Weekender: Guitar, Comets, a Dinosaur and Art All Come to Life

Tea Symposium is Thursday

Photo of light productions at Mondavi Center
The Mondavi Center this weekend features a family-appropriate DINO-LIGHT I Lightwire Theater production. Read more below. (Courtesy photo)

Dan Lippel playing solo guitar for noon concert Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 25, 12:05 p.m., Recital Hall in the Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The highlight of this solo guitar program is a work by composer Douglas Boyce, who dedicates his Partita No. 3 (“La Comète”) to UC Davis Associate Professor Claire Goldstein in the Department of French and Italian. The musical work is done in conversation with Goldstein’s forthcoming book, “In the Sun King’s Cosmos: Comets in the Cultural Imagination of Seventeenth Century France” (Northwestern University Press, 2024).

Comets in the Sun King’s Cosmos is a study of the unusually bright comets of 1664–65 and 1680–81, which appeared not only in the sky but also in ballets and theater, letters and early journalism, architecture and institutions, theology and literary style. Goldstein studies how these comets —considered at the time to be chaotic and without discernible form or pattern — organized curiosity, scrutiny, resistance, and doubt during the reign of King Louis XIV in France.

Dan Lippel, solo guitar:| "La Comète" - UC Davis Arts

Public talk with writer and curator Helen Molesworth

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, 4:30-6 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Black-and-white portrate of woman in dark clothing on light background

This year’s Betty Jean and Wayne Thiebaud Endowed Lecture is with Helen Molesworth, a writer and a curator based in Los Angeles. She is the host of David Zwirner’s Dialogues podcast and the writer and host of the podcast, Death of an Artist. The recipient of the 2011 Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence, in 2021 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2022 she was awarded The Clark Art Writing Prize. The Thiebaud Endowed Lecture is organized by the Department of Art and Art History and co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

For more information visit Helen Molesworth 2024 Betty Jean and Wayne Thiebaud Endowed Lecture.

Art Spark: Every Weekend

  • Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Spark your creativity this winter with an afternoon in the Carol and Gerry Parker Art Studio, where you can explore a different theme each month connected to the art on view in the museum.

January: Textured Tiles

Borrow textures from everyday objects and use techniques inspired by Deborah Butterfield’s early ceramic works, seen in Deborah Butterfield: P.S. These are not horses.

February: Watery Worlds

Explore water-based mediums to create collaborative artworks that will continue to shift and evolve over the month, with environments and figures prompted by the style of Shiva Ahmadi.


Learn about tea’s evolution In a changing world with the UC Davis Colloquium

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The newly rebranded Global Tea Institute for the Study of Tea Culture and Science at the University of California, Davis, hosts its 9th colloquium on Jan. 25 at the UC Davis Conference Center. This year’s focus is on “Tea in a Changing World,” which considers the many ways that tea is evolving in society and culture, science and health, as well as in the tea industry. The colloquium is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in person. The symposium is free, but attendees must register in advance at the Global Tea Institute website. Learn more about programming also at the site.

This Sunday

Enjoy family-friendly Dino-Light at the Mondavi Center

Sunday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m., Lightwire Theater, Jackson Hall, tickets start at $25, ages 7 and up

An original story that captivates audiences young and old, Dino-Light  features a scientist that brings a friendly dinosaur to life.

When the dinosaur wanders away from home, the scientist discovers a wonderful world of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. This glow-in-the-dark adventure (a recipient of the Jim Henson Foundation Grant) is visually stunning, and praised for its blend of puppetry, technology and dance.

 Dino-Light Exhibit Video

Tickets and more information here.

Experience the Winter Season Celebration at Manetti Shrem

Portrait of woman in front of colorful artwork
Shiva Ahmadi (Austin Wang/UC Davis)

Sunday, Jan. 28, 3–5:30 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, free

Celebrate the museum’s dynamic winter season with Shiva Ahmadi: Strands of Resilience, the first solo exhibition of a current UC Davis faculty member. This exhibition of new paintings joins Deborah Butterfield: P.S. These are not horses and Malaquias Montoya and the Legacies of a Printed Resistance. Also on view is the museum’s recent acquisition of the Toy-an Horse Model 2/5 by Marcos Ramírez ERRE.

Personal & Political: Artists in Conversation at Winter Celebration

Current exhibiting artists Ahmadi, Professor Emeritus Malaquias Montoya and Marcos Ramírez ERRE will be in conversation, moderated by Abram Jackson, director of interpretation for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Personal & Political: Artists in Conversation
Current exhibiting artists Ahmadi, Professor Emeritus Malaquias Montoya and Marcos Ramírez ERRE will be in conversation, moderated by Abram Jackson, director of interpretation for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Read more about Ahmadi in this College of Letters and Science profile on her.

‘Pyro Futures’ Opens at Manetti Shrem This Month

through Sunday, June 16

Charred land may not look like much at first glance, but a controlled burn can benefit a landscape by rejuvenating the soil, maintaining healthy ecosystems and reducing the impact of future wildfires.

Pyro Futures is a new exhibit in the Collections Classroom at the Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis. It explores the ways fire and fire stewardship can change California’s landscapes. The collection was curated by Brett Milligan and Emily Schlickman, professors of landscape architecture and environmental design, who hope to share information they’ve learned about fire to better inform the public about its benefits.

“It’s a more diverse message about fire,” Milligan said. “Fire isn’t bad, there are so many good and beneficial fires, it’s how those fires happen that make a difference.”

See more about events and exhibitions here.

Follow continuing UC Davis campus exhibitions

Coming up

Get Ready for Rising Stars of Opera

Sunday Feb. 4, 2 p.m., The Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall, free but ticketed event

Since its inception in 2010, Rising Stars of Opera has featured vocal artistry, stirring arias and a glimpse at the opera stars of tomorrow; and every ticket has been free to the public thanks to generosity of Barbara K. Jackson. Today, Rising Stars of Opera features several singers from the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Center performing a wide range of great arias with full orchestral accompaniment from our own UC Davis Symphony Orchestra.

This event is free, but requires tickets to be reserved here.

Watch a short clip  here: Rising Stars: The Adler Fellows at San Francisco Opera


What is a River? Nature, Culture, and Human Psyche

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 4-6 p.m., the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, free

Robert Pogue Harrison, a professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford, will draw on the mythology, hydrology and cultural history of rivers to reflect on the fluvial nature of death and transcendence in the human psyche. Li Po, Heidegger and Virginia Woolf are among the authors he will engage in his free-flowing thoughts about the symbolic life of rivers. Harrison is a professor of comparative literature at Stanford University. A reception will follow the talk.

Hear Glassblowing Artist Talk by Josiah McElheny

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 - 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. in the Community Room, Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Artist Talk: Feb. 1, 2024, 4:30 p.m.

Josiah McElheny is an expert glassblower whose installations, sculpture, paintings and films engage with the history of his medium and the history of ideas, with a particular interest in the fields of literature, architecture, music theory, and astronomy. His works often combine glass, or mirror with other materials, to emphasize the importance of the act of looking “as a subject in and of itself.” He has received numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, The 15th Rakow Commission at The Corning Museum of Glass and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. McElheny has exhibited widely, including selected solo exhibitions at Cantor Art Center at Stanford University, Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston, and Madison Square Park, New York.

For more information visit Josiah McElheny at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

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Arts Blog Editor: Karen Nikos-Rose, UC Davis. Send us any art events for consideration kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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