With the help of ASUCD’s Aggie Public Arts Committee (APAC), the Memorial Union (MU) is showcasing several UC Davis students’ original art pieces this winter quarter with the hope of promoting art within the campus community.
APAC choses various students’ artwork quarterly to be displayed on the walls of the Memorial Union, specifically above the booth tables following the flagpole entrance adjacent to the Coffee House. A total of six pieces, including two from graduated students, were chosen this winter quarter.
“I think it’s important, especially for art and design students, to be able to show everyone what they can do,” said APAC Chairwoman and fourth-year design and dramatic arts double major Crystal Sojeong Han. “They don’t get enough acknowledgement in my opinion.”
“The only artwork I could really find in the time I had was in the design department,” Han said. “I felt that they were good quality and they were what people needed to see in Davis, because a lot of the artwork is placed either in the art department or the design department, and not a lot of people on campus get to see those artworks.”
The artworks are hung with a label displaying the artist’s name and a summary of the piece, as well as the price it is being offered for.
“Some of the new artists, the freshman weren’t sure about the prices,” Han said. “Their teachers thought the prices should be pretty high, around $300 – but not a lot of students would buy artwork that expensive so I would usually recommend around $50 or if they wanted to do it at a bidding price.”
First-year design major Taylor Zhou’s landscape piece for her design class was chosen for the exhibition.
“It was a landscape drawing but I focused it more on the cars in the foreground,” Zhou said. “I was inspired by a Japanese manga artist, Shigeno Shuichi. The storyline of the manga he created was a really “give it your all” kind of thing, and I was really inspired by that.”
Although Zhou has been involved with art for many years, this is her first time showcasing her art in a public venue.
“[Displaying students’ art] is a good idea to get to know more about art,” Zhou said. “Art is in everyday life all around us and people kind of take it for granted. And for the artist, [showing their art] serves as a sort of confidence boost.”
Second-year design major Kari Kiyono is another selected artist this quarter whose landscape is hanging in the MU.
“When I chose Davis I was pretty sure I wanted to be a design major,” Kiyono said. “Before I came here I did mostly just fine arts like painting and drawing. I’ve always liked [art] but I really started focusing on it in high school when I joined the art program there.”
The artworks will be displayed in the MU for one full quarter at the price listed, which is also negotiable depending upon the artist. In addition to the two landscape pieces by Zhou and Kiyono, the artwork presented included two architectural pieces.
“I feel that [displaying art] is important in general for any artist or designer,” Han said. “Sometimes it is about the visual aspect and how pleasing it is to the public’s eye, but in our age, art is starting to move on to where it’s interpretive – even a blank slate could be an artwork.”
Although this quarter’s artwork choices have just recently been finalized, APAC will be advertising for the spring quarter submissions soon in the coming weeks.
“I really like how Davis in general displays a lot of different artworks,” Kiyono said. “I think it’s a good step back for students running around campus, to be able to stop and appreciate different art pieces.”