Snaking through the Grand Canopy of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, a sculpture of interlocking foam rings greeted thousands of visitors who gathered to celebrate the museum’s inaugural weekend. Designed by UC Davis alumna Lisa Rybovich Crallé, the giant ribbon took center stage at the museum’s opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Crallé, who describes her sculpture as a form of “architectural jewelry,” becomes the first of many artists to make use of the canopy’s permeable surface, an inviting patchwork of light and shadow that connects the Manetti Shrem Museum to its surroundings.
The opening ceremony capped an exciting weekend of events, which included a preview event for faculty and an “all nighter” reception for UC Davis students that stretched early into Sunday morning. Building on the Manetti Shrem Museum’s participatory ethos, students played William T. Wiley’s Gong (1986) and rode “The Pedal Theory,” a colorful bike sculpture designed and built by a group of Sacramento City College arts students. On Friday, November 18 from 3–6 PM, the Museum invites current and retired UC Davis staff to join the festivities at an open house and reception.
Museum visitors can learn more about the university’s rich heritage of experimental art in Out Our Way, an exhibition of twelve artists who taught in the UC Davis Department of Art, founded in 1958. Wayne Thiebaud, age 95, is one of the artists prominently treated in the exhibition. Recently, Thiebaud donated 72 of his own works to the Manetti Shrem Museum’s permanent collection, preserving a vital link to the university’s past.
“Nearly 60 years ago, Richard L. Nelson, the founding chair of the UC Davis art department, allowed — no, even encouraged — the artist teachers he hired to challenge and push one another,” said Rachel Teagle, founding director of the Manetti Shrem Museum and co-curator of the exhibition with guest curator Jessica Hough. “These artists were incredibly different from each other, artistically and philosophically. Today, some are internationally recognized, others recently rediscovered. But each was an essential ingredient to the intellectual cross-pollination that nurtured this creative community.”
Three other exhibitions are currently on display:
A Pot for a Latch
This participatory sculptural installation is inspired by the outdoor market booths of artist Pia Camil’s hometown, Mexico City, as well as indigenous gifting economies and modernist art and design.
Hoof & Foot: A Field Study
Bay Area artist Chris Sollars has created a large-scale video installation highlighting the symbiotic relationship of learning between animals and students on the UC Davis campus.
SO – IL / Museum as Process
This exhibition consists of photography, graphics, and models that illustrate and interpret the process of creating the Manetti Shrem Museum. In partnership with the Chancellor’s Colloquium Distinguished Speaker Series, Florian Idenburg will give a lecture on December 8 entitled “Museum Building in Unpredictable Times.” Idenburg is the architect of the Manetti Shrem Museum and founding partner of the the SO-IL architecture studio. To register to attend this event, please RSVP here.
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is free and open to the public.
Hours of operation:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 12–6 PM
Thursday: 12-10 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11 AM–5 PM
-Michael Accinno, Graduate Student Researcher and Ph.D. Candidate in Musicology