You are invited to be a sponsor
of the Fresno Art Museum’s 
Summer/Fall 2023 exhibitions.


This is an invitation From FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy to FAM’s supporters to sponsor our upcoming exhibitions for the Summer/Fall season opening July 29, 2023.

Dear FAM Supporter,

The Fresno Art Museum will showcase four new exhibitions, three of which are specifically family-oriented: the major traveling exhibition Maurice Sendak, 60 Years of Wild Things; The Magic and Flair of Mary Blair; Art of the Word: Growing an Artist, from the book written and illustrated by John Parra;as well as the solo exhibition for American photographer Martha Casanave, the recipient of the Council of 100’s Distinguished Woman Artist Award for 2023.

The exhibition of beloved children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) celebrates the 60th anniversary of the publication of his book Where the Wild Things Are and will fill the Fig Garden, Duncan, and Hallowell Galleries. The exhibition includes concept sketches, illustrations, and highlights from his career. We are immensely grateful to The Bonner Family Foundation for underwriting the rental fee for this amazing traveling exhibition. However, we are especially building and painting three-dimensional, interactive scenery (including trees and a boat) inspired by Sendak’s book to engage and enthrall the children who visit this exhibition. Your additional support for the design, materials, and building of these three-dimensional elements will be needed and will be greatly appreciated.

In the Moradian Gallery, 26 works of art by the Disney illustrator Mary Blair (1911–1978) will be exhibited. Included are concepts for her many Disney animation film projects: Dumbo (1941), The Three Caballeros (1945), Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953) among others. Also on exhibit are four rare concept pieces Blair created in the development of the attraction It’s a Small World which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and later moved to Disneyland. This exhibition was organized by the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University (located on the other side of the 5 freeway from Disneyland), with works from the Hilbert Collection. The Fresno Art Museum is the only other museum where this exhibition will be shown. FAM will need to pay the Hilbert Museum a rental fee for the exhibition, and two people from FAM’s curatorial staff will need to rent an appropriate-sized truck to drive down to Orange County to pick up the artwork, and after the exhibition, and two people from FAM’s curatorial staff will need to rent an appropriate-sized truck to return the artwork to the Hilbert.

The Art of the Word exhibition for the school year 2023/24 will be mounted in the Contemporary Gallery this new season. John Parra (b. 1972) painted the featured illustrations for his children’s book Growing an Artist, the story of a landscape gardener and his son. Parra’s purpose behind the story, illustrated with his own colorful, vibrant, and detailed acrylics, can be summed up by the father figure in this book, “I will use my art to tell the stories of hardworking, passionate people who make the world more beautiful.” John Parra has already shipped his paintings to the Fresno Art Museum from his studio in New York. The artwork will need to be framed, and after the exhibition, the artwork will need to be unframed and shipped back to New York.

And finally, featured in the Lobby and Concourse Galleries is the 34th recipient of the Council of 100’s Distinguished Woman Artist Award, American photographer Martha Casanave (b. 1946). Selections from two of her heralded photography projects, People in Photography (1978–1983) and the USSR series False Flags (1984–1995), comprise her solo exhibition entitled Imaginings. Twenty-seven 30” x 40” photographs, printed for the first time at this large scale, reveal Casanave’s prowess in capturing her subject matter in unique and expert ways. The twelve portraits are black-and-white prints, while the USSR images are in color. Casanave is known for her experiments with traditional photographic techniques and alternative processes and does not work with digital images. FAM will need to cover the cost of printing the twenty-seven photographs in the impressive larger format, and two people from FAM’s curatorial staff will need to rent an appropriate-sized truck to drive to Casanave’s studio in Monterey to pick up the artwork, and after the exhibition, and two people from FAM’s curatorial staff will need to rent an appropriate-sized truck to return the artwork to Monterey.

To those who are reading this request, please know that each exhibition is complicated to ship and return; they require special materials and supplies for installation that are at post-pandemic inflated costs; and our fine arts insurance will increase to house the exhibitions. Your sponsorship commitment at this time, in advance of the receipt of the new exhibitions, ensures that the Museum can pay the expenses associated with these exhibitions in a timely manner and separately from our general operating funding. We are starting to incur the expenses now.

A donation form and a page with selected images from the 2023 Summer/Fall exhibitions to help with your sponsorship decisions can be downloaded by clicking here. You can choose to sponsor a single exhibition, or the entire exhibition season as a whole. For those of you who are able to donate $1,000 or more, we will place your name on the exhibition sponsor wall and on the Museum’s website, as well as on the full-color exhibitions flyer and the weekly e-news which are both widely distributed. 

Please know that FAM could neither organize nor support its exhibition seasons without the crucial help of your underwriting gifts. Thank you in advance for helping to ensure that the Summer/Fall 2023 exhibition season will delight, educate, and enthrall everyone who visits our Museum. We would not have the exhibitions we do without your important help!

Sincerely yours,


Michele Ellis Pracy
Executive Director & Chief Curator


Click here for more details about the upcoming exhibitions or contact Michele Ellis Pracy by email at or by calling 559.441.4221 x102

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