Manetti Shrem Museum expands the experience of art exhibitions with new virtual approach

By Laura Compton

Visitors will be able to engage with contemporary art and artists and experience a museum exhibition coming to life via a new website from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis. The site launched Nov. 15, in celebration of the centennial birthday of artist and Professor Emeritus Wayne Thiebaud.

The “Exhibition in Progress” website invites the public behind the scenes as the museum documents the development and installation leading up to its January 2021 exhibition, Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation. The site will provide a window into the challenges and innovative approaches that are part of building an exhibition during a global pandemic.

It’s with the UC Davis spirit of experimentation that we launch this site documenting and exploring the ways the Manetti Shrem Museum has responded to bring our visitors the engagement and intellectually rigorous exhibits they expect,” said Founding Director Rachel Teagle. Every other week, visitors can expect content including significant updates as new art is received and unpacked, and the exhibition’s New Generation artists are introduced through exclusive video interviews.

The first interview spotlights Brooklyn-based artist Jason Stopa speaking with Manetti Shrem Museum Curator-at-Large Dan Nadel.

“Wayne is somebody who I feel like I arrived at late in terms of appreciation,” Stopa says. “It really wasn’t until I began making paintings that had to do with food imagery and branding that I really got to a place in which I really recognized, ‘Hey, look, there’s this really clear connection.’ 

Up next: former graduate students Christopher Brown and Julie Bozzi.

Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation, scheduled to open Jan. 31, 2021, at the Manetti Shrem Museum, pairs Thiebaud works with those of exhibiting artists to explore how he forecast the future of painting through his personal journey to find meaning and reinvention in the medium’s history — and inspired his students to do the same.

Works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud as a fellow painter as well as former students are highlighted. Andrea Bowers, Robert Colescott, Alex Israel, Jason Stopa, Jonas Wood and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye pay homage to Thiebaud’s work and sensibility in a variety of ways. The other 13 artists studied with Thiebaud directly: Julie Bozzi ’74, M.F.A. ’76; Christopher Brown M.F.A. ’76; Gene Cooper, Richard Crozier M.F.A. ’74; April Glory Funcke ’87, M.F.A. ’89; Fredric Hope, Grace Munakata ’80, M.F.A. ’85; Bruce Nauman M.A. ’66; Vonn Cummings Sumner ’98, M.F.A. ’00; Ann Harrold Taylor M.F.A. ’85; Michael Tompkins ’81, M.F.A. ’83; Clay Vorhes and Patricia Wall ’72.

More information about the exhibition and how to reserve your timed ticket will be shared on An Exhibition in Progress at manettishrem.org

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