Opening September 23, 2016

(through January 8, 2017, unless otherwise noted)


Born in Changchun, China in 1948 and raised during the Maoist regime, Hung Liu studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing before immigrating to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego.

As a painter, Liu challenges the documentary authority of historical Chinese photographs by subjecting them to the more reflective process of painting. Her paintings utilize prostitutes, refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners as subjects, reinventing the moments captured through a lens while simultaneously acknowledging the passing of time and breathing new life into faded memories. Much of the meaning of Liu’s painting comes from the way the washes and drips dissolve the documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history. Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil, she both “preserves and destroys the image.”

A two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in painting, Liu’s works have been exhibited extensively and collected by many institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. She is a Professor Emerita at Mills College, where she has taught since 1990. The Fresno Art Museum is very proud to present Hung Liu as the Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist of 2016.

Curator, Jeff Kelley (Critic, Curator, Studio Manager, Hung Liu Studio)

Exhibition sponsored by The Fresno Art Museum's Council of 100 and an anonymous donor

Images:  Hung Liu, Dirty Pink, 2015, oil on canvas, 80" x 120" and Daughter of the Revolution, 1993, mixed media: oil on canvas, wood, and antique glass bottle, 78.5" x 62” x 5.5"

For more information on Hung Liu, please visit her website:  http://www.hungliu.com/


In the Art of the Word 2 exhibition, the Fresno Art Museum honors two Fresno literary icons and five visual artists who have illustrated their words over the past twenty years. Featured on the walls of the Contemporary Gallery are excerpted writings from children's books by United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Carnegie Medalist Gary Soto and some of the illustrations their words inspired.

The exhibiting artists illustrated the words of either Herrera or Soto, creating pictures to enhance the stories by the respective writer. They include non-fiction, fiction, and fantasy. The artists include Joe Cepeda (Big Bushy Mustache by Gary Soto), Raúl Colón (Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera), Elizabeth Gómez (The Upside Down Boy: El niño de Cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera), Susan Guevara (Chato’s Kitchen, Chato and the Party Animals, and Chato Goes Cruisin’ by Gary Soto), and Ed Martinez (Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto).

Curator, Susan Yost Filgate (Fresno Art Museum Education Director)

Exhibition sponsored by the Bonner Family Foundation, Fresno City College, and Dr. John Scholefield and Kristene Petrucci Scholefield

Special thanks to J. Luis Orozco, Jr., Academia Cultural

Images:  Raúl Colón, Joan Baez from the book Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, watercolor and Prismacolor pencils on paper; Susan Guevera, Chato's Kitchen book cover, from Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto, acrylic on black scratchboard

To benefit the school children of the region, this exhibition runs through August 27, 2017.


Inspired in part by the Museum’s signature fundraiser and fashion show, TrashiqueHead to Toe: Wearable Art features artwork that uses the human body as part of the final piece. Featuring artists from across the United States and unique creations in a variety of mediums including metallurgy, millinery, painting, woodcarving, and weaving, this exhibition explores the complex relationship of wearable art with the fashion world, the art world, and the world of craft. Wearable art acts as a method of self-expression, innovation, and is a reflection of the millennia-old human tendency to create and wear beautiful things.

Curator, Kristina Hornback (Fresno Art Museum Curator)

Exhibition sponsored by Baker, Peterson, Franklin, CPA, LLP and the Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation

Images:  Lexi Daly, Firefall, 2010, Cardboard coffee cup jackets, sterling silver, gunmetal chain, and hematite, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo credit: Kitfox Valenti; Jenne Giles, Rose Collar, 2012, Merino wool and silk, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo credit: Moja Ma'at


Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964 is a powerful exhibition created by McLane High School's award-winning ArtVenture Academy students in 2014/2015 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The exhibition includes large-scale woodblock prints depicting historical events from the Civil War to the 1960s.

Included in the exhibition will be ten four by eight-foot panels printed using woodblocks depicting scenes and text from Freedom Summer, a three-dimensional bus with African American historical figures and scenes symbolizing the Freedom Riders, film documentaries about Civil Rights stories, and spoken word performances exploring themes of identity.

The project served as a vehicle by which students explored how young people can unite in the face of injustice to create transformative change in themselves and their communities. While embracing a diverse student population, the project gave voice specifically to the African American population through the lens of the Civil Rights movement.

Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy (Fresno Art Museum Executive Director & Chief Curator)

Loaned by Marc Patterson, Chairman of the Arts Department at McLane High School and art instructor for ArtVenture Academy.

Images:  ArtVenture Academy Students, detail from Not in Mississippi panel and student at work on woodblock


Students in FAM's Summer Art Academy, under the direction of Eric Gonzalez of Visalia's Urbanists Collective created a six-panel mural inspired by the art and life of the late Fresno muralist, FranCisco Vargas. Students employed spray painting and traditional painting techniques to create this large-scale work for the Museum's Concourse Gallery.

Along with the student mural, original art and photographs from the Estate of FranCisco Vargas will be exhibited.

Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy (Fresno Art Museum Executive Director & Chief Curator)

Special thanks to Serena Vargas and the Estate of FranCisco Vargas

Images: The Letter "R" from the Student Mural Project and portrait of FranCisco Vargas by Brenda Manor, FranCisco Vargas Tribute Mural postcard 


In collaboration with Arte Américas and inspired by their mural project commencing in the fall of 2016, The Making of a Mural documents the creative process of bringing art into the public sphere. The Mural project, funded by the McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment, is intended to create a public artwork that celebrates the rich literary traditions of the Central San Joaquin Valley. Arte Américas is working with internationally renowned muralist, Francisco Letelier, on the design of the mural, which will be painted by members of the Wall Dogs, a mural painting group with participants from all over the world.  The mural will be executed on the south side of the Historic Fresno Bee Building in Downtown Fresno. The exhibition will explore Letelier’s design process, from his sources of inspiration to the final vision.

Curators, Kristina Hornback (Fresno Art Museum Curator) and Frank Delgado (Arte Américas Chief Curator/Executive Director)

Images:  Concept design for Arte Américas mural project and muralist, Francisco Letelier

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

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