3 picks for December ArtHop: Pairing up at Fig Tree Gallery

Now here’s a great idea: Pair up writers and visual artists. Let them loose and see how creativity is sparked. Then put the result on display in an ArtHop exhibition.

That’s what you’ll get in Fig Tree Gallery’s December show. The exhibition gives us 15 pairs of writers-visual artists in a series of fascinating collaborations between text and image.

I asked Marilyn Prescott, who teamed up with Corrinne Clegg Hales, about their contribution. Here’s what she told me:

Connie and I collaborated, in the true sense of the word. We began with the idea we’d do something about homelessness. In short order we both realized that would be disrespectful and intrusive, since neither of us is close to that reality. By the end of the day we’d decided to do our project on female reproductive rights. I led off with the painting, You PlanTake Away My What? Meanwhile Connie wrote the first draft of her poem about being pregnant as a high school student in Utah in 1967. We realized, though both our offerings were strong, they really didn’t “talk” to one another. Then Connie started writing about what defiance feels like, with “She Says No.” The first line contains the line, “large legal hands.”

That sparked my next painting that features the young, pregnant girl with the looming male figure behind her in the black robe with his well defined hands encircling her. With her consent, I entitled it “Large Legal Hands.” Finally, after a few other meetings in which we managed to bond even closer in our defiance, I created the piece, “She Says No,” which features many statements made by legislators and men running for office opining about rape and their belief, for the most part, that when a true rape occurs, pregnancy is impossible.

Other artist-writer pairs include Evany Zirul and Patrica Hoffman, Hazel Antaramian and Marisol Baca, Dixie Salazar and Jon Veinberg, and Kathy Wosika and Lee Herrick.


Speaking of pairs

Art Quilt, 18×23 2010, Silk

Two artists, one couple, two exhibitions. That sums up husband-and-wife artists Kerby Smith and Lura Schwarz Smith in December. Here’s a recap:

Kerby is an artist working in a variety of media. One of those is textiles. He picked up the medium from his wife, who is an internationally renowned art quilter.

He will be exhibiting a retrospective of his art quilts from the last ten years at the Fresno City Hall through December 20, 2019. He takes a different approach to the medium in that he prints his own fabric based on his photographic images and uses the fabric to create his quilts. The quilts are bright and colorful, as he often uses an extended color palette for ordinary scenes that are sometimes whimsical.

While Lura has been a world recognized art quilter, lately she has turned to oil painting as her main focus. She will be featured artist at the Vernissage Modern Art Gallery in Fresno during December 2019.

She offers new and recent paintings in oil and pastel, contrasted by several of her textile pieces. These works explore abstraction strongly rooted in recognizable imagery, along with realistic approaches in both media.

Shop till you drop

ArtHop in December is a great place to shop for holiday gifts. Plenty of galleries and studios are curating exhibitions. Clay Mix is one. You can find others at the Fresno Arts Council’s roundup.

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.

Comments (1)

  • Anne Scheid

    Your efforts on all our parts is appreciated, valuable and urgent.
    Thank you Donald!


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