UC Davis Artists Will Make a Mark With Three Exhibitions

Julian Tan
Word by Julian Tan, MFA

UC Davis master of fine art students will be a major presence in Sacramento during May and June. “Ruminant Ground,” at Beatnik Studios starting May 6 and “having happened” at Verge Center for the Arts opening June 3 will feature work by 16 MFA candidates in the nationally-acclaimed program.

These artists studying in the Department of Art and Art History work in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, time-based media, painting, drawing, print-making, installation, performance and ceramic sculpture, all motivated by equally varied sets of research questions. The artists are from throughout the U.S., as well as China and Great Britain.

Venues will offer wider exposure 

This will be the first time both exhibitions have been held off campus and in Sacramento. The move (necessitated by the closing of the UC Davis Nelson Gallery in preparation for the opening of Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum in the fall) provides an opportunity for the graduate students’ work to be seen by a wider audience.

“As artists, we turn obstacles into opportunities,” said Robin Hill, art professor and graduate advisor. “This was certainly the case when we were faced with not having a space for our MFA thesis exhibition on campus. We are so lucky to have landed soundly at the Verge Center and are super excited to hold our second first year exhibition at Beatnik Studios. Our MFA candidates will experience a new audience for their work in an urban environment. These tethers in the local community are becoming increasingly important in a climate of community-engaged scholarship, and we are excited about this opportunity to make stronger connections with Sacramento.”

“Ruminant Ground” will include works by first year students Arielle Rebek, Benjamin Ehrmann, Faith Sponsler, Henry Bell, Mike Cole, Muzi Rowe, Vincent Pachecho and Yuen Chan.

Artists in “having happened,” the final thesis exhibition for second-year candidates, are Anna Davidson, Brett Thomas, Jeff Mayry, Julian Tan, Kristin Hough, Sarah Chan, Zach Clark and Angela Willetts.

The department is also mounting an additional second-year exhibition at Embark Gallery in San Francisco (May 13 – June 11.)

The UC Davis MFA in studio art, established in 1969, is a two-year, critically engaged studio program that provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary study in the visual arts. As part of a small tight- knit community, students explore a wide range of media and approaches to studio practice.

Times and places

All events free and open to the public.

“Ruminant Ground,” UC Davis first year MFA candidates, May 6 – 26
Beatnik Studios, 723 S St., Sacramento. Opening reception 6 – 9 p.m. Friday, May 6. A joint event with UC Davis creative writing students will be held from 7 – 9 p.m. May 17. The gallery is open Tuesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. Call 916-400-4281 for an appointment. Free.

“having happened,” 2016 MFA thesis exhibition. June 3 – 18. Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento. Opening reception 5- 8 p.m. Friday, June 3. Center hours Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. The center will also be open from 6 to 9 p.m. June 11 for Sacramento’s Second Saturday gallery crawl.

“The Cocktail Party Effect,” selected work by UC Davis 2016 second year MFA candidates. May 13 – June 11. Embark Gallery is in the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, 2 Marina Blvd., Building B, Suite 330, San Francisco. Opening reception 5 – 9 p.m. Friday, May 13. The exhibition can be seen on five consecutive Saturdays (May 14, 21 and 28 and June 4 and 11) noon to 5 p.m.

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science

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