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Davis, California

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Museum triumvirate

There are many things about the UC Davis campus that even seniors don’t know about. For example, did you know the university funds three major museums, all located on campus? The three museums include the Design Museum, The C.N. Gorman Museum and the Richard L. Nelson Gallery.

Design Museum

This Fall, the Design Museum will be in its new home at Cruess Hall instead of its old home, Walker Hall, where it had previously showed exhibits for nearly 35 years. The new location has 1,000 square feet of space, perfect for showcasing even more collections for the next 35 years.

The Design Museum’s exhibitions often show how design in technology can make significant changes in the environments we are in every day. For the upcoming school year, the museum has a very full schedule. Its doors will open on Oct. 10 for an installation done by Robert Gaylor titled Gyre, A Grand Tragedy of the Commons.

Gaylor is a former engineer who incorporates day-to-day consumer products in his exhibitions.

In Winter, starting Jan. 23, blankblank, a Northern Californian design firm that works with numerous types of artists in producing limited edition art, will be curating Need and Desire, Work. Rob Zinn, the founder of blankblank describes the show as one of ambiguities. The show will also include details of the process through several interviews, photographs, models and sketches. In Spring, there will be two student artwork exhibitions; The Design by Design, which is a student competition, and the Design MFA Graduation Exhibition.

The C.N. Gorman Museum

The C.N. Gorman Museum is the oldest museum on campus, founded in 1973 by the department of Native American Studies, and is located in 1316 Hart Hall. It is named after Carl Nelson Gorman, former UC Davis faculty who was a WWII code talker, a Navajo artist, a cultural historian and a Native American advocate.

“The Gorman Museum is a very unique space,” said Veronica Passalacqua, the curator of the Gorman museum. “It is one of the few museums in the nation that focus on exhibiting and working with contemporary Native American and indigenous artists. We are positioned to really push the boundaries of viewer’s expectations in terms of political dialogue and artistic innovation in contemporary media.”

The first show of the year for the Gorman museum will be on Sept. 29, titled Double Vision, which will last until Dec. 2. The exhibition is a collaboration with the Great Plains Art Museum at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The exhibition aims to show a collection of photographs paying homage to the Bison Nation while subtly presenting how the expansionist view coupled together with consumerism culminated in their eventual massacre.

On Jan. 10, the museum will be featuring the works of famed artist, Ruthe Blalock Jones. The focus of the show will be on Native American women and dance. For Spring, Sonya Kelliher-Combs will have a solo exhibition in which organic media such as walrus intestines and beeswax are used to create startling works.

Richard L. Nelson Gallery

Opened everyday except Friday, the Richard L. Nelson Gallery hosts a large quantity, as well as variety, of artworks. The museum is located in Nelson Hall, next to the Wyatt Pavilion and adjacent to Old Davis Road. It was named after the first chair of the UC Davis art department.

The Nelson Gallery has a vast collection of art which contains over 4,000 works of art of many diverse material as well as origin. The Nelson also manages the campus outdoor public art collection, including the Arneson Eggheads series.

“The main thing I want students to know is that we exist!” said Reynold Pritikin, Nelson museum curator. “We’ve been around since 1976, so please come by. Students can see really cool old fashioned art like the Rembrandt and 2500 year old Chinese vessels but also amazing stuff by younger artists.”

The first exhibition of the school year will be by Chico MacMurtrie, who specializes in computer driven kinetic sculptures. It will be titled Birds: A Kinetic Installation.

“It’s a really interesting exhibit,” said Maverick Bohn, a senior who is the desk clerk at the Nelson. “The permanent collection is especially amazing and has artwork all the way back to the 1800s.”

On Jan. 12, “Three Painters: Peter Edlund, Leslie Shows and Fred Tomaselli” will start. It will exhibit new paintings by the three acclaimed artists mentioned above. All three of the artists’ work is influenced by nature. And finally, in June, there is the annual graduate show for students getting their MFAs. Pritikin strongly urges students to come by the museum.

MICHELLE RUAN can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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