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About Jo Farb Hernández

Jo Farb Hernández, Professor and Director of Exhibitions and Special Projects for the School of Art and Design at San José State University, has worked in the museum field for over thirty-five years, including service as President of the California Association of Museums. A folklorist by academic training, her professional work explores a range of aesthetic forms and manifestations, straddling aesthetic boundaries in an attempt to free the discussion of artistic production from stultifying theoretical constructs that often have little relevance to the myriad of influences upon each creative act. Her curatorial efforts have been impressive and wide-ranging; she is equally comfortable with modern and contemporary as with "outsider," folk, and ethnic/tribal arts. She balances management and administrative duties and service to the field with singular curatorial projects that are informed by rigorous research, noteworthy design, and original thought, garnering awards for ground-breaking scholarship, creativity, and design. Reviews of her exhibition projects have appeared in such media organs as the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Artweek, ArtNews, Art Journal, Art in America, Museum Anthropology, Folk Art, Folk Art Messenger, Raw Vision, and more.
Hernández concurrently serves as Director of SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments), an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to document and advocate for "outsider" art environments and other self-taught artistic activity www.spacesarchives.org. She has conducted fieldwork on art environments since 1974 across the U.S. and in Western Europe, and on Spanish, South American, and Balkan folk arts and performance events. An award-winning writer, she has authored or co-authored over thirty exhibition books and catalogues on modern, contemporary, and outsider art; one of her most recent, Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain, won the prestigious Chicago Folklore Prize in 2006. Others include A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions (Harry N. Abrams, 1997), one of Amazon.com's "10 Best: Art and Architecture" books that year. Hernández regularly publishes articles for a variety of international art journals; serves as a panelist for local, regional, and national granting agencies; judges national, statewide, and regional exhibitions; and lectures widely at museums and universities internationally. Since 1994 Hernández has also pursued selected curatorial projects on a freelance basis through Curatorial and Museum Management Services, her consulting firm for nonprofit arts organizations; her clients have included the Archives of American Art as well as numerous museums from San Francisco to New York, Chicago to Atlanta. She is a contributing editor for Raw Vision magazine, and a member of several national and international boards for nonprofit arts organizations. Recognized as one of the primary experts in the field of "outsider art" environments, in 2008 she received a prestigious Fulbright Senior Scholar Research award to study Spanish art environments, the first ever awarded in this field. This fieldwork research forms the basis for her current book project, Where the Vernacular Meets the Eccentric: Spanish Art Environments.
Jo Farb Hernández is married to sculptor Sam Hernández, Professor of Art at Santa Clara University.

Positions

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2000 - Present Professor, Art and Art History, San Jose State University
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1978 Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies, John F Kennedy University
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1977 Adjunct Professor, East Texas State University
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Curriculum Vitae


Disciplines


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Professional Service and Affiliations

2017 - Present Advisory Council, Bric-a-Brac Arte Outsider journal
2017 - Present Advisory Board, Laboratorio Galego de Ecocrítica, Santiago de Compostela
2017 - Present Board of Directors, Raw Vision Journal
2013 - Present International Editorial Board, Elsewhere: The International Journal of Self-Taught and Outsider Art
2010 - Present National Advisory Board, Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
2006 - Present Director, Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments (SPACES)
2004 - Present Board of Trustees, SPACES
2002 - Present Founding National Advisory Board, Friends of Fred Smith
2000 - Present Director/Curator, Thompson Gallery and Professor, San Jose State University
2002 - 2010 Founding Board of Directors and Executive Board, Alliance for California Traditional Arts
1999 Consultant, Grants Panel, Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, California Arts Council
1992 - 1993 National Program Committee, American Association of Museums
1992 Proposal Review Panelist, United States Information Agency
1991 - 1992 President, Board of Directors, California Association of Museums
1989 - 1991 Executive Board and Board of Directors, Western Museums Association (AAM Affiliate)
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Honors and Awards

  • San José State University, Central Research and Scholarship Award, 2018
  • Department of Art and Art History, Professional Development Award, 2018
  • San José State University, Central Research and Scholarship Award, 2017
  • Department of Art and Art History, San José State University, Professional Development Award, 2017
  • College of Humanities and Arts, San José State University, Professional Development Award, 2016, 2017
  • College of Humanities and Arts, San José State University, Award for Research and Scholarly Achievements, 2016, 2017
  • Where the Heaven Flowers Grow book: The Ten Best Photography Books of the Year. Smithsonian.com
  • San José State University, President’s Scholar, 2014
  • American Alliance of Museums Publications Design Competition. Second prize: books/catalogues, 2014
  • San José State University, Quarterback Club, Outstanding Faculty – Selected by Academic Affairs, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: Best full-length documentary film. Iberoamericano prize of Fénix cinema, 2015
  • Sobre La Marxa film:Best First Work. Festival of First Works, Visual Cine Novísimo, Spain, 2015
  • Sobre La Marxa film: First prize, feature-length documentary film. Alcances, Cinematic exhibition of the Atlantic, Cádiz, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: Special Jury Mention, MedFilm Festival, Rome, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: Special People’s Choice mention, Festival of Málaga: Spanish Cinema, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: People’s Choice First Place Award, Festival Internacional de cinema d’autor de Barcelona [Centre de Cultura Contemporánea Barcelona], 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: Best Short Film, Trento Film Festival, Italy, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: People’s Choice Award, Trento Film Festival, Italy, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: Open Eyes Award: International Documentaries MedFilm Festival, Rome, 2014
  • Sobre La Marxa film: People’s Choice Award (Top Ten), International Film Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2014
  • San José State University, SSETF Fund award, 2013
  • City of Banyoles, Spain. Honored for Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain, 2012
  • San José State University, Award for Research, Scholarship, or Creative Activity, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • San José State University, Undergraduate Research Award (Faculty Mentor), 2013
  • California State University, Research Fund Award, 2010
  • Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Fulbright Senior Scholar in Residence. Spain, 2008
  • University of Chicago/American Folklore Society. “Chicago Folklore Prize” (international award) for Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain, 2006
  • San José State University, “Global Lens” photography competition, 3rd place, faculty/staff category, 2005
  • International Gallery of Superb Printing, Silver Award of Excellence for Marc D’Estout: Domestic Objects, 2004
  • Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Traditional Arts Development Program Grant, 2002, 2006
  • California State University, Lottery Grant Award, 2004, 2001
  • California State University Research Award, 2011, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001
  • National Endowment for the Arts. Design Arts Grant, 2002
  • College of Humanities and the Arts Dean’s Small Grant/Grant Development Support Awards, SJSU, 2005, 2001.
  • “Ten Best Art/Architecture Books-1997” for A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions. Amazon.com
  • New York Booksellers Association, Honorable Mention for A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions.
  • Caroline Goldsmith Fellowship, ARTtable, 1997, 1996
  • CINE Golden Eagle Award for Time Captured in Paintings video, 1992
  • Leader of the Decade - Arts, Leadership Monterey Peninsula, 1992
  • Rockefeller Fellowship, 1976 1977, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts
  • Ralph C. Altman Award, Museum of Cultural History, UCLA, 1975
  • Trewartha Award, University of Wisconsin, 1974
  • National Honor Society, 1970

Education

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1975 M.A., University of California, Los Angeles ‐ Folklore and Mythlogy- concentration in Folk Art
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1974 B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison ‐ Political Science and French
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Contact Information

Jo.Hernandez@sjsu.edu

Email:


Journals/Collections (79)