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Exhibit provides rare glimpse into artistry

The Fresno Arts Council sponsors ArtHop, an event which educates the community about the local arts. In this column, freshman Ryan King chronicles his twice-a-month visits to ArtHop.

The ArtHop I ventured to was the second one this month and took place at The Door Art Gallery, Oct. 20. When I called the gallery for information about the event, they were very helpful, but once I arrived I was not the least bit welcomed.

The windy roads of the Fig Garden Area in this week’s ArtHop not only confused me, but got me lost in the residential part of Fresno. When looking for the ArtHops on Google I found some locations were not as informative as others because of the lack of participation. So, I ultimately picked the one that provided the most information.

As I entered the ArtHop, the artists were busy painting pieces, which alluded to fact that there were no other spectators — something that left me feeling awkward. Not only was it awkward, but the director, Chris Hays, was absent from the gallery along with all of the other artists, excluding the teacher of the art class, Gary Langdon, who had some art displayed.

The gallery was compacted with art, but did not have a finished feeling that it was put together for viewing. One of the class participators, Linda Lamb, was the exception, who told me that she had been there taking a class on art there for ten years.

Though the impression of this gallery was not exceptional, it did feature a variety of art that was new and exciting. This was especially true of Hays, who took the photos she shot and edited them into a ‘digital woodcut’ form, which looked very modern and almost cartoonish.

I was saddened by the lack of Hays’s art in the gallery, but did manage to find some small sample pictures of her art. The pieces were exceptional to me because, even though there was variety, they were still very skilled in each type.

From all of the pieces, my favorite one was, “A Man Thinking.” I stared at this statue for a while because its simplicity drew me in to analyze each aspect of the piece. As I looked at the statue, I wondered as to what it was thinking and why he was dressed in a cloak.

I was surprised by the all of the different ways the artists interpreted nature in paintings. Although most of the art was paintings of flowers and nature, there were also abstract, contemporary and realistic pieces. The only realistic painter at this gallery was Langdon.

Though there were only a few art pieces I did get to witness being created, I was eager to see the finishing results. Some of the artists allowed me to take pictures of their half-finished art, which was great, but not every artist agreed because they did not want the piece to been seen publicly before its completion.

This ArtHop was different from all others I have seen before because I was able to be with the artists during their painting process. I realized while hearing Langdon instructing, that detail is very much vital to painting and it allowed me to think more highly of artists.

While seeing the artists work, I got an overall view of how the gallery teaches art, which seemed excellent, though I have no experience in this area. The finished results of the pieces were highly spectacular because of the classes that were available at this gallery.

Even though the gallery lacked informative details and was very unprofessional, it allowed me to see behind the scenes of ArtHop, something I have never been able to do at a gallery.

For more information about ArtHop, read the Oct. 13 article,
Artistic collaboration frames Gallery 25 ArtHop.

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