When 6-year-old artist Gavin Kiggins visited the Fresno Art Museum after he learned his mixed-media piece "Gavin's Shrinking City" would be included in the new exhibition "Downtown Visions," he was told it would be displayed on a pedestal.
"What is a pedestal?" he asked.
As the first crowd-sourced exhibition in the museum's history, this collection of works contributed by community members has a fresh, raw sensibility. The only requirement was that a work have something to do with downtown Fresno and be limited in size.
The result is a collection of photos, videos, paintings, poetry and mixed-media objects ranging from sober to wacky.
Some have a definite political edge. Randy Vaughn-Dotta's "Down the Fulton Mall Rabbit Hole!" uses the repeating pattern of a downtown mall facade swirling down into a circular abyss.
Some works are by well-known artists, such as Barbara Van Arnam's "A Tree Called Fresno."
Other artists have less experience.
Gavin made his piece using the trusty Shrinky Dink format, in which large flexible sheets are baked in an oven and shrink down to hard plates. His tableau includes such notable landmarks as the Crest Theatre, Tokyo Gardens sign and the Van Ness arch, nestled in greenery and backed by an intriguing silhouetted cutout of his skyline.
There are about 70 works in the uncurated exhibition. You can add to that number by uploading photos and videos, which will be displayed on a monitor. Follow the instructions at fresnoartmuseum.org
— Donald Munro