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A crowded weekend features the Rogue Festival, ArtHop, ‘Boom Oaxaca’ at Arte Americas, Keyboard Concerts, a new play at Fresno City College and more

It feels like old times.

The greater Fresno-area cultural scene explodes with so much to do this weekend that I know I won’t be able to get to it all. Before the pandemic, the first weekend in March always seemed to pile up with events. Now, in the surest sign that things are getting back to normal, we’re back with an onslaught of offerings.

I’ll be expanding on many of these in the next few days, but for now, here’s a quick roundup:

ROGUE FESTIVAL

After a hunker-down festival on Zoom last year, and just in time to celebrate its very important 20th birthday – in one more year, Rogue will be old enough to drink! – Fresno’s beloved fringe festival returns for all-live performances. The action starts tonight (7-9 p.m. Thursday, March 3) with a Rogue Block Party:

After a decade of presenting the Teaser Show at the Tower Theatre, we decided we wanted to throw a party for our community instead. So we’re moving the festivities across the street into the old Chicken Pie Shop parking lot for a Rogue Festival Block Party. We’re planning food trucks, vendors, and an open mic for a fun, FREE community event.

The shows start on Friday, March 4 at six different venues. There’s lots more Rogue coverage to come in The Munro Review, including pre-festival picks.

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ARTHOP

Fresno’s monthly open house of galleries and studios (5-8 p.m. at most venues, Thursday, March 3) offers a robust lineup. The Fresno Arts Council keeps you up to date on all the venues. Here are three quick picks plus a reminder:

Downtown Artist Gallery: Robert Weibel offers a show featuring a number of never-before-exhibited images. You’ll get a sampling of some of Weibel’s signature styles, including the gunpowder prints for which he’s so well known, along with his some of his cartography body of work, whose images are created by collage elements from vintage atlases, nautical charts and maps, soft pastel, gunpowder drawing and other elements on paper. Weibel is also featuring a topical work: a peace sign on blue and yellow in support of Ukraine. (A silent auction will go toward war relief.)

That image is also being used for a website started by the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Clovis to coordinate Ukraine support activities, such as demonstrations on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, at the corner of Blackstone and Nees avenues.

You’ll only get one other chance to see Weibel’s work besides ArtHop: The reception is 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 5.

Here’s a story I wrote a few years ago about Weibel’s cartography series.

Here’s a video I made during the pandemic of a studio visit with Weibel:

Fresno Arts Council: Daniel Van Gerpen’s show “Early Riser” is on display. He describes it as exploring “the early morning landscape of the central valley from an aerial perspective.” (He has a good incentive to get up at that hour: His 3-year-old awakens before dawn. If you never get up that early, this is a good way to see what you’re missing.) Here’s a video from the artist describing the work:

Scarab Creative Arts: The gallery is celebrating its inaugural juried art competition titled “The Sierra.” The show features a number of artists including Corbin Callawaym Haley Coleman, Paul Colliver, Maggie Courtis, Jim Curnyn, Becky Dunn, Dale E. Matson, Sharon Matson, Linda Sloan, Terrance Reimer and more.

The show runs through March 31.

A reminder about Spectrum Art Gallery: For the most recent episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC,” I interviewed Spectrum curator Jesse Merrell about the gallery’s annual print auction:

Beginning with ArtHop, the fine-art photographs in the auction can be viewed at the gallery. On March 15, the auction will open for online bidding. Check out the gallery website for details.


THEATER

2nd Space Theatre: Sometimes you do get second chances. The cast of Good Company Players’ “Enchanted April” got shut down by Covid just after the show began its run in March 2020. Now it returns. This charming show (which was the last live theater I would end up seeing for 18 months), based on a 1922 novel, is about a quartet of women who rent an Italian villa for a ladies-only holiday, only to have things get complicated when various men in their lives show up.

The show opens Friday, March 4, and continues through April 24.

Fresno City College Theatre: Tom Quinn’s “No Easy Road to Freedom” offers stories of courage and determination “from the likes of heroines like Rosa Parks and brave individuals who represent Asian, Italian, Latino, Jewish and Native Americans.” It is a show about a nationwide fight against oppression, and a country that continues to evolve, says director Karina Balfour.

It plays for six performances over two weekends, opening on Friday, March 4. Admission is free, but a ticket is required.


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KEYBOARD CONCERTS

Hometown favorite Michael Krikorian, who studied piano at Fresno State before going on for a doctoral degree in music, last played at Fresno State in 2019. Now he returns – with a couple of friends. Krikorian teamed up with Aroussiak Baltaian and Garik Terzian to form the Komitas Trio, a chamber ensemble that will play all sorts of music but pay special attention to works by Armenian composers. The concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, at the Fresno State Concert Hall.

Here’s an interview I did with Krikorian in 2019.


BOOM OAXACA

This one’s a biggie. Arte Americas opens the second of three blockbuster shows financed by the McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment of the James B. McClatchy Foundation. “Boom Oaxaca” is “an invitation to participate in local and transnational conversations around food sovereignty and Indigenous sovereignty as issues that uniquely converge in the Central Valley’s Oaxaqueño community.” Soft opening is Friday, March 4, and the official opening is Saturday, March 5.



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

    Great weekend for the arts! Got to experience the Rogue block party. Lots of fun and performers and food. So good to have Rogue back! And Myrna Axt has a wonderful exhibit of her assemblage and collage at PBS. Thanks for the overview, Donald

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