Encore: The Legacy of Steve French
November 12, 2017 – February 4, 2018
The San Jose State University (SJSU) Art Department was begun in 1913, a pre-World War I era defined by the struggle to pay homage to the past and embrace the technological innovations of the future.
During the more than 100 years since, the Art Department at SJSU has offered classes in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, commercial art, interior design, textiles, glass and art education, through curricula both traditional and unconventional. The students and faculty – past, present and future – represent a community of artists, designers, thinkers, writers, and historians who have greatly enhanced the cultural landscape of San Jose and the entire Bay Area.
From 1966, and well beyond his retirement in 1998, Steve French was a vital member of that vibrant community of artists and scholars, rising from a regular faculty member to the Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts. During those 32 years, French served as an exemplary role model of how to balance a career in education and maintain a prolific studio practice. His students credit him with having a lasting affect on their work and lives. He was a generous mentor, passing on his knowledge, expertise and contacts to the next generation of artists.
In conjunction with Overture: The Art of Steve French, we are proud to honor French’s teaching legacy with an exhibition of work by some of his former students, many of whom have remained in the Bay Area since graduating from SJSU, earning acclaim both regionally and nationally. Encore: The Legacy of Steve French features work by Marsha Briggs, Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, Eric Hoffman, Howard Ikemoto, Katherine Huffaker Jones, Tony May, Valerie Patten, Steve Pon, and Jeff Alan West. Reflective of the diverse class offerings at SJSU, the works in Encore include works on paper, large-scale paintings, and sculpture in a wide variety of styles and subject matter.