Wednesday, July 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Art sale: DAC will liquidate its collection

Erie Vitiello, executive director of the Davis Art Center, discusses the painting "Blue Vase with Flowers" by Davis artist Roland Petersen Wednesday. Several limited signed prints of the painting will be available during the Davis Art Center Holiday Sale this weekend. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | November 29, 2012 |

The Davis Art Center is selling its art collection, gathered over the past 50 years, following a strategic re-evaluation of its priorities and resources.

The collection, valued at between $250,000 and $400,000, includes work by well-known artists such as Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Roland Petersen and Wayne Thiebaud. It also includes an early figurative painting by Earth artist Michael Heizer, whose large-scale installation, “Levitating Mass,” was placed amid great fanfare on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in June.

Executive director Erie Vitiello said the Art Center has evolved away from being a professional art gallery or museum and toward engaging community members in participation in the arts.

The Art Center was established in 1959 behind the fundamental idea of bringing together those who appreciate art and those who wish to create it. When the present building at 1919 F St. was designed, the core mission became clear.

“When the building was constructed, it was done with education in mind,” Vitiello said. “That’s what it’s known for, and what it has done all these years. The idea of having a collection of art was really relegated to the background.”

DAC relies on fees — along with the support of local individuals, corporations and foundations — to fund its operation. The upkeep bill associated with holding on to its collection has been a problem the center’s 15-member board of directors has wrestled with for years.

Kristina Gilmore, a former art museum curator, participated in the discussion while she was a board member in 2008-10. Selling the collection, she said, was by far the best option on the table.

“I wholeheartedly believe this was the right decision for a variety of reasons,” Gilmore said. “For one, collecting art is not part of the DAC’s mission. More importantly, the center does not have the proper facilities to adequately store or display fine art long-term.

“The center made do for many years, but as the collection increased in value over time, it also became more vulnerable to the effects of time under less-than-ideal storage conditions. Since building a proper storage facility was not a viable option, we decided that selling the artwork would be the best way to preserve it.”

About 20 of the approximately 150 objects in the collection would be of interest to collectors, Vitiello said. She estimated the collection’s value based on insurance appraisals, which she said aren’t always accurate when it comes to market prices.
The last time the Davis Art Center collection was exhibited in its entirety was in 2010 while the center was celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The exhibit was nostalgic for Kelvin Tsao, whose mother and father were art collectors and donated a majority of the center’s artwork. He recalled each piece from a time when it hung in his parents’ house.

“Some reminded me of the artists, who had become friends of my parents and me, and reminded me of conversations over dinner at the house,” Tsao said. “Some were just paintings or sculptures that I had looked at over a period of years; they’d been part of my environment growing up. ”

The collection holds significant sentimental value to him, but he says his parents, who are now deceased, would have looked favorably on the decision to sell it.

“Since (the center) doesn’t really have much space for displaying the collection, and because they plan on using the funds to create more opportunities to learn more about art and learn more about creating it — I think my parents would support that decision,” Tsao said.

The Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco will host an exhibit and sale of the collection in January. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund more interactive gallery programming like the Discovery Art Exhibit, which the Art Center hosted this summer and which reached more than 5,000 participants.

“The collection is probably our largest asset,” Vitiello said. “It’s really our responsibility to steward the Art Center responsibly by using the asset to do what we do in our mission.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Second Mellon grant supports Mondavi events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Police arrest suspect in robbery spree

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Madhavi Sunder joins Davis school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Grandparents support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Exchange program seeks host families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

 
Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Quaff a beer and watch the bats

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

They’re pickier than she is

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
U.S. is complicit in attack

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Extinguish extremism for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
With profound gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Someday, there will be peace

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants outlast Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats nip dogs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A’s fall in extra innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

.

Features

Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Arts

Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6