Weekender: New Views on Davis Art and the Bay

Nam June Paik Sistine Chapel
Nam June Paik, Sistine Chapel, 1993/2021 (installation view, SFMOMA); courtesy the Estate of Nam June Paik; © Estate of Nam June Paik; photo: Andria Lo

Happy August. The hours at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art have been extended and the Eggheads have had a facelift, so it’s a good time to visit campus before the fall as students, staff and faculty arrive in full force. There are some great exhibitions locally and in the Bay Area, as well. And we treat you to a story about a professor’s inclusion in an exhibit in Texas.

Additional Hours at Manetti Shrem available

Beginning in August, Manetti Shrem Museum visitors have additional time slots to choose from. Advance tickets can be reserved from 10-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-2 p.m., 2-3 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Visit manettishrem.org for more information. Remember face coverings are required inside the museum, per Yolo County mandates.

Eggheads get a touch-up

Some of UC Davis’ most iconic public art pieces got a touch-up earlier this month. The Eggheads, created by the late, longtime art faculty member Robert Arneson and installed starting in 1991, are bronze with a special paint that gives them their signature eggshell look. The Walla Walla Foundry of Walla Walla, Washington, which cast the sculptures, returned to campus for maintenance just in time for the new academic year. The foundry team was last on campus in 2016.

Egghead scrubbing
Workers from the Walla Walla Foundry returned to campus earlier this month for maintenance on the Egghead sculptures. (Dani Knapp/UC Davis)

New Exhibition at the Menil Collection features UC Davis professor

Running along the western side of South America, the Andean Mountains have supported a rich, interconnected series of civilizations and empires for more than 3,000 years. Surveying this captivating, multifaceted world, the Menil Collection, located in Houston, Texas, presents Enchanted: Visual Histories of the Central Andes through Nov. 14. The exhibition showcases works from the museum’s collection and loans from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The exhibit is accompanied by an online publication with multimedia features and essays, including an essay by Zoila S. Mendoza, professor and chair of Native American Studies at UC Davis. In her essay, Zoila S. Mendoza emphasizes the importance of festivals as spaces to perform, celebrate, contest, or reinvent the Andean culture.

More than 40 objects from different historical moments of Andean history are on view — including polychrome ceramic vessels of the Nazca culture (ca. 100 BCE–800 CE), textiles from the Wari (ca. 600–1000 CE) and Chimú (ca. 1150–1450) civilizations, and 20th–21st century examples of elaborately embroidered esclavinas (short capes) and monteras (hats) worn during religious festivals in Peru. Complementing these objects is a selection of gelatin silver photographic prints by Pierre Verger, also known as Fátúmbí (1902–1996). Verger’s images of religious festivals in the Andes, taken between 1939 and 1945, highlight the costumes, dances, and dramatic moments of these annual events.

Sweet! exhibition at Gallery 625

The Sweet! exhibition at Gallery 625, in Woodland, is on view through Sept. 28, featuring work by Polly LaPorte and Robert Gonsowski. Sweet! captures the bold and delicious colors and shapes of donuts, cakes, parfaits, and desserts of all kinds. La Porte and Gonsowski sought something fun and interesting to paint together during the lockdown last year. Their effort developed into a lively and interactive exchange of ideas and techniques reflected in this series of acrylic and oil paintings. The opening reception will take place on Aug. 6 from 5:30-8 p.m.

View the exhibition online here

Catch the Seongmin Yoo Exhibition at John Natsoulas Gallery; reception Saturday

Seongmin Yoo is one of the most important Korean artists to grapple with the concept of Eastern culture melding into Western culture. Her interest in human rights, women’s rights, and the evolving place of women in Korean society has been the focus of her recent work. In her current body of work that will be shown at the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, Davis, she is dealing with the urge of being a cave woman in the modern world. The exhibition runs through Aug. 29. The opening reception takes place on Saturday, Aug. 7 from 7-9 p.m.

Read more and view the exhibition here

Nam June Paik, “father of video art,” at SFMOMA

Widely considered the “father of video art,” Nam June Paik (1932–2006) was born in what is now South Korea and spent much of his life in Japan, Germany, and the United States. The playfully rebellious artist trained as a classical composer; he sought to radically expand the parameters of art and defied genres and disciplines. Over his five-decade career, he worked with avant-garde artists and pop stars alike, and created groundbreaking video art, immersive installations, a family of TV robots, live broadcasts, participatory artworks, and more. Paik was a true and oftentimes humorous visionary who foresaw the importance of mass media and technology.  “Someday,” he said in 1965, “artists will work with capacitors, resistors, and semi-conductors as they work today with brushes, violins, and junk.”

Nam June Paik, on view at SFMOMA through Oct. 3, is the first West Coast retrospective dedicated to the artist and brings together more than 200 of his works.

View the exhibition online here

Animal House at Sac Arts Center

Several artists listened to the howls, roars and chirps of their inner beast to produce some of the wildest entries ever in this year’s annual “Animal House” exhibit at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. The exhibit runs through Aug. 29. 

The artists were charged with presenting their favorite critters in a variety of media, including: painting, sculpture and photography. The works are all new and original professional level works. The works are judged on how well the “Animal House” theme was executed within the chosen media. This exhibit was juried by Gemma Gylling.

Entries range from serious portraits of best friends that touched our lives to the fun whimsical side of our human relationship with feathered and furry friends. The artwork entries, unless otherwise noted, are available for sale and adoption to new homes. Admission is free. Find more information here. Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Inc., 5330B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608, Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Coming up next week

Public Reception at the Pence Gallery next week

The Pence Gallery will be hosting a public reception on Friday, Aug. 13, 6-9 p.m. Admission is free. There will be three exhibits on display: Slice, Exhibit It!, and Yolo Visions 2. 

Slice: A Juried Exhibit of Regional Art includes artwork from artists across California. This exhibit showcases art that is conceptually thoughtful, technically skilled, and representative of contemporary trends in art. This year, Slice is juried by Faith J. McKinnie, independent curator and art consultant.

Exhibit It! is a non-juried exhibit with artwork by community members. Vote for your favorite piece, and the artwork with the most votes when the show ends will win the Public Choice award. This exhibit is sponsored by Michael Crump & Stephanie Kocsik.

Yolo Visions 2 brings together several artists who participated in the original Yolo Visions in 2019, along with new artists who also live and work in the County. Across a variety of media, these artists express their shared interest in amplifying the natural beauty of the county, whether it is rural, suburban, urban, or somewhere in between.

Find more information here

Artist Meet-n-Greet at Logos Books

Mary McCaffery has been in Davis since 1993. When she began learning about watercolors in 1986 all of her teachers would say, “No Mary, more color, bigger brushes, forget the detail”. Well as it turns out, she loves the detail. Starting with very simple brush strokes, practice, and detailed observation, she tries to capture flowers and vegetables with unique personalities.

On a painting trip a watercolor teacher commented, “I think you might be a botanical painter.” Researching books on the subject prompted Mary to conclude that her interest does, in fact, lie in the details. Working primarily in watercolor, but also using colored pencils and graphite, she creates exquisite portraits of plants and fruits.

There will be a meet-and-greet reception at Logos Books, 513 2nd St, Davis on Friday, Aug. 13, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. She will have giclee prints and greeting cards available for purchase.

Find more information here

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