art

Francisco Letelier

People in the Central Valley have painted murals for decades. They’ve represented civil rights and worker equality as well advertisements for companies. But FM89’s Ezra David Romero found that many murals painted today in places like Fresno have taken on a very different tone than murals painted just a few decades ago.

 

In the 1960s John Sierra started painting murals in the Fresno area.

His paintings had a strong political bent and many were mobile because of the lack of available walls.

Heyday Books / Fresno State

Illustrator and author Doug Hansen's work is immediately familiar to many Fresno area residents. For years Hansen worked as a staff illustrator for the Fresno Bee, producing a popular series on local landmarks and places throughout Central California. Now an art professor at Fresno State, Hansen has taken his love of illustrating California scenes into a new field - children's books.

Image used courtesy of the Tejon Ranch

Twenty-five years ago this fall, the hills of Kern County became the focus of the international art community, with the temporary installation of over a thousand giant yellow umbrellas along the Grapevine. Now, two decades later, while the umbrellas are long gone, the event remains fresh in the minds of many. FM89’s Joe Moore brings us this report, which first aired on FM89 in 2011.  

Courtesy of Brad Polzin

Band posters usually give concert goers their first inclination of whether a show is worth attending. Fresno Artist Brad Polzin knows a lot about that. He's collected posters from Fresno bands for decades and now he's curating a show all about them.

"We've all seen the big San Francisco rock posters that are so famous," says Polzin. "The Fresno artists were in that same era and they designed their own special, unique versions of these posters." 

Polzin says people have submitted posters from all different genres, venues and eras. 

Courtesy of the Fresno Art Museum

The Fresno dance group NOCO is teaming up with the Fresno Philharmonic for an evening of dance and music. The Summer Soirée was named on the Fresno Bee's 2014 Top 20 Cultural events. There will be two evening events, August 15 and 16.

Valley Edition Host Joe Moore spoke with NOCO's Amy Querin andThe Fresno Philharmonic's Executive Director Stephen Wilson. Listen to the full interview above.

For more on the event visit the Fresno Art Museum's website.

Courtesy of Steve Skibbie

Creative Fresno is on the hunt for murals. 

Murals outside of bars. Murals on random petroleum station walls. Murals in parks. 

Murals. Murals. Murals. 

The group recently began collecting data on murals throughout Fresno County in a project called the Digital Mural Map funded by the Fresno Regional Foundation. The project will feature photos of the murals and information about the artists on a mobile friendly website and later select murals will be featured in a photo book. The mural hunt will end in December and the website should be up and running in May, 2016.

Raman Bath / Fresno County Library

World renowned author William Saroyan is being honored as a great native son of the Central Valley with a an en exhibit by the The Fresno County Public Library.

The William Saroyan Gallery at the Central Library in Downtown Fresno opens Saturday, July 18th, at 2:30 PM for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Featured at the gallery are manuscripts, drawings, books and other memorabilia documenting Saroyan’s career as an author. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno Art Museum is one of the valley's cultural gems, with exhibits and educational programs at its facility in Fresno's Radio Park. For the past year however, the museum was without an executive director. The museum also has faced hard times in recent years with a declining economy and an aging facility. 

Now the museum has a new executive director, Michele Ellis Pracy, who joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her background in museums, and her vision for one of Fresno's most vital cultural institutions. 

California State University

The LA County Museum of Art has announced an estimated $500 million gift from Fresno native Jerry Perenchio. Born in Fresno in 1931, Perenchio is the former owner of the Spanish-language broadcast network Univision. Among the works in Perenchio's bequest are pieces by Degas, Monet, and Picasso.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

 

Sam Comen

In 2009, Sam Comen, a photographer from Los Angeles, began a five year photo journey in Central California. He originally wanted to parallel the effects of the recession to the Great Depression. So he turned to the San Joaquin Valley for photo opportunities.

He landed in the rural west side community of Lost Hills and produced the series named after the community of 3,500, which has gained national attention since.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we talk about how drought and school attendance correlate, a major gas leak that forced Arvin residents to evacuate over two months ago and the photography of Sam Comen at an art exhibit in Bakersfield. Amanda Renteria for Congressional District 21 also joins the program.

www.Tamejavi.org

The first Tamejavi Fellowship Cultural Organizing Program will present ‘No Longer Strangers,’ the grand finale of the Tamejavi Culture and Arts Series, at the Tower Theater in Fresno on Saturday (May 18) at 6 p.m. Myrna Martinez, with the American Friends Service Committee, and fellow Pov Xyooj, join Valley Edition to discuss the event.

Martinez says the presentation will be a multimedia event, featuring traditional musical instruments, dancing, and spoken word performances. She says the event will combine and elevate the stories of the Valley’s diverse immigrant communities.

Valley Public Radio

On this Valley Edition, host Juanita Stevenson examines the recent surge in the number of cases of valley fever in the Central Valley, talks about solutions to the problem of inner city unemployment, and looks ahead to the upcoming events of the Sierra Art Trails program in the foothills of central California. 

This week on Valley Edition we talk with the mother of Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi teen who took his life after being bullied at school about his sexual orientation. We'll learn more about a new state law that aims to prevent such tragedies, and a new film about bullying. We'll also learn more about the City of Fresno's ongoing operation to install water meters at every home in the city, and about a new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum that celebrates the legacy of one of Fresno's greatest artists, sculptor Clement Renzi.
 

Valley Edition for May 29, 2012:

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