Arts

New Sounds for Sonnets

The UC Davis College of Letters and Science will be well represented when the Modern Language Association holds its annual convention in January. About 30 UC Davis faculty members and graduate students will present research at the gathering in San Francisco of the MLA, the leading organization for scholars of language and literature.

Remembering Music Professor Emeritus Albert McNeil

Albert J. McNeil, UC Davis professor emeritus of the Department of Music and an original faculty member and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies, died on Nov. 29. He was 102. At UC Davis from 1969 to 1990, McNeil transformed the University Chorus from an occasional course to a full public performance group and also created the Chamber Singers.

Book Informed by Alum’s Experience in Haiti Wins Maurice Prize

Kirk Colvin spent a year as U.S. Coast Guard attaché to the American Embassy during the final months of the brutal Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier regime in the 1980s. His time there informed his novel Bloodless Coup, winner of the Maurice Prize for Fiction. The $10,000 prize is awarded to UC Davis alumni and was established in 2005 by bestselling author John Lescroart in honor of his father.

Internationally Acclaimed Artists Head to UC Davis This Fall

The UC Davis Department of Art and Art History in the College of Letters and Science will host an extraordinary lineup of visiting artists in the coming months. Making art that explores contemporary issues related to race, the environment, gender and national identity, this year’s visitors will work closely with students and deliver public talks. This fall’s visiting artists are Jessica Segall, Xu Bing, Christina Quarles and Tarrah Krajnak.

Uncharted Territory

The culmination of two or more years and a lifetime of experience and exploration by UC Davis students, “The Arts & Humanities Graduate Exhibition” offers new ways to understand the world, ourselves and the issues we face. We spent time with three students from art studio, music and design to learn about their journeys of creating works that are in the exhibition.

Eating and Drinking and Singing

When he was a college student, Pierpaolo Polzonetti was hired by an opera-loving cookbook author to research composer Giuseppe Verdi’s favorite recipes. There weren’t any, but it led Polzonetti to a fascination with what he dubs “gastronomic signs” in opera. Many years later, the result is the recently published book Feasting and Fasting in Opera: From Renaissance Banquets to the Callas Diet by Polzonetti, the Jan and Beta Popper Professor of Music at UC Davis.

Wayne Thiebaud’s Profound Impact on UC Davis

When Wayne Thiebaud arrived at UC Davis in 1961, the university had been an independent campus for only two years. The art department was in an embryonic stage. Then in 1962, Thiebaud had a groundbreaking exhibition in New York and, during the decades that followed, his reputation only grew. Along the way he was joined by other art faculty who soon developed national reputations as well, and UC Davis became nearly as well-known for art as for agriculture.

Wangechi Mutu Will Give Thiebaud Lecture

Wangechi Mutu will give the Betty Jean and Wayne Thiebaud Endowed Lecture on May 12 at UC Davis. The 4:30 p.m. free talk at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is presented by the Department of Art and Art History.

How Can Fungi Roots Create a More Sustainable Planet?

UC Davis researchers studying mycelium, the white filament-like root structure of mushrooms, are making strides towards creating a more sustainable planet. Researchers found that by growing mycelium with a biomass, such as coffee grounds or left-over agricultural waste, they can create sustainable structures that can be turned into everything from biodegradable plastics and circuit boards to filters that remove harmful antibiotic and pesticide residues from water.