Weekender: A Book About Art; and Music of Woody Guthrie

The author, a longtime English professor at UC Davis, will present his book at the Avid Reader, Davis, on Friday


Clarence Major presents his newly published collection of artwork at The Avid Reader

Clarence Major, UC Davis distinguished professor emeritus of English, will present his recently published work representing a lifetime of art at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in downtown Davis. It is free and open to the public.

This is the first volume to collect six decades of unique, colorful and compelling canvases and works on paper. These works represent Major’s personal journey of passionate commitment to art. He is also an award-winning poet, and has written fiction and nonfiction.

The book of art includes more than 150 paintings and drawings by Major. Together, these figurative and landscape selections demonstrate Major’s characteristic style, juxtaposing a decorative scheme with his own unique choice of color combinations, reinforced with rigorous brushstrokes that release chromatic energy.

The book includes an introductory essay, “The Education of a Painter,” written by Major, which lays a biographical, social and historical foundation for this collection.

His paintings have been shown in galleries and museums from Boston to California and are in many private and public collections. He is winner of the “2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts,” presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Over his lifetime, Major has taught at a dozen colleges and universities, including 18 years at UC Davis before his retirement in 2007.

He is winner of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The book is 160 pages (approx.), with 158 color illustrations 

More in the Davis Enterprise. And more about the book at the publisher's site.

One-Man Show on Woody Guthrie is Saturday

“Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin,’” created and performed by singer, guitarist and writer Will Kaufman, brings to the stage the stories and songs of the folk music legend. The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance presents the show Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Della Davidson Performance Studio in Nelson Hall.

Guthrie’s songbook is used as historical commentary on the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and even the state of popular music itself. Kaufman taps into hard-hitting Guthrie songs as “Vigilante Man,” “Pretty Boy Floyd” and “I Ain’t Got No Home” into conversation as well as other relevant songs from the period, including Joe Hill’s “The Preacher and the Slave” to Jay Gorney and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg’s “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” These renditions exemplify the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie’s most powerful and evocative work.

Kaufman, a professor of American literature and culture at the University of Central Lancashire, England, is the author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical (2011), Woody Guthrie’s Modern World Blues (2017) and Mapping Woody Guthrie (2019).

“Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin’” is free and open to the public, but reservations are strongly suggested and can be made at theatredance.ucdavis.edu.

For more information about other performances at the College of Letters and Science’s Department of Theatre and Dance, visit theatredance.ucdavis.edu.

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