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Friday, October 22, 2021

Get to know artists of UC Davis

Glancing at the cold concrete floors smothered white with plaster and wooden chairs that are inked deep with layers of oil paint, you can only fathom what type of madness and art explorations are invented here.

The art department at UC Davis has a vibrant and talented group of students who are working hard everyday to actively capture abstract visions through concrete mediums such as drawing, photography, sculpture, printmaking, oil and acrylic paintings and much more. Each individual is a new story, a unique execution, a new creation.

Here are some students who are taking on the daily life of an aspiring artist:

Brandon Tucker

Alumnus, fall 2010

What is it like being an art studio graduate?

I have gained a different outlook on life. I also learned to get my work out to the public.

How would you describe your style and interest?

My preferred medium is oil on canvas. My recent interest is with muscular figures playing football. The idea of strength and motion in a single structure fascinates me.

What is your future plan?

I plan to go to grad school and complete a Master of Fine Arts program. I would like to teach art at a college. On the side, I want to open a non-profit organization for youth. This program with help kids with education along with teaching them sports and art.

Liam O’Donnell

Senior

What’s your favorite part about the art studio program?

Art is all about requiring some hands-on skills that you can apply – you’re kind of making all these little additions to the tricks of the trade and toolbox.

What are you currently working on?

It’s just a quick sketch on the back of a Trader Joe’s paper bag. I kind of work on what I find – any solid surface can be something to work on if you use it right.

Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

It’s all from my head. I used to ride the bus a lot, back home in Oakland, and there’s always this cast of characters that I see. A lot of my favorite comic books feature animals as people, and it’s a sort of mix and match and [I’m going] after that tradition. More than anything, I’m trying to figure out a space on how to deal with perspective and putting these characters that I draw into composition and environment that aren’t isolated and solitary.

Aldo Chanez-Gracia

Senior

What’s your typical day like in the studio?

My typical day is always changing. But typically, you go to class, work on some painting or drawing and try to find some way to find food when I’m broke, come back to the studio and try to work some more.

What’s your favorite part about this program?

I like being able to work on this stuff and think about my art and talk to people who are interested in the same thing as I am. I am trying to grow as an artist in the art major. I think just taking classes with different working artists has given me a different perspective and helps me think about how I’m contributing – how I can or will – to the art world. That’s something I didn’t really think about when I first came here.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m just working on this painting. I came up with it from another painting I saw on a postcard. It’s just a study of it and at the same time, adding my own flair. But, it’s currently in the process right now.

Laine Bauer

Junior, art studio major

What is your favorite part about this program?

I like the freedom we have with our projects and classes. For the most part, the teachers let you be free with what you’re doing. So, instead of having to study the Krebs cycle or write bazillion term papers, you kind of get to do what you really want or how you feel.

What are you currently working on?

This sculpture is about us learning the process of taking a small-scale model or design and being able to blow it up in scale. We started it out with masking tape and apply it to wood and later on, chicken wire and plaster.

Tracy Kuwatani

Junior

What is your favorite part about this program?

The facilities. I’m in digital photography and there [are] so many great uses like Photoshop downstairs and I love it. I have class Monday through Thursday beginning with art every morning. So, I wake up in the morning and get to work. I get really dirty and sit through class with wood chips all over me.

What are your plans for this art piece/sculpture you’re working on?

It’s not really personal yet. It’s just an assignment right now, so we all have our miniature and we all add on our personal feelings later. So far, I want to make it like a bird form so I started gathering sticks for it.

Alejandra Perez

Senior

What is your favorite part about the program?

How close-knit everything is, how hands-on everything is. The professors are always happy and quick to help the students as long as you make the effort to confide in them.

What are you currently working on?

This is our printing lab for lithography. Every winter quarter we have professor Tim Berry come from the San Francisco Art Institute. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve done woodcut and color reduction but this is so old school and that’s what so great about it. I wanted to work big, he warned us that these are pretty big stones and I said I could handle it but I can, but it’s a bit of a shock. We use this pulley. There’s nothing like grinding a 150-pound stone in the morning.

You can check out student artwork at the Basement Gallery or around the art building on campus.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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