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3 Picks for October ArtHop: Fig Tree, Downtown Artist Gallery, Spectrum

Are you Hopping tonight?

October’s ArtHop (5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7) boasts a number of interesting shows. As always, the Fresno Arts Council has an updated list of venues and artists (Google account required). Here are a few picks:

Evany Zirul at Fig Tree Gallery

Zirul’s new show, titled “Expressions in Wire,” features her lightweight wire-hanger sculptures, a recent development in a long sculpting and drawing career. The surgeon-turned artist has a fascinating backstory that I detail in this 17-minute studio-visit video that Joyce Aiken and I made just a few weeks ago:

Zirul’s sculptures are exhibited alongside Heather Anderson’s paintings, which I write about here.

New venue: Downtown Artist Gallery

This is the first ArtHop for the Downtown Artist Gallery, a working studio in The Bus Barn building that will feature ArtHop shows. The address is 701 L Street, Fresno.

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Artists Sandy Ogata, Robert Ogata, Tim Padilla and Piet Ogata are partners in the studio. Padilla writes:

Frank Arnold used to own this space when he was part of the Downtown Artist Group. The Bus Barn was purchased by Robert Ogata, David Alexander and Frank Arnold in 1995. This group founded ArtHop in 1996. David’s space is the roll-up doors closest to the Bitwise building, Robert is in the center and this space, our space, is on the corner. I say “our space” because Robert and Sandy Ogata purchased this space. We are opening this new Artist Studio together.

The venue will be open on ArtHop nights only, though special receptions are planned.

Spectrum Art Gallery

Sally Stallings, Larry Cusick and Kathy Wosika offer a joint show at Spectrum Art Gallery titled “Environments, Under Blue Skies, Secret Spaces.” The images are thoughtful and tantalizing. The pandemic figures large, as you’d expect. Stallings captures the mood in her artist’s statement:

Starved for color, beauty, and a piece of blue from above. I craved splendor of the California I have always loved. This was my focus. Recently we lost our California. Acres of fiery infernos have incinerated homes and forests once teaming with wildlife and cherished irreplaceable memories. Homes that hosted family dinners, wedding celebrations, children off to school, graduation parties all gone… charred beyond recognition into smoldering black crusts, stumps, slabs of blackened concrete, and grey powdery earth. Grey ash, like fish scales, wandering from putrid skies poisoning every breath you take …

To keep her sanity, Stallings went for morning walks:

… Wearing my N95 I heeded friendly neighbors conversing from one side of the street to the other. Social distance maintained. I nodded to straw hatted mothers planting flowers with babies close by in netted play pens. All were friendly. All courageous. Everyone a warrior struggling to maintain some sort of normalcy exerting sheer will and smiles to keep going forward.

I love this idea of finding blue — of seeking out color amidst a world with a lot of gray — in this autumn of vaccines and booster shots and hope.


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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.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (1)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Thank you, Donald. With so many venues opening up, it’s nice to know what’s happening and what you recommend . Teaching tonight, but hope to make it out in November. I’ll look forward to your November picks

    reply

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