TechConnect, a monthly all ages after-hours series at San Jose Museum of Art that focuses on mixed media, returns June 21 with contemporary visual artist Kathy Aoki and music accompaniment from local chiptune band, The Glowing Stars.

Now in its fifth year, TechConnect started as a private monthly event to engage museum employees with art. This year, it was opened to the public with an emphasis on audience involvement with special features like the Juice Cycle bicycle-powered juicer.

“Working people can come out to enjoy what we have to do,” Ingles says. “It has similar elements offered in the original third Thursday programs—we want people to engage with the art.”

Aoki, an associate professor of studio art at Santa Clara University focusing on digital arts and printmaking classes, will debut her series of political paper dolls with appearances by Sarah Palin, President Obama, Newt Gingrich, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. There will be an assortment of outfits to choose from to dress the dolls, from grizzly bears to sweat suit outfits.

“All of these political figures have traits and public issues that made the development of the outfits quite enjoyable,” Aoki says.

The Glowing Stars were added to TechConnect to appeal to the tech-based crowd in San Jose. Chiptune is an emerging music genre that incorporates video game equipment to create new sounds. Along with 8-bit music samples from old video games the band also performs with drums and guitars.

“Chiptune is about an aesthetic, definitely steeped in a nostalgia unique to our generation,” says drummer/keyboardist Matthew Joseph Payne.

TechConnect takes place every Third Thursday of the month at San Jose Museum of Art. Admission is $8 before 5pm and $5 afterwards.