Winter/Spring 2019 Exhibitions (or as noted below)


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

The Permanent Collection of the Fresno Art Museum was established during 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 nationally and internationally renowned artists Charles Arnoldi, Claire Falkenstein, Charles Gaines, Victor Vasarely, Oliver Jackson, and Ann Weber, among others. Also included are oversized works by local artists now deceased: August Madrigal, Clement Renzi, and Patricia Kirkegaard, among others. BIG will be exhibited in the Lobby, Concourse, and Administration Lobby Galleries.

An Art in Bloom special event involving local florists inspired by the BIG artworks was held mid-exhibition from May 8th through 11th celebrating the Mother’s Day weekend.

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

Images above: Clement Renzi, Problem Solving, 1987, Terra Cotta, 77” x 27” x 24”, Gift of Judith and Donald Peracchi; and Varaz Samuelian, Circus, n.d., Acrylic on canvas, 72” x 56 1/2 “, Gift of Roslyn Robbins and William Dienstein



February 2 to June 23, 2019 

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 in Arizona were threatened by the Slide Fire. That experience has led to his 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: Bryan David Griffith, Box & Burn, 2015, Wood sculpted by burning, 38” x 37” x 10”, Photo by Tom Alexander and Artist, Courtesy of the Artist, and Artist at work burning sculpture.

Curated by Bryan David Griffith in cooperation with FAM Curatorial Staff


February 2 to June 23, 2019 

In 1982, along with two fellow graduates of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, 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 

Images above: Gary Geiger, School's Out, January 2017 (Myanmar), Archival pigment print, and Mezcal, 2014, Archival pigment print, both Courtesy of the Artist



February 2 to June 23, 2019 

The Native American groups of California are renowned for their basketmaking. 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.

Basketmaking 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 basketmakers including Minnie Hancock, Sally Edd, Burtha Goode, and Lucinda Hancock.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Images above: Three baskets on left: (1) Burtha Goode, North Fork Mono, Cooking basket with butterfly motif, c. 1936, Sedge, redbud, bracken fern on grass bundle foundation, 6 1/4" x 6 1/2" x 13 1/4", (2) Minnie Hancock, Wakchumne Yokuts, Gift basket, c. 1940, Sedge, bracken fern on grass bundle foundation, 4 3/4" x 4" x 7", and (3) Yokuts utility basket, early 20th century, Chapparal, redbud, sourberry sticks, 12 1/2" x 10" x 5", Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Clarence Harris; Basket on right: Mono cooking basket, c. 1940, Sedge, redbud, bracken fern on a grass bundle foundation, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Clarence Harris


Exhibition on view July 14, 2018 through June 23, 2019

Tell Me Another Story is the second exhibition organized to directly relate to the some of the stories 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 McGraw-Hill 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 ClementineStéphane Jorisch, illustrator of The Real Story of Stone SoupEmily Arnold McCully, illustrator of Nora’s Arkand 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.

More information on the artists included may be found by clicking here.

Exhibition Curator: Susan Yost Filgate, FAM Education Director

Underwritten annually in part by the Bonner Family Foundation

Images (L to R): Eileen ChristelowPage 22 from the book Vote!, 2003, Gouache, pen, and ink on paper, 9 1/4" x 10 3/4", Courtesy of the artist and Stéphane JorischPages 30 and 31 from the book The Real Story of Stone Soup, 2007, Watercolor on paper, 12" x 22", Courtesy of the artist

General Exhibition Support: David & MaryAnne Esajian

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