Wayne Thiebaud is a famous American artist who graduated from California State University, Sacramento and is a long-time art professor at UC Davis. He currently teaches about one class per year and it is very popular.
"Thiebaud's paintings of food and consumer goods, which first emerged in mature form in 1961-62 have become such a familiar part of our art historical landscape that the risks they first posed can easily be taken for granted. As already seen, the inclination towards depictions of commonplace objects from middle-class America - decidedly "blue collar" subjects in the hierarchies of still-life painting - began to emerge for Thiebaud in the mid-1950s, well before the romance with similar iconographies that characterized the Pop movement. Thiebaud's choices may gesture backwards to such precedents as Stuart Davis's Odol bottle, Gerald Murphy's safety razor, or even Marcel Duchamp's urinal, but they mostly embrace objects that happened to be close at hand and that impressed him as interesting in character or presence. Also important in this development was his experience in advertising design and, for example, his layouts of simple objects in drugstore ads.
It was the cafeteria-type foods, of course, the cakes, pies, ice creams, hamburgers, hotdogs, canapes, club sandwiches, and other staples of the American diet - all of which have a stereotypical this-can-be-found-any-where-in-the-country-but-only-in- this-country quality - that brought Thiebaud most of his early notoriety."
— From "Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective" By Steven A. Nash
One of his prints is in the main lobby of Shields Library near the elevators.
In 2011 he spoke at the UCD Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center to a packed house. The room was so full that the lobby was stuffed with even more people who had to settle for listening to his voice amplified out into the lobby. A cheese, grapes, crackers, wine, et. al reception in the lobby followed the talk.