Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

My top pick for ArtHop tonight: Michael Garcia

Michael Garcia Enso

As I write in my ArtHop picks in Thursday’s Life section, a new show by Michael Garcia is a big deal. His exhibition “Enso: Archetypes of Wholeness,” at 1821 Gallery & Studios, delves into one of Garcia’s favorite shapes, the circle, exploring the philosophical and psychological connections. I write:

Garcia, who lived in Japan for 10 years, was deeply influenced by his time there, and this new show is no exception. But, as the gallery notes, the artist’s work “also mirrors the strength and character of the Valley, echoing the worn and rust-soaked boards of Garcia’s grandmother’s home in Madera, a place that now only exists in memory.”

It’s going to be a busy ArtHop tonight. My other picks are shows at Gallery 25, K-Jewel Art Gallery, the Downtown Community Arts Collective, Corridor 2122, Central Valley Talk and the Caris School of Dance. I have a few examples of images you’ll see after the jump.

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Tonight: the first ArtHop of the year

I haven’t heard much buzz about tonight’s ArtHop, which awkwardly falls in a holiday week. But galleries and studios will be open. I have a short roundup about the event in Thursday’s Life section, leading with a new exhibition by Jim Campbell at 1821 Gallery & Studios.  From the press materials:

Lost @ Sea is composed of two separate bodies of work. The smaller pieces, mostly 2008-2010, are from a series of paintings that deal with the unsustainable use of fossil fuels as an energy source and its consequences to us and the other living organisms that inhabit our planet. The larger paintings have all been completed this year.

All of these works are concerned with color, (that is, contrasting both pure hues and light and dark values and the interactions between them) as well as form, perspective, and the illusion of three dimensional space.

Campbell attended Fresno State in the early 1970s and describes an affinity towards “hard edge painting as exemplified by Frank Stella, Al Held, Gene Davis, and Kenneth Noland” and draws inspiration from “those artists classified as color field painters such as Morris Louis, Paul Jenkins, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, and Barnett Newman.” Campbell explains, “I see their canvases as portals…one’s mind can travel to places where problems vanish and creativity and tranquility abound.”

After the jump, a few images from a couple of my other ArtHop picks.

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The making of a mural in West Fresno

A recent addition to our burgeoning mural community is the “Let’s Make Fresno A Better Place” mural at the Louie Kee Market in West Fresno.

This one didn’t come up with a lot of controversy, nor is it in the confines of our downtown “Mural District” (or whatever you want to call it).

Another key difference: It was created by students. The whole process was captured in this short documentary put together by The kNOw Youth Media, a media program for teens in West Fresno.

Here’s a little more about the mural project:

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Donald’s weekend picks

If you’re a dance fan, you most definitely do not want to miss “Best of the Bay 2,” which is bringing an all-star lineup of professional Bay Area dance companies to the Saroyan Theatre for one performance only. The show is 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Read my story in today’s 7 section for more details.


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ArtHop roundup

Perhaps it was the bitter cold that made scurrying into all those (mostly) warm galleries so gratifying. Maybe I was just in a highly receptive mood to partake in the visual arts. Or it could be the novelty of using my new iPhone to document my journey in real time on Facebook. Whatever the reason, I had a grand time at ArtHop last night. Some highlights:


From the outside, I can imagine that Gallery 25′s vibrant window display will be confusing drivers all month:


Cheap gas, anyone?

Inside, I found a vibrant show laced with a skewering political sensibility. The Appropriation Project, a group made up of Gallery 25 member Diran Lyons, Desiree D’Alessandro and Byron Russell, put together “Oil and War: A Critical Remix Festival.” Entries were solicited for this video genre in which artists combine video and images from different sources to make political statements that are often different from the original intent.

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To-Do Tonight: ArtHop

Critical Remix Festival 2011.jpg

There are some really interesting options at tonight’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of studios and galleries in the downtown and Tower District areas. Here are some picks from my Thursday Life section advance story, plus a few late additions. As always, feel free in the comments section to plug your event or tell us as a viewer your ArtHop plans.

GALLERY 25: Last January, Diran Lyons expanded the horizons of Gallery 25 with an exhibition featuring examples of the remix genre, in which artists combine video and images from different sources to make political statements that are often different from the original intent. (One of the entries was Lyons’ “Jake Gyllenhaal Challenges the Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,” which juxtaposed scenes from Gyllenhaal’s movie “Jarhead” with clips of Barack Obama.)

Now Lyons is back at Gallery 25 a year later with “Oil and War: A Critical Remix Festival,” which continues the practice of editing video to create critiques of society, media, corporations and government. The event features video submissions from across the country. A $1,000 top prize will be awarded at today’s ArtHop event at the gallery, 660 Van Ness Ave.

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To-Do Tonight: ArtHop


No fooling, it feels like it’s going to be a big, exciting ArtHop tonight — there are lots of interesting shows planned. Lots of enthusiasm in the air! I offer my picks in Thursday’s Life section. I kick off with the festivities at the KJWL studios, where a giant, three-story mural of Frank Sinatra is just one of the paintings on display by Karen Kallmann. I write:

Kallman, who describes her work as “Ethereal Expressionism,” will not only be showing what is likely the largest ArtHop work – the mural is 36 by 12 feet – but the smallest as well, a 1-inch by 2-inch oil painting, one of several paintings featured inside the gallery. Kallmann, of San Jose, recently had two of her paintings displayed in the Women Artists of the West 38th Annual National Exhibition, a juried competition, at The Hilligoss Gallery in Chicago.

More of my picks on the jump. Artists and gallery owners: Feel free to make your own pitches in the comments section.

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To-Do Tonight: ArtHop


In Thursday’s Life section, I offer some picks for tonight’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District.

One of those picks is Ric Ramirez, whose work is on display 5-8 p.m. at two ArtHop venues: the Gorgon Isle Gallery, 665 Fulton St., where he’ll be demonstrating live painting techniques if weather permits; and the Downtown Community Arts Collective, 754 P St.

Ramirez describes his artistic style as urban because it evolved from graffiti. “I took my art from the streets to inside of galleries now and someday museums,” he says.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Gorgon Isle Gallery at ArtHop, don’t miss it. Last month’s show included throbbing amplified music, eclectic works and a warehouse-style gallery vibe. (Wear your jacket.) Adding to the atmosphere: The gallery also serves as an entrance to Haunted Fresno, now closed for the season.

More picks on the jump. Where are you going for ArtHop? Tell us in the comments. Artists, this is a chance to pitch your shows.

Pictured: Ric Ramirez’s “We’re all meant to be free.”

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To-Do Tonight: ArtHop at DCAC

Lots of cool stuff happening at tonight’s ArtHop, 5-8 p.m. at various locations downtown and in the Tower District. I give my picks in today’s Bee. One hot spot will be the Downtown Community Arts Collective, which features a show by Chris Sorensen and Amy Kohl titled “Metalworkers.”


On the jump: More ArtHop images and fliers. Where do you plan to go tonight? Leave a note in the comments.

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