Knowledge @ Noon: The Life and Stories of Emily Hoppin

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
12:00pm | Live on Zoom

Shirley DicKard will share the life story of her great-grandmother Emily Hoppin (1854-1915) to further illuminate one of Yolo County’s prominent historical women.

Emily’s work has a contemporary relevance – her belief in what women could contribute (if allowed to vote), her belief that we must protect our land and waters for posterity, and her understanding of the power of women working together for common goals for their communities and for world peace.

Emily was the original inspiration for the speculative historical novel, Heart Wood, Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future, which interweaves the lives of three family women of the past, present, and future as they cross through time to protect the earth. I believe that fiction enables us to reach a deeper emotional understanding that pure facts may not. As told through the lens of historical fiction, Emily Hoppin and the historical setting of Yolo, California, in 1875-1915 take on a deeper resonance for today.

Over the last 30 years, DicKard has gathered information from public archives (including the Yolo Historical Archives and the Gibson House), internet sources, and private family records. She will share some of the lesser-known family stories with details of farm life, Emily’s deep love of literature and nature, her temperance work, rise to power as President of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, and her untimely death in 1915.

Knowledge @ Noon
2nd Wednesdays
Noon-12:45pm | Free & Open to the Public
LIVE online

Knowledge @ Noon is a FREE monthly speaker series featuring Artists, Historians, and Agriculture Professionals that explores themes central to YoloArts and Yolo County Historical Collection exhibitions at the Gibson House and Property.


Archived Talks

Importance of Place: Art Farm and Beyond

Recorded from a Live Zoom event held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

The YoloArts “Art Farm” provides the opportunity to artists and farmers to share the beauty of our local farms. This year’s juror, Curator Natalie Nelson, talks about the meaning of place and the intersection of agriculture and art, as represented by selected artworks in the Art Farm exhibit at The Barn Gallery. These photographs and paintings represent a unique viewpoint into the people, places, and agricultural products of Yolo, showing the public both a micro and a macro view of life on our farms.

In her talk, she shares her own connection to farm life, and her family’s deep roots in farming in the Midwest. This interest in the land is reflected in her own artwork, which is intimately connected to our experience of nature and sense of place. As she writes, “A large part of my exploration is capturing the environment in which we live. Thus most of my work has vague traces of plant and animal life, such as nests, seeds, branches, taken from local and national parks, as well as daily walks in my suburban neighborhood. In collecting these natural objects in my environment, I aim to tap into the record of a specific place.” She shares a few of her collages and assemblages with the public, talking about the insights she’s gained as an emerging artist.

Honoring the Unknown Soldier: The 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Recorded from a Live Zoom event held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Mel Russell invites you to join her in recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This visual presentation, using historic photographs of the times, tells the story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It documents the evolution of the site into a National Monument dedicated to the dead and missing in action from all of America's wars and conflicts, while illustrating its transformation into "Hallowed Ground".

Mel was born in London, England in 1948. In 1970, she graduated with a double major in History and Physical Education from Digby Stuart College, London. Prior to starting her teaching career, she took some time off to travel around the world. Whilst in San Francisco she met her husband Michael, and the rest is “history”.

Mel worked in various jobs in the retail industry with an emphasis on inventory control, visual displays, and customer relations.  For 8 years she owned her own store in Sonoma.

After early retirement, she joined the Yolo County Library and in 2000, was appointed the Yolo County Archive and Record Center Coordinator where she served for 10 years.

Since 2014 Mel has been volunteering for the “Lest We Forget” project commemorating Yolo County’s participation in the First World War. She especially enjoys illuminating national history in this way, telling the story of how the ordinary citizens of Yolo were caught up in the seminal event of the 20th century, The Great War, “The War to End All Wars”, that still casts its “Long Shadow” over the world today.

Murals in the Making, a Discussion with TANA

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation on Wednesday, August 11, 12:00pm.

Jose Arenas discusses the collaborative and empowering aspects of the mural-making process, and current TANA community projects. Arenas shares recent creative collaborations by TANA staff and affiliated artists. He discusses various collaborative strategies used in his Mexican & Chicanx Mural Workshop course at UC Davis, including recent and past community mural examples in the area. Also, he shares mural design transfer methods like the grid, projection, and other iterative techniques like tracing.

Jose Arenas

California-based artist Jose Arenas creates works that explore dual identities, personal ritual, migration, and the feelings of displacement that happen from growing up in two countries.

Jose Arenas received a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995), and an MFA from UC Davis (2000). His work has been exhibited throughout the United States in galleries that include San Francisco, Albuquerque, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. Arenas is Executive Director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer, a community centered silkscreen program and extension of the UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Silkscreen program in Woodland, CA. He additionally teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and Silkscreen Workshop courses in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis.

Re-Indigenizing Culture

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation on Wednesday, July 14, 12:00pm.

Diana Almendariz is a teacher and activist who keeps the traditions of her Maidu, Wintun, Hupa, and Yurok descent. Diana shared with the community Native American cultural practices that enrich and grow our understanding of the Native American experience in Yolo County. Diana spoke about the importance of basket making within the Maidu and Patwin cultures as it relates to the care of the land.

Art & Activism in Our Community

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation on Wednesday, May 12th, 12:00pm.

Dzokerayi Minya, Francesca Wright and Anya McCann talked about art as a vehicle for social action and societal change as represented in The Barn Gallery’s current exhibition, Art. In. Action. which celebrates African American Women Heroes, civil rights leaders and women who have been victims of police brutality. They talked about the goals and mission of WiLD (Women in Leadership, Davis) and Yolo People Power, a volunteer group of residents committed to envisioning justice and public safety.

Gold Rush Medicine

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation by Dr. Bob LaPerriere on Wednesday, April 14th, 12:00pm.

Dr. LaPerriere spoke about Gold Rush medicine, which focused on the health concerns faced by those traveling to California for the Gold Rush and the common medical treatments used.

The Future is Female: Women in Farming

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation moderated by Michele Clark of the Yolo Land Trust on Wednesday, March 10th, 12:00pm.

At this roundtable 3 women who actively farm in Yolo County share their stories and insights about the role of women in Yolo County agriculture today and for the future. Famers included: Rebecca Yeung of Joe Yeung Farms; Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm; and Sherri Wood, Capay Valley Lavender.

Rebecca Gregg

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation by Rebecca Gregg on Wednesday, February 10th, 12:00pm.

Rebecca Gregg’s talk celebrated William Henry Fox Talbot’s many contributions to the invention and practice of photography one day before his birthday in 1800. By looking at this founding father, the current role and practice of photography may be more clearly understood. Photography’s place among the fine arts continues to grow while never entirely losing its important role as realistic visual communication in science, technology, and all forms of storytelling.

David Wilkinson & Rolf Frankenbach

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation by David Wilkinson & Rolf Frankenbach on Wednesday, December 9th, 12:00pm.

David and Rolf presented an overview of the Woodland Tree Foundation’s 20-year efforts to expand Woodland’s tree canopy and build community. One of the Foundation’s key goals is to re-introduce and preserve native oaks in the Woodland landscape. This is consistent with the City’s goal of increasing its tree cover from 15% to 25% by 2035, one of the pillars of its Climate Action Plan. They discussed how the Foundation is “re-oaking” the Highway 113 corridor, an area once rich with valley oaks before the advent of farming and advocating for re-oaking Woodland’s new developments. There was also a discussion of the Foundation’s current project to revise Woodland’s tree ordinance, in cooperation with the City, to provide better protection for Woodland’s trees, with a special emphasis on native oak protection. Informed and active citizenry is essential to preserve Woodland’s tree culture. The stakes have never been higher.

County Road One: Rediscovering Yolo County’s Food, Wine, and Agriculture

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation by Ann M. Evans & Geogeanne Brennan on Wednesday, November 11th, 12:00pm.

Yolo County’s food, wine and agriculture is now well recognized as an important contributor to the farm to table movement, but it wasn’t always the case. Join Ann Evans and Georgeanne Brennan for tales of their early and pioneering years of work with Slow Food Yolo, with Yolo County Department of Agriculture, and with all five Yolo County School Districts, all dedicated to putting the county, its wineries and olive oil producers, ranchers and growers, food processors and school cafeterias on the northern California culinary map.

From creating an award winning cookbook for the Davis Farmers Market, to a weekend of programming featuring Yolo County at the esteemed, Napa-based COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, to a celebration of Yolo County’s processing tomatoes in February, the events, publications and workshops created and presented by Evans & Brennan over a 10 year period from 2004-2014, were seminal.

This hour long, free ranging conversation with Ann and Georgeanne will begin with the publication of the cover story that changed the way Yolo County thought about itself. The SF Sunday Examiner published Evans & Brennan’s spread with photos on Yolo County: The Next Napa? The story surveyed the culinary and agricultural treasures of Yolo County and surmised that Yolo County was the next Napa, a little like Provence without the 3-hour lunches. Then, Evans & Brennan introduced the three hour lunch through the first ever Village Feast, gathering of 300 based on the French tradition of a Grande Aioli event – where everyone brought their own table settings, sat at one long table and service was family style.

Memories of a New Future Artists Talk

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation from October 14, 2020.

In this moment of 'sheltering in place' seven artists explore the theme of embarkation and the hopes, dreams, and fears of setting off into the unknown. This presentation is a discussion between artists Lynn Beldner, Steve Briscoe, Melissa Chandon, Chris Daubert, Glenda Drew, Jesse Drew, and Mel Smothers about their work on view at The Barn Gallery in Woodland, CA.

Rebecca Riggs, Architectural Historian

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon presentation from September 9, 2020.

This presentation covers what the National Register of Historic Places is and how it is used to evaluate historic properties. Riggs also provides background information and architectural descriptions of historic properties in Yolo County that are on the National Register.

Rebecca Riggs grew up in Woodland, CA and has always been passionate about the past. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Monmouth College (IL) and a Master of Arts degree in history and public history from California State University, Sacramento. She has worked as an architectural historian for Stantec Consulting Services for 3 years and currently sits on the Yolo County Historical Collections Committee.


Glenn Cole, Field Manager, UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon on August 12, 2020.

Glenn Cole obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo in Crop Science. Glenn has spent the last 35 years in the seed industry working on agricultural research. His experience has spanned the breeding and development of many crops including Alfalfa, Wheat, Melons, Tomatoes, Peppers and Sunflower. He has a particular interest in the identification and incorporation of valuable traits from wild species into the domesticated crop of interest. Genetic diversity is a critical component to any breeding program and creatively implementing proper strategies to capture the value of that diversity is the challenge he likes to solve the most. He has spent the last 5 years as the Plant Breeder/Research Manager for the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program.

This agriculture talk focused on the history of Strawberry Research at UC Davis and current innovations in the industry throughout California and internationally.

Jane Ingram Allen, Eco Artist

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon on July 8, 2020.

Jane Ingram Allen, originally from Alabama, lived in Taiwan from 2004-2012 and moved back to the USA in August 2012, settling in Santa Rosa, CA. She continues her career as an international artist using sustainable materials and collaborative processes to raise public awareness about environmental and social issues.

She discussed hand paper-making for indoor and outdoor art installations including the use of plant materials. She also spoke about works created during residencies in Taiwan, Tanzania, and several in the USA. She currently has work in the WEAD exhibition at The Barn Gallery.

Judith Selby Lang, Eco Artist- Where We Are

Recording of a Live Knowledge @ Noon on May 13, 2020.

For Judith Selby Lang “making something out of nothing” has been her motto as she crafts her artwork from found objects, discards, trash. While the content of her work has a message about the spoiling of the natural world by the human/industrial world, her intent is to give aesthetic form to what is considered to be garbage.

Her ephemeral public art works have graced the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza, the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, and Stanley Harbor, Hong Kong to name a few.

Exhibition Receptions for Tomorrow Have Been Postponed

In light of the current recommendations from Yolo County Health and Human Services regarding large community events we will be postponing the Women Eco Artists Dialog: The Legacy of Jo Hansen and the Fashion Forward exhibition receptions scheduled for tomorrow, March 12, 5:30-8pm. We will be working closely with exhibition partners, Women Eco Artists Dialog and … Continued

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