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.
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.”
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.)
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.
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.
– 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.
1. THE TEXAS TENORS
The Fresno Philharmonic ends its season with a twang. The Texas Tenors, who shot to fame on “America’s Got Talent,” have been touring the country for four years now, and they’ve developed quite a specialty performing in pops concerts with local orchestras. I talked to JC Fisher — the “country boy” of the act — for Friday’s 7 section. The 8 p.m. Saturday concert, which will feature a mix of country, classical and Broadway/pop tunes, should be a whoop and a holler. [Details]
NEW MURAL: The newest piece of art in Downtown Fresno’s Mural District will be unveiled at 6 p.m. at 1612 Fulton St. The design, right, was created by Fresno resident Nary Tan and was selected out of 50 entries as part of Granville’s 1612 Mural Project. Tan’s piece, titled “Butterflies Lovers,” is being painted by a professional muralist on a 40 foot wall.
MAKING “CONNECTIONS”: In a solo show at Gallery 25, Valerie Runningwolf explores her personal experiences through reaching out to others through artistic expression to evoke a sense of connectedness. Many views and images of connections are explored, with the main focus on aging. [Details]
TWO SHOWS: Karl Kallmann of the K-Jewel Art Gallery writes: “We have two well known Fresno artists presenting their works in May at the K-Jewel Art Gallery. Carol Tikijian is an excellent mixed media artist, who does very large-format pieces, which will be juxtaposed against the acrylic layered, colorful paintings of Valerie Greene (pictured below). Onstage will be Fresno music icon, Evo Bluestein.” [Details]
As I write in my ArtHop picks in today’s Life section, Nanete Maki-Dearsan in 2011 opened a powerful show at Gallery 25 titled “Ophelia” that tackled the grim theme of teenage suicide. To the artist, that topic is too often presented in popular culture through the same sort of gauzy, picturesque and romanticized lens that gives the Ophelia tale in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” such staying power. In “Ophelia,” Maki-Dearsan pushed back against the enveloping reach of that fictional character.
Now she revisits the theme with Horatio/Ophelia,” which opens today at Gallery 25 as part of ArtHop. In the new exhibition, Maki-Dearsan continues her deromantification of adolescent girls in their self-loathing thoughts of suicide and self-injury. Some paintings reference a contemporary Central Valley “Ophelia” experiencing heroin addiction. The intent, she says, is to open dialogue and bring the issue “out of its secretive loneliness and into the light.”
Another aspect of the show: its big scale. It includes three works that are 36 feet in length.
I was so impressed with Maki-Dearsan’s original “Ophelia” show that I made it one of my Top 20 Cultural Events of 2011. I caught up with the artist via email to talk about her new exhibition.
Question: After that first show, did you immediately begin working on this second show? Or did you take a break from the material?
Answer: There was a progression into the current show. I developed a lot of ideas, while I was finishing the original Ophelia, but those ideas changed before I arrived at the current Horatio exhibition.
Artists Karen LeCocq and David Medley’s new heart-themed show at Gallery 25 arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day. We devote my column and a big chunk of the front of Sunday’s Spotlight section to “26 Years of Valentines,” which documents the couple’s traditions of making heart-themed artworks for each other each year to celebrate the holiday. As part of the Spotlight package, I filmed my first Fresno Bee video. (One thing you can say for my job: I’m always learning something new!) Check it out:
Here’s the link to the video on the fresnobee.com video page if you want to share it.
“26 Years of Valentines” continues through March 3. Oh, and for you lovebirds: LeCocq and Medley will be on hand at the gallery 5-8 p.m. Thursday for special Valentine’s Day hours.
1. CELEBRATE THE RAT PACK
The Fresno Philharmonic will have some fun Saturday night with its “Rat Pack: A Symphonic Celebration” at the Saroyan Theatre. Here’s my cover story in Friday’s 7 section. In it I highlight the contributions of Fresno City College to the local jazz scene, as well as check in the three Broadway veterans portraying Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Pictured below: Mike Dana, Larry Honda and Craig Von Berg of City College. (Bee photo by Craig Kohlruss.) [Details]
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.”
Besides, as Mike Oz put it in his own picks, hoping that no more local businesses close …
1. EXPERIENCE AN OPERA MARATHON
Everything about Berlioz’s vast “Les Troyens” is epic — including its length. The first installment of the year of the Metropolitan Opera’s popular Live in HD series clocks in at 5 hours, 45 minutes. Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel and Dwayne Croft lead the cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War. It screens at 9 a.m. Saturday at Edwards. Here’s the New York Times review of the production.
I still remember the time I saw Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and I swear it must have clocked in at close to six hours including two long intermissions. It’s kind of fun to just settle back and bask in a work of such length. [Details]
December’s ArtHop is always a festive affair. And it can be a great way to shop for Christmas gifts. Both Gallery 25 and Fig Tree Gallery use the occasion to exhibit all-members shows, in which you get a taste of what lots of different artists have to offer.
I offer some ArtHop picks in Thursday’s Life section, including the members shows at Gallery 25 and Fig Tree. (Pictured below is Lylia Carr’s mixed-media piece “Winter” at Gallery 25.)
I also highlight a show by Paul Mullins at K-Jewel Art Gallery. It sounds as if the gallery will be a festive place to be, with entertainment by the City Singers and Brass Ensemble from Fresno City College. I’m even told that each visitor who walks through the door will get a slice of sweet potato pie. (Though one of my editors was curious about that menu selection: Is that considered a holiday dessert? K-Jewel folks, can you fill us in?)
On the jump: a couple more pieces of art you can see tonight. Feel free to leave a comment on this post saying where you’re planning to “Hop” tonight.
Besides tonight’s must-see concert starring that little lady with the giant voice, Kristin Chenoweth …
1. A REBORN DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
Fresno will only be the fourth city so far to get to see the newly reborn main company of the Dance Theatre Harlem, which had to shut down in 2004 for economic reasons. The performance is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre. I give you the whole story in Friday’s 7 cover story. [Details]