3 picks for September ArtHop: Ceramics by Ogata, writing backwards by Whitehurst, and striking photos by King

It’s time for September ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. The Fresno Arts Council has an updated list of venues and exhibitions. Here are three promising picks:

Robert Ogata at Clay Hand Studios

As one of Fresno’s most acclaimed and beloved artists, anything to do with Ogata is newsworthy. In this case, you get the opportunity to survey some of his beautiful ceramic works.

“We are honored to exhibit Robert Ogata’s ceramic works as I’m not sure they’ve been seen in quite a while,” says Nanette Mattos of Clay Hand Studios. Objects in the curated retrospective come from private collections.

For Ogata, ceramics came earlier in his career, and he achieved a high level of virtuosity in the field.

From the gallery:

In the 1980ʼs Robert participated in two six week residencies at the Idylwild School of Music and Art, building an Anagama kiln (Traditional wood-fired) with Paul Chaleff and the following year producing and firing his work in the kiln while working with (National Treasure of Shigaraki, Japan) Shiro Otani. Many of these wood-fired pieces were first shown in a one-man show at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and at a 60 year retrospective at the Fresno Art Museum.

You can see some of the pieces from this show in the new Clay Hand exhibition.


In 1997, Ogata stopped making ceramics to focus solely on his painting career, which has grown in stature ever since.

His studio is located directly across the street from Clay Hand.

“Robert often walks across the street from his studio to visit with us at Clay Hands,” Mattos says. “He asks deep, ponderous questions about our work and occasionally offers some mentoring.”

1821 Gallery & Studios

Anne Whitehurst at 1821 Gallery & Studios

More than 40 years of work on Whitehurst’s “Veritas Series” are featured in a show that includes pieces from the 1970s progressing through every decade since. The premise is based on the multi-genre artist’s realization that writing backwards gave her instant access to her right brain.

From the gallery:

Words are the compositional content of this body of work, written backwards and without editing the content. The artist’s ride through her right brain is rhythmic and flowing, punctuated by her signature neon palette. Wit and mystery flavor the curious titles, intriguing people to read the work, back to the wall, with the provided mirrors. The collection becomes an installation with the viewer as the voyeuristic performer.

An artist’s reception will be held 3-7 p.m. Sept. 14. The show runs through Oct. 26.

Corridor 2122

Kirtley King at Corridor 2122

I love the above photograph by King, which is part of his new show, “Digital Plein Air Photography.” The extremely shallow depth of field has a pin-hole effect, forcing your eye to the center of the photo in search of the one bit of sharp focus in the image. It’s an intriguing effect, and somehow sober and haunting.

It’s always fun to check out Corridor 2122, anyway, with its nice creative vibe and upbeat social atmosphere. That’s what ArtHop is all about, right?

The Munro Review has no paywall but is financially supported by readers who believe in its non-profit mission of bringing professional arts journalism to the central San Joaquin Valley. You can help by signing up for a monthly recurring paid membership or make a one-time donation of as little as $3. All memberships and donations are tax-deductible.

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