Monday, May 28, 2012

Hot Mural Action In Davis!

Davis Art Center

This was originally posted on the Davis Enterprise Website on May 22, but I'm just reposting it here. 

Tony Berger sketches while Nadja Fitchhorn applies the first wash of paint to a mural that will be an improvisational work in progress, open for public observation at 764 Fifth St. in downtown Davis.
The mural is just one component of the Davis Art Center’s new interactive Discovery Art program.
Thank you Crystal Lee for the nice write up. Enjoy and stay tuned for mural updates! 

Collaborative mural project kicks off Art Center’s new program.
If you passed by the Roe Building at Fifth and G streets recently, you may have noticed something interesting — an experiment of sorts — happening on the other side of the big glass doors.

Four artists, of broadly different styles and tastes, have gathered together in the makeshift studio at 764 Fifth St. to start work on a collaborative, improvisational mural. Over the course of several weeks, the artists will create, playing off one another and using suggestions from you — our community members — as inspiration for their piece, which will be installed at the Davis Art Center at the end of June as part of our new Discovery Art program.

Your suggestions in the form of found objects, sketches, photographs, magazine cutouts, material swatches, phrases, concepts, words, colors — almost anything meaningful to you or that you find beautiful — will be incorporated in the mural, either as creative inspiration or literally placed onto the piece.

Here are some ways to get your mural ideas to the artists:
* Drop them off at the studio or at the Art Center, 1919 F St.;
* Post them to the Facebook page,;
* Email, with the subject line “Discovery Art Mural”;
* Mail them to the Davis Art Center, P.O. Box 4340, Davis, CA 95617;
* Meet the artists and watch them work on the mural in E Street Plaza during the Second Friday ArtAbout, from 5 to 7 p.m. June 8; or
* Peek through the windows of the studio at any time to see the progress. 

If an artist is present, don’t be afraid to enter the studio, talk and ask questions!

Artist Nadja Fitchhorn applies the first wash of paint to a mural that will be a collaborative, improvisational work in progress, open for public observation at 764 Fifth St.

They’ll pop in to work on the mural as their schedules permit, but there will be a calendar posted at the entrance for a few dates and times they plan to be there.

The mural project is just one component of the Discovery Art program, which opens July 13. In line with the theme “Cross-Pollination: Sharing Art, Sharing Ideas,” each component — including an oversized visual “puzzle” and jars of natural, everyday marvels — will evolve with participation from community members of all ages and generations engaging with the environment through art.

“Art is a really effective means of investigating or exploring something, whether it’s your natural environment, your community or your neighborhood,” says Discovery Art program designer Rachel Hartsough, who is one of the mural artists. “The process of sitting down and looking really closely at something is a way that we can learn about and understand the way that our environment works.

“We know this is important because the more people — and children, particularly — develop some level of relationship and intimacy with their surroundings, the more they will appreciate their environments and take care of them.”

Artists Nadja Fitchhorn and Jeff Musser bounce around ideas for the direction of a collaborative mural project.

Hartsough says she’s excited to see how the artists interpret mural suggestions and, also, how their different styles will blend together. She will be working with artists Tony Berger, an emergency physician and graffiti artist; Nadja Fitchhorn, an illustrator, art teacher and design major at UC Davis; and Jeff Musser, a realist painter who specializes in portraiture.

Discovery Art was developed through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation and in partnership with the UC Davis Arboretum, Peregrine School and the Center for Ecoliteracy. Additional support has been provided by The Paint Chip, Hedgerow Farms, Hibbert Lumber, and Roe & Rutheiser LLC.

Learn more and keep up with the latest news about Discovery Art at — Crystal Lee is the publicity and development manager for the Davis Art Center. Her column is published monthly. All photos by Crystal Lee.