Weekender: Virtual Play, Talk, Concert and More Live Events

Van Gogh painting
The Virtual Van Gogh, and interactive experience, in on view now in San Francisco. (Michelle Villagomez/UC Davis)

Live virtual reading of new play, ‘THE SHOT,’ tonight

Thursday, May 13, 6 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register.

Award-winning actor Sharon Lawrence stars in a reading of Robin Gerber's new play, THE SHOT, about iconic Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. For more than 20 years, Graham was a self-described "doormat wife," secretly enduring years of domestic abuse from her husband. After his suicide, she took over as publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, where she defied the government by publishing the Pentagon Papers, took on President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, and stunned her male executives who had bet against her success.

A live town hall with playwright Robin Gerber, Sharon Lawrence, Bike City Theatre Company Director of Development J.R. Yancher and UC Davis Professor of Theatre and Dance Mindy Cooper will follow the reading.

This online event is part of a national initiative that uses performing arts to raise awareness of domestic violence. Visit theshotplay.com and empoweryolo.org to learn more.

Organized by the Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank and Bike City Theatre Company in collaboration with SPARK Theatrical and EMPOWER Yolo County. Co-sponsored by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

To learn more about this program, go here.

Two American Painters: Lois Dodd and Wayne Thiebaud in Conversation with Karen Wilkin Friday

Three speakers who will present a talk Friday
"Two American Painters" Wayne Thiebaud and Lois Dodd, artists, will be In Conversation with Karen Wilkin.

Friday, May 14, 4 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register.

Although they live on opposite coasts – Wayne Thiebaud in California, Lois Dodd in Maine and New York – these distinguished artists address the world around us in their paintings. Thiebaud usually works from memory, and Dodd paints from direct observation. Both chose to dedicate themselves to portraying what could be seen at a time when abstraction dominated painting, and have continued to find the everyday and the seemingly unremarkable nourishing and stimulating. Both are experienced and generous teachers. This conversation, led by art historian and critic Karen Wilkin, will explore some of Thiebaud and Dodd’s histories, their motivations and predilections, and what has sustained them during their long and productive careers.

For more than 50 years, Lois Dodd (American, b. 1927) has painted her immediate surroundings at the places she has chosen to live and work – the Lower East Side, rural Mid-Coast Maine and the Delaware Water Gap. Dodd’s small, intimately scaled paintings are almost always completed in one plein air sitting. Her subjects include rambling New England out-buildings, lush summer gardens, dried leafless plants and moonlit skies. She retired from teaching at Brooklyn College in 1992.

Thiebaud is professor emeritus of art at UC Davis, where he began teaching in 1960. Alongside his landscapes and portraits, he continues to paint his signature still lifes of everyday items. Experimenting with color, texture, light and composition, he has repeatedly tackled the same subjects to challenge and explore the formal possibilities of painting.

Wilkin is a curator and critic specializing in 20th century modernism. Educated at Barnard College and Columbia University, she writes regularly for Hopkins Review, Hudson Review, The New Criterion, and the Wall Street Journal. She has written extensively about Lois Dodd and Wayne Thiebaud, as well as authored monographs on Anthony Caro, David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann and Giorgio Morandi, among others, and organized exhibitions of their work internationally. Wilkin teaches in the MFA program of the New York Studio School.

This program is organized by the Manetti Shrem Museum and co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History.

For more information about this program, visit the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art website.

Mondavi Center HomeStage presents Alexander String Quartet with a new performance

The Alexander String Quartet will make Mozart’s music the focus of their concerts in 2021. This is a historic year for the beloved quartet as violist Paul Yarbrough retires and David Samuel joins the group. To celebrate this transition the group will focus on some of Mozart’s most beautiful (and not-so-well-known) music: his viola quintets will provide an opportunity for Yarbrough and Samuel to play together; and the three-event series concludes with one of Mozart’s very last pieces, the Clarinet Quintet. Tune in on Sunday, May 16, at 2 p.m. to enjoy this performance.

Mozart Viola Quintet in G Minor, K. 516

Mozart Viola Quintet in D Major, K. 593

A major artistic presence in its home base of San Francisco, the Alexander String Quartet is equally beloved in its second home, the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. This year the quartet introduces a new member, violist David Samuel, joining cellist Sandy Wilson, and violinists Fred Lifsitz and Zakarias Grafilo. 

Robert Greenberg 

Greenberg has performed, taught and lectured extensively across North America and Europe. He is currently music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances, where he has lectured and performed since 1994. 

Learn more about the event on the Mondavi website

Get your tickets here. Free for UC Davis students and $15 for regular price. 

Live Events

Susan Lamb, cello

Shinkoskey presents ‘Bach Cello Suites’

Thursday, May 13, 12:05 p.m. to 1 p.m., free, via UC Davis Music’s YouTube Channel.

Susan Lamb Cook, cello and UC Davis lecturer in music

Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007
  • Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009
  • Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010

To learn more about this program, go here.

Preview of next week’s concert, “Igor Veligan, violin and Natsuki Fukasawa, piano”

Thursday, May 20, 12:05 p.m. to 1 p.m., free, via UC Davis Music’s YouTube Channel.

Music by Arvo Pärt, Rebecca Clarke, Franz Schubert, and others.

To learn more about this program, go here.

A mural, art show, and sale by artist Danielle Fodor

UC Davis alumna artist Danielle Fodor, of Davis, has finished her #plan4resilience project and is holding a farewell art show before she moves to Washington. 

Fodor will hold an art show at her house from Tuesday, May 11 to Sunday, May 16, from 2 p.m. to 7p.m at 2550 Sycamore Lane #8C. She will be selling many of her pieces at 10 to 50 percent off her normal prices. 

See the details in our full story in the Arts blog

Visit the Pence Gallery to view current exhibitions 

  • Patricia Prendergast: The Serenity of the California Landscape
    • This exhibition runs through May 31.
  • Lise Jetonne: Held to Earth
    • This exhibition runs through June 13.
  • Natural Abundance: Gardens, Flowers, and Fruit
    • This exhibition runs through May 30.
  • Marc Lancet: Ceramic Sculpture
    • The search for the figure has inspired sculptor Marc Lancet’s artistic practice for decades. Harkening back to ancient goddess figures from prehistoric Europe, Japan, and pre-colonial Africa, Lancet builds totemic female figures on a grand scale. Always aiming for wonder and mystery over realism and planning, he produces abstracted figures full of emotional depth. Equally full of sentiment are Lancet’s ceramic masks, in which found objects add expressive facial features and wry character.  Each figure is fired using an ancient wood firing process, in which ash from burning wood deposits on the surface. This exhibition runs through June 13.
Virtual Artist Talk with Marc Lancet

Saturday, May 15, 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register

In this talk, Lancet will explore his abstract figurative sculptures, discuss his wood firing processes and his inspiration from prehistoric and ancient figures. 

Read more about each exhibition here

John Natsoulas Center for the Arts: Spirit of Place Exhibition

Every year, the John Natsoulas Gallery holds an exhibition of landscape paintings by artists who find inspiration in beautiful and diverse terrains.

This year the landscape exhibition, Spirit of Place, will be international, capturing the spirit of our collective environment and playing a role in our personal histories. One of our featured landscape artists from across the globe is Javier Garrido Romanos. Other artists participating are Mitchell Long, Jose Manuel Arevalo, Greg Kondos, Boyd Gavin, Pat Mahony, Wayne Thiebaud, Philippe Gandiol, Julie Smiley and more. The exhibition runs until June 5, and the center is open Friday’s from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Stop by the gallery to see the artworks, and if you don’t have the chance, check out the works included in the exhibition here

Bay Area

de Young and Legion of Honor are open

Don't miss the opportunity to see Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI at the de Young and Last Supper in Pompeii and The Book of Now: Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco. Ticket reservations are required for General Admission and Special Exhibitions. Go here to read about their COVID-19 updates. 

Immersive Van Gogh exhibition in San Francisco

The west coast premiere of the new Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in on view now in the middle of the city.

As the web site describes: "Experience art like never before — lose yourself in 300,000 cubic feet of flawless projections animating Vincent van Gogh’s oeuvre. Wander through entrancing, moving images that highlight brushstrokes, detail, and color — truly illuminating the mind of the genius."

You will be immersed in Van Gogh’s works — from his sunny landscapes and night scenes to his portraits and still life paintings. The installation includes the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889), and so much more.

Learn more about the exhibit here. Get your tickets here

Social Media of the Week

We came across this tweet by the Getty Museum inspiring us to reflect on the things that have helped us this past year. Virtual art events are definitely one of them!

Media Resources

Top photo: The Immersive Van Gogh Experience, an interactive work, in on view now in San Francisco. (Michelle Villagomez/UC Davis)

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