Assemblage and mixed-media artist Myrna Axt is the guest featured artist for North Fresno ArtHop at The Vintage Market, 601 W. Shaw Ave. She’ll be featuring her assemblage “characters” and small works. She writes:
There is something magical about taking an ordinary or dilapidated object and reviving it into something extraordinary. My art reflects my surroundings, imagination and many times my, my political view. One of my outlets has been creating assemblage art, a three-dimensional composition, putting together found objects, altered bits and pieces, along with my imagery.
ArtHop runs 5-8 p.m. Check out the Fresno Arts Council’s website for more venues. Pictured: Axt’s “Where’s Pooh? (Bear).”
I’ve already told you about Marcos Dorado’s farewell exhibit at Peeve’s and editorial cartoonist SW Parra’s fun show at The Fresno Bee. Here are some more picks for ArtHop:
Los Angeles artist Oscar Magallanes will be in town for an exhibition of his work, which Arte Americas executive director Frank Delgado describes as “seriously powerful and large scale.” From Magallanes’ bio:
Magallanes was raised in the Azusa barrio. His artwork is influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. After a troubled youth at the age of fifteen, he was expelled from high school but was accepted into the Ryman Arts program which he credits with encouraging him to become a professional artist. Magallanes’ work which is primarily of wood panels is used as a vehicle to allow the viewer to gain insight of societal injustices and further understanding of diverse cultures and struggles on even the subtle level and in this way pay homage to the journey he has traveled.
Also at Arte: Jeannette Herrera, an acrylic/oil painter, has had work featured at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art and Chimmaya Gallery in Los Angeles. She writes:
After an attack in 2004 I recovered from a skull fracture and sending attacker to prison for 7 years. I started to paint again and have found it to be the only therapy that works for me.
Both shows continue through Aug. 17. Pictured above: a work by Oscar Magallanes.
Marcos Dorado, known for his classical realist drawings, has been a fixture on the Fresno-area art scene for years. It’s hard to imagine he’s leaving for good. But that’s his plan, and he’s marking his departure with an exhibition titled “Leave Art in Fresno (My Farewell Exhibit)” at Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall. It opens at ArtHop and runs through July 28.
I highlight Dorado’s show in Thursday’s Life section as the anchor of this month’s ArtHop coverage. Here’s the extended version of my interview with him.
When did you first realize you could draw?
In fourth grade. A family friend (David) was visiting my parents. As they talked, out of nowhere, I had the instinct that I could draw David’s portrait. When I finished scribbling, everyone was impressed. From then on, I drew all the time until I was in high school. Then, I became interested in other subjects, such as literature and languages. As a result, I put drawing aside until 15 years later, when I was thirty. I was recently divorced then, and I was rediscovering my old self.
Psst … you should see how hard SW Parra has been working on his upcoming ArtHop show at The Fresno Bee. The Bee’s award-winning editorial cartoonist has been scurrying around for weeks making sure this ArtHop is extra special. He’s had the artwork up for a week now — but each piece is cleverly covered, so even employees will have to wait until 5 p.m. Thursday for the big event.
We caught up with SW — or, as we call him in the office, Steve/Steven/Cool Artist Guy — to chat about this exciting show from the award-winning editorial cartoonist.
Question: Do you remember your first editorial cartoon? What was the subject?
My first editorial cartoon was drawn for my Mom. It was in 1969 and I was seven years old. It was something to do with Richard Nixon.
How many editorial cartoons are featured in the show, and what years do they cover? Do you have a favorite?
There may be 50 to 60 sketches, original drawings and prints in the show including one that is 4 feet x 5 feet that guests can actually pose inside of and Instagram or Tweet a selfie. The show includes a copy of a cartoon that published back in November 1998 but mostly the range is during the last 14 years.
A favorite? That’s tough. It might be the broken pencil held together with a rubber band — a metaphor for the much embattled and heavily challenged Fresno Unified School District.
I’ve already given you a bunch of ArtHop picks on a busy June evening, but I’m giving this one its own post. (Yes, it’s a shameless plug.) Bee photographer (and great friend to the Beehive) Craig Kohlruss is the featured artist at The Bee’s second ever ArtHop offering. He’s selected a great array of sports-related photography (both portraits and action shots) to feature in The Bee’s front lobby. Don’t miss it! We’ll be here 5-8 p.m. tonight.
Tonight’s ArtHop promises to be a robust one, with lots of great options for art lovers. I offer my picks in today’s Life section. We didn’t have room in the print edition to use all the images we received, so here you get the whole colorful package:
The big 8-9: Chris Sorensen, whose sprawling studio bearing his name features dozens of artists, is still going strong, and his birthday has become an annual celebration of his artistic longevity. Sorensen marks his 89th year with an ArtHop party and exhibition that includes his recently completed, 81/2-foot tall “Camel,” along with other works he completed throughout the preceding year.
Poignant show: Also at the Sorensen Studio is a holdover photography exhibition from last month that has been getting a lot of buzz: Wendy Denton’s “Cancer Chronicles.” She writes in her artist’s statement: “When my husband Ken was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we pledged to be conscious and awake throughout the journey together. Through images, we captured feelings, ideas, sadness, humor, and outright fun along the way.”
In Denton’s photo “Letting Go,” her husband pulls an opened suitcase up a paved, woodsy outdoors incline toward a distant but unknown destination as various items (an old camera, a phonograph record, prescription pill bottles) spill out behind. The caption reads: “Free at last to let go of the baggage and encumbrances we pack away and drag around with us. A collection of random, unrelated objects that used to be important.”
At last night’s ArtHop, top art students from seven selected schools in Fresno County were chosen to exhibit their artwork at the Fresno County Office of Education’s “heARTbeat” student exhibition. (The event kicked off a series of “heARTbeat” events featuring performance artist David Garibaldi.)
Two Best of Show awards were presented:
The large canvas winner is Nicolo Morelos of McLane High School. His canvas “Art Transforms,” right, compares life with and without art, as a figure emerges from the colorless life devoid of art and into a life of color and possibility.
The small canvas winner is Luis Wiley of Fresno High School. His canvas “Missed a Spot,” below, depicts how art defines a young artist using a figure in the foreground who paints himself into existence.
The main heARTbeat event will be held May 17 at the Downtown Club. All events benefit arts in education in Fresno County schools.
There’s a new venue for ArtHop. And I work there.
The Fresno Bee will open its doors 5-8 p.m. tonight as a stop on the ArtHop circuit. On display will be “100 Strangers,” a photography exhibition featuring work by students in Fresno State’s mass communication and journalism department.
We’ll have food, drink, music and the chance to meet some of the artists. I plan to be there from 5-6 p.m., so drop by and say hi. The Bee is at 1626 E Street. We plan to host additional ArtHop shows on a periodic basis, so keep us in mind as a stop.
In Wednesday’s Life section I offered my ArtHop picks. They are:
SPECTRUM ART GALLERY: Renowned Yosemite photographer Charles Cramer, whose work is included in the 2005 book “Landscape: The World’s Top Photographers,” is the annual guest artist at Spectrum Art Gallery and will offer an exhibition of his original photographs.
Cramer, recognized as a master printmaker in both darkroom-based dye transfer printing and now in digital processes, was selected in 1987 and 2009 to be artist-in-residence at Yosemite.
He will be honored at an artist’s reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
Details: Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave. spectrumphotogallery.org, (559) 266-0691.
Artist Richard Silva is a fixture on the downtown ArtHop scene, but tonight he ventures north. He’s the featured artist at the Vintage Market at 601, located at 601 W. Shaw Ave. The venue is one of a handful in the area, along with the Brush and Easel Gallery and Gallery II Pat Hunter Studio, trying to increase interest in North Fresno ArtHop happenings. From the Fresno Arts Council website:
Silva paints in an abstract expressionist style that has made him one of the most venerated Fresno artists. He was trained at the S.F. Art Institute in the 1960s, but states that the 1950s is the era that inspires him. He describes himself as essentially an action painter creating abstract expressionist images that stress spontaneity, gesture and movement. Silva will be showing a new collection of paintings and his unique wood sculptures that arouse one’s curiosity. Traditional bluegrass music will be performed by Jack Kinney and Eric Antrem.
Check out the ArtHop page on the arts council’s website for more North Fresno ArtHop happenings.
I’ve already told you about the Jerry “Zits” Scott exhibition at 1821 Gallery & Studios — the “celebrity” show of the evening. Here are a few more picks on a busy ArtHop evening:
FIRST LADY FRENZY: A set of portraits of the first ladies of the United States is featured at Fresno City Hall. All but one of the paintings are by famed portrait artist Lawrence Williams, known for his depictions of U.S. presidents and other world leaders.
The collection was donated to the Fresno County Office of Education by the late Joe Levy, chairman of Gottschalks, the former Fresno-based department store chain. Levy purchased the set from Williams, who died in 2003 before the election of President Obama. To round out the collection, the education office commissioned a painting of Michelle Obama by local artist Ma Ly.
The exhibition, which continues through April, is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Fresno. Tonight’s ArtHop reception includes a 6 p.m. program featuring league member and Fresno State professor Diane Blair, right, an authority on first ladies.
You wouldn’t blame Jerry Scott — whose comics “Zits” and “Baby Blues” reach a potential 100 million readers daily — for resting on his laurels. The 58-year-old San Luis Obispo resident is at the top of his game.
But seven years ago, Scott decided that as a comic-strip writer he was feeling a little unfulfilled as an artist. He enthusiastically took up painting. And for his subject matter, he turned to one of his great loves: Western themes and the rodeo.
You’ll get to see the results at ArtHop tonight. Scott opens the second exhibition of his career, “Roughstock,” a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Clovis Rodeo, at 1821 Gallery & Studios. He’ll be there to greet fans. I got the chance to talk with the amiable Scott for a story in today’s Life section:
Scott’s oil paintings are filled with images of cows, bulls and rodeo riders rendered in a mostly realistic style that often veers toward the impressionistic in terms of color and form. The fine-art approach is certainly a departure from the world of comics.
“I’ve spent the last 25 years being the guy behind the scenes,” Scott muses about how his comics career evolved. “That wasn’t my first choice, because I’m a visual person. So all this was sort of in response to being the writer and not the artist on my comic strips.”
I admire Scott’s drive when it comes to branching out creatively. He loves comics and is no way apologetic about what he does for a living. If anything, he’s cheerfully willing to use his celebrity in service of fine art.
After the jump: view photos by The Bee’s Eric Paul Zamora of the exhibition.
He’s too shy to boast, but tonight’s North Fresno ArtHop features none other than Beehiver S.W. Parra, who will be showing a framed selection of editorial cartoons he’s done over the years for The Bee at the P*de*Q Bakery in Clovis (435 N. Clovis Ave., Suite 106, at Herndon and Clovis avenues next to Jimmy John’s).
The 14 cartoons cover state, local and national issues, poking fun at politics, society and more. Besides one prior show of his editorial cartoons at the California History Museum in Sacramento, this is the only time Steven’s editorial cartoons have been displayed. As he puts it: “a very rare showing.”
A couple of other North Fresno ArtHop options for you:
- At the Vintage Market at 601, featured artist is Janet Ontko. Her inspiration comes from her love of nature and nostalgia for vintage ceramic styles based in the Art and Crafts movement. Each of her clay forms are handmade using century-old techniques that vary slightly in design and appearance making each one unique.
- Visual artist Corrine Bell’s solo exhibit “Cut” will be celebrated at the Brush and Easel Gallery.
- At Margaret Hudson’s Earth Arts Studio, “The Beauty of Animals” features the pastel drawings and acrylic paintings of Christina JG Connelly.
In Thursday’s Life section I offer an ArtHop roundup, starting off with a new show at Gallery 25:
Artists Joan Sharma and Carol Tikijian are concerned about climate change. In a new show at Gallery 25 titled “Draw the Line,” they collaborate on an exhibition that employs light, sound and text to offer viewers “an opportunity to reflect upon global issues around climate change that threatens the health of our planet.”
Sharma tells me that the one concept-driven installation – incorporating sound, light, color and text — “activates the entire gallery space.”
After the jump, some more ArtHop picks:
The newly opened Brush and Easel Gallery hosts the work of Cynthia (Scin Chapman) Manuszak. Her show “inside, outside” will be marked by an artist’s reception 5-8 p.m. tonight as part of the North Fresno ArtHop.
Gallery owner Valerie Green describes the new venue:
Fresno’s newest place to buy art. Home to over 20 artists each with their own unique style. Oil and acrylic paintings, wire work lamps and vases, metal / glass / fabric sculpture, natural stone and dichroic glass jewelry, ceramics and pottery.
Go to the Fresno Arts Council’s website for exhibit updates.
There’s something about wet, cold (well, coldish, compared to the rest of the country) weather that gives ArtHop an extra burst of energy. Inside it’s warm and comfy, and people seem to linger over the art. Bee photographer Eric Paul Zamora and I took the opportunity at last night’s event to experiment with a different way of covering ArtHop — on video.
Our first stop: the Chris Sorensen Studio and an intriguing show titled “WORD.” Nearly 70 works are included in this exhibition, which focuses on text and the written word. It’s a strong, eclectic and provocative show. We talk with curator Edward Gillum about a couple of his own works — including a jab at the Tea Party’s role in the recent federal government shutdown.
Next we stop by Fig Tree Gallery, where Heather Anderson’s “Wilderness” highlights her passion for the Sierra Nevada. We talk with Anderson and get a chance to see some of the bold, vivid color choices that Anderson makes in depicting the mountains she loves.
Finally, a stop at K-Jewel Art Gallery, always a lively ArtHop stop. A big invitational exhibition raising money for heart research was accompanied by the group FresMorim, a Klezmer band. We talk with curator Karl Kallmann, who loves creating a party atmosphere. And you even get to see Fresno artist Evany Zirul dance.
The three videos are part of a YouTube playlist, so you can watch them in a row.
Lots to do at tonight’s ArtHop. I’ve already told you about Heather Anderson’s show at Fig Tree Gallery. Some more picks:
The Downtown Community Arts Collective is now known as P Street Studios. It features the renovated gallery space of artists Stephanie Pearl and Andrew Watrous, and for its first show features the mixed media art of Jason Plemons. Below: Plemons’ “Abstract Bridge.”
Fresno welcomes a new art venue: the Brush and Easel Gallery, owned and operated by Valerie Green. The gallery, at 1476 W. Shaw Ave., will hold its grand opening 5-8 p.m. today in conjunction with the North Fresno ArtHop.
The gallery includes a working studio, teaching space for adult and youth art classes/workshops, and gallery space exhibiting the work of Green and more than 20 local artists.
The word of the night for ArtHop: Seattle.
That’s where Gallery 25 is taking viewers in “Here and There,” an exchange exhibition with the Shift gallery of Seattle. The Fresno show features works from 13 participating Shift members. Like Gallery 25, Shift is an artist-run gallery featuring members working in a variety of media. The show includes printmaking, drawing, sculpture, painting and mixed-media. I write about the exchange show in today’s Life section.
Fresno artists will get some outside exposure, too: Fifteen of them are represented at Shift, where the exhibition opens tonight as part of Seattle’s “First Thursday” event.
At Gallery 25, a curating committee decided how the Seattle artists’ work should be shown. Above: Pam Galvani’s “Green on Blue.” After the jump: some photos of members hanging the exhibition earlier this week. (Also after the jump: a couple more ArtHop picks as well.)
As part of tonight’s north Fresno ArtHop, this artists’ reception is sure to be busy tonight. When it comes to “Pat Hunter and Friends,” an exhibition continuing through Dec. 31 at Gallery II art gallery, the “friends” part includes:
I offer some picks for ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods, in Thursday’s Life section.
Among the intriguing options: a show by Michael McKee titled “Conceptual Christmas Concept at Gallery 25. (A mild and unrelated rebuke, by the way, to the redesigned Gallery 25 website: Having an audio clip start playing when you land on the site is so 2007.) McKee’s exhibit includes paintings, sculpture, works on paper and mixed media artwork influenced by the themes of creation, purity and rebirth — with a “nod and a wink’ to the celebration of Christmas. Pictured: the artist’s “Scream Santa.”
December ArtHop is a great time to Christmas shop for stuff you can’t find at Target, of course, so that’ll be a prime opportunity tonight.
I’ve already told you (lots) about the new M Street Arts Complex and its first ArtHop. Here are two other ArtHop picks from my story in Thursday’s Life section that deserve a special shout-out:
— Each year Spectrum Art Gallery invites a notable figure in photography to show his or her work. This year’s honored artist is master photographer Alan Ross, who worked side by side with Ansel Adams as his photographic assistant. An exhibit at Spectrum through Dec. 1 features more than 30 of Ross’ original photographs. He is best known for his tonally exquisite black-and-white photographs of the American West. This weekend, Ross will participate in two events at the gallery: an artist’s reception 4-8 p.m. Saturday; and on Sunday a photographic workshop.
— San Francisco artist and printmaker Beth Van Hoesen’s career spanned more than five decades. (She died in 2010.) Her work will be displayed in a special exhibition at 1821 Gallery & Studios at 1821 Calaveras St. through Nov. 27. The show includes examples of her pristine and elegant botanical art, along with a number of prints drawn from a series titled “Punks” focusing on young punk street people from San Francisco’s Castro District.
Plus: There’s the annual “Nudes in November” show at the Chris Sorensen Studio, an exhibition titled “Clay Paper Sticks” by Kathy Wosika at Fig Tree Gallery, and a big “Art and Music” show featuring bands Bad Suns, Fatty Cakes and Evelyn at ARTHOUSE. Happy Hopping!
My featured ArtHop artist for the month is Chris Janzen, a Fresno Pacific University art professor who combines his love of painting and jazz in his new show “More Again Now” at Fig Tree Gallery. I have an extended interview with Janzen in Thursday’s Life section.
Janzen tells me:
I apply oil to canvas during time periods of “performance,” like a musician in a recording studio, painting forms according to interests that arise in the moment. Often the painting starts off with a sketch or collage, but when I step back to examine it, I feel that the composition would be more meaningful if flipped upside down. Sometimes incidental “mistake” marks are more interesting than what I originally intended. Instead of planning what the composition will look like when it is finished, I rely on intuition and chance to help guide my paintings to completion.
Janzen describes his work as Menno Pop Surrealism — a clever term. Pictured above: his “The Dilemma.”
Some more ArtHop picks:
Prepare for a big, boisterous ArtHop tonight. Though temperatures are still high, September marks the start of the “fall season” — see Beehiver Traci’s seasonal pumpkin latte explanation (she’s already had 22 of them at Starbucks this week) — and lots of big art shows are planned.
– Dixie Salazar, pictured above, gets the big-story treatment in today’s Life section. Bee writer Angel Moreno takes a look at Salazar’s “Interconnections” exhibition, which continues through Sunday at Arte Americas. (Bee photo by Craig Kohlruss.)
– A show by local powerhouse artist Barbara Van Arnam is always a big deal. Her solo Gallery 25 exhibition “Yggdrasil: The Norse Tree of Life” uses Old Norse mythology as an inspiration. Earthen materials transform strange and legendary characters into new forms that embody all cultures’ essence and spirit. These figures speak to the essential power of Nature, the common thread that weaves our story through time. Hours update: The gallery is usually open noon-4 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. Van Arnam is adding Thursday hours, same times, during the show’s run through Sept. 29.
Where are you ArtHopping tonight?
In Wednesday’s Life section I told you about the mural contest at the Chris Sorensen Studio. The winners will be announced tonight. Renowned Fresno artist A.F. “Corky” Normart judged the competition.
More ArtHop picks:
– The annual William Raines “Splash” invitational at Corridor 2122 has become a tradition. This year’s theme is “Salt of the Earth.” For the collaborative and conceptual exhibit, Raines asked seven artists to participate in ways that go beyond the traditional meaning of the phrase (a good or worthy person). Details: 2122 Mono St., corridor2122.comcq.
– At Fig Tree Gallery, a summer show features work from the gallery’s 22 members, including new member Marilyn McGrady, who will show four large-format oil paintings in a series titled “The Sacred Fool.” Details: 644 Van Ness Ave. figtreegallery.us, (559) 485-0460.
Chris Sorensen — approaching nonogenerian status and still working hard on fabulous metal sculptures as Fresno’s “Man of Steel” — is celebrating his 88th birthday with a big show at the studio bearing his name.
The exhibition, which continues through June, features new work from Sorensen along with older pieces loaned by collectors. You can stop by and wish him a happy birthday tonight as part of ArtHop.
Pictured: Chris Sorensen in 2012 with his daughter-in-law, India Ivans, and the metal sculpture “Dolly the Llama.” Photo by Craig Kohlruss, The Fresno Bee