'Race, Representation and Museums: A Conversation' Highlights Arts Events

Plenty to See and Do This Weekend, Next Week

Outsized Gold and dark floral composite artwork with shadow of person at exhibition at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
Photo taken last year at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art's exhibition of a wide-ranging exhibition highlighting artists of African descent in “Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art.” It was the first public stand-alone exhibition curated from the renowned Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection. A talk this week at the museum focuses on diversity in museum exhibitions. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • Plan for end-of-year concerts

Race, Representation and Museums: A Conversation

Thursday, May 25, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

A 2019 study by Williams College found that 85% of the artists featured at 18 major U.S. art museums were white. While some museums have instituted changes in response to the lack of inclusivity and representation, the entrenched systemic racism that is central to this issue requires a radical shift — the introduction of a new paradigm for how museums operate. This conversation features three dynamic leaders in the field who will address paths forward and the barriers that impede rapid and profound movement.

Joanne Jones-Rizzi is vice president of science, equity and education at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She advises museums nationally and internationally on culture, identity, anti-racism, exhibition development and community engagement. Jones-Rizzi is the co-creator and concept developer of the award-winning exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? (Science Museum of Minnesota, 2007) . She is the recipient of the 2018 Inclusion Award from the American Alliance of Museums.

A 2019 study by Williams College found that 85% of the artists featured at 18 major U.S. art museums were white.

Porchia Moore is department head and assistant professor of museum studies at the University of Florida in the School of Art + Art History. Her research investigates the role and function of race in museums and the cultural heritage sector. She is the critical race futurist for The Incluseum and co-author of Transforming Inclusion in Museums: The Power of Collaborative Inquiry. Dr Moore is a strategist, educator, and activist-scholar working in and with institutions that want to achieve deep inclusion.

Yolanda Moses is professor of anthropology, associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity and excellence, and executive director for conflict resolution at UC Riverside. Her research focuses on the broad question of the origins of social inequality in complex societies through the use of comparative ethnographic and survey methods. She is the co-author of How Real is Race: A Sourcebook on Race, Culture and Biology.

Organized by the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Museum patrons view art at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.
Museum patrons view art at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art during the "Young, Gifted and Black," exhibit last year, one of many exhibitions at the museum that has featured Black artists. The current exhibition features a Black, and other artists, of color. See sidebar story below for the "Henderson" exhibit, on view now, which features a faculty emeritus. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis).

Lynn Hershman Leeson in public lecture

The California Studio: Manetti Shrem Artist Residencies public lecture, May 25, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Wright Hall, Main Theatre

Lynn Hershman Leeson’s work investigates the relationship between humans and technology as it relates to identity, surveillance and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. She is internationally recognized for her pioneering contributions to the fields of video, film, artificial intelligence, and interactive and net-based media art.

Photo on phone in dark background
Lynn Hershman Leeson: Lynn Hershman Leeson, “Logic Paralyzes the Heart,” 2022. Courtesy of the artist; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; and Bridget Donahue, New York. (Photograph by Andrea Rossetti.)

Hershman Leeson taught in the UC Davis Department of Art and Art History from 1993 to 2004. She is the spring quarter spotlight artist in residence in The California Studio.

Organized by The California Studio in the Department of Art and Art History.

(Ethno)musicology Forum: 'Music Can Save Us' Rebecca Darlene Sager

May 25, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Room 266, Everson Hall

Rebecca Sager (Florida A & M) is exploring how the power of sound vibration, music, and transcendence can potentially alter the course of climate action in a project she provocatively titled “Music Can Save Us.” The seminar will include an overview of the project and an open discussion.

Light-complected woman in sunglasses in hat with landscape in background

Sager is ethnomusicologist and associate professor at Florida A&M. She is currently on sabbatical in California pursuing creative recovery and a passion project that melds many years of research and teaching about the power of music into more action on climate change. A UOP and UT Austin graduate, Rebecca did fieldwork on Haitian vodou singing in Cap Haïtien, then lived in Rome and Istanbul. As an independent scholar residing in Tallahassee, she pursued research entertainment, trained in kinetography Laban, and conducted comparative music/dance research using motion capture technology during a Rockefeller Fellowship through the Center for Black Music Research.

Sager brings a unique perspective to ethnomusicology in the United States thanks to participating in international collaborations and meetings, especially the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology and ICTM.


'Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985' at Manetti Shrem

Through July 15

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics, and to the story of California art.

The exhibition integrates paintings and films by Henderson that offer new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afro-futurism and surrealism. Challenging the protocols and propriety of art-making in the 20th century, these works depict scenes of anti-Black violence as well as utopian visions and questions of self-making. Curated by Sampada Aranke (Ph.D. ’13) and Dan Nadel.

Read more about Henderson and this exhibition here.

At Pitzer

Graduate Student Ensemble has 3rd annual concert

Friday, May 26, 5 – 6 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The Graduate Student Ensemble is excited to put on its third annual concert. The ensemble gives music graduate students a creative and social setting in which they can experiment with varied instrumentation and diverse repertoire. This academic year, the GSE collaborated with Ph.D. candidate and composer Joseph M. Vasinda to record pieces from his dissertation project. A selection of these pieces will appear on this year’s GSE Concert.

Musicians include Paul Engle, Joseph Donald Peterson, Emily Joy Sullivan, Devin Romines and Joseph Vasinda.

Jazz Combos of UC Davis

May 25, 5 – 7 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Student Recital: Jenny Landeta, flute

Tuesday, May 30, 12 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

with Karen Rosenak, piano

Student Recital: Natalie Laurie, flute

May 30, 3 – 4 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

The program includes Eugène Bozza: Jour d’été à la montagne pour quatre flûtes
with Christian Stan, Estevan Romero, and Nathan Haghgoo, Henri Dutilleux: Sonatine
with Karen Rosenak, piano, Hildegard von Bingen, transcr. Natalie Laurie: O quam mirabilis est for Alto Flute and Bowed Vibraphone with Maddie Karzin, vibraphone, Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in B Minor with Jason Chen, harpsichord, Ian Clarke: Maya with Samantha Murray, harp, and Stacey Pelinka, flute and Malia Mohrman: Song of Parting with Malia Mohrman, piano.

"The China Shop': Conversations Between Artists and Scientists

Tuesday, May 30, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

The China Shop is a new initiative led by Faculty Principal Investigator Jiayi Young (Department of Design) and Co-Principal Investigator Tim Hyde (Art Studio) that embeds resident artists and designers within scientific laboratories at UC Davis to conduct research and explore shared inquiries. Playing off the idea of “a bull in a china shop,” the two-year endeavor brings together four artist-scientist pairs creating opportunities to engage in transdisciplinary exchanges and a space to ask unconventional, radical and even impossible questions. Each residency includes a public conversation where the pair discusses their creative work, system of collaboration and works in progress. 

This project is funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Grant. Additional support comes from the College Letters and Science Dean’s Office, the Office of Research and the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.  China Shop is part of the Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) series and is published in ARTECA, a curated space for essential content linking the arts, sciences and technologies (MIT Press).

Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire film screening and discussion

Wednesday, May 31, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Filmed across the West and narrated by actor David Oyelowo, Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire takes viewers on a journey with the top experts in the nation to better understand fire. The film includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people and fire survivors, and asks us to reimagine our relationship with wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future.

Following the screening of the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring Trip Jennings, the film's director; Elizabeth Azzuz, Yurok Tribe member and treasurer of the Cultural Fire Management Council; Rick O'Rourke, Yurok Tribe member and cultural fire practitioner; and Emily Schlickman, UC Davis assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental design.

Organized by UC Davis Institute of the Environment. Co-sponsored by the Environmental and Climate Justice Hub, Climate Adaptation Research Center and the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Find more information and a full program listing here.

Concert Bands of UC Davis perform at Mondavi

Wednesday, May 31, 7 – 9 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center, $12 Students and Children, $24 Adults (Open Seating)

The Concert and Campus Bands of UC Davis will include two works by alumnus Olin Hannum in an end-of-year concert on May 31 at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Portrait in black and white of man in jacket and white shirt

The Campus Band will perform “Amabe” by Hannum (B.A., music, ’09), a native of Woodland, California, who attended Davis Senior High School. The work was inspired by the Japanese legend of a “merperson,” a mythical creature who appears to prophesize either a bountiful harvest or famine. The Concert Band will play Hannum’s “Odds and Unevens,” an homage to games of chance such as rolling the dice. 

Hammun, who was the director of UC Davis athletic bands from 2011 to 2016, is the director of athletic bands at Oregon State University, conducts the OSU Wind Symphony, and teaches music at the university.

The Concert Band will also perform Soo-Hyun Park’s “Festival Bong-Ji-Ga,” Lindsay Bronnenkant’s “Tarot” and Paule Maurice’s “Tableaux de Provence,” which will feature undergraduate student and saxophonist Dave Wang, winner of the Concert Band Concerto Competition.

The Campus Band’s program will include Amanda C.E. Aldridge’s “On Parade: Quick March” and Mat Campbell’s “A Thousand Inner Voices.” In addition, Brad Sparks, assistant director of the UC Davis Marching Band, will lead Clare Grundman’s “Kentucky 1800,” and undergraduate music major Natalie Laurie will conduct Shelley Hanson’s “Albanian Dance.”

Members of concert band with instruments in performance, wearing black with dark background

Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for students and youth. Tickets are available at the Mondavi Center Ticket Office in person or by calling 530-754-2787 between noon and 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Tickets are also available online at Tickets.MondaviArts.org. 

Find more information and purchase tickets here

Garden Tour Plein Air Paintings at the Pence

May 25 – June 25, reception June 9, 6 – 7 p.m.

As an essential part of our Garden Tour event on May 7th, seven artists participated in creating distinct views of the selected gardens. Artist Kathleen Gamper, Barbara Smithson, Raquel Cox, Marie-Therese Brown, Sophie Banspach, Allison Spreadborough, and Teresa Steinbach-Garcia worked in different media, from oil and acrylic paint to watercolors. From close-up views of a few plants to paintings that capture a wider panorama, each artist created a unique vision of the homeowner’s garden.

Katherine Lemke Waste’s watercolor Along the Fireline, which served as the cover image for Garden Tour, is also included in the display upstairs at the Pence.

Find more information here.

Coming Up

Mental Health Break with Therapy Fluffies is back with new date

Thursday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum

Multi-colored dog received attention from young woman

Take a mental health break and sit down with a therapy fluffy to draw their portrait. Borrow a page from Roy De Forest’s work and incorporate googly eyes. Get a little silly. Boop a floof and feel less stressed. Plus, learn about on-campus resources from SHARED, a club aimed at supporting the physical and mental health of UC Davis Aggies.

Special thanks to Lend A Heart Animal-Assisted Therapy.

Musics of the World

June 1, 2 – 4 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free

Performers include Gamelan, Mariachi, Bluegrass and Old Time String Band and Samba School 

(Ethno)musicology Forum: 'Examining Speech and Song Surrogacy in the Yorùbá Dùndún Talking Drum' — Kristina Knowles

June 1, 4 – 5:30 pm, Room 266, Everson Hall

The Yorùbá dùndún drum serves dual purposes as a musical instrument and speech surrogate. This talk shares a series of interdisciplinary studies that explore the dùndún’s ability to acoustically represent Yorùbá speech and song and potential factors that may contribute to the successful decoding of drum messages. The first half of the talk will focus on results from a set of acoustic analyses conducted on a corpus of Yorùbá speech and song excerpts and their representation on the dùndún, focusing on microstructural correlations in pitch and rhythmic features. The second half will discuss a cross-cultural behavioral study exploring the role of individual differences in language and musical expertise on the effectiveness of speech and song surrogacy recognition.

Kristina Knowles is a music theorist with research specialties in rhythm and meter, music and time, music theory pedagogy, 20th-century music, and music cognition. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music theory and music cognition at ASU, and has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences in the fields of music theory and music cognition, including the Society for Music Theory, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and the European Music and Analysis Conference. Her most recent publications include chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Time (2022) and Expanding the Canon: Black Composers in the Music Theory Classroom (2023) and an article in Contemporary Music Review (2022) on rhythm and meter in works by George Crumb. Currently, she is working on several multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects as well as a larger project examining experiences of time in music.

Valente Lecture: Olin Hannum on writing for wind ensemble 

June 1, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Recital Hall. Ann E. Pitzer Center

Olin Hannum (B.A. music ‘09) is the Associate Director of Bands at Oregon State University. In that capacity he oversees and directs all aspects of the Athletic Bands program, including the Oregon State University Marching Band, Rhythm and Beavs travel band, Basketball Bands, and other ensembles. In addition to the Athletic Bands program, Hannum conducts and directs the Wind Symphony, and teaches other courses in music.

Hannum is an active composer, with works for wind ensemble, brass ensemble, and various solo instruments. His works have been performed around the country, and are published through Murphy Music Press. In addition to his composition work, Hannum is a sought-after arranger for marching ensemble. His arrangements have been performed by competitive and non-competitive groups at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels across the west coast.

Hannum is a brass player, holding a degree in French horn performance from UC Davis. He has notably appeared with the Golden State Wind Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Wind Ensemble. In addition to ensembles, he holds recording and live credits from a performing career in the Sacramento and Bay Areas.

Hannum is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and serves as the chapter sponsor for the Theta chapter. He is a member of CBDNA and NAFME.

Art social media of the week

Diptych of art pieces from DeYoung Museum

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Arts Blog Editor: Karen Nikos-Rose, UC Davis News and Media Relations, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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