Weekender: Mondavi Opens Season Afro Latin Jazz; More Concerts

Many Events This Weekend are Free

Photo of Arturo O'Farrill
Arturo O'Farrill will perform at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in October at the first show of the season. Faculty, staff and students receive a discount on Mondavi Center tickets, which can be purchased now. (Laura Mariet/photo)

First, sharing with you something from the Mellon Foundation newsletter:

“Faced with so many challenges and so much uncertainty, how do we break through to lasting change? October is National Arts & Humanities Month, an opportunity to recognize the critical role of culture in our lives.

Plenty of opportunities to welcome culture into our lives in the UC Davis Arts Blog. Read on.

Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at the Mondavi tonight

The long-awaited new Mondavi season is here! Tickets are still available at this writing.

Fandango at the Wall with special guests the Villalobos Brothers and the Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective. Opening Mondavi concert this season, 7:30 p.m., Thursday. See videos below.

Each year since 2008, around Memorial Day, a transnational jam session happens on both sides of the wall at the Tijuana-San Diego border. This Fandango Fronterizo Festival inspired Grammy-winning musician and composer Arturo O’Farrill to launch a three-part project (album, book and film) under the title Fandango at the Wall to explore the close connections between Mexico and the United States. For this concert O’Farrill and his special guests tear down musical walls, exploring jazz, classical, Broadway, hip hop and son jarocho.  

Find more information here.



Ongoing Exhibitions, Virtual and In-person

The fall schedule includes a diverse roster of exhibitions at UC Davis
  • "Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation" celebrates the legacy of the 100-year-old UC Davis professor emeritus by highlighting 19 contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud as a fellow painter, including a selection of his former students. On view through Nov. 12.
  • "Arnold Joseph Kemp: I would survive. I could survive. I should survive." This solo exhibition of four works by the Chicago-based artist features paintings, sculpture and photography that asks us to consider the sensorial gestures that form the self and a people, the personal and the political, the historical and the present. On view through Nov. 12.
  • "Working Proof: Wayne Thiebaud as Printmaker" Drawn from the university’s Fine Arts Collection, numerous printing “proofs,” many worked by hand, underscore the importance of printmaking in Professor Thiebaud’s artistic practice. On view through Nov. 12.
  • "New Flavors: Collected at the Candy Store" is inspired by the beloved Folsom gallery that operated from 1962-92 and gave many greater Sacramento area artists their start. On view through Oct. 24.
Feathered bird print

“Waiting for Spring,” 2018, monotype on paper, 30”x22” is part of the "Feathered Relations" exhibit. (Courtesy image)

'Feathered Relations: Works by Marwin Begaye'
C.N. Gorman Museum (virtual)

 “Feathered Relations” explores sacred Indigenous beliefs around birds and their link to nature. Begaye's prints and paintings place a variety of birds in the foreground, depicting them naturally, but also existing on a higher plane. This exhibition is based on his show that was on display at the Gorman when the pandemic forced its closure.  Begaye (Diné) includes prints, wood blocks and multimedia works to create a conceptual homage to birds. For the artist, birds are about our relationships — to nature, to one another, to culture.


Design Museum, live, on view through April 24

“Guardians: Spirits of Protection,” a poignant exploration of the creative relationship between tragedy and design, reopened the UC Davis Design Museum on Oct. 4.

The installation showcases a series of sculptures created by design professor emerita Ann Savageau. Made from found objects and flotsam that washed up on the beach coming from unknown places, the sculptures created by Savageau are composites of the disparate castoffs  in response to the tragic events in her life and to the pandemic.

The Design Museum, part of the College of Letters and Science and free to the public, is in Cruess Hall, Room 124. It is open weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. Read more about this installation here.

Visiting artist lecture tonight

4:30-6 p.m., Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, UC Davis

Raúl de Nieves — visiting artist on campus giving this public lecture — is a multimedia artist, performer and musician whose wide-ranging practice investigates notions of beauty and transformation. He is known for exuberant modes of self-expression that combine artisanal craftwork traditions learned during his childhood in Mexico and the queer, outsider traditions of artmaking absorbed while living in San Francisco. His work is often animated by the symbolic and performative languages associated with Catholic, Mexican and esoteric mythologies.

Man dressed in black against gray background.

His work is currently the subject of a major solo exhibition at ICA Boston. De Nieves is a spotlight artist in residence in The California Studio: Manetti Shrem Artist Residencies at UC Davis.

Organized by The California Studio in the Department of Art and Art History. Co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum. More about the lecture and lecturer here.

More about the California Studio in this story here.

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra: ‘Back in Jackson Hall!’

Oct. 15, noon-1 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra program will feature Christian Baldini, director and conductor, and Aida Shirazi’s umbra, accompanied by a Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius with Judy Kang.

Woman performer
Judy Kang will perform with the UC Davis symphony. (Courtesy of the artist)

The event is free, however, tickets will be required​​ via the Mondavi Center ticket office. Find more information and get tickets here

Traditional and new music in concert today

12:05-1 p.m., Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Shoko Hikage, koto (Japanese zither) with guests Michiyo Koga, koto and Naoko, shamisen (three-string, long-necked lute)

The program includes Hyo-shin Na: The Sky Was beyond Description for Koto and Bass Koto (2014), Tadao Sawai: Uneri (wind blowing to and fro) for Koto (1969), Takeo Kudo: Hidden Ponds II for Koto (2020). Direct link to the livestream.

Traditional chamber music

Rokudan is a well-known piece in the koto repertoire. The literal meaning of Rokudan is “six sections” or “six steps.” All the sections in the piece have the same number of beats (except first section). It is believed by many that Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614–85) composed Rokudan.

Jon Raskin (a Sacramento-based musician): in the blur of time, composition for improvisation (2018)

Find more information here.

Admire wildlife and conservation photography in San Francisco

The California Academy of Sciences opens its 8th annual photography exhibition, BigPicture, featuring 49 of the world’s best wildlife and conservation images. While the subject matter ranges from celebrating the planet’s biodiversity to illustrating the many threats facing Earth, the unifying theme is the importance of protecting, conserving and regenerating the natural world. Attendees of the Academy’s BigPicture NightLife event (21+) will get a sneak peek of the exhibition on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m., two days ahead of its public opening. 

The California Academy of Sciences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization striving to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. They are located at Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco. 

Coming up

Zeina Baltagi 'Sell Me the American Dream' at The Garage on the Grove

In her experimental installation, “Sell Me the American Dream,” Zeina Baltagi uses plaster, metallic leaf, pennies, and sound to reveal the fractured existence of life as a friend, a sister, the daughter of first generation parents, and a person living under capitalism. Identity, self, and labor necessarily duplicate and fragment, revealing a life lived in multiple and intermingled tracks, and where time is spent laboring for culture, community and livelihood.

The artist will be at the reception on Oct. 13, 7-10 p.m.

Or stop by for open viewings at times listed. TGTG is located at 2287 Grove Ave., Sacramento. Face coverings are required.

Artists Jen Merrill and Jefferson Eisenberg co-founded TGTG in 2018 to add to and participate in the Sacramento art scene, and to create a new space for artists and the public to engage with experimental projects grounded in a contemporary art framework. They invite artists to work through unwieldy, impractical, and unsaleable ideas, and to push themselves in a supportive environment with the benefit of curatorial and installation expertise, but with few limitations. Jen and Jefferson truly enjoy artists and embrace the creative process with all its challenges, messiness, and catharsis.  Visit their page here.

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