Shannon Wright

Professor of Spatial Art, Art Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Art and Art History | San José State


San José State University's Department of Art and Art History celebrates traditional techniques, emerging media and the cross-pollination between the two. The Spatial Art program places equal emphasis on concept development, cultural critique and fabrication. Students learn sculpture in the campus's 6,000-square-foot foundry, its glass hot shop, a well-equipped ceramics area, a state-of-the art jewelry and small metals lab, as well as in the wood, plastics and sheet-metal facilities.

“The field of public art is currently booming: At any given time, there are dozens of calls for proposals for large public sculpture projects," says Professor Shannon Wright, whose own work is in sculpture and installation art, utilizing materials such as wood, galvanized steel and laser-cut acrylic. “These range from low- to moderate-budget projects to high-profile international competitions to produce multimillion-dollar public artworks. Many of our graduates choose to teach or work in museums while they pursue gallery exhibition opportunities and public art commissions."

“Bringing a solo exhibition or a public art project to fruition requires tenacity, the willingness to fail repeatedly and an entrepreneurial attitude. These same qualities allow our graduates to find employment in a wide variety of fields that value creativity and adaptability. Perhaps the two most important skills I aim to instill in my students are iterative problem solving and constant self-reinvention."

Click each photo to read a description of the tool​s.