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Trading sticks and racquets for brushes, clay, charcoal

By Dave Jones on January 31, 2013 in University News


WHAT: The Art of Athletes, works by intercollegiate student-athletes


  • Friday, Feb. 1 — 5-7p.m. (reception with the artists, 5:30-7)
  • Saturday, Feb. 2 — noon-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 3 — 1-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 4 — 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

WHERE: Basement Gallery, Art Building

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

SLIDE SHOWS from the first three exhibitions:

More Exhibitions.

By Dateline staff

Amanda Marinac is good with a stick when she plays field hockey and good with a brush when she paints — just another example of a UC Davis student-athlete-artist.

This Friday through Monday (Feb. 1-4), Marinac and several dozen other Aggies, all intercollegiate student-athletes, will show their artistic side in the fourth annual The Art of Athletes exhibition.

Submissions are still coming in, but the organizers expect around 40 works in a variety of media, including oil pastels and colored pencil, photography, ceramics, charcoal and steel.

And while all of the artists are student-athletes — in sports such as tennis, volleyball, track and field, swimming and diving, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer — not all of them are art majors. The participants, in fact, come from all four of UC Davis’ undergraduate colleges, where the athlete-artists are majoring in such disciplines as civil engineering, film studies, environmental science and management, exercise biology, art studio and design.

The four-day show, free and open to the public, is scheduled to open this evening (Feb. 1) in the Basement Gallery of the Art Building. Hours are 5 to 7 p.m., with a reception from 5:30 to 7, during which time you can meet the artists. See box for the complete schedule.

Marinac, a senior from Vista (San Diego County), has been an exhibitor every year since The Art of Athletes began, in 2009 — and this year she is the student coordinator. She is a communication major with a professional writing minor, and the only art class she ever took was in high school, Beginning Art.

In her artist statement, she explains her decision to paint: “I was able to achieve flow … fully immersed in a task, forgetting the outside world.

“It was similar to the feeling I got playing sports, but peaceful. Art provided me with happiness and a different sense of security I’ve never had before. I focused the stress of the unknown on art. I created pieces I never thought capable of doing and found myself gravitating towards painting, first with tempera paint and later with acrylic.”

Painting is a hobby of hers, a guilty pleasure, she wrote. “I do it when I want to escape. It gives me balance.”

Marinac said she tends to paint landscapes, in particular the beach, from photos of places she has visited. “I modify colors and objects in the photo depending on what I feel looks good,” she said. “But I use those photographs as a guiding point.

“And I tend to paint beaches because I grew up in North County San Diego and spent a lot of time at the beach for the first 18 years of my life. I love the beach more than any place in the world. It can be any beach. North, south, east or west, or even in another country.”

Belize, for example, where she spent New Year’s — a trip that inspired one of the pieces that she plans to show in this year’s The Art of Athletes.

“A beach is an outlet for me. It calms me down, it makes me happy. It allows me to escape when things in life get tough. When I paint beach scenes, I get the same feeling I have when I’m there.”

She likely needs the tranquility, with the schedule she keeps:

  • Her studies.
  • Practice and games with the field hockey team.
  • Part-time jobs at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center (at the front desk and as a tour group leader) and Burgers & Brew.
  • And an internship at KCRA-TV in Sacramento.

How does she do it? “I really don’t know. I've always chosen to be busy and I don't know life any other way. My mind is always going a million miles a minute. I'm always wanting to get involved, and I just want to do as many things as possible while I can.

“I love meeting people from all walks of life. I didn't want the excuse of playing a sport to be a reason why I can't work or can't do an internship.

“I want the same opportunities that every student has here. I just work hard and manage my time as best as I can to do all the things that I want to do.”

And one of those things is painting. “I paint a lot,” she said.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,