PRESS RELEASE

September 14, 2016 
 
Fresno Art Museum
2233 North First Street, Fresno CA 93703

 
Contact:  Michele Ellis Pracy, Executive Director & Chief Curator
               (559) 441-4221 x103
   michele@fresnoartmuseum.org

Opening Reception:  September 23, 2016, 6 to 8 pm
                   FAM Members FREE
                   Non-members $15 at door

Presentations by Curators, Lender & Artists begin at 4:30 pm in the Bonner Auditorium (free to members/free with reception admission/limited seating)

              
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FALL EXHIBITIONS: 
September 23, 2016 through J anuary 8, 2017
(except where noted below)

The Fresno Art Museum opens its FALL EXHIBITION SERIES with six new exhibitions on September 23, 2016:
  • Hung Liu: Scales of History
  • Art of the Word 2: Writers Juan Felipe Herrera & Gary Soto and their Illustrators
  • Head to Toe: Wearable Art
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964
  • Student Mural Project and A Tribute to FranCisco Vargas
  • The Making of a Mural


Born in Changchun, China in 1948 and raised during the Maoist regime, Hung Liu studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing before immigrating to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego.
 
As a painter, Liu challenges the documentary authority of historical Chinese photographs by subjecting them to the more reflective process of painting. Her paintings utilize prostitutes, refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners as subjects, reinventing the moments captured through a lens while simultaneously acknowledging the passing of time and breathing new life into faded memories. Much of the meaning of Liu's painting comes from the way the washes and drips dissolve the documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history. Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil, she both "preserves and destroys the image."
 
A two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in painting, Liu's works have been exhibited extensively and collected by many institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She is a Professor Emerita at Mills College, where she has taught since 1990. The Fresno Art Museum is very proud to present Hung Liu as the Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist 2016.
 
Curator, Jeff Kelley (Critic, Curator, Studio Manager, Hung Liu Studio, Oakland, CA)
 
Exhibition sponsored by The Fresno Art Museum's Council of 100 and an anonymous donor
 
Images:  Hung Liu,  Dirty Pink, 2015, oil on canvas, 80" x 120" and Daughter of the Revolution, 1993, mixed media: oil on canvas, wood, and antique glass bottle, 78.5" x 62" x 5.5"



In the  Art of the Word 2  exhibition, the Fresno Art Museum honors two Fresno literary icons and five visual artists who have illustrated their words over the past twenty years. Featured on the walls of the Contemporary Gallery are excerpted writings from children's books by United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Carnegie Medalist Gary Soto and some of the illustrations their words inspired.
 
The exhibiting artists illustrated the words of either Herrera or Soto, creating pictures to enhance the stories by the respective writer. They include non-fiction, fiction, and fantasy. The artists include Joe Cepeda ( Big Bushy Mustache by Gary Soto), Raúl Colón ( Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera), Elizabeth G ómez ( The Upside Down Boy: El niño de Cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera), Susan Guevara ( Chato's Kitchen, Chato and the Party Animals, and  Chato Goes Cruisin' by Gary Soto), and Ed Martinez ( Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto).
 
Curator, Susan Yost Filgate (Fresno Art Museum Education Director)
 
Exhibition sponsored by the Bonner Family Foundation and Fresno City College
 
Special thanks to J. Luis Orozco, Jr. of the Academia Cultural
 
Images:  Raúl Colón,  Joan Baez from the book  Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, watercolor and Prismacolor pencils on paper; Susan Guevera,  Chato's Kitchen book cover, from  Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto, acrylic on black scratchboard
 
To benefit the school children of the region, this exhibition runs from September 23, 2016 to August 27, 2017.
 

Head to Toe: Wearable Art features artwork that uses the human body as part of the final piece. Featuring artists from across the United States and unique creations in a variety of mediums including metallurgy, millinery, painting, woodcarving, and weaving, this exhibition explores the complex relationship of wearable art with the fashion world, the art world, and the world of craft. Wearable art acts as a method of self-expression, innovation, and is a reflection of the millennia-old human tendency to create and wear beautiful things.
 
Curator, Kristina Hornback (Fresno Art Museum Curator)
 
Exhibition sponsored by Baker, Peterson, Franklin, CPA, LLP and the Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation
 
Images:  Lexi Daly,  Firefall, 2010, Cardboard coffee cup jackets, sterling silver, gunmetal chain, and hematite, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo credit: Kitfox Valenti; Jenne Giles,  Rose Collar, 2012, Merino wool and silk, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo credit: Moja Ma'at
 
 
Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964 is a powerful exhibition created by McLane High School's award-winning ArtVenture Academy students in 2014/2015 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The exhibition includes large-scale woodblock prints depicting historical events from the Civil War to the 1960s.
 
Included in the exhibition will be ten four by eight-foot panels printed using woodblocks depicting scenes and text from  Freedom Summer, a three-dimensional bus with African American historical figures and scenes symbolizing the Freedom Riders, film documentaries about Civil Rights stories, and spoken word performances exploring themes of identity.
 
The project served as a vehicle by which students explored how young people can unite in the face of injustice to create transformative change in themselves and their communities. While embracing a diverse student population, the project gave voice specifically to the African American population through the lens of the Civil Rights movement.
 
Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy (Fresno Art Museum Executive Director & Chief Curator)
 
Loaned by Marc Patterson, Chairman of the Arts Department at McLane High School and art instructor for ArtVenture Academy.
 
Images:  ArtVenture Academy Students, detail from  Not in Mississippi panel and student at work on woodblock
 

 
Students in FAM's Summer Art Academy, under the direction of Eric Gonzalez of Visalia's Urbanists Collective-created a six-panel mural inspired by the art and life of the late Fresno muralist FranCisco Vargas. Students employed spray painting and traditional painting techniques to create this large-scale work for the Museum's Concourse Gallery.
 
Along with the student mural, original art and photographs from the Estate of FranCisco Vargas will be exhibited.
 
Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy (Fresno Art Museum Executive Director & Chief Curator)
 
Special thanks to Serena Vargas and the Estate of FranCisco Vargas
 
Images:  The Letter "R" from the  Student Mural Project and portrait of FranCisco Vargas by Brenda Manor on  FranCisco Vargas Tribute Mural postcard 

 
In collaboration with Arte Américas and inspired by their mural project commencing in the fall of 2016,  The Making of a Mural  documents the creative process of bringing art into the public sphere. The mural project, funded by the McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment, is intended to create a public artwork that celebrates the rich literary traditions of the central San Joaquin Valley. Arte Américas is working with internationally renowned muralist Francisco Letelier on the design of the mural, which will be painted by members of the Wall Dogs, a mural painting group with participants from all over the world. The mural will be executed on the south side of the historic Fresno Bee Building in downtown Fresno. The exhibition will explore Letelier's design process, from his sources of inspiration to the final vision.
 
Curators, Kristina Hornback (Fresno Art Museum Curator) and Frank Delgado (Arte Américas  Executive Director/Chief Curator/)
 
Images:  Concept design for Arte Américas mural project and muralist, Francisco Letelier
__________________________________ 

Fall exhibitions sponsored by Joan Eaton and Paul Gibson and Virginia Eaton.


FRESNO ART MUSEUM
2233 North First Street
@ Clinton & First, next to Radio Park
phone:  559.441.4221
fax:  559.441.4227

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