Weekender: Music, Voice, Writing, Acting Up For Grabs

On Saturday, join art historian and classical archaeologist Alexandra Sofroniew for the start of Pence Gallery’s Art History Lecture Series. Homemade Votive Offerings: Giving Gifts to the Gods in Ancient Italy will discuss how Ancient Greeks and Romans gave many different kinds of objects as votive offerings to their gods.

‘Opera 2021: Hopes and Challenges’

Thursday, Jan. 14, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register

Opera companies around the world have shuttered their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand challenges and hopes for the world of opera and hopes in the present crisis and in the foreseeable future, Pierpaolo Polzonetti, professor of music at UC Davis, will interview the internationally recognized director of opera Francesca Zambello, and moderate a roundtable discussion including orchestra conductor and UC Davis professor Christian Baldini, and two professional opera singers: Malcolm MacKenzie, who also teaches at UC Davis, and Brett Polegato. This event is co-sponsored by the Jan and Beta Popper endowed professorship in opera.

To learn more about the event, go here. The Arts Blog will carry a story about this event, too.

UC Davis music: MFA performances postponed

'New Words and Music with Voice' will now premiere in February

Worlds collide as UC Davis graduate students in music and the creative writing program come together to bring us a performance. This concert will showcase collaborative works among five creative writing MFA students and four doctoral students in music composition and theory. The noon concert will also include music, theatre and dance students performing, as well as music faculty. The prerecorded concert will be shown on the Department of Music Youtube channel and available for viewing after its premiere, Feb. 4, 12:05 p.m to 1 p.m. (This event had previously been scheduled for this week). This is the third year of the collaboration. Originally scheduled for spring 2020, the concert was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For more information, click here 

Equity in Museums talk at the Crocker

Thursday, Jan. 14, 5 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register.

The realities of racial and social inequity within museums and cultural institutions have long been discussed in the field. As an institution, the Crocker has made a commitment to examine these issues internally and in the Museum’s relationship to the community. This discussion series seeks to open the conversation up to the wider public through attendee participation, featuring new panelists from the cultural sector each month. Join the talk for dialogue on acknowledging exclusive practices and realities in museums, and solutions for furthering equal access, opportunity, and engagement with the arts for all. Visit Museums are Not Neutral to learn more about "the myth of museum neutrality".

This program will be recorded and available at a later day, and will last approximately 60 minutes.

For more detail and to learn about the panelists, go here.

SFMOMA talk: art, insights, memories

Thursday, Jan. 14, 5 p.m., free, via Zoom. Register.

Tune into the virtual event for more than 49 minutes of art, insights, and mem­ories at David Park: 7×7. In this online program, seven distinguished guests will have the (virtual) floor for seven minutes each to reflect on a work by the late David Park (1911–1960), best known as the originator of Bay Area Figurative Art.


  • Helen Park Bigelow, daughter of David Park; author of the memoir David Park, Painter: Nothing Held Back
  • Nancy Boas, author of the biography David Park: A Painter’s Life
  • Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, daughter of artist Richard Diebenkorn
  • Corey Keller, curator of photography, SFMOMA; exhibition catalog contributor
  • Francis Mill, artist; gallerist at Hackett Mill, representing the estate of David Park
  • Belinda Tate, executive director, Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts
  • Wayne Thiebaud, artist, UC Davis professor of art emeritus
  • Janet Bishop (moderator), Thomas Weisel Family Chief Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture, SFMOMA; lead curator of David Park: A Retrospective

More information here.

Sacramento’s B Street Theatre virtual concerts continue

As part of their “Six Feet Apart” series, B Street Theatre is hosting virtual concerts featuring local, national and international musicians create an intimate, virtual concert just for you. Following the concert, there will be a Q&A with the artist. Register here.

Dates and artists include:

Jan. 15 — Laurie Rubin. Classical singer. Author. Educator. Advocate. A young mezzo-soprano whose voice is darkly complex and mysteriously soulful, and of whose memoir “Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight” it has been said “should be required reading in that it underscores the triumph of the human spirit."

Jan. 22 — Samuel James. Roots music. Storytelling. The Blues. I am not sure what you can label Samuel James. Rare. Special. Let's leave it at that.

Jan. 29 — Artist to be announced!

Feb. 5 — RATBOYS. Pop. Punk. Poetic. Powerful. Hear Chicago's critically acclaimed Ratboys' re-imagining of Americana on Six Feet Apart.

Find out more about their series on B Street Theatre’s website. 

UC Davis professor kicks off the Art History Lecture Series at Pence Gallery lecture offers art history, archeology insight

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m, free, via Zoom. Register

Join art historian and classical archeologist Alexandra Sofroniew for the start of Pence Gallery’s Art History Lecture Series. Homemade Votive Offerings: Giving Gifts to the Gods in Ancient Italy will discuss how Ancient Greeks and Romans gave many different kinds of objects as votive offerings to their gods. Left outside of shrines and temples millennia ago, tens of thousands of these dedications have now been excavated by archaeologists, allowing us to glimpse how the inhabitants of early Italy communicated with the divine. So, how does one choose the perfect gift for a goddess? Was it better to go with shop-bought or homemade?

More details here.

Coming up 

UC Davis Global Tea Initiative Colloquium 

Thursday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m., free, via Zoom. Register

Lisa See, the author of a bestselling novel in which tea plays a central role, will give the keynote address at the sixth annual colloquium for the UC Davis Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science. See’s keynote address at 9:30 a.m. will kick off an all-day, online colloquium on Thursday, Jan. 21, titled “The Stories We Tell: Myths, Legends, and Anecdotes About Tea,” which features scholars from around the globe. The online event is free and open to all, and will include a wide range of presentations, such as tea cultivation in California, tea and Soviet identity, tea and spirituality in Vietnam, tea in restoration England and the tea collection at London’s Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Presentations will be made remotely from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Great Britain, Colombia and around the United States.

Read more here. 

Tea plants in china
A man tends to tea plants in China (Courtesy photo)

Shinkoskey Noon Concerts return next Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 21, 12:05 p.m. to 1 p.m., free, via UC Davis Music’s Youtube Channel.

Violinist Chase Spruill has gained an international reputation as a performer of contemporary music, interpreting minimalist masters such as Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Henryk Gorecki. 

In 2020, BBC Music Magazine hailed his debut solo album of the music of British composer Michael Nyman, citing that “Spruill plays with great spirit… and a great sense of presence” and calling him, “an engaging and convincing advocate.” This same year, Capital Public Radio called him, “a breath-taking performer” with MusicWeb International highlighting that “Spruill plays with fire and yet sensitivity… and with absolutely secure rhythmic foundations.” 

He was a core faculty member with the nationally celebrated not-for-profit organization Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, from 2012 to 2017, as well as a visiting professor of violin and orchestral studies at Wheaton College in from 2015 to 2017. Dedicated to exploring potential intersections between music and social justice, Spruill returned to his hometown in Vacaville to develop and run the music program at the new school Sierra Vista K–8 where he remains on faculty. He’s collaborated with other notable artists such as Kronos Quartet, composer/electric guitarist Steven Mackey (a UC Davis music alum ‘78), and BAFTA-nominated composer Brian Reitzell, releasing music from the critically acclaimed television series Hannibal. His recordings appear on the Philip Glass record label Orange Mountain Music and on Supertrain Records.

More information about the program will be released here

Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank presents: Small Steps

In Small Steps, Skip Powers is fed up with the disappointment-filled world of gay online dating, so he volunteers to go to Mars. The National Association of Space Astronauts says, “Sure. You’ll do. You leave in a week.” Skip thinks he’s ready to leave the planet, but he’s a little less prepared when the Love of His Life tries to keep him on earth. This comedy about what it means to attempt to live your life in the pursuit of great things spans a million years and 55 million miles. Written by Davis native Briandaniel Oglesby, the play is being presented by Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank through the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance. The cast includes alumni Nate Challis and Charlie Lavaroni. This production is presented in collaboration with Bike City Theater Company. This performance is free and will be live-streamed from Jan. 21-23 at 6 p.m. Register here

For details about winter 2021 events, visit here. 

Art Social Media of the Week 

We came across this tweet from the Pence Gallery reminding us to check out their new exhibition that reflects on last year and welcomes the new one.

Pence Gallery tweet

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