Weekender and Beyond: A Collaborative Concert and Lots of Art

Neon sign with red words on black background
A neon work by Iris Xie, M.F.A., Design, will be among the installations and other works of 27 students featured in the graduate art exhibit coming up next week at UC Davis. See story below. (Courtesy photo)

As you plan your Memorial Day weekend and upcoming summer you might want to check out our own tips for entertainment with some events this weekend, and some continuing art events. Also, peruse this list of greater Bay Area museum tips, “Open to the Public” from Nob Hill Gazette here. Visiting museums and enjoying all of the indoor events we feature is a great way to enjoy art and stay cool! Karen Nikos-Rose, editor, UC Davis Arts Blog.

Catch the Valente Lecture: Lei Ouyang

Thursday, May 26, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Room 266, Everson Hall

Lei X. Ouyang is associate professor and Chair of Music at Swarthmore College. Her scholarly interests are in music, culture, and performance in East Asia (primarily China, Japan, and Taiwan) and Asian America. Her research examines issues of music and memory, identity, politics, race and ethnicity, and social justice. Research projects include music and memory in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Race and Performance in Asian American musical theatre, and social justice and taiko drumming in the American Midwest. 

‘See / Hear / Say’: a Collaborative Concert is Friday

Friday, May 27, 2022 - 5 p.m. - 6 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, Free

Two Egghead sculptures looking at each other in lighted darkness
Two of the Robert Arneson Egghead sculptures illustrate the collaborative concert: 'See/Hear/Say' premiering this Friday on campus. (Courtesy photo)

This concert is a collaboration of graduate students in music composition and creative writing, with artist-in-residence Zachary James Watkins. Watkins has been working with the creative students in a series of workshops, with additional guidance by music department faculty Kurt Rohde and Sam Nichols.

The work has been developing organically using words and electronic media in addition to the musicians.

“See / Hear / Say” is sponsored by the UC Davis Humanities Institute’s “HumArts” Research Clusters, which provides a space for research and collaboration which is not easily accomplished in a single department or program.

Graduate student ensemble musicians include Orkun Akyol, Dean Kervin Boursiquot, Paul Engle, Trey Makler, Joseph D. Peterson, Adam Strawbridge , Colin Minigan, Leanny Muñoz, Devin Christopher Romines, Joseph Vasinda, and Emily Joy Sullivan.

Graduate writers from the Creative Writing Program include Amanda Hawkins and Claudia Ross 

Tessa Fray is an undergraduate participant from Theatre & Dance.

Find a direct link to the livestream here.

Wayne Thiebaud ‘returns’ to Crocker

Wayne Thiebaud: A Celebration, 1920 – 2021, May 29 – Aug. 7

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Sacramento’s most renowned artist, the Crocker Art Museum presented Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings, which was on view for only a short time due to the COVID-19 pandemic museum closures. Now, following its national tour and then the death of the iconic artist in December, the exhibition is returning to the Crocker as Wayne Thiebaud: A Celebration. Thiebaud was UC Davis professor of art emeritus. 

Best known for his tantalizing paintings of cakes and pies, Thiebaud (1920–2021) has long been affiliated with Pop art, though his body of work is far more expansive. This exhibition represents the artist’s achievements in all media, with pieces drawn from the Crocker’s holdings and from the collection of the Thiebaud family and Foundation — many of which, until this show, have never been shown publicly. For the Crocker, the exhibition continues a tradition of hosting a Thiebaud exhibition each decade, beginning with the artist’s first solo show in 1951, Influences on a Young Painter.        

Painting of pieces of different kinds of pie.
Wayne Thiebaud (American, 1920–2021), Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Philip L. Ehlert in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Ehlert, 1974.12. © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Find more information here.

Online: Wendy Red Star, art webinar by SFMOMA

Thursday, May 26, 6 p.m., via Zoom

In this online event, join collection artist Wendy Red Star in conversation with Shana Lopes, assistant curator of photography at SFMOMA. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star creates work informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression. Hear about Red Star's experience as an artist as well as her series Four Seasons, which is on view in the exhibition Constellations: Photographs in Dialogue

Find more information and register for the event here

Pride and Prejudice in the Park

May 27, 28, 29, 30 at 7 p.m., Davis Arts Center Outdoor Stage, 1919 F St, Davis

Acme Theatre Company invites you to their annual Free Comedy in the Park. This isn’t your grandmother’s Austen! Join them under the stars for this bold, surprising, boisterous, and timely, adaptation. The outspoken Lizzy Bennet is determined to never marry, despite mounting pressure from society. But can she resist love, especially when that vaguely handsome, mildly amusing, and impossibly aggravating Mr. Darcy keeps popping up at every turn?! Watch as literature’s greatest tale of latent love comes to life in this sparkling, screw-ball adaptation.

​Bring your own blanket or lawn chair and warm layers.  

Find more information here.

Coming up next week

Jazz “Big Bands” of UC Davis

May 31, 7 – 9 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, $12 Students and Children, $24 Adults

Program to be announced.

Buy tickets here. Find a direct link to the livestream here.

Arts & Humanities 2022 Graduate Exhibition features artists of many disciplines

June 2 – 19; Opening night and awards ceremony Thursday evening.

Artwork design concept that looks similar to a waffle cone in a stand
A work by Valentyna Hrushkevych, M.F.A., Design.

UC Davis graduate students from a range of arts and humanities disciplines explore new ways of seeing and understanding the past, present and future in this annual exhibition. Back on site after a two years of virtual exhibitions, this multidisciplinary showcase gives students hands-on experience in installing and exhibiting their work in a museum setting.

The opening reception takes place June 2, 6 – 9 p.m at the Manetti Shrem. The opening celebration features performances by master’s and doctoral students, as well as the presentation of the inaugural LeShelle & Gary May Art Purchase Prize, Keister & Allen Art Purchase Prize, and The Savageau Award in the Department of Design. 

Organized by the Manetti Shrem Museum in collaboration with Art and Design faculty and the graduate students of the College of Letters and Science.

Read the full story here.

UC Davis presents new musical 'Death and Harry Houdini'

Master illusionist and showman Harry Houdini and his obsession with death take center stage in Death and Harry Houdini, a new musical that will be presented as a workshop by the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance in conjunction with Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank. 

Web page illustration of Houdini musical event

The work takes the stage on June 2 and 3 in the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre at 7 p.m. Performances are free and open to all. 

The musical centers on young Erik Weisz, who, after witnessing the death of his father, becomes haunted by death and vows to prove himself its greatest opponent in history. Erik transforms his life to become “Harry Houdini” and uses his skills for showmanship, strength and illusion to prove to death, and himself, that he fears nothing. 

The project has been created by Granada Artist-in-Residence Keaton Wooden and is directed by alumna Lisa Quoresimo (Ph.D., performance studies, ’18). More in next week's Arts Blog.

Find more information here.

Bridging art and community: Get your tickets for SAYS Showcase

June 2, Mondavi Center, 7:30 p.m.

(This event is currently at or near capacity. Inventory frequently opens due to exchanges and ticket donations. Please check for updated availability.)

In all its different forms, art is a tool people use to spread positivity and bring people together. Do not miss out on the chance to see local youth use poetry, music, and their voices to forge community connections next week at the Mondavi Center. 

Alexandra Huynh

The Says Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 2, at the Mondavi Center starting at 7:30 p.m.  Featuring hosts Patrice Hill and Denisha Coco Blossom and DJ Lady Char. The event will feature hip hop, spoken word, and poetry performances to unite people and encourage healing within the community.  

It features as its main headliners: Alexandra Huynh, 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate; Sunni Patterson, internationally acclaimed poet and spoken word artist; Zyah Belle, singer and songwriter; and Karega Bailey + Sol Development. You can view a list of all performers here. 

The SAYS showcase is a collaboration between SHAPE and Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS). SHAPE (Science, Humanities and Arts: Process and Engagement), an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded program in which UC Davis students encounter the humanities, arts, and sciences integrated to express and examine the power each holds as a means of responding to our world. SAYS is a social justice movement based at UC Davis that empowers youth and transforms education by creating platforms for critical literacy, access to higher education, youth voice and civic engagement.  

UC Davis Chicano Studies students and local hip hop artists and poets have gathered to highlight spoken word, poetry, and music as a bridge to unite, embrace and improve community bonds. 

You can buy tickets here and read about UC Davis's current safety policies here. You can also access a campus map here

Art Social Media of the Week

Here we feature our own UC Davis staff artist Pete Scully. For art anytime, consider following him on social media.

Twitter post of colorful sketch of UC Davis landscape


Media Resources

Arts Blog Editor, Karen Nikos-Rose, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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