Ric Ramirez, whose work is on display at two ArtHop venues 5-8 p.m. today, was one of those kids who used to write on the walls in his room with crayons.
“As time passed, I went from crayons to krylon [spray paint], and from the walls in my room to the walls on abandoned buildings,” he says. “I began to write graffiti at a very young age and the older I got, the more I learned.”
Ramirez didn’t take a traditional route to becoming an artist — and went as far as dropping out of art school at age 19 when his teachers discouraged his unorthodox techniques. He quit painting for a while.
But a year ago, at age 22, he started again. You can see the results of his efforts at the Gorgon Isle Gallery, 665 Fulton St., where he’ll be demonstrating live painting techniques if weather permits; and the Downtown Community Arts Collective, 754 P St. Both galleries are on the downtown and Tower District ArtHop circuit, the monthly open house of studios and galleries.
Ramirez describes his artistic style as urban because it evolved from graffiti. “I took my art from the streets to inside of galleries now and someday museums,” he says.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Gorgon Isle Gallery at ArtHop, don’t miss it. Last month’s show included throbbing amplified music, eclectic works and a warehouse-style gallery vibe. (Wear your jacket.) Adding to the atmosphere: The gallery also serves as an entrance to Haunted Fresno, now closed for the season.
Over at DCAC, there are two other exhibitions this month: an “iPhone Photo Show” and Jonathan Ayala’s “The Lineup.”
Some more ArtHop picks:
* At Corridor 2122, located at 2122 Mono St., the work of two Bakersfield College art instructors will be shown.
Kristopher Stallworth has a new photo series titled “Proof.”
David Koeth is showing a series of sculptures and a text piece based on comments he has overheard in a show titled “Overheard and Recycled.”
Details: corridor2122. com.
* At Gallery 25, 660 Van Ness Ave., Donnalee Dunne’s “Ode to Joy” is inspired by dreamlike qualities of visual mutlidimensional space.
Jim Campbell’s “Footprint” addresses the issue of unsustainable dependence on the burning of fossil fuels. Details: gallery25.org.
* At Spectrum Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave., three photographers will be featured: Bobbie Smetherman, who uses a technique called Polaroid Transfer; Jack Christensen, who will display photographs from his recent trips to South America and Europe; and Bonnie Jensen, who will show a body of digital photography work.
Details: spectrumphoto gallery.org.
t At the K-Jewel Art Gallery, 1415 Fulton St., three artists will be featured: contemporary abstract artists Christina Motta and Jenny Jean and metal sculptor Simon DeGruchy.
* Here’s a ripped-from-the-headlines themed treat: Zoombie Nation, a pop-illustrative-tattoo artist, has a special ArtHop show featuring artwork and paintings inspired by “Alice in Wonderland.” It will take place in his studio at Broadway Studios, 1416 Broadway St. The artist and others will be dressed as characters from the story.
At midnight, the group plans to go to the screening of “Alice in Wonderland,” which opens Friday.
For more ArtHop options, go to fresnoarthop.org.
The reporter can be reached at dmunro@ fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6373. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com/author/donald_munro.