
- Mai Do Santana Row at 378 Santana Row #1125
- SJS University Spartan Bookstore at 211 S 9th St
- Michaels at 777 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
- Clay Planet at 1775 Russell Ave, Santa Clara
JetPens is an online stationery business dedicated to those in search of the ideal pen that began with the Hi-Tec-C which is a traditional Japanese fine-tip gel pen in 2005. They’ve combed the globe since then in search of additional unique writing tools, school supplies, workplace toys, and art supplies.
Maido has been a key provider of better stationery goods and highly unusual gift items since opening its doors in the early days of Santana Row in 2002.
You’re undoubtedly already aware of what chain stores like the Michaels near you have to offer.
Marshall Wicke, a kiln designer and inventor, founded Clay Planet in the 1970’s as a company named Marshall Craft.
Shows & Events
You should definitely check out art shows, events, and festivals in your area like:
- Palo Alto Festival of the Arts in August
- Fremont Festival of the Arts in September
- Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival in September
- Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes in September
- Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival in October
The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce hosts the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts which draws approximately 150,000 people. Downtown will feature 300 fine art and contemporary craft displays, over 60 Italian street painters, a kids’ art studio, specialty sections, stage and street entertainment, gourmet cuisine, excellent wines, and microbrews among other things.
The Fremont Festival Of The Arts is the West Coast’s largest free street festival that draws almost 400,000 visitors each year and offers activities and entertainment for the whole family.
Another fun annual community event that raises funds for local organizations and community groups is The Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival where nearly 175 artists and craft exhibitors, a kids kingdom, foreign culinary favorites, live entertainment on three stages, premium wines, and micro-brewed beer are all included.
Los Gatos’ Art & Wine Festival, Fiesta de Artes, has hundreds of artists, world-class wine, live music, and more. It’s the Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos’ greatest fundraiser of the year with 100% of proceeds going back into the community.
The Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival is one of Silicon Valley’s major free festivals where over 125,000 people converge on Murphy Avenue in downtown Sunnyvale to enjoy over 350 of the country’s greatest artists, live music, ice cold margaritas, champagne, sangria, premium beers, and fine wines annually.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
If you want to add a new piece to your collection or find the true value of something you can go to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
- Primarily Portraits at 1106 Willow Glen Way
- JJ Brookings & Co at 332 Commercial St
Primarily Portraits is a one-of-a-kind fine art portrait business that offers customers a formal and lasting art-based legacy that incorporates a unique human experience derived from the process.
JJ Brookings & Co is a good option if you’re looking for an art gallery near you as their collection of art and paintings is suitable for both the casual collector and the expert guaranteeing that you can find exactly what you’re looking for in just one visit.
The Sofa District at South 1st Street is a cultural, entertainment, and local artistic district in the center of Downtown and it is an ideal location to unwind after a day of meetings and conferences as it’s right behind the Convention Center and offers many art galleries that are all within walking distance.
Sculptures & Statues
You can find some really unique sculptures and statues in your area:
- Quetzalcóatl Sculpture at 194 S Market St
- Olympic Black Power Statue at 1 Washington Sq
- Lupe the Mammoth at 441 W Trimble Rd
- Thomas Fallon Statue at 301-329 W St James St
- Out to Lunch at 665 W Olive Ave, Sunnyvale
Robert Graham who is a Mexican-American artist produced the Plumed Serpent which is often known as the Quetzalcóatl sculpture and which was introduced to the public at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in 1994.
On October 16, 1968 during the playing of the US national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist during their medal ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City which has been commemorated by the Olympic Black Power Statue that is located on the SJSU campus.
Freya Bardell and Brian Howe developed Lupe the Mammoth in 2015 after Robert Glen sculpted this statue of Captain Thomas Fallon in 1988. It commemorates the hoisting of the American flag here in 1846 when California was still a Mexican colony.
J. Seward Johnson created the sculpture Out to Lunch.
San Jose Art Classes
No matter if you want to find lessons for kids, teens, or adults there are plenty of options here. Some of the best San Jose art schools and classes can be found at:
- Art School of SF Bay at 700 S Winchester Blvd #15
- Art Studio Academy at 6055 Meridian Ave #60
- Lord of the Light Art Studio & Gallery at 5945 Almaden Expy #110
- California School of Art & Design at 7280 Blue Hill Dr
- Young Art Lessons at 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd
- Artcircle Studio at 542 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
- Behnazart at 1330 S Mary Ave, Sunnyvale
- San Jose Art Academy at 2905 Homestead Rd #A, Santa Clara
- Vino Artist at 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
In San Francisco, Mountain View, and San Jose the Art School of SF Bay offers art lessons for children and adults while teaching traditional art in a contemporary manner.
A setting that is as individual as each student and students can add more media and principals as they advance is what you get from Art Studio Academy.
Lord of the Light Art Studio & Gallery is an art enrichment company that gives children a caring atmosphere to increase their creativity, perspective, and build critical skills to prepare them for the future by using art as a medium for learning.
California School of Art and Design specializes on portfolios for college applications and offers programs for kids in grades K-12 and many of their students have been accepted to prestigious art colleges and universities around the country since 1996.
Young Art has been providing communities with a dynamic outlet for creativity as a children’s drop-off art studio while energizing experiential spaces in shopping malls for the past decade.
Teens and adults may find a respite from the stresses and anxieties of everyday life at ArtCircle Studio which provides the opportunity to express your inner artist and is a creative space where you may work on your own art, try out new techniques, media, and styles, and show off your work. Along with studying you’ll be part of a welcoming community of artists who will cheer you on in your artistic endeavors.
For over 25 years SJ Art Academy has taught art to students all around the Bay Area. They’ve worked with hundreds of kids and their families of various skill levels, from teaching after-school art programs in your area at public schools to collaborating with local groups on public art projects.
Vino Artist is an arts and crafts entertainment school that teaches people how to make wine and paint as their lessons are conducted by professional artists and provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With a wine glass in one hand and a paintbrush in the other you can finally unleash your inner artist and create one-of-a-kind paintings to put on your walls or give as gifts. As you can tell the lessons at Vino Artist are probably a bit more casual than the others but you should definitely still learn something.
Studios For Rent Near You
Try to rent local art studio space at:
- Citadel Art Studios at 199 Martha St
- Art Ark Apartments at 1058 S 5th St
- The Alameda Artworks at 1068 The Alameda
For almost two decades artists have regarded the Citadel Art Studios as one of the best places to create their work and with over 70 studios the Citadel is the largest artist community in the South Bay.
The Art Ark Apartments are in this cities equivalent of SoHo, a historic industrial district where artists and families live and work in ancient warehouses.
Originally a municipal facility the Alameda ArtWorks was utilized as an auditorium for meetings, conferences, expositions, and dramatic and musical events.
A frame can take a normal looking picture a long way, and some of the best places for art framing in San Jose are:
- Willow Glen Art & Frame at 1338 Lincoln Ave
- Fine Arts Giclee & Frame at 693 E Brokaw Rd
- Aaron Brothers at 1600 Saratoga Ave #433
- SF Framing Company at 717 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
- Bontrager Framing Service at 323 Laurelwood Rd, Santa Clara
- Picture Element at 2405 De La Cruz Blvd, Santa Clara
Willow Glen Art & Frame does more than just frame artwork as they provide a comprehensive range of digital printing and bespoke image services employing cutting-edge printing technology and equipment. Your chosen photographs will be digitally enhanced and enlarged before being printed by their imaging professional.
From their large range of moldings and acid-free mats Fine Arts Giclee & Frame can help you create the ideal appearance.
Museum Glass provides a wide range of glazing options.
Aaron Brothers launched their first store in California over 70 years ago and the company’s success is based on a desire to advise and inspire clients as well as a passion for frame design and service.
Full-service custom framing businesses like SF Framing offer in-store design consultations and a wide range of frame styles including shadow boxes and floater frames to produce a wide range of the best completed looks. SF Framing can design bespoke shadow boxes and frames for mementos such as collectibles, family heirlooms, and fabric in addition to framing paintings and pictures.
No job is too complex for Picture Element which has over 20 years of digital retouching and color experience. They’ve also worked on a number of graphic design and tradeshow projects and they can assist with any commercial tasks.
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Have Fun Enjoying The San Jose Art Scene
Well guys, we tried to cover the full art scene near you to the best of our abilities. We listed the best local galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in your area.
We would love to read about your own tips in the comments and please also let us know if we got anything wrong or if anything we posted has become dated. Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in San Jose!