Fall 2016 & Winter/Spring 2017 
September 23, 2016 through April 28, 2017


In the Art of the Word 2 exhibition, the Fresno Art Museum honors two Fresno literary icons and five visual artists who have illustrated their words over the past twenty years. Featured on the walls of the Contemporary Gallery are excerpted writings from children's books by United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Carnegie Medalist Gary Soto and some of the illustrations their words inspired.

The exhibiting artists illustrated the words of either Herrera or Soto, creating pictures to enhance the stories by the respective writer. They include non-fiction, fiction, and fantasy. The artists include Joe Cepeda (Big Bushy Mustache by Gary Soto), Raúl Colón (Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera), Elizabeth Gómez (The Upside Down Boy: El niño de Cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera), Susan Guevara (Chato’s Kitchen, Chato and the Party Animals, and Chato Goes Cruisin’ by Gary Soto), and Ed Martinez (Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto).

Curator, Susan Yost Filgate (Fresno Art Museum Education Director)

Exhibition sponsored by the Bonner Family Foundation, Fresno City College, and Dr. John Scholefield and Kristene Petrucci Scholefield

Special thanks to J. Luis Orozco, Jr., Academia Cultural

Images:  Raúl Colón, Joan Baez from the book Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, watercolor and Prismacolor pencils on paper; Susan Guevera, Chato's Kitchen book cover, from Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto, acrylic on black scratchboard

To benefit the school children of the region, this exhibition runs through May 1, 2017. Last public day, April 28, 2017


Students in FAM's Summer Art Academy, under the direction of Eric Gonzalez of Visalia's Urbanists Collective created a six-panel mural inspired by the art and life of the late Fresno muralist, FranCisco Vargas. Students employed spray painting and traditional painting techniques to create this large-scale work for the Museum's Concourse Gallery.

Along with the student mural, original art and photographs from the Estate of FranCisco Vargas will be exhibited.

Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy (Fresno Art Museum Executive Director & Chief Curator)

Special thanks to Serena Vargas and the Estate of FranCisco Vargas

Images: The Letter "R" from the Student Mural Project and portrait of FranCisco Vargas by Brenda Manor, FranCisco Vargas Tribute Mural postcard 


In collaboration with Arte Américas and inspired by their mural project commencing in the fall of 2016, The Making of a Mural documents the creative process of bringing art into the public sphere. The Mural project, funded by the McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment, is intended to create a public artwork that celebrates the rich literary traditions of the Central San Joaquin Valley. Arte Américas is working with internationally renowned muralist, Francisco Letelier, on the design of the mural, which will be painted by members of the Wall Dogs, a mural painting group with participants from all over the world.  The mural will be executed on the south side of the Historic Fresno Bee Building in Downtown Fresno. The exhibition will explore Letelier’s design process, from his sources of inspiration to the final vision.

Curators, Kristina Hornback (Fresno Art Museum Curator) and Frank Delgado (Arte Américas Chief Curator/Executive Director)

Images:  Concept design for Arte Américas mural project and muralist, Francisco Letelier