Lucky Star: Clayton Bailey’s World of Wonders

By Tim Foster

Thank Robert Arneson.

It was Arneson who invited an obscure Midwestern ceramicist to cover a few of his classes at UC Davis, thus introducing Clayton Bailey to northern California – just in time to take his place in art history.  Read more »

Box Set

By Tim Foster

Bytes of Reality, the Crocker’s new exhibit of work by Daniel Douke showcases 24 exquisite trompe l’oeil creations by the southern California artist.  Read more »

Broken Dreamers

By Tim Foster


It’s the best single word to describe Inferno of the Innocents, the exhibit of work by Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein that opened at the Crocker on January 29th Read more »

Art Picks, January 2011

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Art Picks: October 2010

Crocker Art Museum
Grand Opening: Teel Family Pavilion
October 10

The impending Grand Opening of the new 125,000 square-foot Teel Family Pavilion (and reopening of the rest of the Crocker) has all but sucked the air out of the Sacramento art scene Read more »

Art Picks, May 2010

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Art Picks, April 2010

Owen Smith
Nelson Gallery

Through May 23

One day in the not-too-distant future, the ceilings of my house will collapse, and they’ll find my body crushed under crumbling issues of Popular Science, comic books, pulp magazines, Sunday newspaper sections, paperback books and the other four or five tons of useless ephemera that I have stashed in my attic retreat.  Though I know that this hoarding is a sick and unhealthy obsession, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. Any of it. Each time I start to go through the piles, I rediscover the incredible illustrations that sucked me in in the first place. The covers of even the lowliest of the dreck (maybe especially the lowliest) are jaw-dropping eyecandy- a hallmark of the depression-era magazine stand.  Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I suspect that bay area artist Owen Smith might suffer from this same compulsion.  Certainly he has done his share of ‘research’ when it comes to the pulp magazines and paperback covers of the first half of the twentieth century.  Mix in a bit of WPA mural and a dash of Socialist Realism and you come up with the hearty stew that Smith has made a career of.  One of the artists most successful at blending the line between commercial and fine art today, Smith makes a living by both teaching (at Oakland’s College of Arts and Crafts), and illustration. His show at the Nelson is largely made up of original drawings, with digital versions of his paintings on hand.  Artist Nayland Blake has a concurrent solo show titled Project Room in the other half of the gallery.

Art Building, Room 124, UC Davis
Mon – Thurs 11AM – 5PM, Sat – Sun 2 – 5PM

Jiayi Young and Shih-Wen Young

Axis Gallery
April 3 – 25
Reception: April 8, 6-8PM
Reception: April 10, 6-9PM

American River College Art Professor Jiayi Young and her husband and ‘artistic partner’ Shih-Wen Young present an exhibit inspired by the mathematical calculation Pi, and the concept of the symbol that denotes this never-ending number.  Jiayi Young, an artist who is also an Atomic Physicist, is ideally suited to lead the exploration of this concept. Young began her art career as a Chinese traditional painter, but has since moved in a multi-disciplinary direction and is now the Chair of ARC’s New Media Art. Her piece, Las Vegas, China which showed at CCAS in 2005 garnered strong reviews, including a warm write up from the Bee’s Victoria Dalkey.  The Youngs have shown extensively, including multiple exhibits in China, and a glance at their website, gives interesting overviews of some of their recent work.  Pi consists of 2D and time-based 3D pieces as well as an installation where viewers are invited to play with the endless digits of Pi. Circling the Square, a time-based piece, will start at 6PM on the two reception days (and at noon the rest of the time). The piece evolves the fastest in the first 15 minutes so be sure to stop by early if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck.
1517 19th Street, Sa – Sun, Noon – 5PM

Slow Art Day
Crocker Art Museum
April 17, starting at 11AM

First came the Slow Food movement, then the Slow Bicycling movement (see our Tweed Ride story), and now, the Slow Art movement. The Crocker will be one of more than 40 sites worldwide to host Slow Art Day, an event that encourages visitors to slow down and spend quality time looking at a single artwork.  Slow Art Day’s founder Phil Terry kept is simple: “visit a museum, see a few pieces of art for 10 minutes or more, and have lunch to talk about it afterwards.”  Not a bad plan. The session at the Crocker will focus on three pieces from the permanent collection: Stephen Kaltenbach’s Portrait of My Father, Mildred Howard’s Public Eye, Private Me, and Thomas Hill’s Great Canyon of the Sierras, Yosemite. Sounds pretty simple to us.  The Slow Art session is free with Museum admission but reservations are required.  Call (916) 808-5499 or email

216 O Street, Sacramento