As February’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods, gets underway Thursday, Feb. 4, here are five promising venues to consider:
NOW THAT’S A COMMUTE
Marij Bouwmans divides her time between two homes: one in North Fork, the other in Holland. Her new exhibition, “Innumerable Centers, the Dutch American Paintings,” at 1821 Gallery & Studios, reflects her constant travel between the two places, which she says has had “lasting and profound” effects upon her work.
Bouwmans uses a rapid technique on her large, abstract canvases, utilizing slippery, broad impasto strokes, frayed edges and spontaneous drips. “The purpose of these paintings is not to reproduce the appearance of a mood or to portray a concept painted on canvas, but rather to fixate a fleeting presence,” she writes.
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The show runs through March 11. Details: 1821 Calaveras St. www.1821gallery.com.
BEST OF THE YEAR
The Fresno Bee publishes thousands of images in print and online in any given year. Here’s your opportunity to view some of the most striking. Bee photographers Silvia Flores, Craig Kohlruss, John Walker and Eric Paul Zamora selected 20 images representing the best work in 2015.
Images range from the Willow and Rough fires, to the drought, to the 101st Clovis Rodeo and the opening of the African Safari exhibit at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
At The Bee’s ArtHop event, you can meet the photographers in person and enter a raffle to take home one of the 20 images, each signed by the photographer. You do not need to be present to win, but you do need to stop by between 5 and 8 p.m. to enter the raffle.
Details: 1626 E St. The images can also be viewed during The Bee’s business hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Feb. 29.
FROM THE HEART
At Gallery 25, member artists got the opportunity to pair up with invited outside artists in “Heart Strings,” which fills the gallery in February and March. The works include paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media and digital imagery.
Details: 660 Van Ness Ave. www.gallery25.org.
Robert Schmalle knows how to keep busy. He’s a full-time business law instructor at Fresno City College, a former partner at the firm of Wild, Carter & Tipton in Fresno, a keyboard player who has performed locally and abroad since 1977 – and an accomplished photographer.
His “Photo Work of Robert Schmalle” at M Street Arts Complex features more than 20 original works, including photographs taken in London, Paris, New York, the Pacific Northwest and California.
His work has been featured in such magazines as National Geographic Viajes magazine and Digital Photography Magazine.
There’s an interesting back story to his relatively new venture in photography: In 2011, drug addicts burglarized Schmalle’s home, he writes. One of the stolen items was an inexpensive camera. Although he had always been interested in photography, he had never pursued it. He used insurance money to buy his first DSLR camera. Five years and thousands of photos later, he is becoming recognized internationally for his award-winning images.
Details: 1419 M St., http://www.mstreetarts.com/.
The Republican, one of downtown Fresno’s newest restaurants, gets in on the ArtHop scene with a photography show by Steve Skibbie titled “Fresno in Love” featuring portraits of couples. ShapHill Jazz starts playing at 8 p.m., and The Republican’s full bar is up and running. Details: 2120 Kern St.
5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at most venues. For a list, go to www.fresnoartscouncil.org.