July 14, 2018 to January 6, 2019 (unless otherwise noted)


Kay Sekimachi (b. 1926) is a fiber artist and weaver based in Berkeley, California. She is the recipient of the Fresno Art Museum’s Council of 100 Distinguished Woman Artist Award for 2018. Her retrospective, solo exhibition describes her years of art making, beginning in the 1940s up to the present day. Curated by Fresno Art Museum staff Michele Ellis Pracy and Kristina Hornback in 2017, the selected works define the breadth of Sekimachi’s oeuvre and the command she has of her fiber medium.

Sekimachi is known as a “weaver’s weaver." She uses the loom to construct three-dimensional sculptural pieces. She attended the California College of the Arts, where she studied with Trude Guermonprez, and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, where she studied with Jack Lenor Larsen.

Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, the Museum of Arts and Design, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is recognized as a pioneer in the resurrection of fiber and weaving as a legitimate means of artistic expression.

Watch a 2-minute preview of the new upcoming episodes of CALIFORNIA and VISIONARIES produced by Crafts in America (www.craftinamerica.org) for PBS. Premiere is December 18, 2018. There will be an early screening of the episode on Kay Sekimachi at FAM on September 22, 2018 during the Distinguished Woman Artist luncheon.

Exhibition Curators: FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator Michele Ellis Pracy and former FAM Curator Kristina Hornback

Exhibition Sponsors: JA Community Foundation, Forrest L. Merrill, Anonymous, and Jeffrey Spahn Gallery

Images (L to R): Kay Sekimachi, Four Leaf Bowls, 1996, Maple leaf skeletons and Kay Sekimachi at loom, 1953


During the 1940s and 1950s, some 40,000 African American sharecroppers migrated to California’s Central Valley, taking up residence in farm labor camps. Their rural to rural journey makes them the great exception to the Great Migration, which was overwhelmingly rural to urban. Shortly after arriving, these black migrants were all but put out of work by the mechanization of agriculture.

In the early 1960s, while reporting on migrant labor for KPFA radio, a young photographer, Ernest Lowe, captured powerful  black and white images of life in the communities of Pixley and Dos Palos adjacent to Fresno, California. These townships were impoverished yet cohesive communities, lacking paved roads, electricity, running water, and other essential services. Lowe’s photographs are the sole extant document of this rural people’s journey to a land of broken promises.

His startlingly beautiful images of community, individuals, tasks, free time, housing, and church provide the viewer a local historical perspective on the migrant hardships they managed and survived.  

This is an original exhibition of the Fresno Art Museum drawn from the historic negatives of Ernest Lowe and printed for the exhibition by photographer Joel Pickford. The selected photographs transport audiences back in time nearly sixty years to experience life in rural African American communities of the Central Valley.

Exhibition Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Exhibition Sponsors: Baker Peterson Franklin, CPA, LLC, Cal Humanities Community Stories Program, and West of West Center for Narrative History of the Central Valley.

Images (L to R): Ernest Lowe, Teviston Mother and Children Pause from Doing Laundry on Front Porch, October, 1964 and Clarence Marshall, Willie Brewster, and Lee Marshall with Joe’s Mercury, a Cart Made of a Melon Crate, South Dos Palos, July 12, 1961, Archival pigment prints, Courtesy of the Artist


Jenne Giles is a contemporary fiber artist whose work ranges from traditional fine arts to innovative performance and installation art. Her pieces explore the concept of gender, identity, consumption, and mortality. Giles received her B.A. in art and art history from Rice University in 1997. She began her career in the San Francisco area and now lives and works near Joshua Tree, California. She has previously exhibited at such institutions as the De Young Museum in San Francisco and the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington. She was a featured artist in Head to Toe: Wearable Art at the Fresno Art Museum that ran from September 23, 2016 to April 28, 2017.

Originally a trained metalworker, Giles creates sculptures, paintings, and wearable art from handmade felt. Felting is one of the oldest forms of textile making. She finds great importance in the organic process of hand-making her materials. Giles’ felt sculptures are dense, finely detailed creations. The exhibition Jenne Giles: Americana consists of nearly 30 felt sculptures and paintings that examine the types of artifacts that are related to the history, geography, folklore, and culture of the United States. Felt-making, along with other forms of fiber art, has traditionally been associated with women and regarded as a craft, not a form of fine art. In the 1970s, the Feminist Art movement reclaimed fiber arts, elevating them to the status of fine art, and fiber arts became an integral aspect of contemporary artistic practice. The propagation of fiber art as a fine art emphasizes the resurgence of value on handmade objects and on the relationship between traditional art forms and the current era.

Exhibition Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Associate Curator

Image (L to R): Jenne GilesA Girl's Life series: Cake, 2017, Wool, silk, milk fiber, 15 1/2" x 18" x 18" and Feminized (Brain), 2017, Wool, silk, wire, 11" x 12" x 14", Courtesy of the Artist


October 17, 2018 through January 6, 2019

Originally organized for the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust River Center Art Gallery in the spring of 2018, this exhibition includes rarely seen watercolors by Mr. Pickford from the personal collection of his son Joel who lives in the family home in Fresno’s Old Fig Garden District.

The images chosen are landscapes depicting the natural beauty of the San Joaquin Valley. They relate directly to the land that is intrinsic to our geographic region and express the love that Rollin Pickford had for this area and his superb ability to capture our California light. The exhibition is the perfect marriage of subject matter with artistic sensitivity.

Exhibition Curator:  Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator

Images: Rollin Pickford, Smith House, June 1976, Shaw and Clovis Avenues, Clovis, California, watercolor on paper, 22" x 30", Private Collection and Tom's Cypress, June 7, 1953, Friant Road, Fresno, California Watercolor on paper, 14" x 21", Joel Pickford Collection




Exhibition on view through June 23, 2019

Tell Me Another Story is the second exhibition organized to directly relate to the some of the stories read by third graders throughout the Fresno Unified School District, organized to coordinate with the Kennedy Center's Any Given Child Education Program. It includes the original artwork of five illustrators selected from the student’s McGraw-Hill Wonders textbook for their unique and appealing visual interpretations of stories based on legends, folk tales, true-life events, or social issues. 

The artists include Eileen Christelow, illustrator and author of Vote!Marla Frazee illustrator of The Talented ClementineStéphane Jorisch, illustrator of The Real Story of Stone SoupEmily Arnold McCully, illustrator of Nora’s Arkand Bill Slavin, illustrator of All Aboard!: Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine. The represented stories illustrate many character-building qualities: courage, determination, innovativeness, honesty, trust, self-confidence, perseverance, resourcefulness, sharing, survival, duty, integrity, and truth.

More information on the artists included may be found by clicking here.

Exhibition Curator: Susan Yost Filgate, FAM Education Director

Underwritten annually in part by the Bonner Family Foundation

Images (L to R): Eileen Christelow, Page 22 from the book Vote!, 2003, Gouache, pen, and ink on paper, 9 1/4" x 10 3/4", Courtesy of the artist and Stéphane Jorisch, Pages 30 and 31 from the book The Real Story of Stone Soup, 2007, Watercolor on paper, 12" x 22", Courtesy of the artist

FALL/SUMMER 2018 Season Exhibition Sponsors: Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation, Christy V. Hicks, Women’s Auxiliary of the Fresno Art Museum, Briscoe Family Foundation – Jim and Lee Anne Briscoe, Robert C. Truxell, Richard and Diane Watters 

General Exhibition Support: David & MaryAnne Esajian

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