5 Picks for October ArtHop: Dia de los Muertos at Arte, Reichert at Downtown Artist Gallery, Gallery 25 online and more

Arte Américas has been working on its current Dia de los Muertos exhibition for months now. The result is what Executive Director Ruth Saludes calls its biggest and most innovative take on the holiday yet. Created by resident artists Claudio and Leti Martinez, the show goes far beyond the typical altars dedicated to individuals. The design includes an indoor “cemetery” that has a focus on the community at large.

The show opens for ArtHop (5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6), the monthly open house of studios and galleries in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. For an updated list of venues, go to the Fresno Arts Council website.

Titled “La Añoranza (The Longing),” the exhibition celebrates Arte’s 35th Dia de los Muertos exhibition. It’s billed as “a stunning, immersive artistic experience for the public.” ‘

Saludes notes that an exhibition this big and elaborate takes a lot of planning.

“Community members have been showing up every weekend to help create different elements of the exhibition,” Saludes told me. “It’s been pretty wonderful to see new faces and all ages coming through the doors to help us make flowers and construct concrete tombs.”

Put it on your calendars now: The famous “Cala Gala” is noon-5 p.m. Oct. 29.


The exhibition runs through Dec. 1.

More Dia de los Muertos

Fresno Pacific University offers another take on the Dia de los Muertos phenomenon with “La Catrina,” a photography exhibition work with images by Marcos Dorado.

Thirteen photographs depict three distinct Catrinas, each with their own inspiration and meaning. In addition, two dresses worn by model Lupe López will be on display as well as two headdresses created for López by L.A. designer Paulina’s Clothing.

The artist and model will be present at the opening reception ArtHop event share insights of each version of La Catrina as they were created over the past three years.

According to the university, La Catrina has become the emblematic figure of Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos). “Yet, her origin still remains misunderstood. Through this exhibit, you’ll gain a better appreciation for the icon from south of the border, and through her image, you’ll find a link to Mexican culture.”

The exhibit is on view Oct. 6 through Nov. 11 in the Dr. Merrill & Priscilla Ewert Gallery, inside of the brand new Warkentine Culture and Arts Center on the campus of Fresno Pacific University.

Not to miss: Reichert downtown

An exhibition by the eminent Fresno-area sculptor Raphael X. Reichert should automatically go to the top of your must-see list. Downtown Artist Gallery hosts an exhibition by Reichert, a former Fresno State professor of art history whose remarkable found-object creations can be big and brusque or wry and whimsical.

Three of the works are new, says gallery coordinator Timothy Padilla. They are titled “Barstow Before,” “Holier Than Thou” and “Hadron.”

The exhibition will only be available to view on ArtHop night, so don’t dawdle.

Attention grabbing

Marc Rogers, a Fresno native and a multi-discipline artist, produced during the Covid years what he calls a “prolific visual stream of consciousness exhibit” for October ArtHop at Corridor 2122. According to the gallery, his collection of collages were created during the months of isolation. During this sequestered time, Marc produced close to 1,000 images. His visual subjects touch on a wide variety of topics: self-portraits, capitalism, hypocrisy and all shades of the world condition.

Each visual includes an explanation of the artist’s thought process, therefore avoiding that age-old question: “I wonder what the artist was thinking?”

The exhibition continues through Nov. 3.

Gallery 25 virtual exhibition

Gallery 25, the powerhouse cooperative gallery, shifted from its brick-and-mortar location to a virtual presence during the pandemic. It’s continuing with that format for now. The latest virtual exhibition features works by Cynthia Carter Cameron, Michelle Sani, Valerie Runningwolf, Lylia Forero Carr, Rebecca M. Barnes and Joan K. Sharma.

UPDATED: This post has been updated to reflect the correct title of Raphael X. Reichert’s “Barstow Before.”

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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