If you’ve never heard of TB (Temporary Building ) 9 at the University of California, Davis, it is the building that houses the classrooms and studios of the ceramics sculptural arts program made famous by Robert Arneson and his students. The 7,200 sq. ft. building was bought from the federal government as war surplus in 1947 and used as a dormitory building, fondly referred to as The Warehouse. In 1951 the buiding was converted to a combination police station, mailroom, and storage area. The art department began taking it over in 1961; Robert Arneson arrived in 1962. By the end of the 1960s the entire building had been given over to the ceramics program and a metal foundry (discontinued after the 1971 death of faculty member and metal sculptor Tio Gimbruni). If you’ve ever been to UC Davis, you’ve probably seen Giambruni’s work “Bum Bum You’ve Been Here Before”, 1967.
Temporary buildings have a way of never going away at UC Davis, and TB 9 is alive and well and is still the home of the ceramics teaching studio and kilns.
I had never actually been inside TB 9 before, but finally had a chance to see inside and discover its whimsical art garden with work colleagues not so long ago.
What follows is a photo tour of TB 9, inside and out. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
I can’t wait to go back, and maybe the kumquat tree will still have fruit!
Last Friday, December 4, was my last day at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. It all happened fairly quickly. And with no time off (except a weekend of animal shelter volunteering, school work, and laundry), I started today at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis.
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum is under construction (yes, another new museum in my life) and it’s going to be fabulous!
Until construction is further along, the museum administrative offices are in Nelson Hall. The Nelson Gallery is closed as of June 2015. The building used to be the University Club for faculty and staff. I remember thinking, back in my student days, that it was a building I would never enter, but now I am working there! Life is strange. It’s a sort of funky building but it’s in a beautiful setting.
My desk set-up is temporary, but it will do!
Of course, it being the UC system, there is lots of paperwork to do before I can actually start working. I spent the morning at the Shared Services office getting my HR paperwork going. They were very welcoming.
Then I had to go get fingerprinted at the campus police department, so I took a detour around campus to see how much I remembered and how much things had changed. It felt the same but different.
Leaving Nelson Hall toward the Arboretum, there is a great section of sidewalk art, featuring underwater creatures.
I headed through the Arboretum, which looks lovely this time of year, although the water is a bit on the green side. But the recent rains should help freshen things up.
Mrak Hall will probably never change. And one of the Robert Arneson Eggheads keeps faithful watch.
One of my favorite spots on campus from my day is still the same–the wisteria arbor between Mrak Hall and Lake Spafford. Not the time of year for flowers, but come spring it will be a riot of lavender blossoms.
Ah, Everson Hall, where I spent 2 years in graduate school in the textiles department. Talk about something that hasn’t changed!
The Art Department is across the way. It seems like it should be one of the more colorful and interesting buildings, but as you can see, it’s not. When I was a workstudy student at the Nelson Gallery in the 80s, it was in the Art Department on the first floor.
These sculptures on the grounds are strong in my memory, too.
Shields Library was newly remodeled during my student days, and I still think it’s a nice building.
And we can’t talk about UC Davis without mentioning the ubiquitous bicycles. Yes, they are everywhere.
Walker Hall was where I spent a lot of my time as an undergraduate. It was the Design Department then; I’m not sure what goes on there now but it’s a lovelier spot than I remembered.
Next stop: the quad. The only thing that really looks different is the addition of the hammocks, which I am in favor of. The world needs more hammocks.
For the record, and risking an argument with the Squirrels of Berkeley fans, I think the squirrels at UC Davis are fatter, healthier, and generally more courteous.
Aggie Pride is everywhere.
Student radio is alive and well at UC Davis. Offices at Freeborn Hall.
But where are the students, you might ask after seeing all of these pictures. I was thinking the same thing. I finally found them at, of course, the Coffee House!
The Coffee House now is much more sparkly and upscale than it was in my student days. But they kept some of the old touches, like the coffee cup sign and the stained glass, from when it was on the other side of the student union in a much smaller space.
That concludes today’s tour of my UC Davis. Come visit me if you are in the area! If I’m not in my office, I think you know where to find me. Hint: coffee.