After several years of redevelopment, the new Graduate Center at Walker Hall had its formal grand opening a few weeks ago. Part of the grand opening included a special exhibition of several of my in-progress sketches, which I’ve shared here over the past few years, of the construction and redevelopment period. They blew them up into large colorful prints and have them displayed right now in the lobby area of the building, along with a touch screen where you can flick through all those sketches, along with a variety of historical photos from the past century. What an honour! I’m gobsmacked at what a nice display it was, and I got a lot of very nice comments from the people touring the building on that day. One of my personal favourites was of the building pre-reconstruction, the big panorama I did in 2014 when it was still in its old Walker Hall form, and that was nice to see big on the wall. There was another one – the ‘sneezy one’ – a sketch I started but abandoned after 10 minutes due to a massive attack of the April sneezing. I wrote “Atchoo!” all over the page and left it. Well they even made a print of that one! And that one is the one people mentioned to me the most. I think we all have those allergy experiences in Davis in the spring… There were several from that time when I was able to go inside and sketch the mid-construction shell, drawing bits of the interior in a hard hat just before dark, but most of the sketches were done peering over the fence or standing on a bench next to the bins. I’m pleased to have documented this project like this.
I did draw some of the ceremony outside that was given by the Chancellor Gary May, Vice Chancellor for Finance Kelly Ratliff (not in the sketch, I arrived during her speech), Graduate Dean JP Delplanque, and several others also not sketched here. I used to be a graduate coordinator for years on campus and always liked working with the Grad Studies team, so I am really pleased to see them get this amazing new space. Especially for the graduate students on campus, as this is the first dedicated Graduate Center of its kind in the UC system, which is great.
You can see all of my Walker Hall sketches in this album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/petescully/albums/72157678149480548
Now on to the next campus drawing project! It’s a while now since I drew the Manetti Shrem going up, the old Boiler Building going down and replaced with the Pitzer Center; more recently I drew the Teaching and Learning Complex, which just opened recently. I like to draw things as they are being built because they are moments in time that are not repeated, they will never look like that again, and spaces have meaning to people. Drawing them is a way of connecting with them myself and sharing a personal perspective.
Yep, it’s been over a month since I posted; my home computer has been down, I don’t like typing on the iPad, and I’ve been sitting on a pile of scanning. I need a new computer but have been lagging behind a bit there. I’ve done a bit of drawing, a lot of sneezing, a lot of soccer coaching, and I got a new guitar which has been taking up some of my spare time. Still hopefully I can start posting my sketches and stories more regularly again soon. Summer planning is afoot and there will finally be some travelling across the Atlantic. Check back soon!