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Davis, California

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Attend the Art Spark events at the Manetti Shrem Museum

The classes come at no cost to the Davis community and provide a space for all to unleash their artistic side


By ANA BACH — arts@theaggie.org


Every weekend at the Manetti Shrem Museum, the Carol and Gerry Parker Art Studio invites members of the local and university communities to explore their artistic sides free of charge through various activities. The studio keeps these activities going from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Each month, the studio hosts a themed craft event. For the month of May, the subject is “Internal Landscapes.”

These afternoon explorations of creativity allow people of all experience levels to try different art mediums and discover what they like best. 

At the May event, participants chose how they wanted to map out a landscape of their choosing using watercolor. The environment was surprisingly intense, with many people picking their own paints and mapping out ideas.

The structure of the event is helpful, as there isn’t a given set of instructions or a formal time cutoff. Rather, people are encouraged to come and go at their own pace. There are different areas to sit and work around the studio, but again, since there are limited rules placed upon visitors, these are not the only spaces that attendees are free to explore. Once they have finished their work, participants can either bring it home or leave it behind to contribute to an artwork wall. 

If they hadn’t done so already, attendees are also encouraged to take a look at the Shrem’s exhibits before participating in an Art Spark event. Currently, the museum is offering “Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985.”

A “drop-in art program” at the Shrem used to exist before the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the circumstances, they had to shut the program down but were eventually able to acclimate back to a comfortable state where people could make art while feeling safe. 

Art Spark events provide people with the ability to freely express themselves with the wide variety of flexibility that art provides. Other than the set themes for each month, there are really no other guidelines that need to be followed. 

The platform encourages people to feel that they can relax and table their stresses for the duration of the event. The program advocates for the need for art in our everyday lives to break our fixation on the hectic nature of the world around us and reminds us that art is for everyone. It is reassuring to know that there is a space to come on campus that welcomes both new and old faces with open arms and an array of art supplies to create just about anything. 

Written by: Ana Bach — arts@theaggie.org