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Davis, California

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Art

Scholastically speaking, I don’t know that much about art. That’s due to the fact that I’m a lazy bum. Sure, I could have taken at least one art history class during my college career, but I didn’t. The reasons aren’t that good. I didn’t want to read a super long textbook with tiny print. I didn’t feel like memorizing crap. I didn’t want to fill up bluebooks with my newfound knowledge. It hurts your hand to write that much.

I realize school should be about learning for the sake of learning, not to simply get a grade, but I really didn’t feel like taking an elective I didn’t need. Sure, I could have enriched my mind, I could have left college feeling somewhat well-rounded, but no.

In the past, the universe has tried to shove art education down my throat. Due to 8,000 scheduling conflicts, my high school dumped me into the art history class, even though I hadn’t signed up for it. And I’m sure the class would have been interesting, but it was senior year, and I didn’t want to take classes with homework. Plus, the teacher was a little out there, so I’m not sure how much I would have learned.

My friends had told me that on the first day, the teacher would tell the class about how Jesus once appeared to her in a car. But she didn’t tell my class. Stuck in a class I didn’t sign up for and no Jesus story? I felt super gypped. I transferred out of the class the next day.

Because I’m ignorant about art, I also fear it. If you’ve seen the abnormally life-sized shoe salesman sculpture in the library, you know why I’m so scared – or if you’ve ever seen the scary looking mural on the Davis Enterprise building. I know it was made by children, but their motor skills must not have been that well-developed yet to create a mural so awful. If you haven’t seen the mural, wander downtown and look at it right now. I don’t care if you’re in class. Go now. You don’t know where the Enterprise building is? It’s on Third and G. If you’ve already seen the ugly mural before, go look at it again. Seriously, right now.

Now that you’ve all seen the ugly mural, you realize that I’m totally justified in my fear and ignorance. I probably would have traveled down this anti-art road for quite some time, but then Uncanny came along and saved my faith in the medium.

If you’re a freshman or you’re simply not in-the-know, Uncanny is a crazy year-end art show sponsored by the UC Davis art department. Uncanny has taken place at remote locations like abandoned canneries or fields in the middle of nowhere. These are perfect settings for art shows. Or California Chainsaw Massacres.

Uncanny understood that I had a few misgivings about art. Uncanny said, “Hey Rachel, art doesn’t have to be boring or scary, it can be really great and weird!”

For instance, at last year’s Uncanny, I noticed some dude playing a saw with a violin bow. But is it art? He let me try to play the saw. I still don’t know if that was art, but it was weird. A little later, I noticed a guy walking on stilts. He let me try walking on them. Again, I didn’t know if this was art. It felt more like circus camp. But still, art had figured a way back to my good side.

So right when I started having all of these warm and fuzzy feelings about art, I found out that Uncanny wasn’t happening this year. Boo on you, art department. I need my annual taste of free-for-all art, and it isn’t happening. You’ve really disappointed me. How else am I supposed to live out my bohemian fantasies? And just when we were starting to get well-acquainted.

 

Tell RACHEL SKYTT what campus art scares you the most at raskytt@ucdavis.edu.

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