3 picks for July ArtHop: Franka M. Gabler, Joshua Moulton and David Samuels

Mist and fog is what first captivated me about the photographs of Franka M. Gabler. In the past I’ve used such words as moody and ethereal to describe the dreaminess of her works. In the artist’s statement for her new show at Spectrum Art Gallery, titled “Meditations,” she writes that “mist and fog often allow for interesting compositions and interpretations, concealing distracting elements and leaving only the essence, isolated from larger surroundings, allowing her to feel, focus, and connect with a subject.”

“Meditations” follows Gabler’s “Ethereal” (2015) and “In Sync” (2017) as the third exhibition in a series about her intimate connection and interpretation of natural surroundings. It’s one of my picks for July’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.

Most venues are open from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, July 11. The Fresno Arts Council has an updated list.

One of my favorites in Gabler’s new show is “Fishing … Eastern Sierra,” pictured above, an expansive landscape view of a lake with a small fishing boat, in near silhouette, positioned in the lower right-hand corner of the frame. Mist dances in a strong horizontal line of vivid sunlight among the surface of the water. The composition is exceptional and the emotional tone darkly cryptic.

Gabler says she doesn’t plan what to photograph on a particular day. Instead, she says, she gets out there with open senses, waiting to see what draws her attention, hoping to recognize a simple story in chaotic surroundings. In her statement she writes:

“Gentle morning light, tranquility, and peace of untouched nature – where the only disturbance is the sound of her own footsteps and breathing — make her appreciate the gift of life, a reminder that we are all part of a larger universe, and letting everyday worries fade away.”


Here is a video about the exhibition:

The exhibition runs through July 28.

Joshua Moulton at Fresno City Hall

Local landscape photographer Joshua Moulton loves nature, and he wants those who look at his photos to feel what he was feeling at the moment he was there.

“My goal when I go out with my camera isn’t to come home with a great picture (although that is always a bonus) but to enjoy where I am at the moment,” he says. “When I look to create a photograph, my idea is to transport the viewer to the scene.”

Two of the images in his new show at Fresno City Hall came from a shooting trip earlier this month in the Canadian Rockies. I asked him about the trip.

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He and his wife flew into Calgary and made the five-hour drive into the mountains through Banff on the way to Jasper National Park.

“As you leave Calgary you drive through farmland and meadows that are nearly identical to New Zealand farmland,” he writes. “Long billowy grasses and rolling hills. That quickly becomes towering cliffs and peaks as you neared Banff. We were blown away by their size and majesty. It wasn’t until we reached the Icefields Parkway (a three-mile road in the valley of an ancient glacier path that takes you from Banff to Jasper) that we realized those earlier mountains were just the beginning. We felt so incredibly small among the snow tipped giants.”

I’m always interested in the story behind a photo, and Moulton shared one about a shot he took of Peyto Lake. Here’s the photo and his account:

“Peyto Lake was an interesting shot in that I didn’t plan it whatsoever and was a culmination of a lot of external factors. We first attempted to visit Peyto while we were on our way to Banff from Jasper but we arrived midday and the small parking lot was overrun with cars and tour buses; so, we decided to just keep on moving. Crowds were a major issue in Banff and we had to make sure we utilized early mornings and late evenings to really see places.

“One evening in Banff when we didn’t have much to do, I asked my wife if she was interested in making the drive into the Icefields Parkway to go see Peyto. I didn’t expect to get a great picture because it had been very cloudy all day and the light inconsistent but we wanted to see it and we had time. We arrived around 7 p.m. It was freezing, due to the altitude and wind, but there was only a handful of people there.

“When we made it to the viewing overlook we couldn’t believe how beautiful it was to see. Peyto Lake has such an interesting color from its glacier and to top it off the sun broke through the clouds lighting up the valley. My wife wandered down to the edge in the picture and I knew I had something special in front of me. I can thank the crowds for pushing me away from the town that day.”

It’s a memorable photograph. Moulton considers it one of his favorites.

1821 Gallery & Studios

David Samuels at 1821 Gallery & Studios

Fragments in a Paracosm” is the title of David Samuels’ new show.

The Central California mixed-media artist, who practices his expressionism through abstract forms, describes his work as “a collection of an honest energy comprised with tattered visions showing glimpses of a world where color, language, and spirits scrimmage for an identity.”

The exhibition runs through July 31 at 1821 Gallery & Studios.

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.

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