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Monday, June 10, 2024

Look out for these arts and culture events this spring

Art workshops, festivals and other events to work into your spring quarter


By LORENA ALVAREZ — arts@theaggie.org 


Davis artists and UC Davis organizations are bringing art to life through free community events, bringing people together for a greater appreciation of artwork and representation.

 The Artery, an art co-op located at 207 G St., is celebrating its 50th anniversary by holding free monthly art events sponsored by the city. According to Brigitte Chertok, an artist and one of three of The Artery’s co-managers, these art events will take place on the last Sunday of each month.

Chertok noted the co-op and the Arts and Cultural Affairs program’s attempts to transform G Street into an artistic and community-based environment.

“G Street is mostly bars and restaurants,” Chertok said. “So you really have to attract people to The Artery [an art store and gallery], especially now that G Street is closed to vehicles. Since the city is trying to bring people to G Street for more than just drinking, they encouraged me to apply for a grant so I could host monthly events outside The Artery.” 

Chertok went on to describe what attendees can expect from The Artery’s first event, “Clay Fun,” on April 28 from 12 to 4 p.m.

“If [attendees] build something and they want to go home with it, they’re welcome to take their art,” Chertok said. “They are welcome and encouraged to participate in making the big sculpture, but the group sculpture will stay in the store so we can fire it. The goal for the monthly events is to make something simple that everybody can enjoy and go home with.”

Chertok emphasizes the community’s involvement by noting the organization’s interest in hiring volunteers. 

“I may be looking for student helpers who are art-oriented for future events, helpers will be paid minimum wage,” Chertok said. “People hoping to volunteer can contact us and give us their names, and we will call them if we are hiring for that month’s event.”

Less than a week after The Artery’s community building and publicity event, La Familia will be hosting their first Queer Quinceañera on May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Student Cross-Cultural Center (SCC), multi-purpose room. 

Bianca Alvarado, La Familia’s co-president and a fourth-year English and Chicana/o (CHI) studies double-major, shared the event’s theme.

“Our theme is ‘Flores de Mayo’,” Alvarado said. “We’re trying to make [the event] inclusive of different identities. We want whoever attends to feel comfortable with their identity and safe enough to express it.”

Alvarado continued to note the immense support La Familia has received from organizations that play a big role in Queer Latine’s intersecting identities. 

“We’ve reached out to different organizations,” Alvarado said. “El Centro and the LGBTQIA+ center have funded [the event]. We are now in the works of asking the CHI department, who got back to us trying to gauge how much money we need.”

Expanding on the flier’s advertisement of “una noche de música, flores, baile, y drag performances,” Alvarado shared the value of hosting such an artistic and inclusive event. 

“The work that we’ve been doing this year is to create an archive of our existence on campus,” Alvarado said. “We go through so many difficulties pursuing higher education [as Queer Latines] which kind of limits us from fully enjoying this academic experience. [Through events like our Queer Quince, we are trying to] contribute in creating more paths for future generations to look back and see, ‘Oh, this is what they were doing and how they were celebrating it.’ We are making sure that we are taking up the space that we rightfully deserve.”

Another event that has been generating excitement for students and community members alike is the Whole Earth Festival (WEF). Emma Mele, a fourth-year environmental policy analysis and planning major and the co-director of WEF, noted the upcoming festival happening over Mother’s Day weekend and its roots. 

“It started out as an art class project, called ‘art happening,’” Mele said. “And then they put it on the quad and it expanded slowly. It stemmed from art and activism, and that came hand in hand with sustainability.”

Mele furthered on how WEF plans to transform the Quad this May 10 to 12. 

“The whole quad will be lined with craft vendors, food vendors, student vendors and two domes,” Mele said. “We have a bunch of activities for kids and service booths where they can braid your hair and do henna. The list goes on and on. We also have an education space. We’re trying to make sure that that space is really highlighted with everything going on in the world and climate change.”

These events embody the shift from gloomy weather to a time of growth and new beginnings that the spring weather embraces. Each event provides a space for joy and relaxation away from academics, emphasizing the importance of the communities’ identities as artists and people in Davis.


Written by: Lorena Alvarez  — arts@theaggie.org 


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