Contemporary art fans are in for a special treat as the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis is all set for its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 13. With support from the Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento, this weekend’s festivities are a communal effort in providing accessible arts education for the entire region.
In a monumental occasion for UC Davis’ legacy in the arts, the $30 million art project is a testament to its founding donors’ communal spirit, in the act of assuring the museum remains free to the public throughout the year.
UC Davis alumnus and full-time artist, Lisa Rybovich Crallè, was commissioned by the museum to create a massive sculpture for the grand opening. She created a “ribbon”, which will be cut on Sunday by 40 contributing members of the museum.
“The idea with the piece was to create something colorful and large and eye catching. Just to kind of bring people’s attention to the museum,” said Crallè. “It’s also kind of a pun of literally linking the museum with the community with these individually chained links and having the community paint the links.”
From toddlers and children to college students and regular citizens in Sacramento, Davis, Oakland and even Napa, the sculpture represents an array of styles and sensibilities. It is 1,500 feet long and comprised of 500 individual soft foam chain links, which were painted by more than 400 individuals throughout six public painting workshops.
“It’s been really special working with the community, getting to know them, talking with them about their relationship with the university and this new museum,” said Crallè. “I hoped that through involving the community – it would kind of give people a deeper appreciation for the art that they’ll see inside the museum as well.”
Along with Sunday’s “ribbon” installation, Sacramento’s Verge Center for the Arts is programming several interactive activities featuring Sacramento artists, including a screen printing workshop, a “pink week” photo booth by Gioia Fonda and a pedal theory installation by Terry Peterson.
Verge Center for the Arts’ Deputy Director, Susanna Tu, expressed her enthusiasm for the grand opening partnership and its representation of UCD alumnus, which were highlighted by the center throughout four shows this past summer. In particular, she commended Lisa Rybovich Crallè and her great work towards community participation.
“It all falls in line with what the Manetti Shrem is all about,” said Tu. “They’re all about inclusiveness and having participation from everyone, so her project ties in well with what the Manetti Shrem is about.“
For more information about Sunday’s grand opening and the museum itself, visit manettishremmuseum.ucdavis.edu