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Hot Hot Heat
The forecast for this month's ArtHop is hot with a slight chance of really hot. There's a socially-conscious pattern coming through Central Fresno that will combine with skateboarding subculture in the Tower District to create good conditions for armchair anthropology. A low pressure system of established artists will move through Downtown, providing some needed relief.
Make a point to stop at the Northside studio of Margaret Hudson this July. Hudson's clay creatures take a back seat to "Hope" this month, a photography exhibit of Fresno's West Side homeless population. The show is a remembrance of sorts for photographer Cynthia Chapman-Manuszak's late father, who was homeless for part of his adult life. Despite a renewed close relationship, the artist says her father rarely shared details of his homeless experience. Her time spent with and photographs of the homeless was an attempt to find out more about her father's life and experiences. "My father taught me wonderful things during our renewed relationship. Life is a journey for us all and certainly if explored, it can be quite an experience." This may be the closest many get to understanding the life of Fresno's less fortunate.
Stop by Trendz for an eyeful of artful ink and the party for issue 19 of Paying in Pain skateboarding zine. Publisher and editor Joey Young has been covering the Valley and international skate scene from San Francisco, Visalia, and now Fresno since 1999. The Valley has a thriving skate subculture, from the now-gone Vagabond Pool to the prevalance of skate parks in even the smallest of communities (Orange Cove, anyone?). With art by 85, Crete, Zula, and Mikah, and video presentations of "Agents Of Chaos," a collection of b-horror shorts starring skateboarders, and Creature Skateboards' latest.
Some of the freshest art in the Tower isn't in a gallery. New murals have been popping up on Tower walls at an impressive clip. Check out the in-progress wall of Palamino's by Joshua Wigger- you could buy it, and the whole block, for around $5 million. More murals can be found near Irene's, Sequoia Brewing, and the Landmark.
This month the Mono Street nexus is bumping with two strong exhibits at its anchor galleries. Fig Tree presents a show by artist Brianna Johnson Smeds: "I'll Be Your Mirror". Smeds's unique style is both impressionistic and modern. She bases her paintings on moments frozen in time and captured on film. For the first time the photos, taken by Shannon Hunter, Niilo Smeds, Tory Johnson, and Rachael Olmstead, will be enlarged and displayed next to the artist's interpretation.
At Gallery 25, three members exhibit new works. Cleary Creager's "Sun Marks" uses light-sensitive paper to to capture images of the actual rotation of the earth. Lynne Anderson presents "More Bent Grids", colorful sculptured pieces constructed of aircraft fabric and wire fence grids. "Not a Split, But a Shatter" by Shannon Bickford is a mixed media exploration of "our perception of the world and the means to those perceptions." With nature imagery and man-made objects.
Other Downtown highlights: Club Jinnaka co-founder Michael Garcia's solo show, "Plat du Jour" and the interminably funky Broadway Studios, which will feature live music and visual projections in the alley.
For more information or directions, check the ArtHop map!