5 picks for July ArtHop

A salute to “Papa Mike” McGarvin of Poverello House tops the list

July’s ArtHop — the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods — might be a little slower in the heat of the summer, but there are still lots of options. ArtHop is 5-8 p.m. (at most locations) on Thursday, July 5.  The Fresno Arts Council has a full list of venues and shows. Here are five exhibitions that I think sound promising:

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Jeffrey Scott Agency

Mike McGarvin, affectionately known as “Papa Mike” of Poverello House fame, took many photographs of the homeless. You can see 20 of his most powerful images in a show titled “View to the Soul” along with works from other distinguished photographers.

Papa Mike took photos because he didn’t want people forgotten, says Jeff Negrete of Poverello House. “He wanted those who didn’t understand the trauma of poverty to see that the poor are not faceless.”

Here’s how Papa Mike said it: “I hope my pictures have put a face on their desperation and captured their humanity. I hope that these pictures say, we are poor, but not too different than you. We love, we hurt, we bleed.”

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5 picks for March ArtHop

Options include Maxine Olson at 1821 Gallery & Studios, Linda Zupcic at Fig Tree Gallery, and April Grigsby at Clay Hand Studios

An exhibition of works by Kingsburg artist Maxine Olson is always worth your attention. Nine of her paintings are featured at 1821 Gallery & Studios in a show titled “It’s All About Sex.” It’s one of my picks for Thursday’s March ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. (Most venues are open 5-8 p.m.; check the Fresno Arts Council’s site for details.)

Olson’s work in this show is mostly from the 1980s. Gallery owner Bruce Kalkowski says the paintings have a lush and magical feel, and they suggest Portuguese influences mixed with the Old Masters.

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“The Visitation” features “satyrs from Rubens, and they have a real mythological look,” Olson says. “They also look a little naughty with twinkles in their eyes and a girl lying prone on the bed in the background, giving the piece a Bacchanalian tinge. The painting deals with issues of fear, innocence, cunning and dominance.”

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5 picks for September ArtHop

“Geek Artistique” returns for a 2nd year of pop-culture art dedicated to science fiction, fantasy and comics. Also: Don’t miss shows at Gallery 25, Jeffrey Scott Gallery, Clay Hand Studios and CMAC

Lisa Anderson and Martin Shapiro, professors at Fresno State with very busy lives, didn’t quite realize what they were getting into nearly eight years ago when they organized an exhibition titled “Art Scientifique” at the Chris Sorensen Studios. They hadn’t thought beyond that first year. But Sorensen, a wily arts administrator and judge of human behavior, knew exactly what he was doing when he talked to them about the show’s success.

“You have the March slot now,” he told Anderson, as she remembers it.

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Greetings from a Minion: a work by Todd Runberg in “Geek Artistique.” Photo / The Munro Review

They’ve kept up the schedule, opening the seventh annual “Art Scientifique” in March.

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