Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to—in the words of her mentor—"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.
Recently in the news for auctioning off a Steve Martin–created piece, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art has delighted art lovers for 30 years with its massive array of intriguing modern-day masterpieces. A friend-level membership is good for unlimited free admission for two people into the gallery and its exhibits. The most recent exhibit, Tony May: Old Technology, showcases the San Jose artist's whimsical multimedia creations, including his T. Tree House—a surreal cross between a backyard tree house, studio, gigantic lantern, and Japanese teahouse, complete with a stuttering robot that generates the day's secret word. You'll also get two admissions to the annual Fall Art Auction, discounts at San Jose restaurants, and admission to the talking art discussion series, which will answer questions such as "Is this stain on my shirt art?" Migrant aesthetes will also enjoy free admission to more than 450 museums throughout the country.
Spread out among 132,000 square feet and three levels are a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits that represent the museum’s goal of innovative inspiration. The recently opened, hands-on, and interactive exhibit Invention at Play examines the evolution of playtime from the hoop-and-stick of yesteryear to the portable holographic virtual wristwatches of today. The art, film, and music-focused Tech Virtual Test Zone conceptualizes ideas from the virtual world of Second Life with interactive wonders such as the Wall of Musical Buttons. The Wall allows visitors to experiment with note intervals in familiar musical melodies, and Mashup Masterpiece gives visitors the ability to add their own creative modifications after observing an artist's artistic process. Aspiring weatherpersons can learn about the powers of wind, water, and sun in Green by Design, or budding Beakmans can perform various science experiments in the Exploration Gallery. Keep the stimulation going while giving tired legs a rest with the included educational IMAX movie. Check out current offerings such as Arabia or Under the Sea or peruse the schedule for other upcoming shows at The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater.
The San Jose Museum of Art reflects the diverse cultures and innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. Through its exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and collections, SJMA connects the present and the past, the art of the West Coast and the world.
Studio Seven Arts, voted Best Art Gallery of 2011 by Diablo magazine's readers, is bedecked in one-of-a-kind fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and eclectic crafts, fostering an inspiring backdrop to their custom-framing services. The staff members curate a collection of American art pieces, including locally made creations, displaying handcrafted fine jewelry and skillfully made crafts that can be both functional and decorative—much like a scarecrow in a sundress. The gallery’s in-house framing artisans draw upon 25 years of experience to build custom frames for such treasures as paintings, photos, diplomas, and mirrors of any shape or size. Frames can be outfitted with wood to match any room’s décor, and with a variety of glass options that can block the bleaching effects of sunlight and scribblings of pets who feel they ought to be in all the family photos.
Celebrate Art! lets kids explore their creativity and develop art skills. During Preschool Picassos classes, instructors help kids as young as 18 months paint, cut, and paste to create their own works. Kids aged 6 or older develop more nuanced techniques during art-fundamentals classes. Celebrate Art! also hosts parties, play groups, and themed summer day camps.