My arts picks this week feature a retired Fresno City College art instructor still going strong, a new concert series dedicated to traditional American music at Fresno State and a fresh take on mariachi.
The event: C. Dean Draper, who started the ceramics program at Fresno City College, retired in 1987. Now 93, he is still hard at work. A one-time exhibition helps his Fresno fans catch up with his recent artistic adventures.
The draw: There are nearly 100 paintings and ceramic works in the show, 90 percent of which were done in Draper’s retirement. He is still inspired to create, telling people, “The work begins and proceeds until something in the composition asserts itself into my consciousness.” This will be an opportunity for the artist, who now lives in El Dorado Hills, to reconnect with his hundreds of students from Fresno City College days. Under his tutelage, the ceramics program at the college became so popular that it became his full-time work there.
Details: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Fresno West Stake Center, 3375 W. Sierra Ave. Free.
Music of America
The event: Local musician Evo Bluestein and friends launch the new Music of America Concert Series at Fresno State.
The draw: Bluestein will be joined by an all-star local lineup that includes Terry Barrett, Barry Shultz, Patricia Wells-Solórzano and Agustín Lira, Two for the Road and The Gilly Girls. The idea, says Fresno State music professor John Karr, is that traditional American music — bluegrass, folk, blues, gospel, country, mariachi, music nortena, zydeco — is largely underrepresented in concert programming in the central San Joaquin Valley. The plan is to offer four or five concerts a year.
The event: Omar Naré’s “Sin Mi Mujer Quién Soy” will be performed in Visalia.
The draw: Naré is known for pushing boundaries. He describes his Nuevo Mariachi style as “a vogue blend of Mariachi and Sophista-pop music, more California than Jalisco.” His show, which honors women, includes dance by Jasmín La Carís (blending flamenco, ballet and contemporary into her own style of modern dance) and Victor Rosas, who has performed internationally with the Ballet Folkórico de Amalia Hernández and energizes this traditional dance with contemporary feeling. Naré describes the show “at times times beautiful, pained, brave and ecstatic.”
Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 210 Cafe, 210 W. Center Ave., Visalia. www.omarnare.eventbrite.com. $25 in advance, $35 at door.