Weekender: Last Call on Arboretum and Manetti Shrem Art

Abstract figure of woman
Among the art on exhibit at the Crocker includes Twinka Thiebaud's Kim Campbell (American, born 1970), Perceiving, from the Deep In Between series, 2017. Archival pigment print on fiber paper, 10 x 15 in. Collection of Kim Campbell. (Courtesy, Crocker Art Museum)

Weekend in Your Pocket: The Manetti Shrem Museum is getting ready to bring you a new season of dynamic exhibitions, but this is your last chance to see the Grad exhibit...See the "Ongoing" column below. The museum will be closed to the public June 20 through July 27 for installation.  Also check out the Arboretum exhibit created by first-generation college students. Happy art hunting...Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog editor

'Reflections & Connections' at UC Davis Arboretum Gateway Garden

Through June 20

Multi-colored rectangular art with messages scrawled on pieces hanging with open sky in background.
"Reflections & Connections," a student exhibit, is on view in the UC Davis arboretum. (Edward Whelan)

Graduate student Edward Whelan and students from his first-year seminar Make an Exhibition: First-Generation College Students have created a colorful installation in the UC Davis Arboretum. The exhibition in the Gateway district is on display through June 20. 

The participating students were asked to share experiences, insights, and values to create a collaborative temporary exhibition in the Arboretum through in-class discussions, exercises, and assignments. Four installations were created: a felt flower installation symbolizing student growth through challenges, an organza quilt showing family traditions, a community map of UC Davis presenting local discoveries, and a lotería card installation with images of UC Davis landmarks representing community. These installations and their powerful narratives reflect care, strength, creativity and diversity in our student body.

On the project Whelan was assisted by graduate student Cristina Gomez. The contributing students were Kenyan Branscomb, Jacqueline Cruz Mendoza, Yadira Davalos, Briana Dominguez, Alysia Godsey, Cristina Gomez, Xiomara Gutierrez, Jennifer Lopez Estrada, Kai Maurer-Mabanglo, Aeemun Shafique, Leslie Tadeo, Mai Tran, Crystal Valdes-Garcia, Hector Valdivia, Christy Vong and Io Yaguchi.

This project is supported by the First Generation Initiative, Department of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Design, and the UC Davis Arboretum.

Faculty, graduate students and alumni present at ISEA Conference

Associate Professor Jiayi Young and graduate students from the UC Davis Department of Design presented their research at “Possibles,” the 2022 ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) conference, in Barcelona on June 15. Their abstract was an institutional presentation titled “What is Research-based Design Practice? A Collective Inquiry through a Graduate Seminar.”

This graduate seminar provided a framework for research-based design, defined a structure to carry out design practice, and offered ways of understanding giving and receiving critical feedback on practice-based projects. As a class, the students came together to make collective contributions to answer this question through case study presentations. Students conducted careful research on an artist or designer’s creative work that helped address this question.

Presented at the conference was a collection of this inquiry to exchange with other universities and institutions who are endeavored with a similar question.

The contributing students included Niloufar Abdolmaleki, Hafsa Akter, Diana Araiza Soto, Cristina Gomez, Valentyna Hrushkevych, Justin Marsh, Fatema Mostafa, Alejandra Ruiz, Pachia Vang, Ofelia Viloche Pulido, Marcy Wacker, Iris Xie and Rova Yilmaz. Vang and Viloche presented the collection with Professor Young at the conference. 

People looking at exhibits
 Students posting their papers in the poster area of the main conference venue of Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. (Courtesy photo)

Professor Young also presented her own research work titled “Archiving Twitter Database and Visualization from Artwork.” Also presented was Professor Beth Ferguson’s collaborative work: Tools for a Warming Planet, which includes tools developed by current first-year grad Alejandra Ruiz and alumna Sima Pirmoradi (M.F.A.,design, ‘21).

Additional alumni also presented at the conference including Erik Contreras (M.F.A, design, ’21), whose thesis work was one of the 22 works selected internationally to show at The Santa Mònica, and Alexa Bonomo (M.F.A., design ’20). Both individuals are stilled mentored by the Department of Design.

ISEA, International Symposium on Electronic Art, is one of the most important annual events worldwide dedicated to the crossroads where art, design, science, technology, and society meet.

For more about the conference, visit the ISEA website.

Davis Music Festival on multiple stages

June 17 – 19

Davis Music Festival is a three day multi-venue multi-genre live music event showcasing local, regional and touring artists — all to benefit local arts nonprofits. (40 bands, nine stages, three days). This event is for all ages. 

Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Lineup and daily schedules are subject to change. Artist cancellation is not grounds for refund. Children 12 and under will be admitted for free with a ticketed adult.

DMF is a production of the Davis Live Music Collective and is presented with the generous support of our sponsors, members, individual producers and community partners.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 must be provided to attend, no exceptions.

DMF is supported, in part, by a grant from the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs program.

Find more information here.

Ongoing ...

Arts & Humanities 2022 Graduate Exhibition

UC Davis graduate students from a range of arts and humanities disciplines explore new ways of seeing and understanding the past, present and future in this annual exhibition. Back on site after two years of virtual exhibitions, this multidisciplinary showcase gives students hands-on experience in installing and exhibiting their work in a museum setting.

Organized by the Manetti Shrem Museum in collaboration with Art and Design faculty and the graduate students of the College of Letters and Science.  Read the full story here.

Wayne Thiebaud: A Celebration, 1920 – 2021, May 29 – Aug. 7

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Sacramento’s most renowned artist, the Crocker Art Museum presented Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings, which was on view for only a short time due to the COVID-19 pandemic museum closures. Now, following its national tour and then the death of the iconic artist in December, the exhibition is returning to the Crocker as Wayne Thiebaud: A Celebration. Thiebaud was UC Davis professor of art emeritus. See information about his daughter’s exhibit in this blog.

Find more information here.

Twinka Thiebaud and the Art of the Pose at the Crocker

June 19 – Sept. 11, Crocker Art Museum

Twinka Thiebaud and the Art of the Pose features 100 works that speak to the role of Twinka Thiebaud as an artist’s model, and to the working relationships and friendships she developed with artists during her career. Composed of paintings, drawings, and photographs that date from the 1940s through 2022, this exhibition will investigate Thiebaud’s earliest modeling work, completed as a child for her father, artist Wayne Thiebaud. The father/daughter dynamic is also visible in later works, including Wayne Thiebaud paintings from the 1960s. As she moved into a career as an artist’s model, Twinka Thiebaud worked with photographers Judy Dater, Jack Welpott, Eikoh Hosoe, Arnold Newman, Mary Ellen Mark, Robert Heinecken, Kim Campbell, and John Reiff Williams, among many others, revealing her ability to transform her body and gaze based upon the surrounding environment and the artist’s vision for the work.

Find more information here.

In Davis: exhibitions at John Natsoulas

Boyd Gavin

Through July 23

Boyd Gavin’s career as a painter is expressive and expansive. He has been able to work multiple subject matter, as well as challenge himself as a painter. There is a progress of his work that is subtle in change, but unique to his entire portfolio. Gavin’s work is filled with a color pallet that properly sets a mood and tone. The overlap of clear edges and mixed colors demonstrate the mastery of his paint brush.

“I compose feeling as much as I do color and line. In other words, the point is to work through feelings rather than towards it.”

At the age of 16, Boyd Gavin had his first show at the Crocker Museum. With his influence from the Bay Area Figurative Movement as well as others like Cezanne, Thiebaud, and Lucian Freud, Gavins has been able to transfer his energy from his portraits to his landscapes. 

Gail Ritchie

Through July 23

Gail Ritchie’s work is a reflective look on nature and the organic forms and shapes that nature can offer. Ritchie’s uses porcelain as a celebration of the environment and nature. Often using animals as a staple of her work, she also uses people intertwined with nature. Whether it is a bird perched on a chair that is overgrown by plants, or a child gleefully watching a frog leap into a pond, Gail Ritchie is able to make delicate sculptures out of porcelain.

Each time I complete a piece, I ask, ‘does it sing?’; on occasion, I can answer yes.

There is gentle wonder about Gail Ritchie’s work that is often hard to find in sculptures. The mix of porcelain and ceramic materials, colors, subject matter, and brightness, is what allows Gail’s work to stand out. She embraces the organic form to express a childlike curiosity. From animals to plants to people, Gail Ritchie’s work always is of the highest quality.

 Find more information here.

Amalia Mesa-Bains at SFMOMA

Venus Envy, Chapter I and Madrinas y Hermanas (Godmothers and Sisters), SFMOMA, San Franciso

June 18 – Nov. 6

This two-part exhibition features Amalia Mesa-Bains’s Venus Envy, Chapter I: The First Holy Communion Moments Before the End (1993/2022), presented for the first time since it was originally realized in 1993. The first of a series of autobiographical installations Mesa-Bains completed over several decades, the work departs from the artist’s own childhood experience of her first Holy Communion to examine broader codes of gender in Catholic rituals and ceremonial rites of passage, exploring the symbolic roles of the virgin, the nun, and the bride. On the walls, Mesa-Bains juxtaposes writings unearthed through her long-term research and found images to critique the Church’s treatment of women throughout history. In five vitrines, she weaves together carefully selected objects, photographs, mementos, and clothing from her life as well as those collected from other artists and friends. Transforming the entire space of the gallery, Mesa-Bains investigates the processes through which both personal and collective identity are shaped, experienced, and affirmed.

Spanning the two adjacent galleries is Madrinas y Hermanas (Godmothers and Sisters), a presentation of works from SFMOMA’s permanent collection curated by Mesa-Bains and accompanied by texts written by the artist. The works in this presentation were made by artists — including Frida Kahlo, Ruth Asawa, Mildred Howard, and Hung Liu — who represent, as Mesa-Bains describes, “those who came before me and are an inspiration or mentors (Godmothers) and those who I have exhibited with, worked with and with whom I share a vision and purpose (Sisters).”

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

The Obama Portraits Tour at de Young

June 18 – Aug. 14

From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama became iconic. The artists behind the portraits, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, have throughout their careers addressed the lack of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity. Wiley and Sherald are the first African Americans to be commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to create official portraits of a president or first lady. 

This nationwide tour is expected to reach millions who might not otherwise have an opportunity to view these remarkable paintings. The de Young is thrilled to be part of this special presentation highlighting the power of portraiture and its potential to engage communities.

The portraits previously visited the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. After their San Francisco presentation, they’ll make their final stop at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, before heading back home to the National Portrait Gallery.

Find more information and purchase tickets here

Coming Up

On July 28, the UC Davis Manetti Shrem Museum will reopen with Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art and drop-in art activities every weekend at the Carol and Gerry Parker Art Studio. 

Slice: A Juried Exhibit of Regional Art at the Pence

June 21 – Aug. 17, reception July 8, 6 – 9 p.m.

The Pence’s Slice exhibit is open to all artists residing in California, and is juried this year by artist, writer, and curator Chris Daubert. Daubert has exhibited his drawings, paintings and large multi-media installations locally and nationally for many years. His work has been shown at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and New Langton Arts in San Francisco, The Drawing Center in New York, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, among many other locations. He has also served as the curator of the Richard L. Nelson Gallery at UC Davis and the Gregory Kondos Gallery at Sacramento City College.

The exhibit showcases art that is conceptually thoughtful, technically skilled, and representative of contemporary trends in art.

Find more information here.

'Vibrant Explorations' at the Barn Gallery

June 23 – Aug. 20, meet the artists opening reception Thursday, June 23, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

This exhibition features Rachelle Agundes, Brett Amory, Tavarus Blackmon, Serena Cole, Ramona Garcia, Manuel Fernando Rios, Omar Thor Arason, and John Yoyogi Fortes.

Visit the Barn Gallery website here.

Art Social Media of the Week

Painting and still-life vignette with summeertime theme and bright colors



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