Weekender: Theatre Festival Goes Virtual, National; New Yorker Features Thiebaud

Crocker sculpture.
A new Crocker acquisition: Calvin Ma, (American, born 1984), Around and Around, 2013. Stoneware, glaze, and stain, 15 x 6 x 9 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Paul DiPasqua, 2013.46. Photo by Calvin Ma

This week's weekender previews the future weekends more than the present. Or, for a good read, pick up a current New Yorker, which features a Thiebaud on its cover and an interview on the inside. And, there's plenty more to do and view this weekend. Check out local galleries in the last paragraph of this blog. Keep an eye out next week, when we'll preview the Thiebaud exhibition coming up at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Compiled by UC Davis Media Relations Intern Leigh Houck

UC Davis theatre festival goes virtual, gets new name

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance has announced that its annual “Ground and Field Theatre Festival” will be virtual this year. Along with its new virtual format, the festival is now rebranded as “Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank.” 

As in the past, playwrights, composers and lyricists will develop new works under the guidance of the festival's co-artistic directors Mindy Cooper, Broadway veteran and UC Davis professor of theatre and dance, and Lisa Quoresimo, assistant professor of theatre and dance at Southern Utah University. Due to COVID-19, Catalyst will be a virtual festival with online rehearsals and performances. The online process gives Catalyst a national footprint and allows creative teams to collaborate from various locations across time zones. 

The UC Davis College of Letters and Science's Department of Theatre and Dance produces the 2020-2021 festival with support from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, City Theatre Company, Southern Utah University and San Francisco Youth Theatre.

Sharon Lawrence
Actress Sharon Lawrence is hosting the Sept. 2 webinar preview of the Catalyst season. She is best known for her Emmy Award nominated role in "NYPD Blue."

Read more about the festival, which starts in September, here. Read about this year’s featured plays and webinars here. And see the Woodland Democrat’s story.

Manetti Shrem at Home 

The theme for a recent Manetti Shrem At Home newsletter is “Homegrown,” chosen in honor of our burgeoning home life, which now takes center stage during the pandemic. Read on to explore art at our home at UC Davis, as well as art from global artists working from home. 

  • Discover why some call the Arboretum the “ARTboretum” in a handy guide from the UC Davis Arts Blog. Visit the four GATEway Gardens, mosaic murals and unexpected art west of Mrak Hall. And get close to nature in the Arboretum Explorer Virtual Tour; walking shoes not required!
  • More fun with toilet paper tubes: Build It With Brandon shows you how to bring some homegrown beauty into your world without leaving the house. Learn how to craft a colorful flower and butterfly using a toilet paper tube.


  • A few months into the pandemic, 11 artists from around the world shared with Architectural Digest how their practices have changed during quarantine. While some embraced sketching or different mediums, others worked on public art or communal projects such as Apartogether, which invites the public to share images of comfort blankets made out of material on hand.

Crocker acquires new ceramic piece providing insight into social anxiety

San Francisco artist Calvin Ma gifted his ceramic piece “Duck Out” to The Crocker Art Museum. The museum says that “‘Duck Out’ joins ‘Around and Around,’ another sculpture by Ma, in the Crocker’s renowned collection of international ceramics. Through both sculptures, Ma gives form to his experience with social anxiety, a disorder that impacts nearly 15 million American adults who live with a persistent, intense fear of being judged by others.” Click here to learn more. 

The New Yorker features Thiebaud

The Aug. 17 issue of The New Yorker features professor emeritus Wayne Thiebaud both on the cover (a seasonally appropriate ice cream cone) and in the culture section.

The introduction to the Q and A reads:

Wayne Thiebaud is nearly a hundred years old, and he has spent the majority of those years painting. Those paintings — with their thick pigments, bright colors, and obsession with food — have become part of the American canon, and Thiebaud’s latest cover is a treat to be cherished in the heat of summer. Thiebaud is a lively presence, even on the phone, and he recently spoke to us about his influences, his love of cartoons, and how unfunny the New Yorker cartoonists he met were.

View the cover and read an interview with Thiebaud here

Sacramento galleries offer socially distanced opportunities for art viewing

Galleries in the Sacramento area are reopening, and implementing a variety of precautions against COVID-19. Among the offerings? Photography at Viewpoint Gallery, paintings at Axis Gallery, and ceramics at Be Cool Club. Click here to learn more.  

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