May 20 to August 28, 2016


This group exhibition of masterworks in fiber art is organized by Fresno Art Museum Executive Director and Chief Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy. Her intention is to reveal the creative versatility that fiber as a medium affords contemporary visual artists.  

The twelve participating living artists were selected because they experiment, innovate, and push traditional fiber techniques to new limits. Seventeen of the artworks chosen by Ellis Pracy are oversized, commanding the vast wall spaces of the Fig Garden and Duncan Galleries. These she juxtaposes with eight miniature embroideries by one artist, presented on their own narrow wall.  

Curated to express bold new directions in fiber art, the techniques on view include varieties of tapestry, embroidery, weaving, crochet, quilting, and appliqué.  Materials include wool, silk, paper, and cotton; artistic styles are represented with abstraction, realism, portraiture, pictorial, figurative, and fantasy.

The selected artists are primarily California-based; there are seven women and five men; all are established in the visual art world with gallery and museum exhibitions to their credit. Ellis Pracy has invited artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ventura County, Los Angeles, and the East Coast to participate.  

The exhibiting artists are: Robin Clark, Lia Cook, Patti Handley, Michelle Kingdom, John Nava, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, Michael Rohde, Audrey Sanders, Jeff Sanders, Joan Schulze, and Martha Smith.

Curated by Michele Ellis Pracy

Image:  Michelle Kingdom, Some Imagined Future, 2016, embroidery, loaned by the artist; John Nava, R.E., 2005, 83" x 78", electronic jacquard, cottonwood viscose, loaned by the Museum of Ventura County


Los Angeles art patron and collector, Joan Agajanian Quinn, has been depicted in portraiture for over five decades by world-renowned artists at the forefront of their era, medium, and impact upon the contemporary art scene.  

The exhibition RENDERING HOMAGE: Portraits of a Patron is a selection of artworks depicting her visage, created for her by artists she has championed over time. Approximately 50 two and three-dimensional pieces from Quinn’s collection of over 300 portraits tell the story of her passion for cutting edge American artists through their portrayals of her as their valkyrie.  

Bay Area painter Mel Ramos describes Joan as “a living work of art.”  This exhibition serves to herald her in this light, in addition to revealing her treasured artist friendships and her instinctual certainty of their relevance to 20th and 21st century contemporary art history. This is an exhibition paying homage to an art patron, sincerely appreciated. 

The exhibited portraits are realized in all mediums, spanning four decades of Quinn’s relationships with artists she has believed in and supported. The exhibition includes works by Frank Gehry, Peter Alexander, George Hurrell, Kim McCarty, David Hockney, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mel Ramos, Laddie John Dill, Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Graham, Ed Ruscha, Charles Arnoldi, and Ed Moses, among others. 

From the West Coast to New York City, the artists portray their patron as a powerful art world personage who is true to herself, the artists, and the art she loves and avidly collects.

Curated by Michele Ellis Pracy and Kristina Hornback

Images: Rupert Smith, reproduced and painted Polaroid, 1988; Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled, 1986, silver gelatin print, loaned by Joan & Jack Quinn, Beverly Hills, CA

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The Moradian Gallery presents a two-person exhibition of wood turned and fiber objects by Bob Stocksdale and Kay Sekimachi during the 2016 Summer Season. Borrowing from the heralded private holdings of Berkeley-based collector, Forrest L. Merrill, the FAM curators have selected inspired examples of each artist’s work.

The artists are each renowned in their respective mediums and are considered two of America’s foremost pioneers in contemporary craft. Pairing their work for exhibition goes beyond a curatorial choice, because they also married each other in 1972. Both Bob Stocksdale (1913 – 2003) and Kay Sekimachi (b. 1926) have careers spanning 50 years. 

Bob Stocksdale is heralded as the father of American woodworking, creating lathe-turned bowls beginning in the 1950’s. Sekimachi is a master of complex weavings both on-loom and hand-constructed. The visual combination of imaginative fiber vessels with compelling grained wooden bowls is an exhibition instilling wonder and appreciation for what is truly beautiful. 

Images:  Bob Stocksdale, Bowl, 1983, Texas mesquite wood and Kay Sekimachi, Leaf Bowl, 2014, leaf skeletons froman unknown tree, Kozo paper, loaned by Forrest L. Merrill


Imaginary Worlds are places many of us visit through stories or images in books, movies, and dreams. They are realms where environments seem real, yet are not quite connected to our concrete world. They are make-believe, mysterious, and magical, and we can go there to escape and dream and imagine, whatever our age.

This exhibition was curated by FAM’s Education Director, Susan Yost Filgate in conjunction with the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child program with the Fresno County Office of Education. With this program, every third grader in Fresno Unified visits the Museum and learns about illustrators and illustrations. The exhibiting artists reveal imaginary worlds through their artwork, including engaging paintings by Leslie Batty and Leonard Filgate, colorful works on paper by Doug Hansen, Leslie Hawes and Bruno Pegoretti, and the amazing anamorphic sculpture of Karen Mortillaro. 

Images: Bruno Pegoretti, The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, 2014, color pencil on paper; and Leonard Filgate, Tea Anyone? (from the Rip Squeak® Series) 2015, acrylic on canvas

Exhibition Support:  Bonner Family Foundation

Continuing Exhibition from Fall 2015 through August 28, 2016 



An exhibition of selected folk art pieces from the Permanent Collection, curated by Kristina Hornback, Curator, Fresno Art Museum.

Images:  Unknown artist, Lacquer work gourd, c.1960; works by Theodora Blanco, c.1950s, clay 

Continuing Exhibition from Winter/Spring through August 28, 2016 

General Exhibition Support:  Women's Auxiliary of the Fresno Art Museum, David & MaryAnne Esajian

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