The Sculpture Garden of Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art, shaded by tall redwood trees, is a cool and sun-dappled place to linger on a warm afternoon. Strategically-placed benches enable visitors to relax and contemplate the permanent sculptures displayed in the garden.
Added to this tranquil setting on June 18 were the booths of about 35 Bay Area artists participating in the museum’s annual summer art fair. It was the perfect opportunity to purchase an original art piece–including paintings, photography, handcrafted jewelry, wearable fabric art, ceramics and other unique items. Purchases benefitted both the artists and the museum, which received a percentage of each sale.
“This is a nice start to summer. Outdoors in the sculpture garden is a very fitting place to have this art fair,” said San Jose resident Kimberly Su, attending the fair with her mother, Ling-Ling Chern. “Everybody is friendly and they’re willing to introduce their pieces. There’s no pressure to buy.”
“There are so many local artists that get to show their artwork. Having the community come out and see what they’re doing is a great opportunity for them,” said Triton Museum Executive Director Jill Meyers.
“I love this atmosphere. It’s the best place I’ve shown my work,” said San Jose fabric and jewelry artist Minoo Amjadi (www.minoscontest.com). “An art garden is the best place to show art.”
“I’m happy that people see and appreciate my art,” said Cupertio-based, first-time exhibitor Kavery Emmanuel, who does contemporary acrylic paintings (www.komiilueb.wix.com/my-art-bbemy).
Tisa and Summer Reeves, a Los Gatos-based mother and daughter team, craft steampunk jewelry. Steampunk combines Victorian style with current technology. The jewelry they design incorporates vintage objects with found metal parts such as antique keys and watch parts.
“Anything we find, we just bust it open and use the parts. We repurpose them,” said Summer (www.treeveseclectic.weebly.com).
“As a museum, it’s so important for the community to come out and support these events. The events support about ten percent of our budget of about $700,000 a year,” said Meyers. “We’re very grateful to the community.”
Other sources of museum support include grants from the city of Santa Clara and private and public foundations, individual donations and memberships. Also, the museum receives earned revenue from class fees and facility rental.
“Every source is important to us,” said Meyers. “It enables us to present exhibits to the community.”
“David Ligare: California Classicist,” the current exhibit, is on display through August 14. The Triton Museum is the last stop for this traveling exhibit, which was organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.
Ligare, who was born in Illinois but now lives in Salinas, paints still lifes and landscapes and is considered “one of the most celebrated contemporary Neoclassical artists of today.”
Admission is always free to the Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Avenue, (408) 247-3754, www.tritonmuseum.org. It is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for certain holidays.
If you missed the Summer Art Fair, visit the museum gift shop, which is overflowing with small paintings, jewelry, wearable fabric art and objects d’art, such as pysanky–hand-decorated Ukranian Easter eggs by Vineha Bhat Shenoy (www.etsy.com/shop/starrykites).