There's a lot to celebrate at June's ArtHop:
A big birthday bash for Chris Sorensen, Fresno's "Man of Steel." A new ArtHop venue, thanks to the Tioga-Sequoia Brewery. A first ever car-art show at the Arthouse. A salute to the Summer Solstice at 1821 Gallery & Studios. An inaugural exhibition and competition from the Fresno Arts Council celebrating agriculture. And the second ArtHop exhibition at The Bee.
Here are some best bets for Fresno's monthly open house of studios and galleries in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods. Most locations are open 5-8 p.m. today. For a complete list of venues and shows, go to www.fresnoartscouncil.org.
The big 8-9: Chris Sorensen, whose sprawling studio bearing his name at 2223 S. Van Ness Ave. features dozens of artists, is still going strong, and his birthday has become an annual celebration of his artistic longevity. Sorensen marks his 89th year with an ArtHop party and exhibition that includes his recently completed, 81/2-foot tall "Camel," along with other works he completed throughout the preceding year.
Poignant show: Also at the Sorensen Studio is a holdover photography exhibition from last month that has been getting a lot of buzz: Wendy Denton's "Cancer Chronicles." She writes in her artist's statement: "When my husband Ken was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we pledged to be conscious and awake throughout the journey together. Through images, we captured feelings, ideas, sadness, humor, and outright fun along the way."
In Denton's photo "Letting Go," her husband pulls an opened suitcase up a paved, woodsy outdoors incline toward a distant but unknown destination as various items (an old camera, a phonograph record, prescription pill bottles) spill out behind. The caption reads: "Free at last to let go of the baggage and encumbrances we pack away and drag around with us. A collection of random, unrelated objects that used to be important."
Beer and art: The Tioga-Sequoia Brewery, 745 Fulton St., debuts its first ArtHop with a stable of artists from Fresno Underground Art. The roster includes Henry "Loco" Contreras, Johnny Matcham, Jason Bonilla, Erik "Stinkboy" Davison and Zoombie Nation. The event doubles as an "Ozmosis Happy Hour," featuring Mike Osegeuda from New Rock 1041.1's "Ozmosis" show, and food from Dusty Buns Bistro.
Give a honk: At the Arthouse, 1612 H St., you'll find a combination of two popular events: a car show and an art show. A variety of classic cars, motorcycles and trucks will be showcased along with art in a variety of media. The event, which runs 5-10 p.m. today, continues 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Summer show: You can celebrate the longest day of the year early with the California Contemporary Art Collective's "Summer Solstice: The Longest Light" at 1821 Gallery & Studios, 1821 Calaveras St. Donnalee Dunne, Juliana Harris, Linda Koch, Trude McDermott, Anne Scheid, Joan Sharma and Robert Weibel each tackled the theme through his or her own perspective as an artist.
Along with the ArtHop opening, there will be a chance to mark the actual event with a June 21 reception.
Memories: At Gallery 25, 660 Van Ness Ave., Ann Leedy's solo exhibit "integrates the visceral, cognitive and dreamlike aspects of life experiences that come together in a moment." Leedy works with pastels and mixed-media.
Portraits: Marcos Dorado, who has made a name for himself in Fresno art circles with his realistic pencil drawings, offers a series of portraits in "Facing America" at Studio 74, 1274 N. Van Ness Ave. The works include biographies of each model. They are part of a greater project that will soon include a podcast and an ongoing blog.
Dorado is preparing for a July anthology of his work at Peeve's Public House in what he says will be his last show in Fresno before moving from the area.
Italian jewel: Bruno Pegoretti, who divides his time between Fresno and Bologna, Italy, is featured artist at the K-Jewel Art Gallery, 1415 Fulton St. The artist is known for his technique of impasto, in which the paint is laid on thickly enough to see the brush strokes. He paints from above, with the canvas on the floor.
Celebrating agriculture: The Fresno Arts Council presents its first ever "Arts Alive in Agriculture," a juried exhibition, at Fresno City Hall. The art show will feature painting, sculpture, photography and found objects on three themes: the human component of agriculture; technology and machinery of agriculture; and agricultural landscape. Winners will be announced at today's opening reception.
Come on down to The Bee: We had a lot of fun last month with The Bee's first ArtHop show. Now it's time for the second: Bee photographer Craig Kohlruss offers "Spotlight on Sports," an exhibition featuring action shots and portraits with a sports theme. The Bee is located at 1626 E St.