Urban Art


  1. Knitta
  2. Interactive Art
  3. Posters and Fliers
  4. Eye Bombings
  5. Wheat paste
  6. Sculpture
  7. Spray painted
  8. Stenciled
    1. Stencil Series
    2. Misc. Stencils
      1. 2004
      2. 2005
        1. Orchard Park pedestrian overpass
        2. April
        3. June
        4. September
      3. 2006
        1. January
        2. February
        3. March
        4. April
        5. May
        6. June
        7. August/Sept
        8. October
        9. November
      4. 2007
        1. January
        2. February
        3. March
        4. May
        5. June
        6. July
        7. November
      5. 2008
        1. June
        2. July
      6. 2009
        1. March
        2. summer
      7. 2010
        1. July
      8. 2011
        1. May
        2. June
        3. July
        4. October
      9. 2014
    3. Stencil Status

Urban Art (usually in the form of graffiti) means "unsanctioned art", as opposed to officially sanctioned art. Also called 'street art', it does not mean that one is of higher quality, or even necessitate a different style. Urban art is often created under duress which sanctioned/approved art is not, and this constrains it. It is guerrilla art. Urban art is, however, free of any censorship, commercialism, and community mores which establishment art must hew to. This liberates it and makes it uncompromised; it is "pure art".

Unsanctioned street performances such as those of flashmobs and the Ku Klux Klown could also be considered urban art.


[wikipedia]Knitta, also known as Urban Knitting (or knitted graffiti), is knitted yarn done in public places over public objects. There is one piece done on a bike rack in front of Hart Hall. Here are more examples (note what happens when a bicycle gets attacked): [WWW]http://www.crookedbrains.net/2009/01/knitting.html

starhat1.jpgSeen May 7, 2011 on the Stargazer egghead. starhat2.jpgSeen May 7, 2011 on the Stargazer egghead.

Interactive Art

Dead Drop.jpg

Posters and Fliers

Not all posters and Fliers are unsanctioned, but these are noncommercial, uncensored and artful.

crit-mass.jpgCritical Mass Poster dpfs.jpgDPFS flier state-of-homeland.jpgState of the Homeland, posted in Delta bathroom driving-is-bad-for-your-ass.jpgDriving is Bad for your Ass, posted @ Delta glad-we-evolved.jpgI'm so glad we fucking evolved, posted @ focus your art affluenza.jpgDo you suffer from Affluenza? immaculate-invasion.jpgThe Immaculate Invasion of Iraq, posted outside delta civil-defense.jpgProtest poster for the war in Lebanon and music show. Read the small print keep-pretending.jpgKeep pretending no one frets about genocide or al-Fallujah and Hadithah the-empire.jpgThe empire is in love with you, posted at Focus your Art utah-phillips.gifPoster for Utah Phillips at the Varsity mad-cow-stringband.jpgMad Cow Stringband @ the Palms Gengar Graffiti.jpgGengar behind Chipotle Pokemon Trainer.jpgPokemon trainer near Agava Restaurant Obey Cow.jpgOBEY Cow at The Marketplace Have you seen this squirrel?.JPGHave you seen this squirrel? Have you seen this crow?.JPGHave you seen this crow? Like this post.JPGBe the first of your friends to like this post. Roommate Wanted.JPGRoommate Wanted. Speech Bubbles.JPGSpeech Bubbles. Lost Wormholes.JPGLost Wormhole. Lost Ewok.JPGLost Ewok. Missing Squirrel.jpgMissing Squirrel.

Eye Bombings


Brunswick.jpgBrunswick Carlos the Coke Machine.jpgCarlos the Coke Machine unitrans.jpgDarwin Manny the Pencil Sharpener.jpgEddie the Pencil Eater Frank the Friendly Plant Monster.JPGFrank the Friendly Plant Monster Garbage Can.JPGGavin the Garbage Can

Wheat paste

Flash Tunnel.jpgAnother work signed by Flash.


Dinasour Egg.JPGDinasour Egg

Army men rotated.JPG Felix L Bronk.JPG

Spray painted

Also see Desk Graffiti.

The bridge under the I-80/Highway 113 interchange over Putah Creek used to be a very famous graffiti spot until about 4 years ago. You can access it by heading out towards the Hydraulics Lab south of the Vet hospital and Unitrans depot. It is also south of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA). Local writers DEOne, SteveOne, Dawns, Erekt, Phlower, Bfore, and even such SF artists as Giant, Bukue, SetOne, and Leks and others used to kill the walls out there every weekend, drink beer, build skate ramps, blast metal, and generally have a good time. You can see most of this work documented on Susan Farell's site graffiti.org. This was all fun and games until an alert CHP officer saw me painting in the middle of the day and pulled his gun on me. Graffiti spot no longer. All the walls have been sandblasted.... :( —(Mr. JeffSpeckles aka SteveOne SBS HNR, freight train killer 1996-2005 and beyond)

Also see The Foundation and Stevenson Bridge.

For an ever changing display of graffiti, head over to the train tracks along 2nd Street near the Police Station. The freight trains there park for a while, displaying many vast murals of well executed graffiti art. Of course, where there is good work, there is also bad, but typically one can spot many multicolored banners mixed in with the typical tags.

Photo Request: There is some nice graffiti on an old trailer next to the Davis Park and Ride parking lot behind Ikedas. I saw it one day when I didn't have my camera and I haven't had a chance to make it back. Anyone?

USA.jpgTag of the notorius, nationwide, Urban Street Artists foundation_graffiti.jpgThis is painted on the remains of a building foundation in the UC Davis Arboretum. confessfoundation.jpgThe Foundation des.jpgUnder the bike bridge at the worst intersection graffitipeace.jpgPeace sign on F Street. growl.jpgThis meanie face is in the Arboretum. mushroom.jpgOn Colgate Dr. between L and M streets. bridge.jpgUnder Pedrick Bridge railroadbridge.jpgUnder Railroad Bridge Trailer_Park_Ride_SW.JPGThis is the Southwest side of that trailer, I didn't get a look at the other side. East_of_Natsoulas.JPGOn the sidewalk east of Natsoulas Gallery April 2007


Stencil Series


There seems to be a series of stencils in Davis produced by the same group or at least in a very similar style. They have been found all around town, including on Campus and the part of Downtown closest to Campus.

California Aggie columnist Ian Watson [WWW]ranted about these stencils, especially because one appeared on the Death Star. It is rumored that many of these stencils are painted by the International Socialist Organization. The others in the series are:

iraq.jpg politics.jpg sadbot.jpg empire.jpg

Misc. Stencils


hedgehog.jpg wateringkid.jpgIs this associated with the design department? These were all over campus at some point.

headless.jpgFound nearby Cafe Roma in early Fall 2004. barcodes.jpgFound nearby Cafe Roma in early Fall 2004.

life_is_war.jpgFound on the overpass by In-N-Out on 09-20-2004. bush_bones.jpgFound near "Life is War," same time. Also found near Aggie Village (6/21/05)

iraq_for_iraqis.jpgThis stencil was found on the side of the Death Star on 11-15-2004. It is in the same style as the other political stencils from the summer of 2004. There were 2 other new stencils (no pictures of those yet), also obviously by the same group/individual


artbldg.jpgOn one of the pillars on the Art Building 2005-03-17

primate.jpgFound outside Ciocolat 2005-02-05. References the Primate Center.

primatecenter.jpgCentral Park 2005-11-06

draft.jpgFound by the Alpha Chi Omega house on Second Street

john_and_bob.jpgJohn and Bob are found in the Senda Nueva Greenbelt where Antelope Ave cuts in (3/13/05). John and Bob can also be found twice on the DHS campus, although one stencil has been shoddily painted over.

dino.jpgAppeared sometime in 2005 on the lower left hand corner of the north entrance to Lower Freeborn

Orchard Park pedestrian overpass

bridge2_smallpants.jpgFound on the Orchard Park pedestrian overpass 2005-02-09

bridge1_smallpants.jpgFound on the Orchard Park pedestrian overpass 2005-02-09

bridge3_smallpants.jpgFound on the Orchard Park pedestrian overpass 2005-02-09



the_real_criminals.jpgFound slapped on the side of the Death Star on 2005-04-25

caferoma.jpgFound on Campus Cafe Roma's window 2005-04-25


Robo_Zombies.jpgFound at the top of the exterior stairway on the Death Star

Monkey_Graffiti.jpgFound at the bottom and third level of the exterior stairway on the Death Star

free_socks.JPGFound under the bridge at California Avenue


666.JPGFound on WC door in the Arboretum's Wyatt Deck.

opiate_tv.JPGFound on 3rd Street across from Raja's

smoking_gnome.jpgFound on a trashcan in the Big Kid's Park



mu_bus_terminal_jan_2005.jpgInside the Memorial Union bus terminal.

beautiful_deathstar_jan_2006.jpgAt the fifth and sixth floors of the northeast tower of the Death Star. Interesting that these are among the highest-elevated, least-trafficked open ledges in Davis...


Peace_Stencil_Bridge.JPGon the underside of the old A Street bridge


smile_on_light_march_2006.jpgAt the corner of Third & University.


artman.jpgJust outside the main entrance to the UCD Art Building

arrrt.jpgOn the side of the Theatre and Dance building spock.jpgA hilarious stencil of Mr. Spock on a pillar outside of the Student Housing building spock 2.jpgAnother view of Mr. Spock

clouds.jpgClouds drawn on the west doors of the Art Building

eyes.jpgOutside of the L&S Dean's office in the Death Star


mass.jpgStepping stone at the south-west facet of Delta of Venus

smiley.jpgbetween Olson and Shields


girly.jpgFound next to Ali Baba.

barcode.jpgAlso found next to Ali Baba; the barcodes were stamped in 2004 according to the archive above, but the Critical Mass stamps are from '06. face.jpgLocated across from Sam's Mediterranean.


birdy.jpgAcross from 194 Chem and Everson Hall on the Spanish tile-roofed building's wall.

mansion.jpgIn front of Mansion Square, this stencil is identical to one near Sam's Mediterranean. design.jpgThe back of one of the design bungalos next to Walker Hall.


twitter.jpgIdentical to the bird near 194 Chem; this one's near the Art Building.

IM_a_Ninja_Stencil.JPGI'm a ninja, not a terrorist painted under Mrak Hall bridge. path.jpgSame bird stencil as above, this series is between Voorhies and South Hall.


Obey_Stencil.JPGOn concrete of basketball court at Willowcreek Park

No_God_Ducks.JPGLowest level of the Social Sciences and Humanities Building



Dalailama1.jpgStencil of the Dalai Lama on the roof of the buildings between Walker Hall and Everson Hall.

Dalailama2.jpgSame stencil of the Dalai Lama on the roof of Chem 194.


gunsnroses.jpgThis stencil is located on the sidewalk between the now-defunct Tower Records and the prosperous downtown Starbucks.


Remember_John.JPGOn a planter at the north end of the Wellman Hall front porch.

Ok_Not_Ok.JPGOn a pillar in the pit of Wellman Hall.


Make_Love_Shoot_Red.JPGIn Central Park near the play area

Ark_Stencil.JPGThere were some nearby spray painted words, but I'm not sure if they go with the Ark, at the far eastern end of the arboretum May_1st_Tank.JPGModified heavy tanks stencil to advertise UCD May 1, 2007: Day of Action


chuck.jpgThe heroic Chuck Norris, behind Young Hall baneeneer.jpgBanana peel in front of The Avid Reader; identical stencil in front of the now-defunct Aggie Fan Club store.


brain_stinking.JPGunder a bridge in the arboretum

running_up.JPGOn the sidewalk north of the arboretum and south of Unitrans

Blue_Boy_dumpster.JPGnext to Newsbeat in the alley


Cruci_Fiction_Stencil.JPGon the steps of 194 Chem



You_are_not_a_slave.JPGCorner of Peter J. Shields Avenue and California Avenue


Orange_Face.JPGSeveral on Campus near the MU



Gods_Chosen_People.JPGIn front of a bench near the bike undercrossing of I-80 nacho.jpgOn the west side of Wright Hall


duck.jpgDeath Star duck.

fbp.jpgLocated at the north entrance of Freeborn Hall. Used to read 'Casino Bicycle Parking'...then got painted over by the UC peeps. Photo by ElisaHough. war is terror.jpgWar=Terror. endthewar.jpgEnd the War. fruit.jpgNortheast corner of Freeborn. unicorn.jpgUC Davis Unicorns, roundabout northwest of Shields



let-them-eat-cake.jpgOutside south entrance to the Silo



young-stencil.jpgOutside Young Hall.

olson 1.jpgOn a column of Olson Hall. olson 2.jpgOn a column of Olson Hall.


IMG_3028.JPGCute cat stencil in front of Pizza Guys and Taqueria Davis on L Street.


1935.jpgOn the northeast side of Freeborn Hall on a pillar. tophats.jpgTurtles wearing top hats on the back of a rental sign in front of Davis Upholstery. nice.jpgAcross from US Bank.


mtvequalsilluminati1.jpgBehind the SPCA Thrift Store.


Banana Tag Flash.JPGPossibly a new work by Flash?

Tetris.JPGBehind Walker Hall

Stencil Status

Many of the original stencils are now painted over. The city seems to be using bright silver paint to cover some of them, which makes for some really ugly sidewalk. So what you do is stencil many of them in a pattern so that when they silver paint over them it makes a large face or such.


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I hate to be a stickler but the one on the pillar of the art building is actually a silkscreen. You can make the argument that a silkscreen is a stencil but it is not a stencil in the same form as all the other ones on this page. Also, I'm sure there is other Urban Art in this town besides stencils. Maybe someone can contribute some of these other mediums? —GracielaGuardado

2005-07-17 16:58:43   Does anybody have any pictures of the Evangelions that used to be on the Orchard Park Overpass? —NickSchmalenberger

2005-09-12 13:32:00   on the Death Star there's another stencil, a woman's face in a box that looks like it's suppose to house a light to light the floor, i would have taken a picture but we couldn't really stop —MichelleAccurso

2005-10-29 13:01:34   Another neat stencil art image was the Samus stencil. Any pictures? It's painted over now, unfourtunately. —MatthewTom

2005-11-06 22:54:36   I thought it was an Evangelion, but maybe it is Samus. From Metroid right? I have pictures. I'll post them when I get the film scanned. —NickSchmalenberger

2006-01-06 23:18:26   is it so wrong that i wish there was more graffiti around to photograph? i adore urban art —MichelleAccurso

2006-01-12 11:44:34   Take the train down to Berkeley and look on the east (and west too) side of the tracks. Between Richmond and Emeryville you will see tons of nice stuff. Graffiti tends to be concentrated around train yards and tracks, construction sites, and freeways in urban areas. —JeffSpeckles

2006-02-04 06:04:07   I <3 —MarieHuynh

2006-03-04 00:35:27   A neat book to check out is "Graffiti world" by Nicholas Ganz. I like a lot of the character artists in there. I particularly like Kid Acne and Cha. The reason why you see a lot of writing on the trainyards is because trains travel a lot, and therefore provide a wider audience for the writer. —MatthewTom

2006-03-04 00:39:58   BTW, does anyone know what "Achilles Snap" means? It's not art, but I see that message every morning... —MatthewTom

2007-03-28 07:40:32   "The back of one of the design bungalos next to Walker Hall" was there before August/Sept. but I don't remember how long before. —MarieHuynh

2007-05-02 16:47:28   I periodically see tags from fairly notable tagging crews on trains in Davis and Woodland. It always impresses me. —BrianTrott

2007-05-24 21:34:04   There is a cool stencil of a Garden gnome throwing a molotov cocktail on a dumpster at the corner of 8th and h. I don't have a digital camera or I would post it. It reminds me of the work of Banksy every time I see it. —Dimitri

2007-06-15 01:36:37   Dunno if it's still there but I loved the stencil of a pair of scissors "cutting" part of freeborn hall off - it was artfully placed. —AynReyes

2007-07-10 08:21:00   I don't mean to be too negative or anything, but whoever made the Chuck Norris, Andre the Giant, John Lennon and Bob Marley stencils, needs to get some new material. That shit's majorly cliche. Oh, and we need to put more freehand tagging in this section. Last thing, quit talking about Banksy. That guys like a monolith of talent that overshadows a lot of other great artists. Plus, he's like the Tony Hawk of graffiti. Okay I'm done. —BrianTrott

2008-03-24 01:10:17   I really appreciated the freehand monster that appeared on the south side of Big 5 in the marketplace. It was covered up recently, but it had a good run. —AynReyes

2009-05-12 11:16:09   The freehand monster was a good concept but it wasn't as good as it could have been. Kinda sloppy, but a good idea. And good placement, too, if you're into that sort of thing. —JohnDudek

2011-07-07 13:37:41   the putah creek bike tunnel behind borders has had some pretty lame spray paint stuff on it but there have been some cool paint splatter of different colors that look amazing —JustinYoder

2011-08-23 22:27:07   Maybe stenciling needs its own page. It's barely art and its distracting people from a lot of the awesome crap out there. Like the picture I just posted of someone's graffiti underneath Pedrick Bridge. Take a deep breath and check it out, it's some awe-inspiring stuff. It's got at least two angry owls, Big Bird (possibly a pterodactyl), two Salvador Daliesque elephant/wolf/face/stars, the words sex and ape appearing several times, and a pretty good sized marijuana leaf in the bottom right corner. I get flustered trying to take it all in. And then I think "man, this guy or girl dragged a huge ladder down here to do this." Mind blowing. I think the angry owls represent the dichotomous nature of knowledge. Or the dichotomy of something else. Big Bird seems pretty omnipotent, like a benevolent creator. But then it looks like he has a claw and you have to wonder, "Is that a pterodactyl?" Is it? —MikeyCrews

2011-09-28 12:14:12   In the photo "Under Pedrick Bridge" there's a big yellow figure, I've seen his work pop up on I-80 overpass near Mace, and on the I-80 and CA-113 junction. They were there for a couple weeks before they got painted over, too bad no one got a picture of them. —SamChieh

2011-10-12 20:27:14   Yea I saw some similar designs under the I-80 bridge about a month ago but they had all been blemished with other, less talented people's work. Hopefully the big-bird artist gets back at it soon. —MikeyCrews

2012-02-07 01:21:45   Adding googly eyes to stuff is funny. —MikeyCrews

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