Get your tickets now for performances coming up next week at Mondavi Center. And there's a free concert at Pitzer. Local galleries also have exhibits. Later this month, plan for a Design Museum exhibit featuring colorful shoes and UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. See more below.
Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog Editor
Free Otto Lee and Friends concert next week
Thursday, Jan. 12, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, UC Davis, free
Otto Lee, tenor saxophone and UC Davis lecturer in music will perform with Chris Janzen, guitar; Richard Giddens Jr., bass; and Antonio Montanez, drums.
Find more information here.
Itzhak Perlman, violin & Rohan De Silva, piano, at Mondavi
Saturday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, UC Davis
The program includes Leclair: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 9, No. 3, Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 “Kreutzer”, and Schumann: Fantasiestucke, Op. 73.
Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his talent, charm and humanitarian efforts, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world. Communicating an irrepressible joy for making music, the violin virtuoso is one of the most in-demand artists in music. His sold-out performances at the Mondavi Center have been delighting audiences since 2004.
Classical music’s most prominent ambassador, Perlman has been granted a Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His longtime accompanist Rohan De Silva joins Perlman in yet another peerless evening of music-making.
Find more information and ticket info here.
Alexander String Quartet is Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 15, Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
String Quartet No. 12 in F Major Op. 96 “American”
String Quintet in E Major, Op. 97
Run time: 2 hours including a 20-minute intermission
See a video here.
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 violist David Samuel joining cellist Sandy Wilson, and violinists Fred Lifsitz and Zakarias Grafilo.
All Alexander String Quartet performances (there is one in April too) will take place in Jackson Hall and will feature Robert Greenberg's lecture on each piece followed by a full performance of the same piece. More here.
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.
The Chamber Music of Antonin Dvořák
No nineteenth 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, its humor, humanity, grace and technical polish.
New Exhibitions at the Pence Gallery this month
Jan. 6 – Feb. 16, reception Jan. 13, 6 – 9 p.m., Pence Gallery, Davis
The Tiny Show in years past has been a community favorite with Pence staff, members, and visitors. Continuing in the spirit of our last Tiny Show, which was held in 2017, this exhibit features “tiny” works of art – modest-sized pieces limited to 5” x 7.” Various local and regional artists were invited to display their small but spectacular creations, including Valentina Arenas, Tamsen Armstrong, Karen Burns, Deziree Dizon, Jim Darke, and Amy Vidra, among many others. While the works themselves may be small, the creativity and artistic talent they reveal is immeasurable.
The Elusive Muse: New Work by Kelley Mogilka
Jan. 7 – Feb. 3, reception Jan. 13, 6 – 9 p.m., Pence Gallery
Kelley Mogilka’s figurative paintings and drawings center on capturing the elusive muse, a creative force that flows from brush to canvas. By working from a model, she looks for this inspiration in the subtle gestures, glances, or poses, which often evoke a presence that is both timeless and ephemeral. Her use of harmonious color and expressive brushwork ultimately reflects an interest in capturing the sitter’s internal state of being.
Kelley Mogilka was the recipient of the Pence Gallery Emerging Artist Award 2022, sponsored by James R. & Suzette M. Smith.
Find more information on both exhibitions here.
Exhibitions at John Natsoulas include Retrospective, Impressionistic
Mark Bulwinkle: A Retrospective Exhibition
Jan. 11, 11:00 a.m. – Feb. 26, 5 p.m., John Natsoulas, Davis
The John Natsoulas Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of Mark Bulwinkle’s iconic sculptures and prints. This show will offer a spectacular view of one of the most innovative artists, who defined the medium of graphically cut steel.
Find more information here.
Steven Higgins – New Paintings Exhibition
Jan. 11, 11 a.m. – Feb. 25, 5 p.m., John Natsoulas
Join the John Natsoulas Gallery for an opportunity to see the newest paintings by Steven Higgins. A Sacramento-based artist, Higgins’ Impressionistic works draw viewers in through bright colors and exciting textures.
Find more information here.
Treasure Island — A Musical Adventure at Woodland Opera House
Jan. 13 – 22, Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., Woodland Opera House, 340 Second Street, Woodland, 95695
Excitement runs high in this musical adaptation of a favorite childhood adventure story. Robert Louis Stevenson’s thrilling tale of pirates, treasure maps, mutiny on the high seas and pieces of eight follows Jim Hawkins, an ordinary youth who is drawn into a dangerous race for buried treasure against the treacherous Long John Silver. This lively show, full of fun characters and music, is great for all ages.
Reserved seats are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 62+, and $10 for children 17 and under. Balcony tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children. Flex Pass specials and group rates are available.
Tickets on sale online at www.woodlandoperahouse.org and at the Box Office (530) 666-9617. Located at 340 Second Street, hours are: Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Opera House is located in historic downtown Woodland, just 20 minutes from Sacramento. Many wonderful shops and restaurants are within walking distance from the theatre.
Coming up later this month
From Concept to Creation: Inspired Shoe Design by Chris Francis
Jan. 23, 12 p.m. – April 23, 4 p.m.
The UC Davis Design Museum takes a bold step with the exhibition “From Concept to Creation: Inspired Shoe Design by Chris Francis,” which showcases the colorful and imaginative footwear created by the Los Angeles-based shoe designer. The exhibition runs Jan. 23 through April 23, 2023.
Co-curated by Professor Susan T. Avila and Cristina Gomez, graduate student in design, the installation spotlights creations by shoemaker and designer Francis. His work combines global shoemaking traditions and techniques, with references to the built environment such as industrial design and brutalist architecture as well as 20th-century art movements and punk rock. His narrative-based, unique hand-constructed shoes theatrically bridge contemporary art and wearable design.
“When I saw Chris Francis’ ornate Slipper shoe on the cover of Ornament Magazine in 2015, I knew we had to bring his work to the Design Museum,” Avila said. “His work demonstrates extraordinary craftsmanship that builds on principles of industrial design and fashion, and his use of repurposed materials promotes sustainability, which is an important component of our UC Davis design major.”
Francis began his career as an artist and carpenter, then started creating footwear worn by Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. After seeing a shoemaker hand stitch shoes at a Los Angeles Louis Vuitton event in 2011, Francis was determined to teach himself shoemaking and sought out traditional shoemakers for apprenticeships. Without a proper leather sewing machine, he did all the work by hand and still occasionally works that way. While Francis frequently creates shoes for celebrities and high-profile clients, his true passion is utilizing his unique skills to conceptualize his artistic vision. In addition to showcasing over 65 pairs of shoes that stand alone as remarkable art objects, the Design Museum exhibition will highlight his inspiration and process, including examples of tools and machines and a glimpse into his studio.
“It is a joy to help curate and design this exhibition,” Gomez said. “Walking into his Los Angeles studio is like going back in time to 1930s–1950s old Hollywood. Francis inherited celebrity shoemaker and mentor Pasquale Di Fabrizio’s shoe lasts — the Di Fabrizio shoe boxes, which cover the walls of Francis’ studio, include names like Lauren Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck and Joanne Woodward. Francis continues Di Fabrizio’s tradition of bespoke shoes while demonstrating that inspiration can come from just about anywhere.”
The Design Museum, part of the College of Letters and Science and free to the public, is in 124 Cruess Hall. It is open weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays by appointment.
For insight into Francis’ creative process and work, view this short KQED film.
Visit the Design Museum for map and parking information.
Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985 at Manetti Shrem
On view Jan. 30 – June 25, winter season opening celebration Jan. 29, 2:30 – 5 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum
UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics, and to the story of California art. The exhibition integrates paintings and films by Henderson that offer new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afro-futurism and surrealism. Challenging the protocols and propriety of art-making in the 20th century, these works depict scenes of anti-Black violence as well as utopian visions and questions of self-making. Curated by Sampada Aranke (Ph.D. ’13) and Dan Nadel.
Also in January: Mike Henderson has a new exhibition opening at Haines Gallery in San Francisco. See below.
Mike Henderson: Chicken Fingers, 1976 – 1980 in San Francisco
Jan. 14 – March 25, opening reception Jan. 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Haines Gallery, 2 Marina Boulevard, Building C, San Francisco
In the aftermath of the 1960s, Henderson began experimenting with new materials and approaches to painting. The result was a creative epiphany that redefined the artist’s practice and produced some of the most accomplished works in Henderson’s 50-year career.
Leaving behind the explicitly political, figurative style that had defined the previous decade, by the mid-1970s, the artist was conjuring ethereal, otherworldly spaces filled with promise, mystery, and hope. Chicken Fingers highlights this important moment in Henderson’s creative evolution, with a suite of mixed-media works on canvas. Named for a key work from this period, the exhibition’s title suggests a slippery world just within our grasp: Shaped, painted, and burnt pieces of canvas, fabric from vintage clothes, and even an old wallet are incorporated into fully resolved constellations in which lunar spheres often float above a distant horizon. A group of corresponding works on paper use architectural forms to evoke interstitial spaces—arched doorways and balustrades opening onto multicolored skies.
Bringing together these works for the first time since their creation, Chicken Fingers offers a revelatory look at an artist at the height of his creative powers, reflecting both Henderson’s personal journey and his place in the culture at large.
Find more information here.