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Manetti Shrem Museum Holds Fall Opening Celebration Sept. 26 Debut of NEW ERA, an Installation by Doug Aitken

By Laura Compton on September 18, 2019 in Society, Arts & Culture

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at University of California, Davis, is welcoming fall with an opening celebration. Come enjoy an evening of vibrant art, live music, games and activities, and a talk by artist Kathy Butterly Thursday, Sept. 26.

The event features the opening of the West Coast premiere of The Manetti Shrem Museum Presents NEW ERA, an Installation by Doug Aitken. This multichannel video installation uses sound and moving images to explore ideas of technology and connection in the contemporary world. Its protagonist is Martin Cooper, now 90, who was part of the team that invented the first handheld cell phone, and made the first phone call in 1973. The exhibition is housed within a specially constructed hexagonal mirrored pavilion that creates an immersive experience, transforming viewers into collaborators.

Another highlight is an artist talk by exhibiting artist Kathy Butterly with art historian Jenelle Porter, who wrote an essay in the catalog for ColorForm. Butterly earned her Master of Fine Arts in 1990 at UC Davis, where she studied with Robert Arneson. She stands out among modern and contemporary sculptors for her personal yet accessible ceramic language of line, form and color. This retrospective, her first, focuses on the last 10 years of work and charts the evolution of Butterly’s sensibility, skills and philosophical stance, which have strong historical roots in the work of Viola Frey, Ken Price and Arneson.

Visitors can also see the current exhibition Landscape Without Boundaries. The roots of this exhibition are in the ground around Davis itself — a blend of nature, agriculture and industry in the Central Valley, Delta and the North Bay regions. It explores the mix of approaches to the idea of landscape, and includes significant works by artists Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Mike Henderson, Judith Linhares, Gladyss Nilsson, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Martín Ramírez, Wayne Thiebaud and William T. Wiley.

Artist Kathy Butterly will talk about her work in ColorForm at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Outside of the galleries, there will be live music from globally inspired folk quartet Cloud Hats, art activities inspired by Butterly’s ceramics, and sweet and savory snacks. As always, the event is free for all, and open to the entire UC Davis community.

Media images for all current exhibitions at the museum are here.


Media contact(s)

Laura Compton, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, 530-304-9517,

Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, UC Davis, 530-219-5472,