Winner of the Keister & Allen Art Purchase Prize for 2020 Dongwan Hong’s “Salted Messages” (2020), inscribed texts on carpet with sprinkled salt, installation in studio, 14 x 19 feet (image courtesy the artist)

UC Davis graduate students aren’t letting the lack of a physical space stop them from sharing their work with the public. The Arts & Humanities 2020 Graduate Exhibition, usually held at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, is now being hosted on the museum’s website from May 28 through June 14.

This annual exhibition, an essential component of the Master of Fine Arts programs in art studio and design, is also open to visual, performing, and literary arts graduates within the College of Letters and Science. Its multidisciplinary mission provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to explore ideas inspired by the university’s diverse community of thinkers, makers, and researchers. This year’s virtual exhibition features 30 graduate students hailing from the disciplines of art studio, design, art history, music, Native American studies, cultural studies, and creative writing. 

The students took varied approaches when creating and presenting their work. Individual web galleries include written statements, photographs, and videos of art and artmaking, photography and video art, audio recordings, and recorded presentations of research and theses. One artist explores his family’s farm roots using clay, performance, and video, while another reimagines famous historical photos of Native Americans. An app that allows one to share memories after death and an illustrated “flash fiction” story about a road trip are also part of the exhibition. 

A virtual opening celebration on May 28 announced the winners of the Keister & Allen Art Purchase Prize for art studio (pictured above) and the Savageau Award for design.

To view UC Davis’s Arts & Humanities 2020 Graduate Exhibition, visit

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