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EXHIBITIONS: Nelson ARTfriends present 'Three Painters/Three Flavors'

By Dave Jones on January 5, 2012 in University News

Professor Annabeth Rosen receives $25,000 Painters and Sculptors Grant

Staff member contributes cover art for journal

Three painters and three flavors plus the Nelson ARTfriends' 20th anniversary add up to a masterpiece of an event next week at the Nelson Gallery.

The occasion is the ARTfriends' annual reception and benefit in support of the gallery's exhibitions and acquisitions, and UC Davis Masters of Fine Arts and undergraduate students.

The theme of this year's event is "Three Painters/Three Flavors," referring to the three painters in the gallery's featured exhibition for winter quarter, the hors d'oeuvres and appetizers from three restaurants, and the wines from three wineries.

Subtitled “A Local Celebration of Art and Community,” the benefit is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 11) at the gallery (in Nelson Hall). Along with music by the Plainfield Pickers, the program also includes a silent auction — for which Nelson Director Renny Pritikin has selected 19 exceptional artworks (click here for a sneak preview).

The “Three Painters” are Peter Edlund, Leslie Shows and Fred Tomaselli, each of whom revels in the natural world and makes art that seeks to find a way to understand the human relation to wilderness and the environment.

Artist presentations are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. during the reception, which will serve as an exclusive preview of their exhibition Poking at Beehives: Three Painters. See more information below.

The food is coming from Dos Coyotes Border Cafe, Our House Restaurant and Sophia's Thai Kitchen; the wine is coming from Matchbook, Rominger West and Simas Family Vineyard; and beer is coming from Sudwerk.

Admission: $40 for Nelson ARTfriends members, $55 for nonmembers. People who plan to attend are asked to arrange reservations by Tuesday, Jan. 3, by calling the gallery, (530) 752-8500, or by sending in a reply card (the card is available here as a PDF; click on “reply card").

For more information, contact Katrina Wong by e-mail,


Ruthe Blalock Jones: A Retrospective — The internationally acclaimed Blalock Jones creates in a range of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor and printmaking — producing works that emerge from personal experiences with a focus on Native American women in dance attire, and depictions of ceremonial and social events. Blalock Jones (Chu-Lun-Dit), Delaware/Shawnee/Peoria, formerly served as professor and art director at Bacone College, Muskogee, Okla. Jan. 10-March 16, C.N. Gorman Museum, 1316 Hart Hall. Artist talk and reception, 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. Regular hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

My Turn: Revolutions in Wood and Glass — By Craft Center lathe instructor Dorothy Brandon. Jan. 9-Feb. 10, Craft Center Gallery, South Silo. Reception for the artist, 5-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. Regular hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Poking at Beehives: Three Painters — “I believe that this will prove to be the most important painting show that I have organized in my seven years at the Nelson,” said the gallery’s director, Renny Pritikin. “These are three very special artists, and it’s a thrill to bring their work to the attention of this community for the first time.”

Each of the artists, Peter Edlund, Leslie Shows and Fred Tomaselli, finds inspiration in nature. A Nelson Gallery news release describes them as follows:

Edlund, from Brooklyn via San Francisco, who makes representational monochromatic depictions of natural settings, has carved out a significant career since returning to the Northeast after many years in San Francisco and is a professor at the acclaimed School of the Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Tomaselli, from Brooklyn via Los Angeles, is internationally acclaimed for his collage paintings depicting birds, nature and narratives in thick resin.

Shows, from San Francisco via Alaska, also makes collaged paintings based on man’s impact on nature, and is considered to be one of the handful of most important artists to emerge from San Francisco in the past 10 years.

The exhibition is scheduled to open Thursday, Jan. 12 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) and run through March 18. The gallery is in Nelson Hall. Artist talks and reception, 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 (see story above). Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday, and by appointment on Fridays.

Need and Desire, the work of blankblank Curated by Rob Zinn, founder of blankblank, a Northern California firm that works with a select group of designers and artisans to produce furniture, lighting and limited-edition art — as seen around the world. The title of this show alludes to the ambiguities that Zinn sees between art and design, form and function, business and creativity, and individual and society. Need and Desire charts the past eight years of blankblank through examples from its collection, including documentation of development and personal insight from Zinn as to the time, environment and circumstance in which they were created. Jan. 23-March 16, Design Museum, Cruess Hall. Opening reception and designer’s talk, 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. Regular hours: noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Closed holidays and holiday weekends.


New Works by Jaime Montiel — The UC Davis alumnus is the 2010-12 artist in residence at the TANA  community art center, where this exhibition is taking place. TANA, run by the Department of Chicana/o Studies, stands for Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer, or art workshop of the new dawn. Montiel is exhibiting paintings and prints that he created the last two years, during which time he has been helping as an instructor in TANA's youth workshops. The artist in residence is from Winters, where he has a studio. He received a bachelor's degree in studio art at UC Davis and a master's in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. TANA is at 1224 Lemen Ave., Woodland. Call for hours: (530) 402-1065.


The Ground Beneath Our Feet: The Nikola P. Prokopovich Papers on Land Subsidence Manuscript archivist Liz Phillips prepared this exhibition on the papers of engineering geologist Nikola P. Prokopovich (1918-99)., who worked as a geologist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region.

He worked out of the bureau's Sacramento office from 1958 to 1986, investigating the geology and geochemistry of statewide water projects, including the Central Valley Project and the Solano Project. He was an avid field geologist and spent as much time as possible on site, collecting his own data. Prokopovich was particularly interested in the engineering geology of the Central Valley Project's canals and dam sites, and in the effects of state water projects and field irrigation on the surrounding landscape.

The collection includes draft reports, memoranda and published writings, as well as nearly 25,000 slides and photographs documenting his work and the land around his work sites. 

The Shields Library presents its exhibitions in the lobby. Regular hours: 7:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, noon-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-midnight Sunday. Holidays and other exceptions.


Between the Quotes: Work by UC Davis Art Faculty — New work by 12 members of the UC Davis Department of Art: paintings by Timothy Berry, David Hollowell, Hearne Pardee, Bryce Vinokurov and Gina Werfel; photographs by Robin Hill, Matthias Geiger and Youngsuk Suh; video and sculpture by Darrin Martin; sculpture by Tom Bills, Lucy Puls and Annabeth Rosen, alongside a recent drawing. Jan. 11-Feb. 29, Pence Gallery, 212 D St., Davis. Reception, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, with music and an opportunity to create an art project led by UC Davis students. Panel discussion, 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, with Geiger, Hill, Werfel and Hollowell, on the changing nature of teaching art over the years, the role of the artist, and more. The exhibit and related programs are sponsored by the Department of Art, and the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies (Herbert A. Young Society Fund).

Dreams of Toyland — The Design Program's Dolph Gotelli, a professor emeritus, has another holiday treat for the Napa Valley Museum. In bringing back Dreams of Toyland, the renowned collector offers new vignettes that take visitors to a world of miniature fairies, animals and other delightful creatures in snowy forests, cozy kitchens and intricate drawing rooms. "The exhibition is created to delight and inspire, evoking the wonder and innocent joys of childhood," the museum website declares. Through Jan. 29.

Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance Art professor Robin Hill is among the more than 30 contributors to this centennial birthday celebration of art icon John Cage. With new work and site-specific installations, the artists explore varying levels of control in production and experiment with structured randomness. According to a news release, Get Lucky includes works that conflate wiccan-based tarot practice and corporate culture, I Ching with installation art, and the aesthetics of Zen pottery with Western abstract painting. Curated by Justin Hoover and Hanna Regev, the exhibition offers a multimedia and multidimensional look at a vast array of fine art practices investigating the implications of chance operation in the arts and across cultural beliefs, values and practices. Through Jan. 26, SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. (between Eight and Ninth streets), San Francisco. Public opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,