The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange


When: March 28 to May 19, 2013

Public opening: March 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.


The Richard L. Nelson Gallery & The Fine Arts Collection
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

In conjunction with the eleventh campus community book project, the Nelson Gallery will feature an exhibition that extends community dialogue and interaction with the 2012-2013 selection of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Greatest Migration.

Views on Migration showcases two important art collections from our community as well as the work of local artist Michael Stevenson.  Dr. Sarah D. Gray has lent prints of Jacob Lawrence’s Toussaint L’Ouverture Series created from 1986-97 based on a series of paintings completed in 1938. This series uses events in the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture as symbols of revolution, emancipation and civil rights for African Americans. Also, on view, will be a slideshow of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration series from 1940-41. These works explore his community’s stories of African Americans who journeyed from the rural south to the urban north between the World Wars.  Melvin and Felicenne Ramey share their collection of prints by Elizabeth Catlett, an artist known for her linocuts and whose work drew on her experience as an African-American woman who had come of age at a time of widespread segregation. Her intergenerational portraits, specifically images of mother and child, make personal both the vitality and struggle that Lawrence depicted in his images of community. Stevenson’s contributions to the exhibition include his sensitive homages to these two pioneering artists.

Two important opportunities for dialogue are featured at the Nelson Gallery in during the run of the exhibition.

April 11 Lecture, 6:30-8pm, Dr. Cherise Smith, University of Texas on 
”Immigration Series of Jacob Lawrence”

April 18 Panel Discussion, 6:30-8pm,  “African American Migration Histories of Local Residents”
- Sarah D. Gray, Joyce Gordon, 
Dr. Kevin Mitchell, and Joseph Singleton
- moderated by Felicenne Ramey

A special thank you to the many people who made this exhibition and events possible:  Felicenne Ramey and Sarah D. Gray as exhibition curators; Michael Stevenson contributing artist; the Office of Campus Community Relations for financial and promotional support; and all of our speakers for enriching the exhibition with critical exchange.

For more information please visit or contact Katrina Wong at

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