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EXHIBITIONS: Art venues join in Picnic Day


Read our spring exhibitions preview.

Campus art venues are expecting you on Picnic Day (April 21). Open houses and special hours are planned in conjunction with ongoing spring exhibitions:

• Design by Design — Annual exhibition of students' work in a  juried competition that presents a lively survey of student talent and creativity reflecting the multidisciplinary breadth of the Department of Design. Through May 5, Design Museum, Cruess Hall. Picnic Day hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Regular hours: noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Design by Design's closing day coincides with the Oh! Design open house, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5, Cruess Hall, off Howard Way at the north entrance to the campus.

• Dreams of the Darkest Night — So, you think photographs don’t lie? Well, not when digital technology has utterly transformed the ability to make photographs do pretty much anything the artists want them to. Not only that, but the Nelson describes a trend in which photographers no longer feel any obligation toward or even have much interest in reflecting objective reality. In this exhibition, Vanessa Marsh and Sean McFarland present separate suites of nontraditional artworks. Marsh makes sophisticated photograms (images made on photo paper without the use of a lens), creating a sense of dread, showing varieties of calm before the storm. In McFarland's most recent body of work, he presents large color images from nature that are very dark, almost all black, giving the viewer the feeling that he or she is glimpsing a dream in the depths of the darkest night. Through May 27, Nelson Gallery, Nelson Hall. Picnic Day hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday, and by appointment on Fridays.

Bruce Guttin: Headwear Improvisations by a Sculptor —  Guttin, a UC Davis MFA alumnus from the early 1970s, had an interest in headwear even when he was a sculptor working in wood. He now designs extremely simple, inexpensive and charming hats for his own use. The Nelson commissioned Guttin to make a selection of these hats; included will be related drawings and a sculpture. Through May 27, Nelson Gallery, Nelson Hall. Picnic Day hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday, and by appointment on Fridays.

Steeled — Works by Anne Compton, blacksmithing and welding instructor at the Craft Center. Through May 4, Craft Center Gallery, South Silo. Reception for the artist, 5-6 p.m. Sunday, April 22. Picnic Day hours: noon-4 p.m. Regular hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

What I See — Watercolors by UC Davis staff member Peter Shahrokh. He is a self-taught painter, having started seven years ago, and now he is an instructor at the Craft Center. Holder of a Master of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Management (1999), he works in Design and Construction Management. Through May 25, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Picnic Day hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Regular hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

• Where They Overlap: Sonya Kelliher-Combs You will know this artist is from Alaska when you look at her work made from things like walrus stomach, seal intestine, reindeer hide, dentalium (tooth or tusk shell), and elk and moose fur. Indeed, she was born in Bethel and raised in Nome, of a cultural background that includes Athabascan, Inupiaq, and a mixture of German and Irish. Working in mixed media painting and sculpture, and drawing on Alaska's native culture, she blends the organic and the synthetic, the traditional and the modern, with acrylic polymer, nylon thread, glass beads, fabric and ink — in her creation of compelling objects, translucent and ambiguous, work that defies expectations in its cultural richness and conceptual interpretations of shape, form and luminosity. Through June 8, C.N. Gorman Museum, 1316 Hart Hall. Picnic Day hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Regular hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

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