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 May ArtHop

Options include 1821 Gallery & Studios, A Sense of Place, Spectrum Art Gallery, Gallery 25 at M Street Arts Complex, and Chris Sorensen Gallery and Studios

For a comprehensive list of ArtHop venues and shows, don’t forget to check the Fresno Arts Council roundup. ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods, is Thursday, May 3. Most venues are open 5-8 p.m.

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1.

1821 Gallery & Studios
‘Spaces of Desire’
Nick Potter and Peter Janzen

Both artists are fascinated with modernist architecture, and as this show enters its second ArtHop, you don’t want to miss their works in juxtaposition. From the gallery:

Potter’s paintings use architecture as a prism to examine symbols of power and propaganda. His idealized, pseudo-utopias are often highly seductive.

Janzen’s paintings investigate the mysterious qualities of light and space in mid-century modern interiors. Exploring the underlying tension that pervaded the time and questioning our nostalgia towards it, Janzen creates a precarious balance of anxiety and contemplation, of absence alongside the optimism of modernist thought.

Buildings and interiors can have a power all their own. (Potter’s work has always had the ability to make me feel unsettled, sometimes even spooked, which I consider very compelling.) Our lives are profoundly impacted by built environments. Both artists put the focus on place. Putting them together is a good call.

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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.”

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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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5 picks for January ArtHop

Options include Edward Gillum at Spectrum Art Gallery, Mike Garcia at 1821 Gallery & Studios, Caleb Duarte at Fresno.co and a chili fundraiser at Clay Hand Studios

Let’s get the new year off to an artistic start with these ArtHop picks:

Spectrum Art Gallery

Edward Gillum is not an artist who works in a vacuum. Is he troubled by this nation’s current political climate? Most definitely. But he’s also intrigued. “We live in a special time, as marvelous and mysterious as it is shameful and hideous,” he says.

Gillum has long brought both a keen intellectualism and a visceral, political anxiety to his wide-ranging works, which include installation art, sculpture and photography. His latest exhibition, “Alphabet of Meaning,” weaves his childhood love of books and the written word with his concerns about a culture that he feels is resembling Orwell’s “1984.” It opens Thursday at Spectrum Art Gallery as part of ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.

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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:

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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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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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5 picks for August ArtHop

From Kerby C. Smith’s bracing winter photography at M Street to the glory of ink pens at Bitwise, here are promising options for Thursday

One of the great things about ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods, is that it’s year-round. We don’t take the month off in Fresno just because it’s a little toasty outside. Here’s a list of five cool picks for August. ArtHop at most venues runs 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, but check the Fresno Arts Council website for variations.

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Woman in red: Kerby C. Smith’s “Pohono Bridge.”

M Street Arts Complex

I like the way Kerby C. Smith thinks. He waits until the hottest time of the year to unveil his new exhibition of 18 images he photographed in January through March in the Yosemite Valley as the park was buried in winter’s bountiful snowfall. My guess is that your internal body temperature will go down a few degrees just looking at these crisp and creative works. (And it helps that the M Street Arts Complex galleries are air-conditioned.) I caught up with Smith to chat about “Cool in July,” which has been extended through August. The exhibition is sponsored by the Fresno Arts Council, the Chris Sorensen Studio, Electric Motor Shop, Horn Photo and Abby Pet Hospital.

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