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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ONE TRAVELING AND TWO ORIGINAL
EXHIBITIONS OPEN AT
THE FRESNO ART MUSEUM
JANUARY 25, 2020
and continue through
June 28, 2020
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Opening Reception
Friday, January 24, 2020
6 to 8 pm
Reception with wine, beer, and passed hors d'oeuvres
(no host bar opens at 5:00 pm)

Members: Free
Non-Members: $20
(no passes accepted for this event)  

Artist/Curator talks to precede the reception 
in Bonner Auditorium beginning at 5:00 pm

Images above:  Gardena High School Library with  Purchase Prize Exhibit on Display , 1933; © Jack Coughlin, Robert Lewis Stevensonfrom Impressions of Bohemia series1986, Etching 42/125, Gift of James and Barbara Johnson, FAM94.48.11a; Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Man Made, 2016, Painting on glass with vitreous enamels, 36" x 24", Courtesy of the Artist; Wyatt Amend, Propulsion Drone #4, 2013, Stoneware and steel, 9" x 9" x 15", Private collection; Richard Amend, Woman at The Coronation, 2016, Chalk on paper, 54" x 72", Courtesy of the Artist
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Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956
 
The Fresno Art Museum is pleased to host this traveling exhibition of early to mid-20th century American Art, entitled  Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 . Approximately 70 oil paintings will nearly fill the entire Museum.
 
The exhibition contains works by key early 20th century California artists in figurative, landscape, and genre traditions. The collection contains works by Maynard Dixon, Elmer Bischoff, Edgar Payne, Agnes Pelton, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel, among many others.
 
The works of art were selected, purchased, and donated to Gardena High School near Los Angeles by its student body between 1919 and 1956. The Students' choices show a high level of sophistication due to the level of discourse and collaboration encouraged at the school and in the city. The story of how arts engagement can promote civic participation to strengthen the community is woven throughout the history of the collection.
 
When Gardena High School moved to a new campus in 1956, the collecting program ended. It had been locked away until this traveling exhibition was organized in recent years.

Exhibition Curator, Susan M. Anderson, Former Chief Curator, Laguna Art  Museum
 
GIFTED: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956  is organized by the GHS Art Collection, Inc. in association with the Gardena High School Student Body and curated by Susan M. Anderson. The exhibition and publication were generously underwritten by Yvonne Boseker, Simon K. Chiu, Keith and Sue Colestock, and Craig K. Ihara. The FAM  exhibition was underwritten by The Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation and sponsored by John and Pam Lamborn, J.P. Lamborn Co., Fresno.
 
Images:  Jessie Arms Botke,  Cranes Under a Giant Fern , c. 1943, Oil and gold leaf on canvas, 40" x 32", Gifted to Gardena High School by the Class of Summer 1943; Maynard Dixon,  Men of the Red Earth , 1931-1932, Oil on canvas, 36" x 41", Gifted to Gardena High School by the Class of Summer 1944

Read more about this incredible exhibition of art by  clicking here  to download an article from the Summer 2019 California Art Club Newsletter.


A Family Dynamic
Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Glass
Richard Amend, Drawings
Wyatt Amend, Ceramics
 
There is a particular challenge to organizing a group exhibition for three stellar artists who are also related: in this case, a father, a mother, and their son, respectively Richard Amend, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, and Wyatt Amend. 
 
This exhibition is organized to highlight each individual artist rather than to focus on their similarities and familial influences on each other. However, it is apparent that they have inevitably been aware of each other's work over the years as they all three work and live under the same roof that they call "The Amend Arts Compound."
 
I chose to curate this intimate group show for the Moradian Gallery as a visual contrast to the 70 period oil paintings otherwise filling the Museum in the traveling exhibition  Gifted: Collecting the Art of   California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 . Richard Amend's giant black and white drawings alongside the two-dimensional studio glass by Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend as well as the sculptural ceramics by Wyatt Amend provide a variety of mediums, surfaces, and constructions that are a visual counterpoint to the oils on canvas in the  Gifted  exhibition.
 
Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend  is a studio glass artist who has never blown glass. She explains, "I'm more about imagery and idea on the material." Over the last decade, her work has primarily consisted of painting with vitreous enamels on transparent glass sheets. Susan's works are in the permanent collections of LACMA, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. In 1998, she was included in the  California Glass Today  group exhibition here at FAM .
 
Richard Amend  is a painter and an equally capable drawer. His compelling black and white oversized drawings of peopled and unpeopled landscapes can be realistic or abstracted. A career in the film industry allowed him to travel widely, photographing sites for various cinematic projects. His paintings and drawings are begun from many of these photographs producing arresting and mysterious panoramic views of life. He has exhibited his work throughout California and abroad.
 
Wyatt Amend  is a master ceramicist. Only in his thirties, his vessels and  Propulsion Drones  exemplify his finesse at the wheel and his command of clay and glazing compounds. Wyatt has developed new techniques to make his functional objects look like glass. His interdisciplinary process involves the use of a wheel, a lathe, and carving and grinding techniques typically used by woodworkers and cold glass artists. Although widely collected, this is his first museum exhibition.
 
Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Images (L to R): Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Hand Made  2016, Painting on glass with vitreous enamels, 36" x 24", Courtesy of the Artist; Richard Amend, Woman at The Coronation, 2016, Chalk on paper, 54" x 72", Courtesy of the Artist; Wyatt Amend, Graduated Goblets, 2016, Clay with glaze reminiscent of glass, and wood 



From the Permanent Collection:
Impressions of Bohemia:
Portraits by Jack Coughlin
 
Born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1932, Jack Coughlin studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at The Arts Students League of New York. A printmaker, draughtsman, painter, and sculptor, Coughlin is best known for his portraits of literary figures. He is celebrated for his combination of traditional and innovative techniques during the resurgence of intaglio, lithographic, and woodcut printing in the 1960s and 1970s. 

A member of the National Academy of Design, Coughlin's works have been exhibited internationally and are in the collections of notable institutions such as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art. Coughlin is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he taught in the Department of Art for more than 35 years.

The portfolio  Impressions of Bohemia  was conceived by the artist as a way to feature literary figures and photographers who at one point in their lives resided in the Monterey-Carmel-Big Sur area. The Monterey Peninsula is known as an artists' haven and since the 19th century has attracted artists of all types who were eager to capture the spirit of the dramatic shoreline. The subjects of the etchings are Ansel Adams, Gertrude Atherton, Mary Austin, Robinson Jeffers, Sinclair Lewis, Lincoln Steffens, John Steinbeck, George Sterling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Edward Weston.
 
Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Curator

Images: © Jack Coughlin, Robert Lewis Stevenson and Gertrude Atherton, from Impressions of  Bohemia  series 1986, Etchings 42/125, Gifts of James and Barbara Johnson



For more information, additional photos, or to schedule a preview of the exhibitions or interviews with the curators or available artists, please contact Executive Director and Chief Curator Michele Ellis Pracy at 559.441.4221 x103 or by email to michele@fresnoartmuseum.org

General exhibition support from The Eaton and Gibson Family Fund of the Central Valley Community Foundation, A Friend of the Museum, Christy V. Hicks, Elaine Lynn, Anita M. Shanahan, and  David & MaryAnne Esajian .
 
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FRESNO ART MUSEUM
2233 North First Street
@ Clinton & First, next to Radio Park
phone:  559.441.4221
fax:  559.441.4227