GALLERY: Sac State celebrates 10 year anniversary of U-Nite at Crocker Art Museum

The annual event recognizes the College of Arts and Letters


Michael Pacheco

Sacramento State College of Arts and Letters Dean Sheree Meyer giving opening remarks for the U-Nite event at the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. The event is an art and performance showcase featuring Sac State students, alums and faculty.

Chris Woodard

A few skips from Interstate 5, the doors of Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum shone in the early-evening darkness brought on by post daylight savings.

Students and faculty filed through the doors as the trotting of their fall boots echoed across the vast space of the softly lit museum. An evening of art and a celebration of Sacramento; this was U-Nite.

U-Nite commemorated its 10th anniversary Thursday evening and its return to an in-person event for the first time after two years of hosting it online.

“You experience an electricity and an energy that sometimes translates online, but it is unmistakable in person,” Elaine Gale, U-Nite founder and communication studies professor said.

The Sacramento State College of Arts and Letters and the Crocker Art Museum used U-Nite to showcase different areas of art on campus and allowed students and community members to witness their professor’s artistic talents outside the classroom.

“I’ve always said that professors are pretty much like real people too,” Ram Lobo, a fourth-year business major said. “I feel like it’s gonna be nice to see my professor speak about something that he’s passionate about.”

Mesha Young, a fourth-year public relations major and student ambassador of the event, said it was motivational to see professors apply their talents and not have to play the role of “adult” that they have on campus. She said it reminded her of her ability and that she could succeed. 

 U-Nite featured performances and lectures from over 20 College of Arts and Letters professors. Additionally, the exhibit on the museum’s third floor featured an audio guide presented by Sac State students.

“Inside the Crocker, there’s lots of different architecture to interact with, which affects our emotional architecture of experiencing art,” Gale said.

Early in the evening, U-Nite celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a retrospective panel that featured 10 of the original U-Nite faculty members, including Gale.

U-Nite is a key part of Sac State’s “Anchor University” initiative, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters Sheree Meyer said to Sac State communications.

“I think that academia has a history of being exclusive,” Gale said. “I think that’s what appeals to me about this collaboration, called U-Nite, with the museum is that it is inclusive and it is focused on community.”

Gale compared the event to the golden landmark, the Tower Bridge, which stands just next to the Crocker Art Museum.

“It’s a bridge between the Crocker and Sac State,” Gale said. “It’s an artistic bridge, it’s a cultural bridge, it’s a community bridge, it’s an educational bridge and it’s a celebratory bridge.”