5 picks for March ArtHop: Downtown Artist Gallery unveils new book by Mas Masumoto and Patricia Miye Wakida

A new book by David “Mas” Masumoto is always a notable event. And one featuring original artwork by Patricia Miye Wakida makes it notable ArtHop event.

In a special book signing of “Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm” at Downtown Artist Gallery (701 L St.) as part of ArtHop, Masumoto and Wakida will celebrate the book before its official April 18 publication date. On display will be Wakida’s linoblock prints.

The reception (5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 2) is one of the many options for this month’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. You can find a comprehensive list of venues and shows at the Fresno Arts Council’s website.

In a recent episode of “The Munro Review on CMAC,” I talked with Masumoto about the book. It’s the story of his “lost aunt,” who had a mental disability due to childhood meningitis and was separated from the family when Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps during World War II. Masumoto’s family thought the aunt had died, but 70 years later she was still alive in a care facility in Fresno. The book is about family secrets, shame, resilience and discrimination against the disabled.

Here’s the interview:


Other ArtHop picks:

Rosamond at Corridor 2122

Across the street from Downtown Artist Gallery, a one-woman show at Corridor 2122 features the work of an artist that many don’t know in Fresno. It’s an exhibition organized by Fresno native Stacey Pierrot Simons, who has an art business based in Carmel, where she had a gallery for 20 years. She tells me she moved back to Fresno when she got married and has been busy raising two daughters. She writes:

“I represent one artist, Christine Rosamond. She is not living. She was swept off the rocks in Big Sur and drowned at age 46. It has been nearly 30 years since she died, but I still publish prints of her work and am trying to make a movie about her life. The screenplay is out to a prestigious director now and the project is fully funded with a $10 million budget. With a warehouse full of unique works, I have decided to fill the Corridor 2122 gallery with Rosamond and introduce her work in Fresno. I have aligned the show to give a portion of sales to the Marjorie Mason Center.”

Simons plans a special event at the gallery 5-8 p.m. March 11 that will highlight three aspiring women artists.

Women at CMAC

What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than focusing on contemporary women? The Community Media Access Collaborative highlights some of its programming produced by women. A description:

“Unfortunately, women are not seen in the media as often as men. This lack of accurate representation on and off screen diminishes women’s contributions in the media industry and perpetuates harmful stereotypes. That’s why we’re proud to showcase the outstanding work created by the talented women of CMAC!”

Along with the ArtHop program, you can also check out the CMAC website to discover content from the collaborative’s women members.

Motherhood at Fresno Pacific University

Motherhood is a major theme in “Allyson Darakjian, Monster, Mirror, (M)other,” which opens with an ArtHop reception in Ewert Art Gallery in the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center on the main FPU campus.

The exhibition features artworks and performance artifacts which “conceptually blend the artist’s experiences of making art and motherhood.” From the press release:

Darakjian explores the psychological and metaphorical symbolism of “monsters” in literature, mythology and spirituality to create thought-provoking works, sometimes in collaboration with the artist’s children.”

The show continues through March 24.

Bill Bruce at Fig Tree Gallery

Bill Bruce turned 90 last year, and he’s still making art. A new exhibition at Fig Tree Gallery features work spanning over 60 years. A description:

“The exhibition will include paintings from his early days in San Francisco during the 1960s while living in the Haight Asbury district. Associating with other artists, his paintings captured the trending art directions including Abstract non-objective, Pop Art, Op Art, and Hard-edge styles. Moving to Fresno in 1966, he continued painting, where his work was featured in local exhibitions and galleries. Bruce joined Fig Tree Gallery in 1990 and has had a presence in downtown Fresno for 20 years with his own gallery and studio on Van Ness Avenue in the Cultural Arts District.”

The exhibition runs through April 2.

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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.

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