|521 1st St. (Corner of E Street, across from Davis Commons)|
The John Natsoulas Art Gallery, now called the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, is the largest of the Davis art galleries. Situated downtown, it is an important part of our local art scene. They also operate the Log Cabin Gallery in the former Boy Scout Cabin. The John Natsoulas Gallery is also responsible for the creation and tours of the Transmedia Art Walk. Not only is the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts a fine art gallery, cafe and event center, but it is a great rental and event venue for weddings, conferences, fund-raisers and parties. Call the John Natsoulas Center for details and availability - (530) 756-3938.
Anyone is welcome to walk in whether they are looking to purchase art or not, so don't feel uncomfortable about going inside. Many people treat it as a museum with free admission. All art galleries are like this. Come back often because the shows changes nearly monthly. You can check out what they're currently showing on their calendar.
1st & 3rd Thursdays — 8pm-10pm
Free poetry night and open mic MC'd by Dr. Andy Jones
Information on the Poetry Night Reading Series
Spoken Word + Jazz Beat
Spoken Word / Jazz-Beat event details
2nd Fridays— 7pm-10pm
Opening Reception + 2nd Friday Art About
The John Natsoulas Gallery holds it's openings to coincide with the ArtAbout on the second Friday of the month. They usually have live music and refreshments during their openings.
This newly remodeled building (a former fraternity house) has the Rosetta Cafe, a small bookstore downstairs, and four floors of art (five counting the roof). Be sure to visit all of the floors because the artists featured on the different floors are often very different. Also, be extra sure not to miss the back staircase. It is covered floor to ceiling with beautiful paintings and affordable art.
Personally, John especially likes Jazz music and figurative expressionist art -though he appreciates a wide variety of genres and is open to all forms of art. Not just the visual arts, but the Arts in general.
There is an outdoor patio and rooftop for the guests of the gallery.
Current Events and Exhibition Calendar
Art of Painting in the 21st Century
Great California Paint Out, and Annual Landscape Exhibition
The Annual Davis Jazz Festival: Beyond the Beat Generation:
The John Natsoulas Gallery sponsors more events than any other Davis Gallery. These have included:
Workshops with noted artists (Gregory Kondos, Del Almeida, etc.)
Music performances, from jazz to alternative rock (i.e. The Six Organs of Admittance. Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek, Butterscotch).
Performance art shows
Beat Generation and Beyond
The California Conference for the Advancement for Ceramic Arts (CCACA)
The California Landscape conference and the The Art of Painting in the 21st Century (John Seed, F. Scott Hess, Kelly Detweiler)
The Davis Jazz Artists Festival
Friday (February 10, 2006) KDVS Public Affairs Host Andy Jones and longtime Davis resident and UWP Lecturer Brad Henderson co-hosted a poetry book release party at the Gallery. Andy and Brad read their work, and signed copies of Split Stock, available now via John Natsoulas Press. It wasn't a rumor, all the hippest, artsiest, and best-connected locals were there.
Sacramento Valley's 5th Annual Landscape Conference 2007
The program featured plein air painting demonstrations by eminent Sacramento Valley landscape painters: Gregory Kondos, Chella, Deladier Almeida, Philippe Gandiol, and Marie Terese-Brown.
1st Annual Davis Jazz Festival 2007
The First Annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival comprised of both performances of music and art. Performances were led by: Nancy Ostrovsky, UC Davis Jazz Combo, Davis High School Jazz Band and Combo, Adam Jenkins and The Ganbare Spirits Ensemble, Dream Door, Capital Jazz Project and much more.
Art Fraud Scandal
John Natsoulas was alleged to have sold forged paintings in order to fund his gallery's 12,000 foot, $1.5 million expansion in 2000, according to a front-page October 15, 2006 article in the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Natsoulas settled a 2005 lawsuit with Henry Villierme, a once-famous abstract painter, who claimed that Natsoulas sold his paintings as works by the famous Richard Diebenkorn by forging Diebenkorn's signature on Villerme's work. Neither Natsoulas nor Villierme would comment to the Bee regarding the settlement, but others involved in the case backed the suit's allegations.
Fresno collector George Blair said he received the fraudulent paintings from Natsoulas, including one used as collateral for a loan he gave Natsoulas to fund his expansion. Blair said the paintings were bought for $175,000 and $180,000. The faux-Diebenkorn paintings were so well-done that no one questioned them until Villierme's son saw an advertisement for them. However, Blair does not believe that it is conclusive that Natsoulas himself forged the signatures.
Very interesting. Now, it would seem Villierme is famous again. At least in Davis. As for Natsoulas physically taking brush to canvas and forging the signatures...it just goes to show he is an artist at heart. — SolidSender
Many of the events are free or charge enough to cover costs. John is a businessman, but he also cares greatly about building the greater Davis art scene -this shows in the plethora of events he holds. —SteveDavison
Beware about doing business with John Natsoulas. He has a well-earned reputation around Davis as someone who does not pay his debts. I am the owner of a small Davis business who provided a service to the John Natsoulas Gallery for an agreed-upon fee, and with a signed contract. John refused to pay his bill after the services were rendered, and treated me with extreme disrespect when I asked that he remit payment. Beware of doing business with John Natsoulas. I would strongly advise anyone to collect payment before providing John with a product or service. — BujhaGee
The UC Davis Ceramics department no longer attends, nor has anything to do with Mr. Natsoulas' premier event - the CCACA. — ChuckFrank