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 and 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.

Exhibition curated by Jeff Kelley.

Images:  Hung Liu, Beauty and the Beast, 1994, oil on canvas, 112" x 90" and Daughter of the Revolution, 1993, mixed media: oil on canvas, wood, and antique glass bottle, 78.5" x 62” x 5.5"


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 books for children 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 Gomez (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).

Exhibition curated by Fresno Art Museum Education Director Susan Yost Filgate

Images:  Raúl Calón, 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




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. Head to Toe: Wearable Art is curated by the Fresno Art Museum Curator, Kristina Hornback.

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 Art Venture 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 1960's.

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.


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.

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

Media Partners: