'Art of Athletes' Takes Center Stage Starting Friday

Devon DeMont

Jan. 29, 2014

DAVIS, Calif. - The countdown is underway as more than 20 UC Davis student-athletes prepare to display their artistic talents in the fifth annual "Art of Athletes", premiering Friday evening at the Basement Gallery on campus.

The free event is open to the public and will feature more than three dozen pieces of art, ranging from clay and charcoal to photography and sculptures.

The event was started by former Aggie football running back Brandon Tucker and his studio art professor, Mike Henderson, in 2009. It provides the opportunity for freshmen through seniors from all 23 intercollegiate teams fill the gallery with their many talents as artists.

This year's coordinator is Devon DeMont, a fourth-year swimmer majoring in art studio. In addition to advancing her resumè as coordinator, she also interns at the Pence Art Gallery, a non-profit organization located in downtown Davis, and eventually wishes to pursue a career in gallery work. This marks DeMont's fourth consecutive year participating.

She said she is excited to see the talents featured at the gallery because each person is "unique in what they create and what art means to them," whether it relates to them as student-athletes or another part of their lives.

Michelle Roppeau, the director of athletic academic advising and organizer of the event, notes that the student-athletes participating are from all four UC Davis undergraduate colleges. With each person having a different background in school and athletics, Roppeau explains "it's fun to see people you might not expect to be artists or who you might not know creates art in their spare time." She finds it surprising and beautiful to see the potential student-athletes on the UC Davis campus have in each piece of their art.

The show opens at 5 p.m. on Friday with the opportunity for guests to meet the artists from 5:30-7. The gallery hours will continue Saturday from noon until 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1-5. It concludes on Monday from 9 a.m - 4 p.m.

Guests will also be encouraged to support the student-athletes in their competitions this weekend as well. Campus athletics events include women's gymnastics against rival Sacramento State at 7 p.m. on Friday, men's tennis versus the University of San Francisco on Saturday at 1 p.m., and women's basketball against UC Santa Barbara at 2.