Weekender: Have Art-Filled Picnic Day, Sheep Poetry, and Bedtime Stories

painted wood, Canal Park, Washington, DC
Coming up! Get excited for an artist talk with Kota Ezawa, the California Studio speaker at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art next week. Kota Ezawa, Handvote, painted wood, Canal Park, Washington, DC, 2014. (Courtesy the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.)

Music for Piano Four Hands today

Thursday, April 18, 12:05 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Jacqueline Chew and Michael Seth Orland, pianos


Johann Sebastian Bach / György Kurtág:
  “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit” (publ. 1991)
  ”Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr” (publ. 1991)

  • Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Piano (1938)
  • Igor Stravinsky: Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914)
  • initial version by the composer for piano four hands
  • Maurice Ravel: Ma mère l’oye (Mother Goose) (1910)

Hiromi’s Sonicwonder at Mondavi

Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. Jackson Hall, tickets from $25

Jazz pianist and composer Hiromi is a sparkplug of creative energy and melodic ingenuity.

artist in yellow with piano
(Courtesy, Mondavi Center)

From her debut album to her 2021 performance at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics, Hiromi has electrified audiences and earned the deep respect of jazz icons like Ahmad Jamal, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. Her live performances are legendary for their energy and jaw-dropping improvisation. For this Mondavi Center debut she’ll be working her new quartet Sonicwonder, whose new album was recently released.

Get tickets here: Hiromi’s Sonicwonder | Mondavi Center 

Valente lecture and concert: Stephen Drury on the piano

Friday, April 19, 5-7 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E Pitzer Center

artist on piano
(Peter Gannushkin/courtesy)

Drury has performed throughout the world with a repertoire that stretches from Bach to Liszt to the music of today. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. A champion of contemporary music, he has taken the sound of dissonance into remote corners of Pakistan, Greenland and Montana.

Picnic Day offers interactive, fashion and lots of music

UC Davis Picnic Day, Saturday, April 20, has literally hundreds of activities. Here in the Arts Blog, we take pains to highlight the art or at least "arty" events. Here are some in these stories.

Don't miss the Manetti Shrem Museum activities going on all day, including a making activity with white clay and...there will be a “garden of Eggheads” out in front of the museum. And the parade, first thing in the a.m., offers plenty of opportunity to see real floats students have been working on for months.


Egghead merchandise

Make sure to get your Picnic Day merchandise at the UC Davis Bookstore at the Memorial Union or in the lobby of the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art for a limited edition Egghead piece celebrating their 30th year on campus! See the full anniversary story here.

egghead pop up
Egghead campus celebration will include an Egghead merchandise pop up at the Manetti Shrem Museum. (Whitney Howard/UC Davis)

Revival: the 2024 UC Davis fashion show

Fashion & Design Society Fashion Show
Fashion & Design Society Fashion Show, 2023 (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Saturday, April 20t, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Cruess Hall courtyard, tickets at $15

The UC Davis Fashion and Design Society (FADS) will present the 2024 Picnic Day Fashion Show, “Revival,” which is inspired by design students gravitating towards themes of nature or the intersection between fashion and sustainability, “Revival” represents a new era of growth. Hurry. This is always a hot ticket and sells out quickly.

Get tickets here:

11 a.m. tickets: Revival

1 p.m. tickets: Revival  

Student musical performances

Saturday, April 20, 11-1 p.m., Ann E Pitzer Center’s Music Courtyard

Student chamber ensembles, the Samba School directed by faculty member Brian Rice, and also the Bluegrass and Old Time String Band directed by faculty member Scott Linford will perform works in progress outdoors outside Pitzer performance hall.

Battle of the Bands returns

April 20, 2-10 p.m., Mrak Hall lawn

band member playing drum
Battle of the Bands at a recent Picnic Day. (UC Davis photo)

The Picnic Day Battle of the Bands is back! A musical battle of epic proportions, come hear your favorite University bands rock out during the 2024 Picnic Day. The UC Davis Marching Band will take on a number of collegiate bands from across the state of California!

Dance Dance Revolution offers variety of dance styles

April 20, 7-10 p.m., University Credit Union Center

Davis Dance Revolution (DDR) is an annual event showcasing UC Davis' student dance performance groups with a wide range of dance styles, including but not limited to ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, cultural, and more!

Listen to Sam Nichols’ Empyrean Ensemble

Sunday, April 21, 7 p.m., Recital Hall at Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Musicians Playing:

Jessie Nucho, flute
Kristin Lloyd, harp
Chris Froh, percussion
Ellen Ruth Rose, viola
Leighton Fong, cello


  • Jacob Lane: Empyrean Quintet
  • Emily Joy Sullivan: Dear Daughter
  • Colin Minigan: Verglas
  • James Larkins: It Keeps Happening

Mondavi Center presents Bedtime Stories with Thomas Dedkiewicz

April 24-27, 7:30 p.m., Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, tickets starting at $35

When was the last time someone told you a bedtime story? Let actor Thomas Dudkiewicz lead you into a strange and brilliantly dark world with Bedtime Stories. Recommended for ages 13+. "It was a dark and lonesome night..."

Conceived by Dutch collective URLAND, Bedtime Stories celebrates the art of the voice to tell engaging and immersive stories. This pitch-perfect narrated performance takes its inspiration from radio plays, using just Dudkiewicz’s voice and well-timed sound effects to bring to life an enchanting cast of characters.

Get tickets here: Bedtime Stories | Mondavi Center 

Sheep Shift Climate Poetry next week

April 24-26, 9:30-3 p.m., across from California Hall

From April 24 to 26, the UC Davis Sheepmowers are joining forces with the Big Shift (an ongoing construction project essential to reducing our campus's reliance on fossil fuels). Together, they are collaborating to create "Sheep Shift Climate Poetry."

To kick the event off, campus and community members are invited to submit climate-change inspired words today through April 21. Crowd-sourced selections will then appear on the sides of the campus’s beloved sheepmowers.

Read more about Sheepmowers and their poetry appearance here: Sheep Shift Climate Poetry

Artist-In-Residence: Emily Thorner, ultra soprano, presents "Works by Graduate Students"

Thursday, April 25, 12:05 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Emily Thorner portrait
(Courtesy, Mondavi Center)


Trey Makler

Emily Joy Sullivan

James Larkins

Peter Chatterjee

Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

About Emily

International “ultra-soprano” (Second Inversion, WA, USA) and “new music rising star” (The Stranger, WA, USA) Emily Thorner is rapidly making her mark as a soloist in contemporary chamber ensembles, orchestras, and modern operas. Known for her command of stratospheric high notes, Thorner is highly sought-after for world premieres due to her unusual range and fearless virtuosity. 

Research in design talk: Krystle Moody Wood

Thursday, April 25, 12 p.m., Cruess Hall room 1105

Krystle Moody Wood (B.A. design ‘07) is the founder and principal consultant of Materevolve, LLC. After almost a decade of corporate materials and product development and working in non-profit education, Krystle found she could best pursue her passion for sustainability, textiles and adventure by starting her own business (Materevolve), which focuses on providing brand and material innovators with technical textile consulting and inspirational educational experiences.

Kota Ezawa artist talk at The California Studio

Thursday, April 25, 4:30 p.m., Community Room at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, free

painted wood at Canal Park in Washington DC
Kota Ezawa, Handvote, painted wood, Canal Park, Washington, DC, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York.

Kota Ezawa is a media artist known for creating computer animations that explore the mediation of cultural and historical events. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Georgia Museum of Art in 2021 and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Ezawa has received a number of fellowships, awards, grants, and residencies, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2003; a SECA Art Award from SFMOMA in 2006 and a Eureka Fellowship in 2010. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the San Francisco Art Institute before receiving his Masters of Fine Art from Stanford University.

In 2022, Ezawa was included in the exhibition, “From Moment to Movement: Picturing Protest in the Kramlich Collection,” at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis and was an invited speaker in UC Davis Art Studio’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

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Arts Blog Editor: Karen Nikos-Rose, (530-219-5472), kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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