Weekender: Ukuleles; Orchestra; and Teapots

'Henderson' extended

Band of people in black suits holding ukuleles
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will entertain Mondavi audiences this Friday. (Courtesy photo)

‘Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965-1985’ extended through July 15

Manetti Shrem Museum visitors eye Henderson exhibit.
The Henderson exhibit at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is extended through July 15. (Autumn Payne)

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, is extending the run of “Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965-1985” to July 15.

“By every measure, from attendance to visitor engagement, our community has responded with unprecedented interest and enthusiasm,” said Founding Director Rachel Teagle. “We want to make sure as many people as possible are able to experience this profoundly moving and timely exhibition of Mike Henderson’s groundbreaking work.”

Opened Jan. 30, this ambitious exhibition brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics and the story of California art. It marks Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years.

By every measure, from attendance to visitor engagement, our community has responded with unprecedented interest and enthusiasm — Rachel Teagle

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson started exploring the role and responsibility of an artist early in his practice. His “protest paintings,” which he began while studying at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1965, confront the anti-Black violence of the Civil Rights era.

Thursday concert: Wendy Richman, viola, at Pitzer

April 27, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

The program will include Joseph Vasinda: Kaleidoscopes, Max Gibson: parallax, Zoë A. Wallace: Sun Flower/Light, Joseph Donald Peterson: Abstractions for Three Violas
with Ellen Ruth Rose and Joseph Donald Peterson, Felix Mendelssohn: Adagio from String Sinfonia VIII with Emma Eyestone, Samantha Sharp, and Maya True-Fogel, and Sakari Dixon Vanderveer: In This Watershed Moment (2022) with Emma Eyestone, Joseph Donald Peterson, Maya True-Fogel, and Samantha Sharp.

Wendy Richman has been celebrated internationally for her compelling sound and imaginative interpretations in a wide range of genres. Her debut solo album, vox/viola (New Focus Recordings, 2020), features nine commissioned works for singing violist by leading contemporary composers. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom she performs regularly in New York City and around the world, and she has performed regularly with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the period instrument ensemble Tesserae. Dr. Richman is a faculty member at both UCLA and California State University-Northridge (CSUN), where she teaches a variety of academic music courses and applied viola, and she is a sought-after clinician at universities and conservatories across the country.

Learn History of Tea and the Teapot in lecture

April 27, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Art Annex, Main Room 107

Illustration in color of tea vessels of various types
Courtesy Jim Connell

Jim Connell, professor of ceramics at Winthrop University, will investigate the histories of tea and teapots. His lecture explores some of the early myths surrounding the discovery of tea in China. From the early legendary Chinese Emperor Shen Nung to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, these early myths have captivated people’s imagination. “The History of Tea and the Teapot” traces the history of the first teapots i Yixing China, the advancement of porcelain teapots, and the exportation of tea and the teapot to Europe and beyond.

Organized and co-sponsored by The Global Tea Institute and the Department of Art and Art History.

'Diversity Statements...Hear Us' presented by Theatre and Dance

Friday and Sunday, April 28 and April 30, 7 – 8 p.m., Arena Theatre, Wright Hall, free

Collage of photos

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance will present Diversity Statements…Hear Us, a choral documentary drama, on April 28 and 30 in the Arena Theatre, Wright Hall. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and are free.

Directed by Professor Margaret Laurena Kemp and written by Kemp in collaboration with students in DRA: 199, the project is composed of interviews, conversations, and material written by students. In Hear Us students tell their stories of the intent and impact of the Diversity Statement policy at UC Davis. The interwoven narratives expose the complexity of DEI policies, their impact on students and the afterlife of the policies in society.

The performance is the result of students, faculty and staff who have a year-long engagement with Ping Chong and Company to create a fact-based performance (choral documentary drama) and film about the issues and impact of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Statements on students. This project was conceived by Kemp.

Hear Us was created through interviews and workshops with the cast members and members of the UC Davis academic community. The theatrical format of the presentation is based on and inspired by Ping Chong and Company (PCC)’s Undesirable Elements series. Kemp participated in training with PCC in 2018 and PCC artists Sara Zatz, Christina Bixland, and Jesca Prudencio led multiple workshops with the students in 2022-2023, and served in an advisory role and as creative consultants on the project’s development. 

Additional creative collaborators on the project included Joyce Lu, PhD, and Oona Hatton, PhD, co-artistic director of Davis Repertory Theatre.

Ping Chong and Company (PCC) creates theater and art that reveal beauty, invention, precision, and a commitment to social justice. Originally founded in New York City in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong, today the company is a highly adaptive and supportive home base for multigenerational, interdisciplinary artists with generative theater practices. The company’s work is centered on innovation, collaboration, and community engagement. 

Find more information and sign up for free entrance here

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs Friday

Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall

When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain began in 1985, public opinion was that an orchestra consisting entirely of ukuleles in different sizes was a strange concept. This was something that attracted the founders. From the beginning, the group’s modest goals were to have fun and “not to lose money.” Incredibly, throughout its 30-year career, the group has succeeded in both. In Europe and America, the Orchestra are best known for playing versions of famous rock songs and film themes, sometimes changing these so that the expectations of the audience are subverted. Sometimes a rock song will be changed into a jazz idiom, or sometimes several songs which are known from different genres are combined in one “soup of contrasts.”

Find more information and purchaser tickets here.

2023 Wennberg Orchestra Festival at Mondavi

Saturday, April 29, 2:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

The 2023 Wennberg Orchestra Festival is an artful articulation showcase of musical excellence in the DJUSD Orchestra Program from Elementary-Junior High-Senior High Schools. The program includes Davis Elementary All City Orchestra, Davis High Strings Tutoring Program Orchestra, Holmes Junior High Advanced String Quartet, Holmes Junior High Intermediate Orchestra, Holmes Junior High Advanced Orchestra, DHS Symphony Quartet, DHS Baroque Ensemble, DHS Chamber Orchestra, DHS Symphony Orchestra and features Violinist Sarah Son, the 2023 Davis High Concerto Competition Winner

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Notes on Hope: J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano and Ulysses Owens Jr., percussion

Sunday, April 30, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

This event is a well-being event, offering special prices for faculty, staff and students. Go here for those tickets. Well-Being Ticket Deals: April and May

$10 tickets for staff and faculty (limit two per person) for shows at the Mondavi Center for the Perform. Suy, May 7. Deal tickets available through May 6.

duo of photos, woman in gold background and man in gray suit

This collaboration between prolific opera superstar J’Nai Bridges, and Grammy Award-winning drummer, music director, and educator, Ulysses Owens Jr. is a musical journey exploring the idea of hope rooted in the deep relationship between the voice and the drum. The program will highlight music tied to the African American experience, with works by Debussy, Ellington, Ravel, Geri Allen, spirituals, and original work from Bridges and Owens. With inspiration drawn from writers such as Lucille Clifton, Audrey Lorde, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, Notes on Hope is a thoughtful, melodic program featuring a full band (piano, guitar, bass and vibraphone) that provokes reflection and will leave audiences hopeful and excited about a future world that is reflective of unity, and jubilation.  

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Voice Students of Jonathan Nadel at Pitzer next week

May 2, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The program includes Franz Schubert: Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Der Wanderer and Gretchen am Spinnrade, Claude Debussy: Nuit d’étoiles, Gustav Mahler: Excerpts from Rückert Lieder, W.A. Mozart: Per questa bella mano, other songs by Dowland, Britten, and Bononcini, and songs from Musicals: Into the Woods, Chicago, Little Women, Evita.

New exhibition at the Crocker: Breaking the Rules

April 30 – August 27, Crocker Art Museum

Painting of standing bathers against blue background part of exhibit at Crocker
Standing Bathers with Crocker Art Exhibition: William Theophilus Brown (American, 1919–2012), Standing Bathers, 1993. Acrylic on paper, 23 x 28 1/2 in. Crocker Art Museum, Estate of Paul Wonner and William Theophilus Brown, 2019.22.7

In reaction to the widespread pursuit of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and early 1950s, several avant-garde artists in the San Francisco Bay Area began to re-engage with the visible world, applying the gestural style of action painting to depictions of people, landscapes, and still lifes. The artist couple Paul Wonner (1920–2008) and William Theophilus “Bill” Brown (1919–2012), both of whom had just completed master’s degrees in art from the University of California, Berkeley, aligned themselves with this new direction and became leading practitioners of the style known today as “Bay Area Figuration.” The couple subsequently lived in various California cities, pursuing opportunities to paint and teach before finally settling in San Francisco. Over time, both artists’ works became less gestural and more overtly representational and, in Wonner’s case, increasingly detailed and precise. Brown became best known for his psychologically evocative landscapes with classic bathers, as well as for his lonely urban scenes. Wonner also painted figures but received greatest acclaim for his “Baroque” still lifes laden with everyday objects, animals, and flowers.

Find more information here

Coming Up

Dog Doodles: mental health break with therapy fluffies

Thursday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Take a mental health break during midterms and sit down with a therapy fluffy to draw their portrait. Borrow a page from Roy De Forest’s work and incorporate googly eyes. Get a little silly. Boop a floof and feel less stressed. Plus, learn about on-campus resources from SHARED, a club aimed at supporting the physical and mental health of UC Davis Aggies.

Special thanks to Lend A Heart Animal-Assisted Therapy.

Artists in Residence: Lillian Gordis, harpsichord, with Jérôme Hantaï, viola da gamba

May 4, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

The program includes Marin Marais: Suite in G Major (Livre III), J.S. Bach: Sonata in G Major, BWV 1027, and selections from Partita No. 6, BWV 830, Antoine Forqueray: Suite in D Minor.

Art social media of the week

Depiction of social media photo showing art

Media Resources

Media contact: Karen Nikos-Rose, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Society, Arts & Culture