5 picks for May ArtHop: Robert Weibel at Scarab, Franka M. Gabler at Spectrum, Audia Dixon at Corridor 2122, and more

Robert Weibel says his head and heart are always full of new ideas. I love the creative spirit — and the sense of urgency — behind that statement. (He goes on to say: “I want to do it all, and there’s limited time,” which also gives his art a sense of urgency.)

Weibel’s new show at Scarab Creative Arts (729 E. Divisadero at Broadway) is one of my highlight picks for May’s ArtHop (Thursday, May 4), the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. Most venues are open 5-8 p.m. For a complete list, go to the Fresno Arts Council’s website.

Titled “Transitions,” the Weibel show reflects his journey of creating and showing a wide range of media and subjects. Some of the images are familiar. In his “Carried Ashore” series, the artist uses vintage maps, nautical charts and pastels to explore the idea of one person helping another through transitions. (In this insightful 2018 TMR interview, Weibel explains the passion behind these works.) He explores two other themes in the new exhibition. In a series of monotypes, he painted or drew images on Plexiglas using ink, paint and grease pencil. Then he laid damp paper on the image and ran it through his etching press. “The image transfers to the paper as a unique print,” he writes in his artist statement. “Unlike all other printmaking, each monotype is one of a kind.”

Finally, Weibel works with X-rays, which sounds fascinating to me. He explains that X-rays are usually dark pictures of injury and illness. Here, he creates new images that transform “and change the story.”

Fresno arts doyenne Joyce Aiken and I interviewed Weibel for our video series about visual artists working through the pandemic. Here is the segment:


Other ArtHop picks:

A work by Adam Longatti in the Downtown Artist Gallery show.

Downtown Artist Gallery

A piece of artistic advice: Never miss the chance to see what painter Adam Longatti is up to. His landscape views of the central San Joaquin Valley are as mesmerizing as ever. There is a short window of opportunity for this show: Along with ArtHop, the gallery will be open 3-5 p.m. Saturday, May 6.

Franka Gabler

Spectrum Art Gallery

There are lots of words to describe the work of photographer Franka M. Gabler, and two of the best are “subtle” and “moody.” Her photographs of such iconic locations as Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley go far beyond the depiction of a “view.” The intimacy in her work is striking.

This is particularly evident in her new solo exhibition, “Whispers of Nature,” at Spectrum Art Gallery. The focus is on small, evocative scenes.

“These are the places that I know well and with which I have an emotional connection,” she says. “Sometimes it’s about capturing subtle light, colors, and contrast. Other times it’s about capturing my experience in nature when making the images – the softness and silence of the falling snow, or a quiet time in a forest, observing nature that is preparing for rest.”

As part of Spectrum’s educational series, Friday Photography Live, she will be giving a presentation, “Capturing and Expressing Mood in Landscape Photography” (7 p.m. May 19, at the gallery).

In yet another collaboration between Joyce Aiken and The Munro Review, we visited Gabler during the pandemic as well. Here is the segment:

Corridor 2122

Audia Yvonne Dixon racked up the two highest student honors you can achieve at Fresno State: She was named graduate dean’s medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities and the president’s graduate medalist for the university. Her exhibition “Eden: Pastorals of Black Juvenescence” is featured at Corridor 2122.

The Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities blog describes it as “a window into the artist’s imagination. Physically, the works are enormous, taking up entire walls of space that seem to transport the observer into a world of happy memories. Yet within the scenes of carefree contentment and Disney characters, dangers appear in the details. Dark storm clouds in the distance, ominous waterfalls, crime tape and death let the admirer know that all is not right under the surface.”

The exhibition runs through May 28.

Dixon earned her Master of Arts in Art with an emphasis in painting. She is currently an instructor at Clovis Community College.

Here’s an interview with her:

Brix Building

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and to celebrate, the city’s preservation commission is coordinating a number of activities. For ArtHop, a display of works by historic artist Pat Hunter will be on display at the Brix Building, 1221 Fulton St. There is also a display at the Fresno Fire Department building on H Street.

Along with artifact displays at Fresno City Hall and the main library, the commission is excited to have the first LGBTQ History presentation/workshop as a part of the month’s activities (6:30 p.m. May 23, at Component Coffee Lab, 620 E. Olive Ave. I’ll be providing more details on the month’s activities to come.

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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.

Comments (1)

  • Steph

    Never was there a more perfect user of the term “doyenne.”


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