Pence Gallery Association

The Pence Gallery's mission is to serve the community through displaying high caliber art exhibits, supporting the development of local and regional artists, and offering educational programs for visitors of all ages.

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Address: 212 D Street
Davis, CA 95616
County or Parish: Yolo County
Executive Director: Natalie Nelson
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 530-758-3370 x2
Fax: 530-758-4670
The Pence Gallery was founded in 1975 by a consortium of artists, University faculty, and community members in Davis, California. The following year, the Pence incorporated as a nonprofit art gallery. The original building was the former office of Dr. Joe Pence, a colorful dentist with a strong interest in the arts. When Joe and Hazel Pence gifted the building and grounds to the City of Davis, this consortium petitioned the City for its use as a gallery. The original building was replaced by a two-story, three gallery facility in 2005, designed by San Francisco architects Wayne Barcelon and Darlene Jang. While the Pence is located on City-owned land, the Pence Gallery Association owns the building and is responsible for all expenses. The Pence serves as a forum for ideas related to the arts. Located in downtown Davis, we serve over 18,000 visitors annually, and provide opportunities for adults, children, and youth to learn about art processes and media. Through art classes and lectures, we provide visitors throughout Yolo, Sacramento, and Solano counties access to hear and learn from established local and regional artists. Our volunteers give tours and help support our community outreach and events, such as our Garden Tour and Art Auction.
The Pence Gallery serves the community by offering free admission to its art exhibits, therefore, we are seeking unrestricted donations to fund the development and installation of art by well-established artists in Northern California. Our exhibits also connect the community with artists through talks, workshops, and demonstrations, and these programs require funding on an on-going basis. In addition, several of our youth programs (ArtSmart school projects and Make Stuff family programs) operate on a very small budget. To serve more people on and offsite, the Pence needs funding for project-specific programs, investments in supplies, facilities, staffing, and training. We also maintain a Board of Director and a volunteer core, and we are consistantly looking to recruit more individuals for both areas. Our top needs: 1. Funding: Program - The Pence Gallery coordinates an ambitious exhibit schedule of 12 solo and group exhibits of art by regional artists every year. In order to continue to have high caliber displays, we need support to cover research, marketing, printing, and installation of each artist's work. We work with artists for up to two years on each exhibit, thus it takes staff time to build great exhibits that serve to expand our audience's knowledge of art and concept what what qualifies as art. Many of the solo exhibits we host are of emerging artists- people who are new to exhibiting and need support to develop a body of work. Our request for support would be to fund a part-time curatorial assistant at $13,000/year. 2. Funding: Program - In addition, we are currently seeking funding for our ArtSmart hands-on school program. ArtSmart is for school groups Kindergarten to 6th grade, who participate in a docent tour of a current exhibit and learn how to talk about art. Afterward, they create an art project related to what they've seen on display. This increased funding would add our ability to pay our artist teacher to develop more curriculum and research other projects in conjunction with upcoming exhibits. We could also develop this as an outreach program to the schools, including staffing, materials and a travel stipend. Our request for the ArtSmart school program for one year is $6000. 3. Board Members - The Pence Gallery is interested in finding potential Board Members who are interested in the arts, and have time and experience in the following fields of retail sales, fundraising, business, finance, or accounting. We also need some monthly volunteers to supervise the gallery gift shop, process sales, and assist with customer service. 4. Funding: Program - The Pence is also looking to fund our Teens Take Charge program, which offers teens ages 13-18 the opportunity to learn about careers in the arts directly from artists working in the field. Teens participate in a 3 month long program where they visit museums, galleries, and artist studios, asking professionals about their pathway to the arts. Students also learn how to manage an event, work with artists and musicians, and produce a successful community event. This program has taken place for five years and is on hiatus due to lack of funding this year. The program costs $6000/year to fund. 5. Funding: Other - Our organization needs to modernize its inventory system for cataloguing art and gift items for the Gallery. We need to purchase equipment to allow us to more accurately track items that are incoming or outgoing, and to hire staff to set up a system for registration of objects, as well as train staff on its use.
The Pence Gallery is a jewel in the heart of downtown Davis and an important part of the regional art scene, helping to make downtown Davis a destination for the arts for the past forty-three years. The Gallery offers art education programs for adults and children, outstanding and innovative art exhibits, and supports local and regional artists. As Chair of the Pence Board of Directors, I see great opportunities for the Pence to expand and enhance its offerings to the local community and beyond. To realize those opportunities, we need your support. On behalf of the Pence Board of Directors, please give generously to the Pence during this Big Day of Giving event. Thank you.

-- Wil Uecker, President, Board of Directors