An opportunity to interact with both the art, the artists
Usually on a Sunday afternoon going into the fourth week of the quarter, the Manetti Shrem is expected to be decently filled. On Sunday, however, it was filled to capacity with students, families and members of all ages coming to celebrate the new “Xicanx Futurity” exhibit’s opening.
The Winter Season Opening Celebration took place on Jan. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. and reminded the Davis community how essential the Manetti Shrem is to it. The celebration offered attendees a chance to familiarize themselves with the current exhibits, hear from a panel of artists and engage with those around them over food and drink. As a museum that prides itself on its interactivity and accessibility, the Manetti Shrem’s Winter Celebration ensured that everyone at the event felt comfortable and listened to.
Outside of the museum before the event began, event goers were welcomed by concession stands serving tea and coffee and an outdoor printing booth that offered “Abolish Borders” signs in different shades of blue and green to all who were interested. As people stood outside with their signs and enjoyed their beverages, the Shrem’s emphasis on community and comfortable space was felt throughout.
The two-hour celebration included a welcome from Rachel Teagle, the museum’s founding director, along with a panel of the artists of the “Xicanx Futurity” exhibit, which was followed by a performance from the Xicana Collective, “In Lak Ech.” Inside, the exhibits offered a collection of art that spanned across all mediums as it displayed the work of six different Xicana artists.
Currently, the Manetti Shrem is hosting two exhibits: “Bruce Nauman: Blue and Yellow Corridor” which was recently extended until Apr. 14, and the “Xicanx Futurity.” While both exhibits drastically differ, they share similarities in level of engagement and participation that they require from observers. Beyond viewing the art, many of the pieces asked the audience to consider their active role as a participant in their surroundings.
Nauman’s exhibit “is a narrow passageway that wraps around an existing room, combining colored fluorescent light and closed-circuit video to manipulate the viewer’s perceptual experience.” The “Xicanx Futurity” exhibit includes many interactive elements such as La Botanica del Barrio, which is centered around a “rolling Remedios Cart which is an alterNative mobile medicine cart that aims to educate, dialogue and document wellness remedies, recipes, herb and plants uses and Mexican traditional medicine.”
The new “Xicanx Futurity” exhibition includes art from from artists who might range in age, medium and background, but all focus on creating “an intergenerational dialogue that centers indigenous forms of communal and hemispheric ceremony, rooted in sacred relations.”
The Manetti Shrem opened in Nov. 2016 and has since grown into a popular and celebrated establishment of the UC Davis community as it offers free admission for all attendees, an exciting schedule of new exhibitions and a place for members of the community to engage with art. This accessibility is echoed in the Shrem’s mission statement which emphasizes “serving both the public and our university community with a dynamic artistic program…that presents exhibitions and events that advance students’ understanding of their place in the world; connects to faculty teaching and research; and creates a lively forum for community engagement and creative practice.”
This winter, the Shrem has many upcoming events including an Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series on Jan. 31 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., a presentation from multidisciplinary author Mauro Aprile Zanetti on Feb. 6 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and an event titled “Third Thursday: Explore Your Museum” from 5:30 to 9 p.m., which offers an additional celebration of the “Xicanx Futurity” exhibit and a chance to create one’s own prints, play games and further engage with all that the Manetti Shrem has to offer.
Written by: Rosie Schwarz — email@example.com