EXHIBITIONS: Nelson showcases migration and new museum

Image: Elizabeth Catlett linocut "Survivor" (cropped)
Image: Elizabeth Catlett linocut "Survivor" (cropped)

The Nelson Gallery presents a pair of spring exhibitions: Views on Migration, opening next week, and three design proposals for the future new home of the university’s Fine Arts Collection.

Views on Migration is a continuation of the 2012-13 Campus Community Book Project, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Greatest Migration, and includes a lecture and a panel discussion. The panelists include Academic Affairs Assistant Vice Provost Sarah D. Gray, an art collector who is lending Jacob Lawrence prints for Views on Migration.

UC Davis’ spring exhibition calendar also includes Together Again in celebration of the C.N. Gorman Museum’s 40th anniversary year, and the annual undergraduate and M.F.A. exhibitions at the Design Museum.

But let’s start with a museum that doesn’t even have a spring exhibition, because, well, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is not built yet.

Here’s what we do have: museum designs to share, from three design-build partnerships that the university chose last year. Each team will make a presentation in a public program titled Imagine! — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Conference Center. Read more about the 'big reveal.'

Then, from April 4 to May 19 at the Nelson Gallery, you can see the detailed drawings and architectural models in Design Deliberation: An Exhibition of Three Competing Museum Designs.

Views on Migration

'The Nelson Gallery’s other spring quarter exhibition, Views on Migration: Jacob Lawrence and Elizabeth Catlett, showcases two important collections from the Davis community, along with works by Michael Stevenson of Sacramento.

First, Lawrence and Catlett, the late African American artists who complemented each other in their depictions of the black experience. Catlett was known for her intergenerational portraits, specifically images of mother and child, making personal both the vitality and struggle that Lawrence depicted in his images of community, in series such as Toussaint L’Ouverture and Migration.

For this exhibition, Gray, a member of the Nelson ARTfriends, is lending prints from Toussaint L’Ouverture, 1986-97, based on a series of paintings completed in 1938. Lawrence used events in L’Ouverture's life — he helped lead the Haitian revolution over the French in the 1790s — as symbols of revolution, emancipation and civil rights.

The exhibition also includes a slide show of Lawrence’s Migration Series, 1940-41, exploring the period in U.S. history when African Americans left the rural South in search of better lives, after the Great War and before what would become World War II.

Lawrence was 20 when he painted the Migration Series. It would earn him a national reputation, and he would become one of the best-known African American painters of the 20th century. He died in 2000 at the age of 82.

Melvin and Felicenne Ramey, also members of Nelson ARTfriends, share their collection of Catlett prints. Catlett, who died last year at the age of 96, worked in sculpture, woodcut and linocut, drawing on her experience as an African American woman who had come of age at a time of widespread segregation.

Her abstract sculptures of the human form “reflected her deep concern with the African American experience and the struggle for civil rights,” The New York Times wrote in her obituary.

Stevenson, another Nelson ARTfriend, contributes his sensitive homages to these two pioneering artists.

The opening reception for Views on Migration is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, and the exhibition is scheduled to run through May 19. The Nelson Gallery is in Nelson Hall. Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, and by appointment on Fridays.

A lecture and panel discussion are planned at the gallery during the exhibition’s run. Both are free and open to the public.

  • "Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: Stories of Migration, Stories of Movement," lecture by Cherise Smith, associate professor or art history (African American and African diaspora art), University of Texas at Austin. 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, April 11.
  • "African American Migration Histories of Local Residents," panel, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

The panelists:

  • Sarah D. Gray — assistant vice provost, Academic Affairs, and professor emerita, physiology and membrane biology, School of Medicine.
  • Joyce Gordon — former director, Economic History Program, Foundation for Teaching Economics.
  • Kevin Mitchell — trauma surgeon, Surgical Affiliates Medical Group, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Sacramento.
  • Joseph Singleton — former athletic director, UC Davis (1972-86) and New Mexico Highlands University
  • Felicenne Ramey (moderator) — professor and dean emerita, College of Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento.

C.N. Gorman Museum

• Together Again: Lillian Pitt, Gail Tremblay, Joe Feddersen and Rick Bartow — All of the featured artists have participated in previous exhibitions at the Gorman, contributing to the museum’s rich history — and now they are back to the help celebrate the museum’s 40th anniversary year. They are presenting recent works in a variety of media. April 2-June 6, C.N. Gorman Museum, 1316 Hart Hall. Regular hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

Design Museum

• Design by Design — A juried competition described as “a lively survey of undergraduate student talent and creativity that reflects the multidisciplinary breadth of the Department of Design.” April 4-26 (including Picnic Day, April 20).

• Design Master of Fine Arts Graduation Exhibition — UC Davis M.F.A. candidates explore the broader topic of “design” through specific design disciplines, drawing on collaborations with the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. This exhibition showcases the candidates’ final research and creative projects. May 20-June 6.

The Design Museum is in 124 Cruess Hall. Regular hours: noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday.


Cornucopia: A Celebration of Mediterranean Agriculture — Margaret Eldred’s acrylic paintings of crops grown within bicycling distance of Davis paired with canvases of similar crops from Italy, Turkey and Morocco. Through March 28, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Regular hours: 8 a.m.-5p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.


• Dignidad Rebelde: Prints for the People — By Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza, Oakland-based artists-activists of the graphic arts collaborative Dignidad Rebelde. Through June, Taller Arte del Amanacer, or Art Workshop of the New Dawn, run by the Department of Chicana/o Studies. TANA is at 1224 Lemen Ave., Woodland. Call for exhibition hours: (530) 402-1065.

Foodies in Exile — Art lecturer Bryce Vinokurov says his move to Davis from Boston eight years ago left him feeling like an exile from urban city life. "However," he said, "the inspiration of the Northern California landscape and the emergent national fixation with the sustainable food industry and culture quickly became an inspiration.” The result? A body of work he calls Foodies in Exile, including large and small oil paintings, collages, linocuts and intaglio etchings. Through May 9, Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville (Napa County). Regular hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Easter Sunday, March 31). Read more.

Legacy: Recent Paintings and Prints — By alumnus Jamie Montiel, artist in residence at the university's Taller Arte del Amanacer, or Art Workshop of the New Dawn. Montiel is "a committed community artist," said Carlos Francisco Jackson, assistant professor, Department of Chicana/o Studies, and director of TANA, referring to the art workshop in Woodland. Through May 3, Davis Community Clinic, 2051 John Jones Road. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m-5 p.m. Tuesday and Friday.

• Mexico Mágico: People, Traditions and Color — Professor Marc Schenker presents a collection of photos from the last 20 years or so, taken during his work missions and other trips. As a physican and professor (Department of Public Health Sciences), he focuses on migration and health, occupational and environmental health, pulmonary disease, and global health research and teaching. As a hobbyist photographer, he is particularly interested in cultures, climate and geography around the world. His work encompasses universal themes such as family, work, humor, leisure and personal relationships. He said his photographs on work are a direct outgrowth of his research on occupational health hazards — for example, in agriculture, an area in which he has published numerous scientific papers. Through July 14, Mexican Consulate, 2093 Arena Blvd., Sacramento. Regular hours: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Schenker's photography website.



Maynard Amerine: In His Own Words Professor Amerine (1911-98) joined the UC Davis Division of Viticulture in 1935 and retired in 1974. As a junior enologist, he was hired to work with Professor A.J. Winkler to improve the quality of grape varieties grown in California. From this modest beginning, Amerine became known throughout the world as a foremost wine expert. For this exhibition, Patsy Inouye, photograph curator in Special Collections, drew on the library’s Maynard A. Amerine Papers, including travel diaries, photographs, a map of his travels and selections of his writings. The exhibition also includes a computer station where visitors can watch Amerine's lectures from VEN 125, "Sensory Analysis of Wine" (the library recently converted the videotaped lectures to digital files). Winter and spring quarters.

Distinguished Speakers Series: Harry Belafonte — Actor and activist, and singer, of course, credited with introducing calypso music to mainstream audiences in the United States in the 1950s. In My Song: A Memoir, written with Michael Shnayerson, Belafonte discusses his early life in Harlem and Jamaica; his struggle to break into acting; his early success as a singer and his award-winning musical career; and his lifelong involvement in human rights campaigns. His music has often conveyed a joie de vivre that masks the pain and suffering in which the songs are rooted. But, as his memoir makes clear, Belafonte has always spoken out against racism and oppression and worked for social justice. In fact, it is this legacy that the artist hopes most to preserve. Winter quarter. (Belafonte gave his talk Jan. 17 in the Distinguished Speakers Series at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.)

Following the Great Migration: Researching the 2012 Campus Community Book Project Book Library resources that complement the 2012 section, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson's award-winning study of the Great Migration, the movement of almost 6 million African-Americans from the South from 1915 to 1970. Display assembled by David Michalski, social and cultural studies librarian, who also has compiled an online resource guide, including parallel texts for examining and interpreting the Great Migration's profound influence on American society and culture. The online guide also includes interviews with Wilkerson, a list of influential books on the Great Migration, and links to archival sources and other research tools that can help animate the discussion of this year's book. Through winter quarter. For more information about the exhibition and-or the online research guide, send an email to the Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Services Department,  hssref@lib.ucdavis.edu.

Worlds of Steampunk: Fiction, Art, Fashion and Culture It started as a subgenre of science fiction in the 1980s — incorporating fantasy, alternate history and fantastic technology, inspired by the advances of the Industrial Revolution and the late 19th century. Like its antecedents, including the novels of Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and H.G. Wells (The Time Machine), steampunk fiction features dirigibles, balloons, everything powered by steam, and mechanical contraptions of all kinds. You can see it today in movies and art — and in an entire subculture with its own fashion style (goggles, corsets, fancy top hats, and all manner of mechanical accessories decorated with wheels, cogs, gears, clockworks and other imaginative devices). Exhibit prepared by Roberto C. Delgadillo and Marcia Meister, Humanities, Social Sciences and Government Information Service. Winter quarter.

The Shields Library exhibitions are 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.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556, dljones@ucdavis.edu

Primary Category