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.

maxine olson

“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 February ArtHop

Options include Dixie Salazar at Fig Tree Gallery, Suzanne Bertz-Rosa at Bitwise, and the new show “Kindred” at Arte Americas

Dixie Salazar turns her attention to a prominent issue in her new show at Fig Tree Gallery: global warming. It’s one of my picks for interesting sounding exhibitions in ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and exhibitions in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.

I checked in with Salazar to get a preview of “Summer 2017: Fire and Water.”


Q: How many works are there in the show? Tell us about your approach.

A: There are four quite large painted collages. They are abstract but with much perceived water imagery and fire also. I also collaged burned paper onto the pieces. I was working on this piece in the summer of 2017 and was affected at some level by all the devastation caused by natural upheavals. I work intuitively, so much of this became apparent to me after I finished the work.

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Picks for December ArtHop

Holiday gifts are a favorite this time of year, plus two non-holiday shows at 1821 Gallery and Spectrum Art Gallery

In a time when any holiday present under the sun — including original art — can be ordered online and whisked to your home, there’s something refreshingly retro about wandering through your neighborhood gallery looking for gifts. For December ArtHop, many galleries make it possible to buy local art. My top pick of the month, then, is a compilation from the Fresno Arts Council master ArtHop list of promising places to do a little first-minute Christmas shopping:

BarbaraVanArnam_Pear and Coffee
Barbara Van Arnam’s “Pear and Coffee” at Gallery 25.

Gallery 25: A fundraiser titled the “Giving Tree” includes a symbolic representation of a tree that will have works of art of “purses” created by gallery members. The remaining part of the gallery will be a members’ exhibit.

Sorensen Studio and Galleries: The name of the game is affordable, with participating artists agreeing to feature at least one artwork for $100 or less.

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5 picks for October ArtHop

Ginny Burdick’s A Sense of Place gallery hosts a national pastel show. Also: Check out exhibitions at Fig Tree Gallery, Spectrum Art Gallery, Jeffrey Scott Gallery and Gallery 25

Coarsegold artist Ginny Burdick is a pretty happy gallery owner these days. A Sense of Place, her handsomely renovated gallery — right across from Fresno High School — is now in its fifth successful year.

She nabbed a prestigious exhibition to show off that space: the national invitational of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, the second largest association of pastelists in the world. And to top things off, one of her own pieces was selected for the show by jurors. (“It would have been embarrassing if I hadn’t gotten in,” she says with a laugh.)

It’s no wonder, then, that Burdick’s gallery leads my picks this month for ArtHop, the monthly open house of studios and galleries in the Tower District and downtown neighborhoods of Fresno. (Most venues are open 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5.) The show includes entries from all over the world in a variety of subjects, including landscapes, portraits and abstracts. I dropped by this week to ask some questions and get a quick video tour.

Q: How did you persuade the pastel society to pick Fresno for its show?

A: Three years ago I was approached by the then president of the Pastel Society of the West Coast who was trying to find a venue for the show in central California. He lives near Porterville and felt it was important to have this area represented. He had tried for the Fresno Art Museum but they never contacted him back. Then he reached out to me, came to see the gallery and felt it would work for the show.

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