Donald’s list: Weekend choices (Sept. 8)

Options include grand opening of Parabolic Gallery and a staged reading of “Curious Incident” at the Selma Arts Center

Here’s a rundown on promising arts/culture picks for the weekend:

Parabolic Gallery

After a distinguished career as a design professional in Southern California, Anthony Fernandez moved to Fresno last year to begin a new chapter in his life. He dreamed up Parabolic Gallery, which promises an “intersection of fine art, furniture design and decorative arts, both contemporary and vintage.”

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A grand opening party for the gallery, at 431 E. Olive Ave., is 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. The public is invited. Featured artist is Michael Frank in a show of digital art titled “Permutations.”

Take a moment to check out the beautifully designed website for the gallery, which captures a sense of the liveliness and sophistication that Fernandez hopes for the business.

A glance at Fernandez’s resume on the site indicates his strong design background. A native of El Salvador who moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1968, Fernandez graduated from the USC School of Architecture in 1988. He eventually went on to found AnthonyFernandezDesign, which from 1997 to 2011 focused on interiors and architectural remodeling of Mid-Century Modern homes, with projects in downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, New York City and Southern France. From 2011-15 he worked as a design consultant for clients in Laguna Beach and Palm Springs.

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I asked Fernandez what brought him to Fresno.

“I had closed my L.A. design business and moved to Riverside to care for my mother, who was battling cancer,” he told me. “After her death in 2012 and my father’s subsequent passing in 2014, I felt a desire to be geographically closer to my two sisters. I moved to Fresno because one sister lives here and the other in Northern California, only a three-hour drive away.”

His goal with Parabolic Gallery: to combine his love of art and design with a desire to promote a vibrant Fresno arts culture.

While you’re on his website, you can learn about two of his community-based programs: the Gilbert H. “Gibb” Carver Memorial Fund for the Arts, which honors his late partner; and the Parabolic artist-in-residence program.

After Saturday’s opening, the gallery will be open Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. It will also be open for ArtHop.


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‘Curious Incident’

Simon Stephens’ celebrated play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” based on the novel by Mark Haddon, will receive a staged reading at the Selma Arts Center. It’s a one-time performance on Saturday. A description:

Fifteen-year-old math whiz Christopher Boone lives with his divorced dad in Swinton, a working-class town west of London. After being falsely accused of killing a neighbor’s dog, Christopher—who is brilliant but has difficulty dealing with the sounds and stresses of everyday life—decides to investigate the crime. The secrets he unearths prompt him to leave his trusted teacher and the familiar streets of his hometown for a life-changing train trip to London.

The show won the 2015 Tony Award for best play. I got to see the original Broadway production and was entranced not just by the production design, which captured the intensity of a world as seen by someone with autism, but also the writing and character development. The national tour is playing right now in Southern California.

The staged reading, which is a benefit for the Selma Arts Center and its upcoming production of “Spring Awakening,” is coordinated by Miguel A. Gastelum and Mitchell Lam Hau. The cast is Kindle Cowger, Kristin Crase, Kelsey Deroian, Miguel A. Gastelum, Dominic Grijalva, Juan Luis Guzmán, Mitchell Lam Hau, Emily Kearns, Kyla Kennedy, and Rodolfo Robles Cruz.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, Selma Arts Center, 1935 High St. Selma. Suggested donation is $5.


Armenian literature

A good choice for fans of the literary arts: Author and translator Christopher Atamian on Friday will present a lecture at Fresno State entitled “Fifty Years of Armenian Literature in France: A Zenith of Diasporan Writing.”

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At Fresno State: Christopher Atamian. Photo / auroraprize.com

Atamian is a writer, filmmaker and translator. His translation of Krikor Beledian’s “Fifty Years of Armenian Literature in France: 1922-1972” brought this important work to the English-reading public for the first time.

The lecture is the first presentation in the Armenian Studies Program Fall Lecture series.

Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191. Free.


Last chance for Camille

You’re lucky if you can get into the Good Company Players production of “Sister Act” in its final weekend. Camille Gaston’s memorable performance as Deloris Van Cartier is one you won’t likely forget. Thank you, Camille, for letting so many people catch that “Sunday Morning Fever” with you these past eight weeks. The show closes Sunday, Sept. 10.

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Disco fever: Camille Gaston’s character in “Sister Act” stays alive by hiding in a convent. Photo / Good Company Players

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Author: Donald Munro

Covering the arts in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

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