With its signature green canvas and soaring orange roof, the exhibition, entitled J.B.G.G., was unveiled Monday in downtown Davis, the first art show in California to open in more than 30 years.
“I feel like I’m coming home,” Watt told The Associated Press on a visit to the campus.
“The fans are amazing.
It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The exhibition is Watt’s latest solo exhibit at a college, which is the first such exhibition in the country and a first for a player from a major college.
Watt was an All-American at Cal and won two Super Bowls with the 49ers before being drafted by the Texans.
The Texans released him in January, saying the team’s medical staff was unsure of his long-term health and that he was not healthy enough to play.
Watt is expected to be back with the Texans this season, but his absence is likely to linger until he’s 100 years old.
The exhibition features more than 20 pieces from Watt’s collection.
The Texas-born artist is also among the first artists to paint in a large-scale style on canvas in the United States.
“It’s kind of like being at home in a museum,” Watt said.
“There’s a lot to see.
It really is an amazing piece.”
Watt’s work, like many other pieces in the exhibition’s collection, will be displayed at the University of California Davis campus until Sept. 10.
Watt said he hopes to continue painting at the campus until he is 100 years of age.
The exhibit will be part of a new exhibition that includes a show of works by Japanese artists that are part of the International Contemporary Art Exhibition.
The university has partnered with the Japan Foundation to help finance the project, which will also include a piece by Japanese artist Toshio Suzuki, who died in April.
“This is just an exciting piece of art that I can’t wait to see, because I’m not sure I’ll ever see it again,” Watt, who played quarterback at Texas from 2000 to 2005, said.
Watt, like his fellow college athletes, is not a big fan of the NFL.
He was drafted by his hometown team in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft, but he left after one season because of a knee injury.
“You can never say never,” Watt acknowledged.
“But I think my mind is on football and that’s where my focus is right now.”
Watt, of course, isn’t the only player to have an art career, with Art Deco architect Charles Luthern among the greats.
The last person to paint a piece on a large canvas in a space such as a gallery was the late sculptor Frank Lloyd Wright.
The art world has changed in recent years.
Art is now more accessible and mainstream than ever.
“If I could paint my own art on canvas, it would be like living a new life,” Watt tweeted in June.
“Just going through my day, being in the moment.”
Watt is scheduled to make his first solo exhibition of his own, scheduled for Sept. 11 at the California State University-Fullerton, later this year.
His next exhibition will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City in December.
Watt also has several other solo shows scheduled in the next year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Los Angeles and the Museum for Contemporary Art of New York.