Weekender: Art Openings, Concerts on Campus and in Region

Black man in suit in front of gold background
Damien Sneed will perform a holiday concert at the Mondavi Center on Saturday. Tickets are on sale now. (Courtesy photo)

‘Processors, Barriers, and Implements’ at Transmission Gallery in Oakland

Dec. 2-Jan. 22, with an opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 4, 1-4 p.m.

Produced primarily during the last two years of chaos and upheaval, Steve Briscoe‘s recent works offer a response, a stand in for the body/brain negotiating this new and shifting social, physical, and political territory. Mysterious, yet approachable, these objects speak to the hidden and oblique mechanisms that maintain balance, coerce cooperation, or initiate action in the face of distress.

Conceptual art piece: string and blocks
Confusion Above, Danger Below, 2021, 
wood, metal, rope, glass, 49" x 16" x 5" (Courtesy)

Briscoe, a former employee at the UC Davis Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art,  is a visual artist working in a variety of media to create works that reflect on, resonate and engage with our world. Crafted and found things are melded into compositions that are knowing and questioning at the same time. 

Transmission Gallery promotes primarily regional and national figurative artists with an emphasis on Expressionism, California Funk, Neo-Funk and Socially Engaged Art. As artists and art educators themselves, gallery owner/directors Ruth Santee and Cameron Brian have a passion for art and its various forms of expression, often showing unconventional work with a  point of view. 770 West Grand Ave., Oakland, 94612.

Find more information here.

Violin and Harp Thursday at Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 12:05 p.m. to 1 p.m., free

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Jolán Friedhoff, violin and UC Davis lecturer in music
Kerstin Allvin, harp and UC Davis lecturer in music


J. S. Bach: Sonata No. 1 in E-Flat Major from
Six Trio Sonatas for Organ, BWV 525

Louis Spohr: Potpourri on Themes from Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’
from Sonata Concertante for Violin and Harp, op. 114

Gaetano Donizetti: Sonata for Violin and Harp

Camille Saint-Saëns: Fantaisie pour violon et harpe

Holiday Performances at Mondavi and Pitzer

Damien Sneed presents ‘Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey’

Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey takes audiences through Damien Sneed’s original arrangements of gospel, jazz and classical favorites. Featuring a cast of 10 singers and musicians performing well-known holiday classics such as “Silent Night,” “This Christmas,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “The Christmas Song,” “Joy To The World,” excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and many others. Sneed has worked with legends including Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Lawrence Brownlee, and was the creative mind behind We Shall Overcome, A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. presented in the 2018-19 season. 

Purchase tickets here

And don’t forget about these other holiday concerts coming up on the UC Davis campus. 

Alexander String Quartet on Sunday

Sunday,  Dec. 5, Jackson Hall

A major artistic presence in its home base of San Francisco, the Alexander String Quartet is equally beloved in its second home, the Mondavi Center. This year the quartet appears with new violist David Samuel joining cellist Sandy Wilson, and violinists Fred Lifsitz and Zakarias Grafilo. All Alexander String Quartet performances will take place in Jackson Hall.

String Quartet
The Alexander String Quartet is always a popular show at Mondavi, and this year, you can get a special deal if you are faculty, staff or a student. (Courtesy photo)

The Dec. 5 program comprises D Minor String Quartet, Op. 34 (1877) and E-flat Major String Quartet, Op. 51 (1879). Each Alexander String Quarter event begins at 2 p.m. with a lecture by Robert Greenberg accompanied by members of the Alexander String Quartet. The musical performance will begin at 3 p.m., with a brief pause between pieces.

Well-being offer for faculty, staff and students

Well-Being Ticket Deal for December: Tickets on sale up up until the concert, Dec. 5. This is the first of the Alexander String Quartet’s three appearances at the Mondavi Center during the 2021-22 season, all featuring chamber music by Antonin Dvořák. The Dec. 5 program comprises D Minor String Quartet, Op. 34 (1877) and E-flat Major String Quartet, Op. 51 (1879). Each Alexander String Quarter event begins at 2 p.m. with a lecture by Robert Greenberg accompanied by members of the Alexander String Quartet. The musical performance will begin at 3 p.m., with a brief pause between pieces.

The Well-Being Ticket Deal is available:

  • Online — Use Promo Code BEWELL2122.    
  • By phone — 530-285-0992    
  • In-person — noon-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (and one hour before performances for same-day ticket sales only)

Robert Greenberg has performed, taught and lectured extensively across North America and Europe. He is currently music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances, where he has lectured and performed since 1994.

No 19-century composer wrote chamber music more joyful, more melodically brilliant, more accessible, and more compositionally sound than did the Bohemian-born and bred Antonin Dvořák  (1841-1904). Protégé of Johannes Brahms, father of nine children (all with his first and only wife); beloved teacher, conductor, violinist, and pianist, Dvořák was perhaps, along with Joseph Haydn, the nicest, kindest, least neurotic person ever to become a major composer. Like Haydn, Dvořák created a body of musical work remarkable for its straightforward expressive content, humor, humanity, grace, and technical polish.  

Find more information and purchase tickets here

View more of the Mondavi Center’s upcoming performances here.

Check out other holiday concerts on the UC Davis campus. 

Alumna Mercy Hawkins in San Francisco

Mercy Hawkins (M.F.A., ‘21) is participating in a three-person show at Marrow Gallery in San Francisco. Two Moons in Sagittarius, which also features Tahiti Pehrson and Lindsay Stripling, runs until Jan. 5.

The three artists in this exhibition offer perspectives which seek to reveal the hidden and explore the unknown: Tahiti Pehrson’s representation of the mysterious workings of the wider universe are represented in finely crafted hand-cut paper mathematical forms; Mercy Hawkins, whose sympatico understanding of natural and man-made environments reaches beyond symbolic language to create a deeper understanding of the natural world; and finally, the folk art wisdom of Lindsay Stripling, presenting contemporary fables, imagery and human truths.

ink drawing
Mercy Hawkins, In Light of the Wind, ink on paper, 52x80", 2021. (Courtesy art)

Coming up

Personal Histories at Verge

Opening reception Dec. 11, 6-9 p.m.

Sacramento: Personal Histories; Work by 2021 AYP AIR Artists marks the culmination of Verge’s three year collaboration with the Ali Youssefi Project, an organization founded to honor Youssefi, the late developer and community leader. This will be the third exhibition produced by Verge on behalf of AYP, representing the work of local and national artists. This year’s artists-in- residence developed work exploring personal narratives relating to race, domestic labor, social injustice, the importance of grandmothers, cultural archetypes, and the temporality of human existence. The disciplines, methods, and approach each artist takes in examining these concepts runs the gamut from traditional media like painting and ceramic sculpture to spoken word and fountain construction. 

About AYP: The purpose of the project is to give creative innovators access to opportunities that elevate Sacramento. We invest in people, cultivate ideas, and connect communities. The Ali Youssefi Project was created by his family in 2019 to honor Ali Youssefi after his death. Ali was a proud Sacramentan and dedicated his work to harnessing the power of community and to uplift the city that he loved. It is with Ali’s impactful legacy in mind that AYP started. It’s our way to celebrate his life’s work and continue to build meaningful projects in his name. 

Verge Center for the Arts is the leading cultural institution in the Sacramento region for contemporary art and ideas. We have a mission to extend the dialogue about contemporary art to the central valley. Verge supports this mission by providing vital resources to local career and emerging artists as well as offering arts education opportunities for youth and adults. Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento.  

Art Social Media of the Week

Teapot decorated with animal drawings

Primary Category