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Upcoming Exhibitions


Summer/Fall 2024 Exhibitions

Opening Reception JULY 26, 2024Maruyama-new.jpg

July 27, 2024 to January 5, 2025

Fig Garden, Duncan, and Hallowell Galleries
Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director and Chief Curator

The Fresno Art Museum’s auxiliary member group, The Council of 100, is delighted to announce American sculptor Wendy Maruyama as their Distinguished Woman Artist for 2024. She is the 34th artist to be given this annual award. Based in San Diego, California, Maruyama is recognized nationally and internationally for her master work in wood furniture and wildlife portraits and for her social commentary. Her solo exhibition at the Fresno Art Museum opens in July 2024 and is an overview of her work over the years. Curated by Michele Ellis Pracy, Fresno Art Museum Executive Director and Chief Curator, this exhibition of Maruyama’s work will be presented in the Vestibule, Fig Garden, Duncan, and Hallowell Galleries from July 2024 through January 2025.

Artist and educator Wendy Maruyama (b. 1952) has been making innovative woodwork for over 40 years. Selections for this solo show include examples of her traditional studio craft: utilitarian and fanciful furniture pieces produced over time; wall reliefs of her pieced, life-size elephant heads; and room-size paper installations. Her social commentary explores the themes of feminism, her Japanese-American heritage, and her personal family history. Maruyama is a master woodworker and a contentious appreciator of history. Her artworks reflect her complexity as a human being, as a second-generation Japanese American, and as a contemporary artist who is female in this country and in this century.

Maruyama recently retired from teaching at San Diego State University and now works full-time in her studio. She has had solo exhibitions in New York City, Savannah, Scottsdale, San Francisco, and elsewhere nationally. Maruyama has also exhibited in Tokyo, Seoul, and London. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Oakland Museum of California; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego.

Maruyama is the recipient of several prestigious awards including several NEA arts grants, a Fulbright research grant, and the Japan/US Fellowship.

Presenting Sponsor: A Friend of the Museum | Also sponsored by the Fresno Art Museum's Council of 100, Janice Nikoghosian, and Peggy Stefanopoulos | Catalog underwriting by A Friend of the Mueum.




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July 27, 2024 to June 29, 2025

Moradian Gallery
Curator: Susan Yost Filgate, FAM Education Director

Sometimes, you discover a book with illustrations and a story that you just fall in love with at first sight. That is what happened when I discovered Grace Lin’s magical and vibrant Once Upon a Book which she illustrated and co-wrote with author Kate Messner. When I reached out to Grace through her publisher to see if she would like to exhibit her original illustrations at the Fresno Art Museum, she graciously and happily responded with an enthusiastic YES. We are thrilled, and know that the children and adults who will experience her work will be, too!

Grace is both an illustrator and an author of some 20 picture books for children and young adult novels. Tapping into her heritage, most of her books have an Asian-American focus but with themes that make them so universal that anyone can relate to them. On her website (gracelin.com) she states, “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic.” In Once Upon a Book, the main character, Alice, is tired of winter and decides to escape by reading one of her favorite books. As the curator of Grace’s exhibition, I can relate to Alice’s winter doldrums as I too grew up in the Northeastern United States where winters were grey and sunless and seemed to last forever. But our heroine Alice took her escape a step further than just picking up a book and curling up in a comfy chair to read. Using her imagination, she actually steps inside the book and becomes a part of the story and the wonderful environments within the pages, her body merging with the visuals. At the end, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she found that there really was “no place like home” when she joined her family in the cozy and familiar warm kitchen for dinner.

The book emphasizes the power of books to help one experience other places in other worlds, to give your imagination wings, and to take you beyond reality to provide you with a window into a world you may otherwise never experience. Once Upon a Book emphasizes the power and wonder of reading and books.

Grace Lin was born in 1974 in upstate New York State to parents of Taiwanese descent. As a child, she dreamed of being an ice skater but found her true talent was in the visual arts. Unlike her two sisters who went into the sciences, Grace attended Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and now lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and five chickens. She absolutely loves creating children’s books, and it shows in everything she does. She is a Caldecott and Newberry Honoree, has won numerous other awards, and is a New York Times best-selling illustrator and author. Once Upon a Book was just published by Little, Brown and Company in 2023. In addition to her exhibition at FAM, she has a retrospective opening at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts later in 2025.

Sponsored by the Bonner Family Foundation, The Foundation@FCOE, and Fig Garden Woman's Club


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July 27, 2024 - January 5, 2025

Lobby and Concourse Galleries
Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Curator

The year 2024 marks both the 75th anniversary of the Fresno Art Museum and the 80th birthday of noted conceptual artist Charles Gaines. Born in 1944 in Charleston, South Carolina, Gaines was a professor of art at California State University, Fresno from 1969-1990 before moving on to become a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles. In honor of these two anniversaries, the Fresno Art Museum presents its first solo exhibition of work by Gaines since 1993. Taken from the holdings of the Fresno Art Museum’s permanent collection, these works from early in Gaines’ more than 50-year career as an artist were made during his tenure here in Fresno. While his work has evolved in the decades since, these works show the evolution of his signature gridwork and the development of his unique style that has made Charles Gaines such a dominant figure in the contemporary art world.

Sponsored by Janice and Harold Nikoghosian


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July 27, 2024 - January 5, 2025

Contemporary Gallery
Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Curator

From the Greek word for image, an icon in the tradition of the Orthodox Christian Church is a representation of a holy figure. This artistic tradition dates back to ancient Byzantine Empire (330–1453 CE), centered on Constantinople (now Istanbul) and whose art and culture was heavily influenced by Greek traditions infused with Christian theology. The majority of Byzantine works of art were created in service to the Church or the Christian faith. However, icons are not merely decorative works of religious-themed art but objects of complex symbolism that act as an aid to worship which allow direct communication with the sacred figures represented.

While Byzantium fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the cultural heritage had spread far beyond the confines of Constantinople. The Orthodox Christian Church continued to uphold many of the artistic traditions including icon painting. Wood panel paintings are the most common form associated with icons but they were, and still are, crafted from a variety of media and range in size from tiny to monumental. Icon painting continues as a religious tradition, still imitating the Byzantine style so that modern icons differ little in style and content from those created in the Middle Ages. The icons included in this exhibition range in date from the 16th century to the modern day and are an example of an enduring ancient tradition. This exhibition is presented in celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Fresno, the Fresno Art Museum’s neighbor to the west.

Sponsored by Janice and Harold Nikoghosian