Artists honored at the opening of the graduate exhibition
UC Davis arts and humanities students were celebrated by their peers, faculty, friends and families at the June 2 opening of the annual multidisciplinary showcase at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.
Chancellor Gary S. May and Estella Atekwana, Dean of the College of Humanities and Science, praised the students’ resilience, innovation and creativity during two difficult years in their welcoming remarks. The “Arts and Humanities Graduate Exhibition 2022” – with final projects ranging from immersive installations to cutting-edge research and performances by 27 students – is back in person after two years and will be on view until June 19.
Three students received special mentions. Professor Simon Sadler, Head of the Department of Design, presented The Savageau Prize at Manual Trace. The purpose of the award is to advance the career of an MFA graduate in design and to encourage, recognize and celebrate creative and original contributions to the discipline of design. It is named after Emeritus Professor Ann Savageau, who established the endowment fund with her husband, Emeritus Research Professor Michael Savageau.
“The project combines a range of materials that use high and low resolution prototyping techniques and tools to explore how designers create and communicate meaning in design,” said Sadler. Manual installation, Dishonestyintroduces DARB 1000, a prototype chatbot developed to help design students and educators seamlessly (and joyfully) integrate reflective writing into studio curricula.
The Keister and Allen Art Purchase Award went to Morgan Cristine Flores. Awarded annually to an MFA art studio student, the price comes from a endowment fund created by Shaun Keister, Vice Chancellor of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and Walter Allen, of Information Technology and Education.
“With humor and humility at its core, and with an allegiance to both subject and object, Morgan’s work constitutes a manifest social circumstance in art and culture, politics, economics , class and the inescapable world of work that we all struggle to inhabit. said Professor Emeritus Annabeth Rosen, Co-Chair and Robert Arneson Endowed Chair, Department of Art and Art History. Morgan’s installation includes three mobile sculptures created from found, recycled and donated materials and multiple photographs.
A third prize, the first LeShelle and Gary May Artwork Purchase Pricewas awarded to Kelley O’Leary. The New May Art Buy Price is made possible through the generosity of Suzanne Hellmuth and Jock M. Reynolds MFA ’72 and joins the Keister and Allen purchase price in allowing the museum to continue the tradition of purchasing works by graduate students for the university’s fine arts collection and building an endowment to eventually acquire a work from each MFA graduate student.
“An artist’s job, and the job that Kelley has undertaken,” Rosen said, “is to investigate existing codes of communication and to conduct research using performance, prose and poetry, and Accurate and carefully found and fabricated evidence to generate a new archeological analysis of the world we live in. His thesis chronicles his journey of visiting the “Cloud” – data centers in the deserts of the American West.
MFA art studio students Phillip Byrne and Emily Gordon were also finalists for the art awards.