The art jams aim to provide a comfortable space for students to creatively express themselves through art and culture
By RODRIGO VILLEGAS — firstname.lastname@example.org
On Nov. 16, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art hosted their first Art Jam of the year, celebrating Chicanx culture and printmaking inspired by their current exhibition, “Malaquias Montoya and the Legacies of a Printed Resistance.”
Previously called Student Nights, the events highlight an exhibition at the museum, foster student creativity and serve as a fun, sociable space for students.
“As a student, even if you come here for a class assignment or because you have a class that’s held in one of the classroom spaces here, you’re coming in with a slightly different mindset,” Linda Alvarez, the coordinator of museum programs and student connection at the museum, said. “It’s something where you bring your friends, you have a snack — it’s the same space, but [you’re] using it as a social space.”
Attendees had the opportunity to partake in two different printmaking activities: screen printing with Taller Arte del Nuevo Almanecer (TANA) at their paleta pop-up print cart and making papel picado with the Mexican Student Graduate Association.
The screen printing activity included a commemorative print by Elyse Doyle-Martinez, a Woodland-based artist, designed for the title wall of the exhibition.
For many attendees, these activities, and the event itself served as a means to connect to their culture, feel a sense of community and experience a new form of artistic expression.
“I feel this event is a great opportunity to learn more about my own culture,” second-year sociology major Manuel Villa said. “This is my first time doing papel picado.”
Shortly into the event, a line of attendees had formed for the two activities — a pleasant surprise, according to Alvarez.
“I didn’t expect our studio space to fill up so quickly,” Alvarez said. “I’m just really happy with how many people turned out.”
While attendees patiently waited in line, they had the opportunity to watch a dance performance. At around 8:30 p.m., Danzantes del Alma, a student folklórico dance troupe at UC Davis, performed two traditional folklórico dances from Jalisco, Mexico. The first performance featured a captivating solo dance, while the second performance saw a vibrant group dance accomplished by two pairs of dancers, both renditions performed to the rhythm of mariachi music.
Following the performance, attendees spent the remaining time socializing with others, making intricate papel picado patterns, viewing art at the exhibition or waiting in line for their turn to screen print.
“I hope in the future there are more events like this,” Villa said. “I hope the university keeps supporting this type of event because they bring culture, community and art together, and I think that’s really important.”
According to Alvarez, this was the first Art Jam in a series set to continue for the rest of the year.
“Our next one is going to be in January,” Alvarez said. “We’re aiming to have at least one per quarter.”
Written by: Rodrigo Villegas — email@example.com