UC Davis’ fall art exhibitions offer lots to see and hear.
The visual: photographic exhibitions; a multidisciplinary installation that explores and celebrates the biology, beauty and bounty of the Pacific Flyway; Dimensions of Black, a major group showing of works by leading African American contemporary artists; and recent acquisitions by the C.N. Gorman Museum, which is dedicated to the creative expressions of Native American artists and artists of diverse cultures and histories.
And, for listening, 33 1/3, the composer John Cage’s first participatory work, an immersive sound installation that he debuted at UC Davis nearly 50 years ago, in Freeborn Hall.
Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway — By Valerie Constantino, a visual artist and writer; and two members of the design faculty, Professor Glenda Drew and Professor Emerita Ann Savageau — in collaboration with various organizations, associations, agencies, scientists and scholars. The installation views the flyway through a range of lenses: wildlife habitat, agricultural backdrop, recreational commons, conservation story, and inspirational phenomena for artists, writers and everyone in California and beyond. Sept. 18-Nov. 12, Design Museum (Cruess Hall). Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 28. Regular hours: noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission.
With Camera in Hand — As a photographer in the glory days of 35-millimeter film, Charles McDonald acknowledges the “psychological challenge” associated with the availability of iPhone photography. In With Camera in Hand: A Photographic Exhibition, he showcases the multiple advantages of still carrying a big, heavy and bulky 35-mm DSLR camera. Through Oct. 30, Buehler Alumni Center. Regular hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Free admission.
Dimensions of Black — Organized and first presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, from December through April, and now coming to the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, complemented by rarely exhibited works from the university's Fine Arts Collection, by artists connected with UC Davis. The show comprises more than 30 works from the 1960s to today, exploring the artists’ shared interest in shaping a fresh understanding of black aesthetics in figurative and abstract. Sept. 17-Dec. 28. Opening reception, 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Regular hours: noon-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; noon-10 p.m. Thursday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free admission.
33 1/3 — The John Cage website gives this description of this work’s debut in Freeborn Hall in 1969: “A dozen phonographs and almost 250 records were arranged on tables around a room without chairs on which to sit. Loudspeakers were distributed around the space. The audience was given no instruction, but after a while, people began putting records on the phonographs.” The Manetti Shrem Museum will re-create this experience, inviting the public to play albums on turntables that will fill the exhibition galleries, in celebration of “the improvisatory spirit that helped change the course of experimental music and art during the second half of the 20th century.” Sept. 17-Dec. 28. Campus community opening reception, 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Regular hours: noon-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; noon-10 p.m. Thursday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free admission.
Land, Water and Rock — A retrospective of the work of nature photographer Debal Sen, based in Kolkata, India, who depicts forests, rivers, ocean and animals in a spectral light — neither day nor night, “suggesting a world, which, although elusive, can always be accessed by the ‘other world’ consciousness.” Sen is a cardiologist as well as a photographer, known for his books, Wild Bengal, Panch Kedar, Once Upon a Time and Shores. Sept. 29-Nov. 1, in the lobby of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Opening reception (free), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in Ballroom A at the Conference Center across Vanderhoef Quad from the Mondavi Center. Sen will give a talk at 7. Sponsored by the South Asia Without Borders Initiative and the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program. This exhibition is among a wide-ranging series of campus events this academic year focused on South Asia.
Recent Acquisitions from the Northwest Coast — Veronica Passalacqua, curator of the C.N. Gorman Museum, says, “With our upcoming campus relocation and expansion (to Nelson Hall), the museum’s permanent collection has been growing faster than ever.” Come see a selection of the new works. Oct. 3-Dec. 8. The museum is in 1316 Hunt Hall. Regular hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission.