Okay, we’re at the halfway mark for Manchester sketches so I thought we’d bring it back to Davis for a bit before resuming the symposium story. This is the current state of the Memorial Union at UC Davis – the shiny new bookstore is now open, but the rest is still under a lot of reconstruction. The UCD Bookstore by the way does stock my book, if you’re interested! the renovated and revamped MU is expected to reopen in December, I can’t wait to see how it finally looks. My son for one is eagerly anticipating the reopening of the bowling alley; he had his birthday there last year and has missed it terribly. Once it’s all done, I will sketch the end result. More change at UC Davis!
Here’s a view that I used to sketch a lot more, but I got bored of it, as it never really changed much. It’s the South Silo at UC Davis, as viewed from the steps of Bainer Hall. I used to sketch it every six months in fact, once in winter, once in spring, tracking the changes. This past week I noticed however that it had changed quite dramatically – the big wild tree to the left of the leaning one was cut down, as were several other smaller ones near the Bike Barn, as the UC Davis South Silo area undergoes a major redesign. This is going to look pretty different. Here’s an article in The Aggie detailing how it will eventually look – quite a change, I think. More dining locations will be added (hooray!), plus a convenience store (I still miss the little one that used to be the Law Bookshop). It won’t be all done until next year.
While we are waiting, let’s go back in time and see what it used to look like….
January and March 2009
I will miss that tree.
I last posted construction pictures of the forthcoming Manetti Shrem museum of Art on the UC Davis campus back in April. A lot has been done since then – the canopy is now finished, the landscaping is ongoing, and (something I’d not thought much about) the interior is already pretty much complete! So, I was invited along for a special viewing of the inside (many thanks to Prof. Tim McNeil of the Design Dept for the opportunity!), and it was one of the first days that hard hats were not required inside, meaning I didn’t get my photo-op of sketching in hard-hat and fluorescent jacket (I only wanted that for the urban sketching street cred), but I got the full inside experience of how a brand-new museum is designed and completed. Every corner of it was so modern and cool, and the most amazing aspects were the sudden views outside, looking at how this building interacts with its environment but from an interior perspective. This really is going to be the most spectacular new building on campus, not simply functional but enlightening too, I think. After having a good look around at the future gallery spaces and imagining what artwork will grace its walls (I know that Wayne Thiebald made a big donation of art recently), I was able to do some art myself, sketching the above view of the main entrance area looking out toward the Mondavi Centre.
A few days later I came back to sketch outside at lunchtime, and rather than the wide-angle view I focused in on the same entrance area, but from the street looking in. You can see how it is all coming together now. Opens in November…
Here are the previous posts documenting the construction in my sketchbook…
Here in the world of academia, this week is graduation week. Thousands of students undergrad and graduate receive their hard-earned degrees this week and step out into the world. In our department at UC Davis we held a special awards and graduation ceremony a week before the official commencement, honoring our young statisticians and biostatisticians. I did a couple of sketches at the event, but mostly got award certificates ready and took photos and applauded enthusiastically. Great job, everyone!
And a few days later, on by far the hottest day of the year, we held our annual Spring Picnic, and I did this one sketch below. The banner is part of a poster I had made to advertise the event. It was really, really hot, but we had a good turnout, and it was a nice way to round off the year. And so, on towards summer…
It’s nearly done, the Pitzer Center, the new Music Recital Hall on the UC Davis campus. I’ve sketched this spot since it was the Boiler Building, and watched that old campus character get knocked into the dust, with this finally rising to take its place. It’s nearly done.
Here is the front entrance area, now fully glazed. This is what will greet visitors to campus for years to come. I’m looking forward to finally seeing performances there myself.
Below, a panorama using pencil. I was thinking about Florian Afflerbach that day, he would have enjoyed to sketch this building. It’s through him that I gained the interest in sketching buildings like this, and using them to really study perspective.
This is the back of Walker Hall, which will be redeveloped into the Graduate and Professional Student Center at UC Davis. The basic “E” shape of this building will remian and the front will be pretty much as it is now, but the interior and much of the rear will be radically altered. I am therefore planning to sketch it a few more times before the winds of change blow in. It’s not really used for much these days so a change is on the cards – another one. I remember when there were other walls in front of these, with cacti all along them, and then when they redeveloped this stretch of campus they opened this up into the walkway you see now. This will in fact be opened up further creating a corridor all the way down to the entrance Shields Library (visible in the distance there). Walker Hall was named in 1959 after H. B. Walker, who was chair of the Agricultural Engineering department. One of the things they will have in this new center are rooms that can be named after people (faculty, I presume). More information about the new center can be found on the UC Davis Graduate Studies website. I drew this one lunchtime this week, while listening to the History of Rome podcast.
When I first started working at UC Davis, my building was on “California Avenue”. There were a few buildings opposite, one of which was a wooden building in the same style as many others on campus (such as The Barn). I’d only just started obsessing about sketching buildings in Davis and said, yeah, I will sketch that some day. I never did, and then it was knocked down, and they started construction on a new building, one that the Geology Department would move into from their previous home in the Physics building. California Avenue is now “Crocker Lane”. Geology is now “Earth and Planetary Sciences”. Pete is now “40”. So, this week I finally got around to doing a sketch of the Earth and Planetary Sciences, aka “EPS”, building. It’s a nice modern building, and has an interesting collection of rocks planted around the outside. My son (who loves geology) enjoys going out and looking at them when he comes to visit my office. This is literally the School of Rock.