Editor's note: UC Davis is the headquarters for Imagining America, a national organization that advances a vision of the world in which publicly engaged artists, designers, scholars, students and culture workers play critical roles in enacting the promise and ideals of a democratic society.
The organization represents much of what UC Davis has long embraced: interdisciplinary cooperation that is transformed into community action. Four UC Davis students from different disciplines created art following their attendance at the national conference held at UC Davis last October.
Worth the Walk: Art at the International Center
By Nathan Camp, Global Affairs, UC Davis
The animated video, three-dimensional collage, short story, watercolor, and sculpture work of four UC Davis students, who were selected by Global Affairs and Imagining America for their creative capacity to re-imagine America in a global context, is on display and open to the public in the lobby of the International Center, located at the edge of campus on California Avenue at Russell Boulevard, through Jan. 31.
The four students — two undergraduate and two graduate, all studying in different programs — were selected among 47 applicants from 35 different academic programs to receive the Global Affairs Creative Documentation Fellowships and be sponsored in attending the Imagining America National Conference held on campus last October.
Given the freedom to create, the students took inspiration from the conference theme of “Communities. Arts. Lands. Learning,” and were guided by the query: “Why is it important to re-imagine America in a global context in our current moment in history?”
(Listen to one of the students, Jasmine Wade, read from her short story at the bottom of this post.)
Sabrina Rose Lee
Lee is an undergraduate student double majoring in film studies and community and regional development who often reflects on her identity as a 2nd generation Korean and 3rd generation Filipinx Asian American. Lee’s contribution “Never Stop Imagining” features an animated video rendition of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” and a large three-dimensional collage.
Medina’s “Restore” is a watercolor and ink piece that combines image and text. Medina, an undergraduate design major who has recently been experimenting with ways of displaying cultural statements, was inspired by the perspectives offered in Imagining America workshops and through conversations with attendees.
Marbles Jumbo Radio
Radio’s contribution to the exhibit is a sculpture and installation piece that works with spaciality, landscape, materiality, perception and precarity, called “____swept.” Marbles Jumbo Radio, a Ph.D. student in performance studies, often composes installations that engage politics of place, belonging, land and identity. (Please note: this contribution is no longer on display.)
Jasmine Wade is pursuing a doctoral degree in cultural studies and is also a fiction writer, seeking to imagine a more diverse and equitable world through her fiction and academic work. Wade’s contribution includes a short story called “Imagine Nation” and an excerpt from the index of a fictional historical document: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire – the Fifth and Final Volume.
The International Center at UC Davis is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Hear Wade read from her short story.