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THE OUTDOORS: Art in the arboretum

By Dave Jones on July 28, 2011 in University

The arboretum’s GATEways Project presents a pair of art installations. GATE stands for Gardens, Arts and the Environment, in which UC Davis students share their academic and creative work with campus visitors.

Crested Oak — Made from the trunk, branches, bark and twigs of a 200-year-old valley oak that had died in the arboretum and was felled last winter. John Gainey created Crested Oak as his senior project in landscape architecture, and he subsequently graduated.

“My challenge as an artist was to break the structure of the tree to reveal the character of the basic elements within, and to work with these elements until they spoke and told their story,” Gainey wrote in his artist’s statement.

Look for his work along the waterway near the west end of the arboretum.

• From Landfill to Landscape — Art student Rebecca Portney gathered scrap metal from the UC Davis landfill, then welded the metal into giant flowers for a garden at the top of the lawn overlooking Lake Spafford, east of Mrak Hall. Follow the mulched path to discover these quirky gems; they will be on display through Aug. 19.

Portney's project stemmed from her enrollment in "Advanced Sculpture-Studio Projects," led by art professor Robin Hill.


Folk Music Jam Sessions — Pull out your fiddles, guitars, mandolins, penny whistles, pipes, flutes, squeezeboxes — you name it! — and join your fellow musicians during the lunch hour for a little bluegrass, old-time, blues, Celtic, klezmer and other world music. All skill levels welcome. Listeners, too! Noon Friday, Aug. 5 and 19, Wyatt Deck.

Plants from Down Under for Central Valley Gardens — About the many Australian and New Zealand plants that are well adapted to California gardens. 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, east end of the arboretum, at the edge of the parking lot behind the Borders bookstore in the Davis Commons shopping center, First Street and Russell Boulevard.

Native American Contemplative Garden — Honoring the Patwin people who lived at the arboretum site and the descendents who keep the Patwin traditions. 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

All programs are free and open to the public. More information: (530) 752-4880 or (for directions, click on “Plan Your Visit”).

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,