A new space for Gallery 25? That’s big news on the local arts scene. The cooperative art gallery’s move is one of my five picks for April’s ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.
Down the street
Many ArtHop regulars have developed a routine over the years at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Mono Street. They start with checking out the art at Corridor 2122, round the corner and head next door to Gallery 25, stop off at the adjoining Silva/Salazar Studios, and finish off with the Fig Tree Gallery next door. Four in a row.
Now it’s just three.
Gallery 25 has moved 1 mile down the street into the bustling Chris Sorensen Studio and Galleries. The move, effective just in time for ArtHop, gives the gallery a designated space carved out of a large central room known as Sorensen Hall.
The cooperative gallery, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014, had to move when its rental space was reclassified by the fire inspector, says Barbara Van Arnam, the gallery’s president. The large space of about 4,000 square feet – including 3,000 square feet of gallery space – was reclassified in the same category as a museum or restaurant. The landlord will have to make improvements and raise the rent substantially, Van Arnam says, something the gallery just couldn’t afford.
The dedicated Gallery 25 space at Sorensen will be about 1,500 square feet, about half the old location’s size.
Moving has been a part of the gallery’s history. It was founded by Joyce Aiken, a Fresno State art professor, in 1974 as a women’s cooperative in a space on Echo Street. It moved to Fulton Street in 1981 (and in 1989 it opened its membership to men along with women). In 2004 it moved to the space on Van Ness Avenue.
Rebecca Barnes, who handles publicity for the gallery, says members are excited about the move.
“We love the space we’re moving into,” she says. “They’re very welcoming there. It has a really good creative vibe.”
Will the loss of Gallery 25 make the Van Ness/Mono corner less of a must-see ArtHop destination? Only time will tell. The move is sure to increase traffic at the already busy Sorensen site.
The inaugural show in the new Sorensen space features a solo exhibition by Donnalee Dunne titled “We Came To Farm.” The artist’s grandparents came to the Fresno area to farm in 1905, and she and her husband owned a citrus farm for 27 years.
There’s a sense of nostalgia evident in the show. From Dunne’s artist’s statement: “At a time when it seems everyone is focused on climate and drought, there must be a reverie of the good times. Of the good soil. And the good water.”
Included in the exhibition, along with Dunne’s paintings in acrylic, are vintage photos from her family collection.
Details: Through April 30, Gallery 25 at Sorensen Studio and Galleries, 2223 S. Van Ness Ave. An artist’s reception will be held 1-3 p.m. April 30. New gallery hours are noon-3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. www.gallery25.org.
Readers of The Fresno Bee are the featured artists in “Wild About Flowers,” a crowd-sourced exhibition sponsored by the newspaper. After a call for entries, curators picked 65 top reader photos out of more than 375 submitted via email and social media.
Images include wildflowers and blossoms from all over the central San Joaquin Valley. You can see the work during the ArtHop exhibition, which will remain on view through the month. Show up a few minutes before 5:30 p.m. and you’ll be able to take a special guided tour of The Bee.
Details: After the ArtHop reception, you can visit the exhibition 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays through April 29 at 1626 E St.
In “Nature and Memory,” a new exhibition by Marilyn Prescott at Fig Tree Gallery, the artist gets deep in a hurry: “Linear time is merely a construct of the human mind, as, in reality, each moment lasts forever. And every moment that has ever existed exists now. Even the attempt to capture the reality of this becomes impossible, as our language is incapable of expressing the infinity of the ever present moment.”
Prescott explores what she calls both naturalistic imagery and an inner, spiritual space. The patterns, shadows, reflections and shapes she paints were perceived and stored during morning walks.
Details: Fig Tree Gallery, 644 Van Ness Ave. figtreegallery.us.
Fresno State graduate students Jamie Boley and Pamela Flores, who are both part American Indian, were so interested in an internationally known performance and installation artist they were studying named James Luna that they figured out a way to bring him to Fresno and curate a show of his work.
The result is “De 5th World: James Luna,” which will be exhibited at the Fresno State Graduate Art Studios Gallery at the M Street Arts Complex. The title is Luna’s reference to a Hopi prophecy of a time in which a choice must be made between destruction and reconnection to our environment.
The artist describes his work as “a whirling mass of pop culture icons and visions all falling between Miles Davis, Abstract Impressionism, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams and D’Angelo.”
Boley and Flores secured funding for the exhibition by writing an IRA (Instructionally Related Activities) grant from Fresno State.
Details: The exhibition runs April 6-29 at the Fresno State Graduate Art Studios Gallery at the M Street Arts Complex, 1419 M St.
Arts and agriculture
You never know who you might discover at the Fresno Arts Council’s big “Arts Alive in Agriculture” juried exhibition. Last year, Richard G. Freitas won a Best in Show award and ended up with his own solo show of meticulous and beautiful paintings of farmworkers at the Fresno Art Museum.
Freitas is back at this year’s “Arts Alive” show at Fresno City Hall with a new entry, along with dozens of other artists competing in painting, sculpture and photography categories.
Details: An awards ceremony will be held during ArtHop at Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno St. www.fresnoartscouncil.org.
- 5-8 p.m. at most venues Thursday, April 7
- Details: www.fresnoarthop.org