5 picks for January ArtHop

Let’s get the new year off to an artistic start with these ArtHop picks:

Spectrum Art Gallery

Edward Gillum is not an artist who works in a vacuum. Is he troubled by this nation’s current political climate? Most definitely. But he’s also intrigued. “We live in a special time, as marvelous and mysterious as it is shameful and hideous,” he says.

Gillum has long brought both a keen intellectualism and a visceral, political anxiety to his wide-ranging works, which include installation art, sculpture and photography. His latest exhibition, “Alphabet of Meaning,” weaves his childhood love of books and the written word with his concerns about a culture that he feels is resembling Orwell’s “1984.” It opens Thursday at Spectrum Art Gallery as part of ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.

Here’s some back story from Gillum about the show:

What tools do we have left to share our ideas and communicate our feelings? Artists often rely on non-verbal triggers to get viewers to respond to their creations. Technology has opened many doors to challenge creativity and to enable possibility. We now can measure, (and likely influence – CRISPR), individuality by the arrangement of our Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine, i.e. our DNA. So as letters and acronyms earmark methods of communication, I harken back to my childhood, and how much I loved books, “alphabet” books, especially. I continue to collect them. As a parent, I enjoyed reading to my children, and sharing the ones that I had collected, and all the new ones I would discover, including CDB, one of my favorites.

For the exhibit I am installing at Spectrum Gallery, I am sharing my current endeavor, “Alphabet of Meaning,’ 26 photographs that have been fused onto glass illustrating each letter of the alphabet and working together with the other twenty-five to communicate my view of existence at this moment on this fragile planet. I am hoping to do my part in fusing intelligence with common sense; and yes, dreaming of a better world for future generations.

Gillum is joined by two other artists at Spectrum: Jesse Merrell and Travis Rockett, whose “Eclectic Vignettes” explore images “derived from a broad range of sources. This includes the subject matter, location, and genre of photography, as well as presentation styles and artistic development.”


Details: ArtHop opening is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. An artists’ reception will be held 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.

1821 Gallery & Studios


New work by Michael Garcia is always a good reason for adding an ArtHop stop to your itinerary. Garcia’s exhibition — titled, appropriately enough, “New Work” — is showing 19 pieces at 1821 Gallery & Studios. The handsomeness of the gallery space is a good fit for Garcia’s richly textured works on panels with a process that involves building up layers of paint, then tearing them down by scraping, sanding and burning.

Garcia spent 10 years in Japan, and his work often reflects that aesthetic influence.

Details: ArtHop opening is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, 1821 Gallery & Studios, 1821 Calaveras St., Fresno. An artist reception will be 5-8 p.m. Jan. 13.


Clay Hand Studios

Chili and January make a nice combo, right? Clay Hand Studios is using January ArtHop for its annual chili fundraiser. Nanette Mattos sets the scene:

All the artists have been busy making items for the fundraiser, to include both bowls and keepsakes. A person who donates $10 will have their choice of one item (either a bowl or a keepsake) and a scoop of chili – but only while artist items/chili etc. last. Proceeds go toward Clay Hand Studios’ facilities, hosting events, and upgrades. Fresno’s support for this continues to grow with larger and larger crowds attending.

Details: ArtHop celebration is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, Clay Hand Studios, 660 Van Ness Ave., Fresno.

The freight train is simply called “The Beast.” This notoriously dangerous rail route is ridden by refugees from Central America hoping to reach the United States. “Walking the Beast” is a collaborative investigative art project at by Caleb Duarte and other artists with the organization EDELO Migrante.


Duarte and the others for one month lived at a rehabilitation center for immigrants suffering from lost limbs and serious injury caused by riding on “The Beast.” By facilitating the making of art among these people, core truths were reached, participants say:

Here, art does not sensationalize, romanticize, or simply illustrate the suffering of people; but art, created by people, demonstrates the extraordinary qualities humans’ possess. If indeed art can create real social change, it is precisely when it demonstrates the ability for human beings to feel. By exposing not just the strength and endurance of humans in migration, but also the current inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable amongst us, we can then open up the space for the possibilities for change by enacting a dignified rage and a level of empathy not visible until the arts participate.

Details: The show will be highlighted for ArtHop (6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4) at, 1918 Fresno St., Fresno.


Shannon Bickford’s “The Journey.”

Gallery 25

A new year is a good chance for artists to display their latest work. Gallery 25 is calling its January show “Renovare.” It’s a group show that “embodies a new beginning for a new year.”

Details: Gallery 25 is in the M Street Arts Complex, 1419 M St., Fresno. Along with ArtHop, a Second Saturday reception will be held noon-4 p.m. Jan. 13.

To subscribe to the email newsletter for The Munro Review, go to this link:



Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Leave a Reply