- Free and open to the public
Lunchable is a feature of the UC Davis Arts Blog that recommends art exhibitions or other attractions that can be viewed during a short lunch break or other short periods of leisure time.
Members of the UC Davis art community have come together to deliver messages of hope and healing through their artwork this month at the Arboretum. UC Davis MFA design students Edward Whelan and Niloufar Abdolmeki created their own temporary art installations in support of the Design Museum’s exhibition, “Guardians: Spirits of Protection,” created by Ann Savageau, professor emeritus of design at UC Davis. That indoor display explores the relationship between tragedy and design and remind people that in the face of adversity, there is the power and opportunity to thrive.
On display through April 30, this exhibit takes that theme outdoors, and gives everyone a chance to take a beautiful stroll through the Arboretum and Public Garden, view inspirational art and enjoy nature. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Created by by students Whelan and Abdolmeki, with Savageau’s help, their exhibit includes a reflection bridge, poetry path and dakhil, an ancient pre-Islamic Iranian tradition. The installations explore feelings of loss, grief, hope and resilience. They are meant to inspires sentiments of comfort and unity within the community.
The poetry path, created by Whelan, displays on slate tiles poetry written by community members. In February 2022, Whelan began collecting poetry written by the UC Davis community through a website. He collected more than 50 poems in different languages such as Banglo, Chinese and Turkish. Then, he used a laser cutter to inscribe the collected poems on slate tiles and installed them on the lawn north of Lake Spafford.
Additionally, Whelan printed and laminated the poems and installed them on sign holders around the Arboretum that display a QR code. The QR codes allow people to visit the website and read the poems of other contributors. During the day, the installation is backlit by the sun and the fabric is dynamic when it blows in the wind.
Additional poetry submissions are being accepted through April 18 via the exhibition’s website.
A table outfitted with pens and fabric invites people to participate in Whelan’s second art installation on display. If you are walking through, write messages, quotations and wishes and contribute to the numerous yellow squares of fabric blowing brightly in the breeze.
Abdolmeki’s contribution to the outdoor exhibition is a dakhil. The art exhibit installation is based on an ancient pre-Islamic Iranian tradition where people write their wishes and prayers on strips of cloth, which are then are tied to the tombs of saints or to sacred trees. Numerous multi-colored ribbons hang from a tree in in front of Lake Spafford. Visitors can write their wishes and hopes on the ribbons.
The art installations are testament of the unity and support people can find in each other in times of hardships. Community members are encouraged to find comfort and healing through art.
Next week, read an Arts Blog Lunchable about the Design Museum exhibit, which is a bit of a walk from the arboretum. Enjoy!
Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog editor, firstname.lastname@example.org