JANUARY 16, 2019
Executive Director & Chief Curator
559.441.4221 x103         
Fresno Art Museum
To open WINTER/SPRING 2019 
Season  of Exhibitions
on Saturday, February 2, 2019
The Fresno Art Museum has four new exhibitions opening to the public on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 11 am. A preview of the new exhibitions will be held on Friday, February 1 starting at 4:30 pm with curator and artist talks in the Bonner Auditorium followed by a chance to talk to artists in their galleries and a reception from 6 to 8 pm. Free to members, $15 for non-members. (No passes accepted for this event.) A no-host bar will be available from 5 to 8 pm, with a reception serving hearty appetizers beginning at 6 pm. The Museum Store will be reopening with the new exhibition series.
The Fresno Art Museum is located at 2233 N. First Street, Fresno, CA 93703, at the corner of First and Yale, just south of Clinton. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Parking is free of charge. For further information, please contact the Museum at 559.441.4221 or visit our website at

Artists Bryan David Griffith and Gary Geiger will be available at the Opening Reception along with the exhibition curators. Please contact Michele Ellis Pracy at 559.441.4221 x103 or  to schedule interviews with artists and/or curators and for photo/filming opportunities.

Please let us know if you require a press pass for the opening reception or a preview of the exhibitions.

The new exhibitions include:


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

The Permanent Collection of the Fresno Art Museum was established during the early 1960s when the institution was known as the Fresno Art Center. In the ensuing fifty-eight years, the Permanent Collection has grown to house over 3,600 works of art in the primary collecting areas of modern and contemporary art in all mediums.  In recent years, the Museum has included selections from the Permanent Collection each exhibition season in order to share with our visitors the art we hold in trust for the public.

With these particular choices from the Permanent Collection entitled BIG, the curator has culled from the storage vaults oversized works never before grouped together as an exhibition. 

Michele Ellis Pracy, Chief Curator of the Fresno Art Museum and curator of this exhibition, combines large-format works by nationally and internationally renowned artists Charles Arnoldi, Claire Falkenstein, Charles Gaines, Victor Vasarely, Oliver Jackson, and Ann Weber, among others. Also included are oversized works by local artists now deceased: August Madrigal, Clement Renzi, and Patricia Kirkegaard, among others. BIG will be exhibited in the Lobby, Concourse, and Administration Lobby Galleries.

An Art in Bloom special event involving local florists inspired by the BIG artworks will be held mid-exhibition from May 8th through 11th celebrating the Mother's Day weekend.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Images above: Clement Renzi, Problem Solving, 1987, Terra Cotta, 77" x 27" x 24", Gift of Judith and Donald Peracchi; and Varaz Samuelian, Circus, n.d., Acrylic on canvas, 72" x 56 1/2 ", Gift of Roslyn Robbins and William Dienstein


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

Wildfires are a part of life for those who live in the west. Every year huge portions of land go up in flames, threatening homes, businesses, and wildlife. In 2014, artist Bryan David Griffith's home and studio in Arizona were threatened by the Slide Fire. That experience has led to his intense study of wildfires, resulting in the exhibition Rethinking Fire. Griffith uses fire as his primary medium, along with wood, beeswax, and other natural materials to create paintings, sculptures, and installations. His work explores the complex nature of catastrophic wildfires and the competing elements of the human and natural world.

Curated by Bryan David Griffith in cooperation with FAM Curatorial Staff

Images above: Bryan David Griffith, Box & Burn, 2015, Wood sculpted by burning, 38" x 37" x 10", Photo by Tom Alexander and Artist, Courtesy of the Artist, and Artist at work burning sculpture.


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

In 1982, along with two fellow graduates of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Gary Geiger traveled to Virginia City, Nevada for a photography workshop. While there, the three friends were nicknamed "The Brooks Brothers" by their fellow workshop attendees. For the last 36 years, these three friends have come together once a year for a trip that they document through photography. These trips have taken them to locations all across the world: Mexico, Cuba, Indonesia, China, Morocco, Cambodia, and Vietnam to name a few. During these trips, Geiger and his friends interact with locals who share with them the stories of their cultures, religions, families, and history. This exhibition provides a small look at the adventures of the Brooks Brothers and the inspiring people and places they discover along the way, captured through the lens of Gary Geiger.

Exhibition Curator:  Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator 

Images above: Gary Geiger, School's Out, January 2017 (Myanmar), Archival pigment print, and Mezcal, 2014, Archival pigment print, both Courtesy of the Artist


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

The Native American groups of California are renowned for their basketmaking. The Fresno Art Museum is fortunate to have within its Permanent Collection a selection of exquisite baskets from the Yokut, Mono (Monache), and Miwok tribes of Central California. Many of these baskets date from the early decades of the 20th century when baskets transitioned from necessary items to objects desired by tourists and art collectors.

Basketmaking is a tradition that extends back in this region for thousands of years and is a skill passed down through the generations that connects  the past and the present. Initially created as utilitarian tools--burden baskets to transport things, cradleboards to carry young children, baskets for cooking, storage, or ceremonial purposes-- baskets have evolved into a way of preserving cultural history and a means for cultivating community solidarity. Basketry is labor intensive work, requiring not only the skill of weaving but also the knowledge of the plants and materials necessary for the creation. It is a living art form, using natural materials and imbued with cultural significance beyond the aesthetic. The baskets in this exhibition are by noted local basketmakers including Minnie Hancock, Sally Edd,  Burtha  Goode, and Lucinda Hancock.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Images above: Three baskets on left: (1) Burtha  Goode, North Fork Mono, Cooking basket with butterfly motif, c. 1936, Sedge, redbud, bracken fern on grass bundle foundation, 6 1/4" x 6 1/2" x 13 1/4", (2) Minnie Hancock, Wakchumne Yokuts, Gift basket, c. 1940, Sedge, bracken fern on grass bundle foundation, 4 3/4" x 4" x 7", and (3) Yokuts utility basket, early 20th century, Chapparal, redbud, sourberry sticks, 12 1/2" x 10" x 5", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Clarence Harris; Basket on right: Mono cooking basket, c. 1940, Sedge, redbud, bracken fern on a grass bundle foundation, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Clarence Harris

General Exhibition Support:  
David & MaryAnne Esajian

Media Sponsor
Fresno Bee

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

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