WATER TOWER: Bee reporter George Hostetter has an interesting Fresno City Council preview story in Thursday’s paper about the likelihood of the Fresno Arts Council assuming the lease and management of the iconic downtown Fresno Water Tower. From the story:

The deal is a no-brainer, of course. The nonprofit Arts Council would pay no rent at the city-owned tower, but would foot the bill for things like electricity and the janitor. The lease is for three years, with two one-year options.

The Water Tower already is a magnet for visitors in search of tips on stuff to see and places to visit. The tower’s interior is chock full of work from the area’s finest artists, all sensibly priced.

The Arts Council will retain both missions. City Hall is the big winner — it won’t suffer the shame of having what is perhaps the city’s best-known landmark shuttered by municipal stinginess.

If you haven’t stopped by the Water Tower recently, by the way, put it on your list of downtown things to do. It’s a cheery environment inside, and don’t forget to look up and see the beautiful ceiling.

MATT BLACK IN THE NEW YORKER: My South Valley colleague Lewis Griswold on Sunday provided an excellent recap of Exeter photographer Matt Black’s recent splashy debut in one of the nation’s most prestigious magazines. It’s very rare to see a photo spread in the New Yorker, but that’s what happened with Black’s photos of the drought in the San Joaquin Valley. (The photos were originally part of a seven-minute video titled “California: Paradise Burning,” which is on The New Yorker website. New Yorker editor David Remnick liked them so much he made space for four of them in the magazine — which, like I said, is very uncommon.) I encourage you to check out all 11 of Black’s photos in the online New Yorker gallery — they’re pretty amazing.

Making the New Yorker exposure that much sweeter for Black is the fact that he has a new exhibition at the prestigious Anastasia Photo gallery in New York City. Talk about great timing.

Donald Munro

Donald Munro

Donald Munro is The Bee's arts and culture critic. He currently has the opening song to "Galavant" stuck in his head and doesn't know if he can ever get it out.
Donald Munro
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