Alumni Center Art Gallery

From left to right: watercolor paintings by Qinqin Liu, Ph.D. ’90, and an illusion knit piece by Gerry Elizondo ’98.
From left to right: watercolor paintings by Qinqin Liu, Ph.D. ’90, and an illusion knit piece by Gerry Panelo Elizondo ’98.

Alumni showcase artwork at Alumni Center

Currently showcasing

Qinqin Liu, Ph.D. ’90

Qinqin Liu, UC Davis alumni artist stands holding microphone next to a mounted TV screen.

Qinqin Liu is an artist and scientist with a Ph.D. in botany from UC Davis, and many interdisciplinary art accomplishments. Connecting humanity's heart and soul to art, science, nature, and culture is her life’s journey. Her early art inspiration came from rich art and culture as well as life experience as a village artist during the Chinese cultural revolution. Integrating Chinese calligraphy, culture, and design elements into Western art styles and connecting art, science, culture, and nature contribute to the unique character of her contemporary artworks. She was inspired by art and science during her Ph.D. studies from 1985 to 1990 in plant symbiosis around living art and watershed landscape from the UC Davis Arboretum. She began her first watercolor painting in the US by reflecting the Putah Creek beauty during this time. Her creative art-science experience at UC-Davis empowers her to continue exploring living art projects “Seeds Crossing Ocean” and “Echo Climate” for public engagement and social practice. The UC-Davis provided her lifetime memory including reading and painting stimulated by beauty and peace of Arboretum and Putah Creek.  Creative student and faculty interactions offered rich soil for her to continue growing in her art-science life cycle from seeds.

Her cross-disciplinary experimental art-science investigations involve exploring contemporary languages, symbols, and unconventional nature materials and media from Eastern and Western cultures. Dr Liu has more than 10 peer-reviewed international publications tackling plant science, ecology and climate change. Her artwork has been selected for presentations and exhibitions including the National Science Museum in Taipei, California Art Center Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Duluth Art Museum, California State University gallery, Blue Line and Artistic Edge Galleries, Galway International Art Festival Open Studio, California science conference, and American Ecology Conference. To learn more about Qinqin, visit her website.

Some examples of her watershed artwork are selected for the current showcase at the Alumni Center for Cal Aggie Alumni Association.


Gerry Panelo Elizondo ’98

Headshot of Gerry Elizondo wearing a dark blue top.

Gerry Panelo Elizondo is a proud Aggie, graduating in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is currently a doctoral student in the UC Davis CANDEL Educational Leadership program. Her undergraduate experiences both in and outside the classroom at Davis spurred her to embark on an adventurous career in higher education, and she now serves as Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration at the University of California, Merced.

Gerry’s foray into the arts was inspired by her mother, who also dabbled in different types of textile arts as a way to channel creative energies and decompress from a busy day. Ongoing cross-stitching and crochet projects were a welcome diversion from Gerry’s busy class schedules in undergraduate and graduate school, and she expanded her art portfolio to include digital photography, drawing, and knitting during her years working at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was at SFAI where she honed in on the technique of illusion knitting, a form of textile art in which the knitting is viewed as simply narrow stripes from one angle, and as an image when viewed from another angle.

Though art took a backseat as Gerry continued to establish her career and build a family, she attributes the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to quarantine and stay-at-home orders in creating time and space for her to revisit and revive her passion for the arts. Jumping back into illusion knitting projects, Gerry created the “Bobcat Community” art piece in 2021 in recognition of UC Merced and the campus’ continued efforts to promote and foster innovative ways of building community amid a worldwide pandemic. The blue and gold colors of the piece are reflective of UC Merced and UC Davis’ school colors – two institutions that hold a dear place in her heart for both inspiring and nurturing her work as a higher educational professional.