Coarsegold artist Ginny Burdick is a pretty happy gallery owner these days. A Sense of Place, her handsomely renovated gallery — right across from Fresno High School — is now in its fifth successful year.
She nabbed a prestigious exhibition to show off that space: the national invitational of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, the second largest association of pastelists in the world. And to top things off, one of her own pieces was selected for the show by jurors. (“It would have been embarrassing if I hadn’t gotten in,” she says with a laugh.)
It’s no wonder, then, that Burdick’s gallery leads my picks this month for ArtHop, the monthly open house of studios and galleries in the Tower District and downtown neighborhoods of Fresno. (Most venues are open 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5.) The show includes entries from all over the world in a variety of subjects, including landscapes, portraits and abstracts. I dropped by this week to ask some questions and get a quick video tour.
Q: How did you persuade the pastel society to pick Fresno for its show?
A: Three years ago I was approached by the then president of the Pastel Society of the West Coast who was trying to find a venue for the show in central California. He lives near Porterville and felt it was important to have this area represented. He had tried for the Fresno Art Museum but they never contacted him back. Then he reached out to me, came to see the gallery and felt it would work for the show.
Q: How were the 92 paintings selected?
A: There were 510 pieces entered by 158 artists. Ninety-two pieces were selected by three national jurors, and then once the show was hung, nationally known pastelist Kim Lordier (from the Bay Area) judged the show in person.
Q: Tell me about your piece in the show.
A: My piece, “Reflections in the Pond,” was painted en plein air on a wonderful piece of property in Tollhouse. It was this past spring, and the pond was so inviting it just needed to be painted. It was one of those paintings when finished that just took my breath away. It really felt good. It is a smaller painting that I know I will paint larger. I love the sense of place created in the painting. It won an award in the show and was featured in Southwest Art magazine.
Q: If you’re new to pastels, what are some key things to look for and appreciate?
A: A great pastel is one that creates mood and depth. The medium also helps to create great light and reflection in the painting. Pastels reflect light like a prism because the particles of pastel have may facets. Pastels are pure pigment that are painted on a very sanded surface. Pastels are always framed behind glass.
IN THE VIDEO, ABOVE: Get a tour of the gallery with Burdick, including a look at the Best in Show winner, Rita Romero, of San Francisco.
FUN FACT: There are four other local pastel artists represented in the show. They are Suzie Stach of Fresno; LaVone Sterling of Visalia; Roberta Davis of Clovis; and Christine Obers of Mariposa.
Details: A Sense of Place, 2003 N. Van Ness Blvd., Fresno. The pastel show runs through Oct. 21, when there will be an artist’s reception and presentation of awards.
Other ArtHop picks:
Spectrum Art Gallery
The year’s big fundraiser for Spectrum is the annual benefit reception and auction, which will be held Nov. 4 at Arte Americas. At October ArtHop you can get a free preview of the diverse collection of fine art photographs from distinguished and emerging artists. Works will be on display through October. From the gallery:
Last year, the Annual Print Auction was redesigned to be a more interactive experience and will now feature both live and silent auctions throughout the evening. Further, we will continue to have drawings and other activities to ensure a well-engaged audience. Last but certainly not least, we will continue to provide our guests with music, food, and wine while they mingle with fellow photography enthusiasts.
Admission is $5, payable at the door of the event. Spectrum Art Gallery is one of the oldest cooperatives of its kind dedicated to advancing photography as an art form.
Details: Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave.
Fig Tree Gallery
Any time there’s an exhibition of works by Robert Ogata, you should pay attention. One of the central San Joaquin Valley’s premier artists, Ogata is a stalwart member of Fig Tree, where he’s debuting his newest exhibition at October’s ArtHop. The closing reception is Oct. 29.
Details: Fig Tree Gallery, 644 Van Ness Ave.
Looking for some early Halloween fun? The Jeffrey Scott Gallery is reprising its popular pumpkin-carving expo from last year, in which it asked local artists, leaders, organizations, friends and staff to decorate or carve pumpkins in celebration of the season. The entries are due at noon Thursday, so you can be sure they’re extra fresh.
There are no rules. Last year had some interesting entries, to say the least:
Details: Jeffrey Scott Agency, 1544 Fulton St.
Tiffany Hurtado gets “a little weird” with a show titled “Six Impossible Things” at Gallery 25. From the gallery:
The inspiration for the exhibition theme was taken from a quote from her favorite author, Lewis Carroll. The quote attributes the inability to believe in the impossible to lack of practice. Taking that to heart, the artist is using this series as practice to break out of her artistic comfort zone with the use of charcoal, colored pencils, and other mixed media.
Details: Gallery 25 is located inside the M Street Arts Complex, 1419 M St. Along with the ArtHop opening, a 2nd Saturday reception will be held noon-4 p.m. Oct. 14.
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