On Dec. 23, 1965 Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art received its non-profit status, making 2015 the museum’s golden year. As a small, free, community-based museum, the Triton has weathered the storm, surviving and thriving throughout the past half-century while many other museums have faced cutbacks and closures.
What’s most significant throughout the past 50 years is that the Triton has adhered to its mission of serving the community. “We are nothing without our community, and with every program and exhibition we develop, the community must be in the forefront of our minds,” says Executive Director Jill Meyers. “We are fortunate enough to be situated in a region filled with great diversity and we celebrate and honor that diversity.”
Not only has the Triton curated a significant permanent collection of contemporary California art, it has provided accessible exhibitions of themed shows, social issue shows and solo shows that “have given a voice to the voiceless, provided critical thinking, creative problem solving and awareness that the universal language of art can bring together a culturally diverse population,” says Meyers.
Meyers says she plans on continuing to make the museum a community resource, growing the Triton’s permanent collection and providing a venue for artists to grow and compete. “I plan to continue to offer programs that resonate with the community, and I attribute our financial success to our programmatic successes,” says Meyers. “Our members, donors and local businesses recognize our relevance and importance to the community, and we are continuing to foster donor relationships to further strengthen our institution.”
To celebrate its 50-year landmark and kick off the next 50 years, the Triton is holding special events throughout 2015, kicking off with a community anniversary celebration this Saturday, April 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. On that day, the museum is hosting hands-on art activities, a performance by Many Worlds Ensemble, community wall where visitors can express “what art means to them,” displaying a community quilt made up of art squares created by visitors at the most recent Family Art Day, and serving cake to commemorate the museum’s milestone. Additionally, the Triton will open “Triton at 50” (on display April 4 through May 3), a unique showcase of the Triton’s first 50 years through photos, stories and works from the museum’s permanent collection that highlight the times and events that have brought the museum to its golden celebration, according to Meyers.
Continuing the celebration, the Triton will hold its annual gala, the “Golden Gala,” on May 2, which will include food from Catered Too and a silent auction of fine art and “experience items” (event and entertainment packages). With the theme of black and gold, this year will also feature seven to 10 special art pieces as part of the auction. Tickets are $160 and can be purchased at www.tritonmuseum.org/SpecialEvents.php. Artwork up for auction will be on display April 25 through May 1.
As the “Triton at 50” exhibit wraps up and the gala ends, the museum will display “50 and Looking Forward,” a show opening May 16 and featuring 20 artists to watch, hand selected by museum curators. Finally, the museum will cap off its celebratory year with “What Triton Means to Me” (opening Sept. 19), an exhibit showcasing artists who have a significant history with the museum.
All events and exhibitions are at the Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Ave. Visit www.tritonmusuem.org for more information.