Weekender: Arts are Back; Concerts, Stage, Other Events

Portrait painting in sepia tones
"Idle Hands," detail, by Jennifer Packer, 2021, oil on canvas, 90 x 84 inches (228.6 x 213.4 cm), © Jennifer Packer. Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Packer will be a visiting artist in winter quarter. See story below.

New Basement Gallery Art Call and Submissions

The Basement Gallery is presenting its first ever Film Fest. Any short film of any genre under 30 minutes is open to apply. Unfortunately with the current rise in COVID cases, this fest is planned to take place virtually.

Artists will email the Basement Gallery directors (student.art.gallery@gmail.com) and provide a short written bio, a film still, 2-3 sentence synopsis, and a link to your film (dropbox, google drive, vimeo, youtube, etc).

The deadline to submit artwork is Jan 22 at 11:59 p.m. and if accepted, you will receive a confirmation email after this date. The viewing of this show will also be released after this date.

Access the submission form here.

Year 3000 Art Call

The Basement Gallery will present the first show of  winter quarter, Year 3000: The Simulation! Right now, they are looking for 3D/digital artists and animators, video artists, and writers, but any and all majors and mediums are welcome to apply. This exhibition will take place virtually in the form of an Instagram takeover and the opportunity for a guest spot on one of our podcast episodes.

What creative view do you have of the future? How have you used your platform to inform, educate, or discuss current issues to reach a better future? This will be a continuation of creating a virtual open space for artists to use the BG platform to discuss and show their studio, processes, projects (in progress or finished), and thoughts about these interesting times and the future.

Artists will email the Basement Gallery directors (student.art.gallery@gmail.com) and provide a short written bio, an image of themselves, and 1-9 images or videos to post directly to the BG Instagram. Artists also can choose to post links and informational guides to the Basement Gallery IG story or show their work and/or studio space through IG Live. Artists are also more than welcome to sell their work through our platform.

If you are interested in submitting poetry or writing please email your written content in place of the images and videos.

The deadline to submit artwork is Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m. and if accepted, you will receive a confirmation email after this date. The viewing of this show will also be released after this date.

Access the submission form here.

Manetti Shrem Museum to open winter exhibitions Jan. 27

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, at the University of California, Davis, opens three dynamic new exhibitions on Thursday, Jan. 27, that explore multiple visions of resistance and protest through video, and showcase early works by renowned artists William T. Wiley and Mary Heilmann.

The previously announced season opening of Jan. 8 was delayed due to a remote start to the academic quarter.

Blue rectangle and square on yellow background
Mary Heilmann, Davis Sliding Square, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 x 2 3/4 in. © Mary Heilmann. Image courtesy of the artist, 303 Gallery and Hauser & Wirth. (Dan Bradica/Courtesy)


  • “From Moment to Movement: Picturing Protest in the Kramlich Collection” — A large-scale exhibition of six video and film installations from an international, intergenerational group of artists — Shiva Ahmadi, Dara Birnbaum, Kota Ezawa, Theaster Gates, Nalini Malani and Mikhael Subotzky — explores protests from different angles: resistance, the role of media in shaping our understanding of events, and the power and politics of viewing. (Jan. 27-June 19)
  • “Mary Heilmann: Squaring Davis” — Decades before she would become a preeminent contemporary abstract painter, Heilmann started studying with William T. Wiley at UC Davis and found a place whose unique life-as-art ethos meshed with her spirit and inspired her to keep creating art despite her doubts. This exhibition reunites Heilmann’s Northern California oeuvre of rarely seen ceramics from the mid-1960s, sculptures and a group of “Davis Square” paintings created in 1977. (Jan. 27-May 8)
  • “William T. Wiley and the Slant Step: All on the Line” — Featuring William T. Wiley’s formative early works (1962-69), this exhibition also reunites various works inspired by the odd, iconic Slant Step art object, which jump-started conceptual art in Northern California, and debuts a brand-new digital Slant Step work by Wiley’s grad student, Bruce Nauman. (Jan. 27-May 8)

Find more information here.

Groundbreaking artists at The California Studio for 2022

The California Studio: Manetti Shrem Artist Residencies in the UC Davis Department of Art and Art History will welcome acclaimed painter Jennifer Packer to campus in February. Packer currently has solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. She will work with students and give a public talk. Her work is featured in the top photo of the Arts Blog.

Packer’s intimate, loosely rendered portraits depict friends and family casually posing in personal spaces. Using a limited color palette, the demarcation between figure and setting is often hazy and fluid.

Her art sometimes reflects on instances of institutional violence toward African Americans.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (Breonna! Breonna!) refers to the police killing of Breonna Taylor in her apartment in 2020. It is not a painting of Taylor, but of a man lying on a couch. Say Her Name, from 2017, commemorates the life of Sandra Bland, who died in police custody after being arrested during a traffic stop. The painting is a floral still life, which is another type of work Packer does frequently.

Although engaged with contemporary art and issues, Packer is also in a dialogue with art history, and she has pointed to Caravaggio, Titian and others as inspirations for her practice and, at times, references for specific works.

Her public presentation will be at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the Main Theatre, Wright Hall.

Read more about The California Studio.

Read more about the artists for the spring here.

Art History: From Pop to Funk presented by the Crocker

Jan. 23, 1-2:30 p.m. via Zoom, $45 for Members, $65 for Nonmembers

What is it that makes Pop art so exciting? What made the Candy Store gallery so inviting? A two-part class will look at both. In the first class, participants will explore the common roots of precisionism, pop and photorealism as seen in the Crocker collection. In the second session, participants will discover how these styles and the Pop art movement blossomed into the Northern California funk of the famed Candy Store Gallery and dive into the Crocker’s delectable new exhibition, The Candy Store: Funk, Nut, and Other Art with a Kick.

Space is limited. Advance registration required.

Instructor: Laurie Seban is a Northern California native with a master's in art history from the University of California, Davis, specializing in non-Western and modern art. She currently teaches Native American art at California State University, Sacramento.

Find more information and register here.

Options to Enjoy Bay Area Arts

Many Bay Area Arts organizations are offering live-streamed concerts, performances and more entertainment during the most recent COVID-19 surge. Some promoters have also adopted hybrid ticketing models, offering online and in-person options.

Check out The San Francisco Chronicle’s guide to upcoming local concerts, events and performances with at-home viewing options here, including a Feb. 3 UC Davis concert.

Coming Up

Circa is coming to Mondavi Jan. 28; discounted well-being tickets still available

Circa is the Mondavi student/staff/faculty well-being ticket in January. Staff and faculty have until Jan. 22 to purchase their $10 tickets to see Australia’s Circa Contemporary Circus at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. Find more information about the special $10 deal here. Tickets are on sale for all others here.

A symphony of acrobatics, sound and light, Humans 2.0 is next level circus by Circa.

Dancers performing
Circa performers will appear at Mondavi. (Courtesy)

Ten bodies appear in a flash of light. They move in harmony for a fleeting moment and then descend into a sinuous trance. Towers grow and decay, bodies leap and are caught, as physical limits are pushed to their extreme. Can we ever find a perfect balance or is adapting to constant change the only way forward?

This next chapter of Circa’s internationally acclaimed Humans is a tightly woven choreography of bodies, pulsing with music by composer Ori Lichtik and revealed in Paul Jackson’s dramatic lighting. Created by circus visionary Yaron Lifschitz, Humans 2.0 is intimate, primal and deeply engaged with the challenge of being human.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Alexander String Quartet with Robert Greenberg at Mondavi

Jan. 30, 2 p.m. 

String instrumentalists
Courtesy Photo

Cypresses for String Quartet (1887) 

Quintet in G Major for Two Violins, Viola, Cello & Double Bass, Op. 77 (1875)

Guest artist: Steven D’Amico, double bass

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.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

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