Due to the unknown status of the COVID-19 pandemic, this schedule may be subject to change.
Current exhibitions extended into the Summer/Fall 2021 Season:
New for Summer/Fall 2021:
Art of the Word: Celebrating Differences
Illustrations by Rafael López
Based on the book Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor
July 31, 2021 to June 26, 2022
The children’s book Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You teaches empathy through the illustrations of Rafael López. They help to tell the story by United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who bases the narrative on her own personal history of being different as a child, having been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age seven.
Rafael López’ vibrant illustrations celebrate the different abilities that each of us uniquely possesses and how people working together can accomplish amazing things through each one’s unique contributions. The child-friendly illustrations enhance the special qualities of people’s disabilities that are often-ignored topics. Sotomayor’s personal story and López’ delightful illustrations remind and encourage each of us to not make judgments about someone’s behavior or the way they look until we understand the whole story. They encourage us to “Just ask!”
The artwork displayed was created by combining traditional pencil drawing, watercolor, and acrylic with digital manipulation. While the Fresno Art Museum does not typically display giclée reproductions (with the exception of photographs), we are finding that many of today’s illustrators use a combination of traditional painting and drawing techniques and a computer to create their finished images. In order to share these works with the public, we had the artist supply us with digital prints to recreate the original image in the book. Along with those digital prints, the exhibition includes some of López’ original hand-painted and drawn elements that contributed to the final artworks.
Rafael López is an internationally recognized illustrator and artist whose work brings diverse characters to children’s books. He is driven to produce and promote books that reflect and honor the lives of all young people. Born and raised in Mexico City to architect parents, he was immersed in the rich visual heritage, music, and surrealism of his native culture which reflects in his illustrations. He is a two-time #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator for Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You written by Sonia Sotomayor and The Day You Begin written by Jacqueline Woodson. He has two Pura Belpre Medals as the award-winning illustrator of Drum Dream Girl and Book Fiesta!; and the three-time Pura Belpre Honor award-winning illustrator of Tito Puente: Mambo King; The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred; and My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz.
In addition, López is a founder of the Urban Art Trail movement in San Diego’s East Village. His murals can be found in urban areas, at children’s hospitals, in public schools, under freeways and at farmer’s markets around the country. His community work with murals is the subject of the children’s book Maybe Something Beautiful, How Art Transformed a Neighborhood. Rafael has also been commissioned to create seven United States Postal Stamps.
These days, López lives and works in an industrial loft in downtown San Diego and at his home/studio in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Exhibition Curator, Susan Yost Filgate, Fresno Art Museum Education Director
Image: Rafael Lopez, book cover for Just Ask!
Exhibition funded in part by the Bonner Family Foundation and The Foundation @FCOE
Delicious: The Art of Food from the Permanent Collection
July 31, 2021 to January 9, 2022
Food is, and always has been, one of the defining elements of human existence. Food fuels our everyday lives and is a means of celebration. It should then be no surprise that the depiction of food in art spans all of recorded human history. As long as humans have created art, they have depicted food.
The way food has been depicted in art has changed over time. Food has been used as an experimentation in shape and form as demonstrated by the hyperrealism found in still life paintings. Food is also frequently employed as a metaphor or allegory, conveying meaning such as mortality, luck, desire, or decay. Artists have continued to explore the theme of food into the modern era, experimenting with abstracted forms, juxtaposition of color, and using the theme of food as a tool for social and political commentary.
Delicious: The Art of Food explores the role of food in 20th- and 21st-century art through a selection of works from the Museum’s permanent collection. From the classic still life to political prints to cultural explorations, food is an enduring subject that has inspired artists of every generation.
Image: Roger Bruinekool, Big Cheese, 1966, Acrylic on canvas, Herman Thereoff Purchase Award, FAM66.295
Curator: Sarah Vargas, FAM Curator