2017 Arts Season Takes Off

Photo of UC Davis professor Kurt Rohde's opera
"Death with Interruptions" by Professor Kurt Rohde

The academic year and arts season at UC Davis is kicking off. Here’s a look at the College of Letters and Science resources and the first offering in each for the fall. All exhibitions and talks and many concerts are free.

Sign up for the monthly Arts Newsletter to keep up to date on our events.

design museumTHE DESIGN MUSEUM mounts exhibitions on fashion, jewelry, furniture, architecture and all things connected to the mission of the only comprehensive academic design department in the UC system. “Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway,” Sept. 18 – Nov. 12, is a multidisciplinary art installation created by design faculty members Glenda Drew and Ann Savageau and Sacramento State faculty Valerie Constantino, that explores and celebrates the biology, beauty and bounty of the Pacific Flyway. 

THE JAN SHREM AND MARIA MANETTI SHREM MUSEUM OF ART features a wide range of art exhibitions and events and serves as venue for speakers and other events from many academic areas of the university. Through Dec. 28 the museum is revisiting composer John Cage’s “33 1/3,” a work for multiple record players and records which premiered at UC Davis in 1969. 

ART AND ART HISTORY brings artists, curators and writers from around the world for an engaging series of presentations. It starts Oct. 5 with Samara Golden whose installations melding sculpture, projected video, live video and sound were in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and shown at MoMA PS1, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and the Hammer Museum Biennial. 

gorman museum THE C.N. GORMAN MUSEUM collects and exhibits contemporary art by Native American and other indigenous people. Many works recently added to the museum collection will make up “Recent Acquisitions from the Northwest” Oct. 3 - Dec 8.

TANA (Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer) is a partnership between the Chicana/o Studies Program and the Woodland community both teaching and showing art. “Special Editions,” Oct. 14 – Dec. 11 features prints created by TANA artists and visiting artists, including Francisco Delgado, Amy Diaz-Infante, Ruby Chacón, Ricardo Fuentealba-Fabio, Juan Carrillo, Selin Coleri and José Moreno. 

THE RELIGIOUS STUDIES PROGRAM has teamed up with the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts for the second year for a series of performances. The first “Kudiyattam,” Nov. 3 and 4, is a 2000-year-old form of Sanskrit drama.

THE UC DAVIS HUMANITIES INSTITUTE will launch the Human Rights Film Festival Oct. 19 –21 in community and campus locations in Davis and Sacramento. 

THE CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM Visiting Writers Series has invited writers who explore their Native American, African American, Sri Lankan and Hmong heritage. The series starts Nov. 8 with Danez Smith, a self-described “Black, queer, poz writer and performer,” current National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and author of Don’t Call Us Dead and Boy.

THEATRE AND DANCE produces classics and time-tested works along with brand new and experimental pieces created and directed by faculty, students and guest artists. The season starts Nov. 9 with “Gibraltar” by Octavio Solis. In the play, a man searching for his runaway wife and a woman whose husband disappeared in a boating accident share stories played out in the dreamlike landscape of memory. Kent Nicholson, director of musical theatre at Playwrights Horizons in New York, directs. 

MUSIC offers dozens of concerts from symphonic to Javanese percussion to experimental. “Death With Interruptions,” Nov. 11, is a recent one-act opera with music by Professor Kurt Rohde. It recounts what happens when death, falls in love with the principal cellist of a local orchestra and fails to claim his life.  Conducted by Matilda Hofman, it features Nikki Einfeld, soprano; Daniel Cilli, baritone; Joe Dan Harper, tenor; Leighton Fong, cello; the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Volti chorus. 

CINEMA AND DIGITAL MEDIA holds a film festival each spring at the Varsity Theater in Davis. 

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist for the College of Letters and Science