For Day and Evening of Free Art, Music, Theater, Look to UC Davis Oct. 4

Mondavi in purple
The Mondavi Center is illuminated in purple in honor of the late Barbara Jackson until a concert in her honor is held Oct. 4. (UC Davis Photo/Karin Higgins)

The UC Davis fall art season opens en masse on Thursday, Oct. 4, when many of the campus museums and arts venues debut their fall seasons.  A well-planned day can begin at the Ann E. Pitzer Center for the fall debut of the Shinkoskey Noon Concert series and end with the annual Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera concert at the Mondavi Center in the evening. There are eight events in all. So put on your walking shoes and get your culture on. All the events and exhibitions are free.

Start at the noon concert

Beginning at 12:05 p.m the Shinkoskey Noon Concert series opens its fall season with the Late Debussy Duets at the Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis. Hrabba Atladottir, violin, Leighton Fong, cello, Karen Rosenak, piano and Michael Seth Orland, piano. The concert includes “6 épigraphes antiques,” Sonata for Cello and Piano, and Sonata for Violin and Piano. 

Lunch, then Native American Art

After that, you’ll have some time to kill before afternoon and evening events begin. Have some lunch at a food truck or campus food venue, then head over to the C.N. Gorman Museum near the quad. It will have opened at noon.

Dorothy Torivio, Acoma Pueblo Jar, gift of John W. Brinley, is among the objects on display at the Gorman.

At the Gorman, you’ll find Recent Acquisitions from the SouthwestOver the past two years, the museum has been honored with gifts of artwork from numerous private collections. This exhibition presents a selection of those gifts, including sculpture, painting and multimedia alongside ceramics, textiles and basketry, by contemporary and historical artists. Oct. 4-Dec. 7. C.N Gorman Museum, 1316 Hart Hall. Regular hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.


Afternoon Coffee and the Manetti Shrem

After the Gorman, it will be time for coffee and a snack, and a walk over to the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. (when you exit the Gorman at Hart Hall, head toward Interstate 80 and you’ll see the Grand Canopy roof of the museum soon enough.

On your way, both the School of Law and the Manetti Shrem have coffee carts for quick coffee, tea, or pastries and other snacks. The Manetti Shrem opened its fall season Sept. 27 with two new exhibitions, Bruce Nauman: Blue and Yellow Corridor on view Sept. 27 – Dec. 16, and Irving Marcus: Romance & Disaster, A Retrospective Sept. 27 – Dec. 30.  Nauman, incidentally, is a graduate of UC Davis. His work is traveling home to the place where he served as teaching assistant to Wayne Thiebaud and befriended William T. Wiley, both of whom were first-generation art faculty on campus. Since the mid-1960s, Nauman has produced a prolific and radically innovative body of work that has expanded the very boundaries of what art can be. More than two decades ago, then-New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman noted, “[Nauman] may be the most influential American artist around.”

Scream, 2007, oil on canvas, Irving Marcus, Collection of the artist, is on view at the Manetti Shrem starting Sept. 27. Photo copyright Benjamin Blackwell.

More information on the exhibitions is in this news release.

More work from alumni  — across the street

If you can pry yourself away from the Manetti Shrem, on your way back to the Design Museum, you can catch two alumni exhibitions of photos and paintings at the Buehler Alumni Center, which is across the way, behind the fountain on Vanderhoef Quad. Bill Hollingshead ’60 and Sharon Dianne Hollingshead ’63 present two exhibitions, each starting Sept. 6 and concluding different dates in November.

  • The Art and Heart of Being an Aggie — Featuring photos from the early- to mid-20th century by Bill Hollingshead’s father, Paul W. Hollingshead, who ran a Woodland photo studio from 1932 to 1962; and paintings by Sharon Dianne Hollingshead. Images reflect social and civic groups in the area, parades and other events from the past, and the California Aggie Marching Band (Bill was a member).
  • A Salute to All Our Veterans — In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (Nov. 11, 1918), the Hollingsheads have gathered historic photos from the UC Davis Library documenting the contributions of the University Farm (which would become UC Davis) to the war effort through agricultural education and farming developments, along with photos taken by Paul Hollingshead at Camp Kearny, San Diego County. Sept. 6-Nov. 30.
  • hollingshead
    Paul W. Hollingshead, 1931. (Courtesy photo)


Buehler Alumni Center, in near the campus’s south entry. Regular hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Artist lecture at 4:30

You can also stay at the Manetti Shrem locale and listen to a lecture at 4:30 p.m

Alison Saar, an internationally acclaimed artist whose works are poignant explorations of her personal and cultural identity, will kick off a series of lectures offered by the College of Letters and Science Art and Art History Department at 4:30 p.m. at the Manetti Museum of Art. All the talks are free and open to the public.

Saar’s large sculptures, often made of found materials such as wood, metal, wire, shoes and bottles, call on a wide variety of sources — African and Haitian folklore, contemporary African American culture, mythology, and the practices of “outsider” artists. Through her figurative art, she examines gender, race, heritage and history.

Saar has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Her art is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Saar studied studio art and art history at Scripps College in Claremont, California, and earned her MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Information on other talks in the series are here.

Art of Japanese Textiles at the Design Museum

At 6 p.m., you can take in a reception at the Design Museum and see Tekunikku: The Art of Japanese Textile Making. This vibrant installation showcasing textile design and creation features textiles from the Catherine Cerny Collection. Cerny’s collection spans more than 40 years of firsthand cultural exploration and technical study. The pieces in Cerny’s collection serve as archival artifacts of the many cultures and communities she has encountered, as well personal artifacts collected to document and memorialize her travel experiences.

Japanese textile
The Design Museum Exhibit includes cotton towel, woven and dyed using Itajime technique. (Lender and Image Catherine Cerny)

This exhibition presents a process-based narrative, inviting exploration of the distinct Japanese design techniques, tools and materials; those of which have produced a rich textile culture that spans centuries and continues to be globally copied and admired.  

The exhibition is organized into three broad processes: weaving, printing/dyeing, and surface embellishments. Each section is then broken up into subsections by technique. Each section will display examples from the Cerny collection, as well as highlight images and written information about the techniques and materials used to create them.  Photo slideshows will accompany the objects in each section of the exhibition, providing visualization of select techniques while in process.

Theatre Festival begins its three-day run

After a successful launch in fall 2017, the Ground & Field Theatre Festival at UC Davis returns to introduce new works for the stage. Co-produced by the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance and the Theatre and Dance Ensemble, the festival’s public performances take place Oct. 4-6 in the historic Wyatt Pavilion Theatre.

Mark Rigney’s “Summertime” opens the series on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Directed by GFTF co-founder Tom Burmester, this contemporary drama tracks a nominally successful upper middle class clan dealing with an impending political crisis in which the United States Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed both medicine and medical practitioners in an attempt to deal with a burgeoning population crisis. Performed in the historic Wyatt Pavilion Theatre, the play is performed again on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. More information on the festival is here. You can reserve free seats here.

Rising Stars of Opera Concert is 8 p.m. at Mondavi

This year, the Mondavi Center is dedicating the annual Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera concert to a celebration of her life in music, taking place in Jackson Hall on the centennial of her birth. The rising stars will sing arias and duets from many of the greatest opera composers, accompanied by pianist Mark Morash of the San Francisco Opera Center in the first half, and by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Professor Christian Baldini, in the second half. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

Jackson’s generous sponsorship has allowed the Rising Stars concert to be free to the public. Tickets to this popular concert are always scarce, but check for availability at or by calling 530‐754‐2787.

Until Oct. 4, we can remember Barbara and her legacy every evening as the Mondavi Center’s south wall is bathed in purple, a color all of us who knew Barbara associated with her. These beautiful lights keep us mindful of someone who indeed lived a beautiful life of generosity and music.

See Barbara Jackson’s obituary for more information.

A website dedicated to Oct. 4 arts events is here.

Contributors to this story include Michael French and Jeffrey Day of the College of Letters and Science, and Dave Jones, Dateline editor.

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