Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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Downtown Fresno's Mariposa Plaza could soon get a major new piece of public art. The Fresno City Council is set to vote on a proposal Thursday May 25th to award a Napa  artist a $200,000 contract to create a new piece of public art for square at Fulton and Mariposa Streets.

The Fresno Art Museum often features works by acclaimed modern artists from around the world. But with a set of new exhibits opening this week, the museum is turning its attention to local artists. The museum's director Michele Ellis Pracy joins us on Valley Edition to talk about the exhibits by Nancy Youdelman, Leslie Batty and Maurice Cohen. Youdelman has long been an important feminist artist in the valley, inspired by the legacy of Judy Chicago during her tenure at Fresno State.

Pace Press

Fresno’s Linden Publishing has been around for decades, producing books in the non-fiction world under the Quill Driver Books label. Now the company is making a big splash with two new novels by local authors on a new imprint dedicated to fiction works. We talk with Jaguar Bennett and Heather Parrish of Pace Press, as well as retired judge James Ardaiz, author of the upcoming novel Fractured Justice, which will be released later this year.

Fresno Arts Council

For the fourth year the Fresno Arts Council is marrying art and agriculture into a show. The 2017 Arts Alive in Agriculture Showcase will be made up of local artists.

Kern Pioneer Village

It might be the most famous boxcar in Kern County, if not the entire state of California. The childhood home of the late country music star Merle Haggard is no longer in Oildale, where it sat for decades – it’s now at the Kern Pioneer Village near the end of a two year-long restoration. The  museum is throwing a party to celebrate the completion of the project April 9th called the Haggard Boxcar Festival.

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.

Courtesy of Alexander Mickelthwate

Alexander Mickelthwate is one of the six candidates hoping to become the next music director of the Fresno Philharmonic. He’s in town this week to lead the orchestra in a concert on Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre, featuring Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique; Mason Bates’ Mothership and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5.

Fresno State MFA Department

The Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing has set a new record. Eight alumni authors from the program published their first books in 2016. Four more are set to publish books this year. 

Lucasfilm

There's a new Star Wars film out in theaters this month, Rogue One. While George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney for billions several years ago, the California native will forever be associated with the Star Wars brand.

Armen Bacon / Fresno State

Author Armen Bacon joins Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore to talk about her new collection of essays, "My Name Is Armen Volume 2: Outside The Lines." Published by Fresno State, the new book finds Bacon telling stories about her life and the people she has met in Central California.

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.

Hey Day Books

Next Thursday Fresno art lovers will celebrate the city’s galleries and art spaces with the monthly first-Thursday event known as Art Hop. But lovers of the printed word will have another opportunity that night to meet some of the valley’s most insightful and talented authors at an event being billed as “Bookhop.”

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Fresno is known for poetry. Perhaps it's because of unique hardships encountered here, but it's also thanks to poets like Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Philip Levine and others like current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

The Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing  is celebrating another noteworthy poet and alumnus of Fresno State with a screening of the new documentary “A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet." 

Curtain 5 Theatre Group

A Pulitzer prize winning play performed by local actors opens this week in Fresno. The Gin Game, written by D.L. Coburn and produced locally by Curtain 5 Theatre Group, runs Friday Nov. 11 through November 20 at the Fresno Art Museum.

Fresno Filmworks

Eight films from places around the globe will play this weekend at the Fresno Film Festival. Think Palestinian race car drivers, an adaption of Heidi and a documentary all about Yo-Yo Ma. 

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