Upcoming Exhibitions

Summer/Fall 2018

July 13, 2018 to January 6, 2019 (unless noted otherwise, below)

Master Weaver: 
Innovations in Forms and Materials
Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist for 2018


Kay Sekimachi (b. 1926) is a fiber artist and weaver based in Berkeley, California. She is the recipient of the Fresno Art Museum’s Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist Award for 2018. Her retrospective, solo exhibition describes her years of art making, beginning in the 1940s up to the present day. Curated by Fresno Art Museum staff, Michele Ellis Pracy and Kristina Hornback in 2017, the selected works define the breadth of Sekimachi’s oeuvre and the command she has of her fiber medium.

Sekimachi is known as a “weaver’s weaver." She uses the loom to construct three-dimensional sculptural pieces. She attended the California College of the Arts, where she studied with Trude Guermonprez, and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, where she studied with Jack Lenor Larsen.

Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, the Museum of Arts and Design, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is recognized as a pioneer in the resurrection of fiber and weaving as a legitimate means of artistic expression.

Photo by Frederic Aranda; Kay Sekimachi in her studio.

Exhibition Curators: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator and Kristina Hornback, former FAM Curator

KAY SEKIMACHI Master Weaver: Innovations in Forms and Materials Exhibition Sponsors: JA Community Foundation, Forrest L. Merrill, Anonymous, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery

Jenne Giles: Americana


Jenne Giles is a contemporary fiber artist whose work ranges from traditional fine arts to innovative performance and installation art. Her pieces explore the concept of gender, identity, consumption, and mortality. Giles received her B.A. in art and art history from Rice University in 1997. She began her career in the San Francisco area and now lives and works near Joshua Tree, California. She has previously exhibited at such institutions as the De Young Museum in San Francisco and the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, Washington. She was a featured artist in Head to Toe: Wearable Art at the Fresno Art Museum that ran September 23, 2016-April 28, 2017.

Originally a trained metalworker, Giles creates sculptures, paintings, and wearable art from handmade felt. Felting is one of the oldest forms of textile making. She finds great importance in the organic process of hand-making her materials. Giles’ felt sculptures are dense, finely detailed creations. The exhibition Jenne Giles: Americana consists of nearly 30 felt sculptures and paintings that examine the types of artifacts that are related to the history, geography, folklore, and culture of the United States. Felt-making, along with other forms of fiber art, has traditionally been associated with women and regarded as a craft, not a form of fine art. In the 1970s, the Feminist Art movement reclaimed fiber arts, elevating them to the status of fine art and fiber arts became an integral aspect of contemporary artistic practice. The propagation of fiber art as a fine art emphasizes the resurgence of value on handmade objects and on the relationship between traditional art forms and the current era.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Image: A Girls' Life series: Cake, 2017, Wool, silk, milk fiber, 15 1/2" x 18" x 18", Courtesy of the Artist

Ernest Lowe: Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964


During the 1940s and 1950s, some 40,000 African American sharecroppers migrated to California’s Central Valley, taking up residence in farm labor camps. Their rural to rural journey makes them the great exception to the Great Migration, which was overwhelmingly rural to urban. Shortly after arriving, these black migrants were all but put out of work by the mechanization of agriculture.

In the early 1960s, while reporting on migrant labor for KPFA radio, a young photographer Ernest Lowe captured powerful, black and white images of life in the communities of Pixley and Dos Palos adjacent to Fresno, California. These townships were impoverished yet cohesive communities, lacking paved roads, electricity, running water and other essential services. Lowe’s photographs are the sole extant document of this rural people’s journey to a land of broken promises.

His startlingly beautiful images of community, individuals, tasks, free time, housing, and church provide the viewer a local historical perspective on the migrant hardships they managed and survived. 

This is an original exhibition of the Fresno Art Museum drawn from the historic negatives of Ernest Lowe and printed for the exhibition by photographer Joel Pickford. The selected photographs transport audiences back in time nearly sixty years to experience life in rural African American communities of the Central Valley.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Ernest Lowe: Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964 Exhibition Sponsors: Baker Peterson Franklin, CPA, LLC

Guy Diehl: Still Life Tradition
July 14 through October 14, 2018 


The Fresno Art Museum is pleased to present San Francisco Bay Area still life painter, Guy Diehl, with a solo exhibition in the Moradian Gallery during the summer of 2018. A selection of Diehl’s works including paintings, etchings, and drawings will be on view.

Guy Diehl began his hyper-realist still life concentration in 1992. His concept of art-about-art became his subject matter, placing a variety of objects together making the viewer think about art history, ancient or current.

Works will be borrowed from the artist, his gallery Dolby Chadwick, Magnolia Editions, and private collectors.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Image:  Guy Diehl, Still Life with Robert Delaunay #3, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 36"

Tell Me Another Story
July 14, 2018 through June 23, 2019


Tell Me Another Story is the second exhibition organized to directly relate to the storybooks read by third graders throughout the Fresno Unified School District, organized to coordinate with the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child Education Program. It includes the original artwork of five illustrators selected from the student’s Wonders textbook for their unique and appealing visual interpretations of stories based on legends, folk tales, true-life events, or social issues. The artists include Eileen Christelow, illustrator and author of Vote!; Marla Frazee illustrator of The Talented Clementine; Stéphane Jorisch, illustrator of The Real Story of Stone Soup; Emily Arnold McCully, illustrator of Nora’s Ark; and Bill Slavin, illustrator of All Aboard!: Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine. The represented stories illustrate many character-building qualities: courage, determination, innovativeness, honesty, trust, self-confidence, perseverance, resourcefulness, sharing, survival, duty, integrity, and truth.

Exhibition Curator: Susan Yost Filgate, FAM Education Director

Underwritten annually in part by the Bonner Family Foundation

Rollin Pickford: California Light
October 25,
2018 through January 6, 2019


Originally organized for the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust River Center Art Gallery in the spring of 2018, this exhibition includes rarely seen watercolors by Mr. Pickford from the personal collection of his son Joel who lives in the family home in Fresno’s Old Fig Garden District.

The images chosen are landscapes depicting the natural beauty of the San Joaquin Valley. They relate directly to the land that is intrinsic to our geographic region and express the love that Rollin Pickford had for this area and his superb ability to capture our California light. The exhibition is the perfect marriage of subject matter with artistic sensitivity.

Exhibition Curator:  Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Sponsors for Summer/Fall 2018 Exhibition Season: Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation, Women’s Auxiliary of the Fresno Art Museum, Briscoe Family Foundation – Jim and Lee Anne Briscoe, Richard and Diane Watters, and Robert C. Truxell

Winter/Spring 2019
February 1 to June 23, 2019 

Rethinking Fire

sculpture-burning-2-web.jpg Impermanence-of-Forests-web.jpg

Wildfires are a part of life for those who live in the west. Every year huge portions of land go up in flames, threatening homes, businesses, and wildlife. In 2014, artist Bryan David Griffith’s home and studio were threatened by the Slide Fire. That experience has led to an intense study of wildfires, resulting in the exhibition Rethinking Fire. Griffith uses fire as his primary medium, along with wood, beeswax, and other natural materials to create paintings, sculptures, and installations. His work explores the complex nature of catastrophic wildfires and the competing elements of the human and natural world.

Images above: Artist at work burning sculpture and The Impermanence of Forests, 2017, Burned photograph printed on silk from film, charcoal from depicted fire site, Courtesy of the Artist.

Curated by Bryan David Griffith in cooperation with FAM Curatorial Staff

Gary Geiger: On the Road Again


In 1982, along with two fellow graduates of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Gary Geiger traveled to Virginia City, Nevada for a photography workshop. While there, the three friends were nicknamed “the Brooks Brothers” by their fellow workshop attendees. For the last 36 years, these three friends have come together once a year for a trip that they document through photography. These trips have taken them to locations all across the world—Mexico, Cuba, Indonesia, China, Morocco, Cambodia, and Vietnam to name a few. During these trips, Geiger and his friends interact with locals who share with them the stories of their cultures, religions, families, and history. This exhibition provides a small look at the adventures of the Brooks Brothers and the inspiring people and places they discover along the way, captured through the lens of Gary Geiger.

Exhibition Curator:  Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator 

Image: Gary Geiger, Mezcal, 2014, Archival pigment print, Courtesy of the Artist

BIG: Oversized Works from the Permanent Collection


The Permanent Collection of the Fresno Art Museum was established during in the early 1960s when the institution was known as the Fresno Art Center. In the ensuing fifty-eight years, the Permanent Collection has grown to house over 3,600 works of art in the primary collecting areas of modern and contemporary art in all mediums.

In recent years, the Museum has included selections from the Permanent Collection each exhibition season in order to share with our visitors the art we hold in trust for the public.

With these particular choices from the Permanent Collection entitled BIG, the curator has culled from the storage vaults oversized works never before grouped together as an exhibition. 

Michele Ellis Pracy, Chief Curator of the Fresno Art Museum and curator of this exhibition, combines large-format works by renowned artists Sonya Rapoport, Charles Arnoldi, Claire Falkenstein, Clement Renzi, Elen Feinberg, Charles Gaines, Victor Vasarely, and Helen Lundberg among others. Also included are oversized works by local artists held in the Permanent Collection: Anne Scheid, Caroline Harris, Patti Handley, Jean Ray Laury, and August Madrigal among others.

BIG will be exhibited in the Lobby, Concourse, and Administration Lobby Galleries. An Art in Bloom special event involving local florists will be held mid-exhibition from May 8th through 11th celebrating the Mother’s Day weekend.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Image: Clement Renzi, Problem Solving, 1987, Terra Cotta, 77” x 27” x 24”, Gift of Judith and Donald Peracchi, FAM2016.14.1

Coiled and Twined: California Native American Basketry from the Permanent Collection 


The Native American groups of California are renowned for their basket making. The Fresno Art Museum is fortunate to have within its Permanent Collection a selection of exquisite baskets from the Yokut, Mono (Monache), and Miwok tribes of Central California. Many of these baskets date from the early decades of the 20th century when baskets transitioned from necessary items to objects desired by tourists and art collectors.

Basket making is a tradition that extends back in this region for thousands of years and is a skill passed down through the generations that connects the past and the present. Initially created as utilitarian tools—burden baskets to transport things, cradleboards to carry young children, baskets for cooking, storage, or ceremonial purposes—baskets have evolved into a way of preserving cultural history and a means for cultivating community solidarity. Basketry is labor intensive work, requiring not only the skill of weaving but also the knowledge of the plants and materials necessary for the creation. It is a living art form, using natural materials and imbued with cultural significance beyond the aesthetic. The baskets in this exhibition are by noted local basket makers including Minnie Hancock, Sally Edd, Burtha Goode, and Lucinda Hancock.

Exhibition Curators: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator and Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Image: Minnie Hancock (Yokut), Gift Basket with Washo design, circa 1940 Sedge, redbud, and braken fern on a grass bundle foundation, 4 3/4" x 4" x 7", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Clarence Harris, FAM91.80

Summer/Fall 2019
July 20, 2019 to January 5, 2020

Nick Potter: New Paintings (working title)

Exhibition Curator:  Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist for 2019: Heather Wilcoxon


Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

CATIE O'LEARY: COLLAGES (working title)


California native Catie O’Leary works in collage. Collage techniques have been around for thousands of years, but Cubist artists Braque and Picasso are often attributed with coining the word in the early twentieth century from the French coller, meaning “to glue.” The art movements of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism embraced collage, establishing it as an integral part of modern art. It has continued to be a prominent aspect of contemporary art. O’Leary was influenced by the work of Jess Collins (known simply as Jess) whose collages inspired her to abandon all other forms of art and dedicate herself to collage. She takes original engravings from antique books and creates intricate and whimsical landscapes woven together by layering meticulously cut out pieces of paper. Her work blends the contemporary and the classical, weaving together traditional imagery in an inventive and innovative manner to examine the relationship between the natural and human worlds.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Image: Catie O'Leary, untitled (tower II), 2014, paper collage, 12" x 8 3/4", Courtesy of the Artist 

Summer/Fall 2020
July 25, 2020 to January 10, 2021

Nathan Oliveira:  Rare Works from the Private Collections of His Children

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Winter/Spring 2021

January to June 2021 

Maurice Sendak: Fifty Years, Fifty Works, Fifty Reasons


Image from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
© Maurice Sendak: All Rights Reserved.

The exhibition is a retrospective of original works by Maurice Sendak, including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper. It showcases highlights from his career and the diverse art forms for which he was renowned, from children's literature to Broadway, opera, animated films, and young adult textbooks. It includes interactive elements especially appealing to children. 

Special thanks to the lender of the exhibition and to AFANYC for their support.

Exhibition at the Fresno Art Museum made possible by the generous support of the Bonner Family Foundation.

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