Festivals & Events

12th Davis Jazz and Beat Festival

October 11-12, 2019

The Beat Goes On! 

The Davis Jazz & Beat Festival is returning for its 12thyear. Experience live jazz, poetry readings, and performance painting on two stages at the John Natsoulas Gallery on October 11thand 12th! This interactive, multi-disciplinary festival features over 50 musicians and artists including Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Gary Snyder.

Free admission. All ages welcome.

The only festival of its kind in America! This lively collaboration between poets, jazz musicians and painters is the only completely free jazz festival on the west coast. Experience an intimate gathering filled with poetry readings and painting improvisation set to the rhythm of live jazz. This is a unique opportunity for attendees to experience exclusive performances by well-known artists of all kinds. With over 100 musicians and artists performing, there is truly something for everyone.

This 12th annual event is the premier collaborative festival in the region. Combining visual art and music, this multidisciplinary celebration evokes the true spirit of the Beat art movement.

Don’t miss the book reading and signing by Pulitzer Prize winner, Gary Snyder! A noted member of the Beat generation, Snyder is a critically acclaimed author who easily ranks among the best poets of his generation. Snyder’s poetry manages to provide a fresh perspective on metaphysical themes, which he makes relevant and compelling. 

The festival will also feature the Jack Kerouac poetry contest where winners are selected to perform original work accompanied by the Tony Passarell jazz trio on Friday October 11th


7pm – Gary Snyder Headliner Poet

7:30 – Gary Snyder Book Signing

8:00 to 9:30pm – Winners of Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest Reading MC Andy Jones with Tony Passarell Trio


Outdoor Stage

2:45 pm – New Harmony Jazz Band  – Performance Painter Tait Takai

4:00 pm – Henry Robinett – Performance Painter Myron Stephens

5:00 pm – Brubeck Institute Quintet – Performance Painter Laura Hohlwein

Indoor Stage

3:00 pm – Maxim Earnst 4Tet 

4:00 pm – Delbert Bump Trio 

5:00 pm – TBA

8:00 pm – Hyena –  9 piece Afro Beat Ensemble

7:00 to 8:00 pm – Poetry/Dance/Music Performance Tony Passarell Trio with Poet Indigo Moor

Evening Schedule:                                                                                           

6:30 pm- Linda Bair Dance Company

7: pm- poet Indigo Moor and performance art

8 pm- Headliner Hyena, a 9-piece Afrobeat Ensemble

What others are saying about the Jazz Festival:

“I don’t know of anyone else who is doing this level of interdisciplinary collaboration between the visual, musical and literary arts. It is truly great work.”
-Joyce Jenkins, Poetry Flash

“Those for whom the San Francisco Beat phenomenon is merely the stuff of legend can get a taste of the real thing in an all-day conference sponsored by the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis.”
-Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

12th Annual Art of Painting in the 21st Century

March 6 – 7, 2020

12th Annual Art of Painting in the 21st Century Conference
John Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA
CONFERENCE: Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th

The Art of Painting in the 21st Century is an annual conference in its eleventh year and is geared towards nurturing dialog on contemporary painting and the shared ideas that define current trends in the field. Many painters work alone, an isolated process that deprives the artist of thriving debate until the work is shown. This year’s conference will feature some of the most talented and well known painters working today. This year’s conference features artists Greg Kondos, Chester Arnold, Richard Whitten. Gamblin paint studios and Chester Arnold will both provide live painting demonstrations for attendees.

This conference provides a unique opportunity and an intimate setting to interact with top artists. UC Davis, home to artist Roy de Forest, Roland Peterson, Wayne Thiebaud, and Robert Arneson, was instrumental in defining a new direction for a uniquely West Coast style. Nowhere else in the country will the participant be able to interact and discuss the purity of painting in one place. Meet face-to-face with distinguished artists you might only otherwise read about. This year, a collegiate exhibition of the top 20 young college student painters will be on display. Many cash awards will be given to these young artists that represent the future of painting. The conference is partially funded by the city of Davis.

Friday, March 6th
Gamblin Painting Demonstration
Chester Arnold Painting Demonstration and Lecture

Saturday, March 7th
Greg Kondos Lecture
Richard Whitten Lecture

Greg Kondos

Recognized as one of the most prominent California landscape artists, Gregory Kondos has been providing a visual feast of landscape art for over 65 years. Whether painting scenes of Northern California forest, the mountainous Yosemite National Park, or the shores of his ancestral Greece, Kondos continues to paint with a simplicity and clarity that have become hallmarks of his work. Kondos studied at Sacramento City College and later received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art at the California State University at Sacramento. He taught at Sacramento City College for 27 years and was the founder and director of the campus gallery. With fellow artist and friend, Wayne Thiebaud, Kondos founded the Artists Cooperative Gallery (now the Artists Contemporary Gallery), one of the earliest showcases for aspiring artists in northern California.  Kondos is the recipient of many prestigious awards and his work has been shown extensively in this country as well as internationally.

Chester Arnold

Born in Santa Monica, California in 1952, Chester Arnold spent his formative years in Germany where he studied at Private Teachers in Munich.  In the early ‘70s, Chester returned to California and studied at College of Marin in Kentfield, California before earning his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute.

Chester’s time in Germany exposed him to a European sensibility toward the arts; it was also where he absorbed the deep questions and self-examination that pervaded German culture during those years. He says “I was really attracted to northern Renaissance artists, especially Albrecht Durer, from early on — I’d say from the eighth grade…I saw the possibility of engaging much more deeply, of making art that is reverential in the way that Durer is, and at the same time, woven with the creativity in the individual.” Arnold’s paintings touch on the “inconsequentially of humankind,” and ideas of perspective, which often comes from an imaginary place.

Richard Whitten

Richard Whitten grew up in Manhattan, NY. Richard Whitten earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Painting from the University of California at Davis where he studied with both Wayne Thiebaud and Robert Arneson. He has had numerous exhibitions on both coasts. Notable are major solo exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, the Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, and the University of Maine Museum of Art. He is represented by ArtMora Gallery, NY and Seoul, Korea; Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA; the William Scott Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA. He is presently a Professor of Painting and former Chair of the Art Department at Rhode Island College. His paintings involve mechanical devices set within imagined classical architecture. His dark, rich color palette provides the basis for these whimsical worlds Whitten creates.

32nd Annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts

May 1st – May 3rd, 2020

CCACA 2020  brings the ultimate ceramic sculpture event to Davis, CA. This years featured artists include Adrian Arleo, Wanxin Zhang and more. In an intimate setting, you can interact with top artists in a way not possible at other venues. UC Davis, home to the late sculptor Robert Arneson, was instrumental in defining a new direction for ceramic art. Enjoy delightful downtown Davis and be inspired by nationally recognized ceramic art talents.

Demonstrations, lectures, shows—no other event delivers more inspired knowledge of ceramic sculpture for a better price. Meet face-to-face with distinguished ceramic sculptors you might only read about; see and hear from the artists what makes them top in their field.

“This is the kind educational, intellectual event one expects from museums or universities, but which public institutions seem less and less able to provide.” – ARTWEEK

40+ Major Shows

Local gallery exhibitions and over 30 college shows bring the best work of the year within easy reach.

  • John Natsoulas Gallery’s annual 30 Ceramic Sculptors
  • The Artery’s California Clay Competition
  • The Davis Arts Center
  • The Pence Gallery
  • and more!

These shows run concurrent with CCACA 2020. See all this and over 40 amazing student shows within a short walk. This is a chance to surround yourself with the top ceramic art of today and the ideas of the artists of tomorrow.

Past participants: Academy of Art University, American River College, Cabrillo College, California College of the Arts, CSU Chico, CSU Fullerton, Chabot College, College of Marin, College of the Redwoods, Cosumnes River College, Cypress College, Davis High School, Delta College, Diablo Valley College, Emerson Junior High School, Humboldt State College, Los Medanos, Foothill College, Fresno State, Fresno City College, Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino Junior College, Merritt College, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Reedley College, Sacramento City College, Sacramento State, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sierra College, Sierra Nevada College, Skyline College, Solano College, Sonoma State University, Southern Oregon University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, West Valley College.

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