Art Students Introduce PechaKucha

Graduate Art Students Try "PechaKucha"

Originating in Tokyo, where this photo was taken, PechaKucha Night is a global network of informal gatherings where creative people share their ideas and works in a simple presentation format: 20 images discussed for 20 seconds each (photo courtesy of

Contact: Sieglinde Van Damme, SJSU PechaKucha Night publicist

SAN JOSE, CA – Eighteen San Jose State University students, graduating this spring with a master of fine arts degree, will host a PechaKucha Night to introduce themselves and their artwork to the public at a new downtown San Jose venue, Cafe Stritch, on Feb. 27. SJSU’s PechaKucha Night will provide a glimpse into the technical and visual research and creative production that each artist has pursued while at SJSU.

PechaKucha Night is a global network of informal gatherings where creative people share their ideas and works in a simple presentation format: 20 images, discussed for 20 seconds each. Christian L. Frock, an independent writer and curator who is designing the Lift Off 2013 MFA Art Exhibit for SJSU, to be held in May at the Art Ark Gallery in San Jose, suggested the PKN format as a fun and informative way for the students to give her an introductory overview of their art.

“I am not aware of any art colleges conducting a PechaKucha Night for the general community to meet their graduates. This is a special opportunity for the public to get a cross section of fresh talent out of the South Bay,” said Frock. “It will offer a composite image of San Jose State University’s singular art program and its influences. We anticipate a great evening of contemporary art and ideas,” she added.

The participating students represent the Pictorial Art, Spatial Art, Photography and Digital Media Art programs in the Department of Art and Art History. Founded in 1911, the department is one of the largest schools at SJSU with academic instruction and fabrication facilities that attract students worldwide. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report rated the art school as one of the top 100 MFA visual arts programs in the country.

The participants are Ara Ahadi, Armine Sargsyan, Avery Palmer, Barbara Boissevain, David Kempken, Esteban Salazar, Gloria Huet, Jacqueline Donecho, Jeffrey Opp, Jennifer Groft, Jonathan Huang, Kat McKinnon, Lan Liu, Marianne Lettieri, Meiru Huang, Sieglinde Van Damme, Wesley Wright and Yvonne Escalante.

Christian L. Frock is the director of Invisible Venue, an independent curatorial enterprise she founded in 2005 that collaborates with artists to present art in the public realm. She is a regular contributor to KQED Arts, Art Practical, San Francisco Arts Monthly and Art ltd. Frock has a master’s degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

This event will be the first collaboration of PKN San Jose with Steven Borkenhagen and his new restaurant and performance space, Cafe Stritch (formerly Eulipa Restaurant).

The SJSU PechaKucha Night will be held 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27, 2013 at Cafe Stritch, 374 S. First St., San Jose. Admission is free.