It’s one of the most highly anticipated Triton Museum of Art exhibits each year; one that gives students a memory they’ll never forget: showing their work inside an art museum. And on March 14 it opened – the annual Santa Clara Unified School District Student Art Exhibition.
Now in its 45th year – and almost as old as the museum itself – the SCUSD Student Art Exhibition gives kindergarten through 12th graders the opportunity see their art lining the Triton’s walls. With such a longstanding history in the community, many adults who showcased as students are now bringing their children to have the same experience they once had.
For the first time in years, all of the schools in Santa Clara Unified participated, making this year extra special as the Triton’s education room overflowed with student artwork. From the floor to ceiling, illustrative works, sculpture – including ceramics – painting, drawing and charcoal pieces were represented among the 30 submissions sent from each school in the district.
To keep the creative juices flowing and inspire the next great work of art by each student, the Triton combined the event with its Family Art Day, allowing guests to participate in four activities, with one catering to preschoolers and operated by Santa Clara Parents Nursery School. Two of the remaining three activities were based on two of the Triton’s current shows – Charles Ekhart’s abstract figures and Kathryn Arnold’s collages. The final activity was developed especially for an unveiling at the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
“This [activity] is a 50th anniversary quilt,” said Director of Triton Museum Art School, Curator of Education and Museum Curator Ester Fernandez. “We asked people to draw something [on canvas] inspired by something they’ve seen today or something at the museum and then we’re going to sew them together and have it on display at our anniversary. Nikki Franklin [who teaches art classes at the museum] came up with it. We wanted something permanent and this is her idea.”
Nearly 1300 people perused the museum’s current exhibits on Saturday, although most were there visiting the student artwork. “All schools participated this year,” said Fernandez. “We had everybody. It was awesome. We had a great turnout.”
The 45th Annual SCUSD Student Exhibition is open on Saturdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. until Sunday, April 12. The Triton, 1505 Warburton Ave., will hold a Coffee with the Curator, “Art Like Poetry and Poetry Like Art: A Conversation Between Two Curators,” on Monday, March 30 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Admission is free for museum members and $5 for non–members.