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Artwork displays Central Valley's intricacies

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.

As I go to each ArtHop, I try to find a distinct favorable part of my trip. This time, traveling not far from home to the North ArtHop’s venue, I ventured into Sinbad’s Closet with no expectations, though both the gallery and the featured artist had an interesting background.

Sinbad’s Closet contained more interesting facts than any other ArtHop that I have gone to because of the openness and responsive staff. The location was in the back of a shopping center so I almost didn’t know it was an ArtHop because I couldn’t see any art. However, there was a sign on the door that signified it as a gallery.

The art was in the back of the room, which felt a little awkward until I reached the area where it was actually displayed; then I felt the atmosphere of an ArtHop.

Upon entrance, I was quickly greeted by the owner of Sinbad’s Closet, Cindy Dunn. Dunn said that Sinbad’s Closet is a consignment store that has been opened since 2009 and has recently been moved to this location since last August.

Dunn actually used to be the executive director of the ArtHop Board. She later stepped down in order to start Sinbad?s Closet. In the back of the building, Dunn also runs a fashion designing incubator. It used to be her more known buisness, but then she started to advance her consignment store line.

Dunn believes that ArtHops should have local artists from the valley instead of artists that are known from other communities. So Dunn started an ArtHop location in her store to showcase local artists and their works. I really liked this idea because it encouraged me to find out more about Fresno’s art community.

Later, I was introduced to Richard Harrison, the featured artist of this ArtHop. Harrison’s main theme was photography, and he showed his collection called, “The Middle Kingdom,” which showcased pictures of the Central Valley.

Harrison’s collection was very stimulating because each artwork was different, but had one main theme: the valley. According to Richard, all of his photographs are taken to show the diversity and daily life of the people of the Central Valley.

Aside from the collection, Harrison had another photograph, which showcased how art can be taken even further with technology. With the use of photoshop, Harrison took a collection of 13 photos and combined them to create one individual piece.

Another photo taken by Harrison was pictured of an cultural event with two women dancing. The picture was great, but even better with a background of the art showing the true diversity of the valley.

Other artists included Kaylee Kopas and Victoria Estrada. Kopas, whose art was also photography-centered, featured many pictures that were remarkable. I liked how I got to see some pictures of novice artists like Kopas and some pictures of veteran artists like Richard.

Estrada, who was not able to attend the ArtHop but still participated, displayed art that was mostly paintings that had an abstract feel to them. One of her works was a sculpture of an Indian woman which was completely made out of the newspaper from The Fresno Bee. She won first place in The Big Fresno Fair for this sculpture titled “News You Can See.”

I really liked how stories came with the art because it gave it a cohesive background and made each piece distinctive in its own manner. This ArtHop had a novel feel to it, but displayed a noteworthy background overall. A friendly environment can be hard to find, but Sinbad’s gallery was able to capture it.

Near the end of this ArtHop, Harrison invited me to the next ArtHop that he will be featured at called The Full Circle Brewing Co., Ltd. I am excited to see more of his works and the diversity of the Central Valley along with his art.

For more information about Harrison’s photography, visit his Flickr page.

For more information about ArtHop, read the Nov. 10 article,
Clay Mix exhibit conveys homey atmosphere.

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