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Sac State, Crocker Art Museum unite for U-Nite


U-Nite 2014 photo album

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Sacramento State’s art faculty members will present their works in a special exhibit, Gypsy jazz will fill the air, and a giant, inflatable brain will be filled with balloons. Those are just a few of the many attractions to be offered when Sac State and the Crocker Art Museum team up for the third annual U-Nite ( from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the museum.


Dance, music and theater performances; lectures; and other presentations by more than 40 University faculty and students will be offered throughout the evening among the museum’s many galleries.

Sac State Professor Elaine Gale came up with the idea for the partnership, which quickly was endorsed and supported by the Crocker’s education staff. “U-Nite has become a very lively and exciting bridge between the University and the museum, and the faculty and the students,” Gale says. “I love that this project brings people together to connect and celebrate our communities.”

U-Nite attracted more than 1,000 people in each of its first two years, and this year’s edition will have the kind of variety that previous crowds have enjoyed.

Faculty artists will be featured in their own exhibit among the many other works of wonder at the Crocker.

Sac State bassoon Professor David Wells will bring his group Hot Club Faux Gitane to the festivities. The five-member group plays Gypsy swing in the tradition of Django Reinhardt. Music also will be provided by Professor Stephen Blumberg and drummer Tyehimba Kokayi.

Several of the University’s dance instructors have choreographed works that will be performed at various locations at the Crocker throughout the evening.

The outdoor courtyard will be the scene of another unique installation art piece by Professor Andrew Connelly that comments on the influence of pharmaceuticals in our society. Participants will use helium-filled balloons to fill the interior of an inflatable brain.

“U-Nite at the Crocker is one of those truly special events where our University gets to showcase the remarkable talents of our students, faculty and staff for our community in an inspiring venue,” says Edward Inch, dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

Sacramento State and the Crocker Art Museum have been linked for several years through the pieces created by 65 Sac State alumni and professors that are in the museum’s collections, and U-Nite has further strengthened the relationship.

“The Crocker Art Museum is thrilled to partner with Sacramento State at the third annual U-Nite event,” says Lial A. Jones, the Mort and Marcy Friedman director of the museum. “The event helps the Crocker better connect with the talented students and faculty at Sacramento State and it enables us to present their good works to a broader audience.”

U-Nite is presented as part of Sac State’s Festival of the Arts. It is free for Sacramento State students, faculty, staff and alumni, and Crocker members. General admission is $10 at the door.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page or call the College of Arts and Letters at (916) 278-6502. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho