Like I said in a previous post, when it comes to the Central Valley, a “cultural experience” usually entails risking food poisoning at roadside taco trucks and haggling over wilted vegetables at the weekly swap meets. While I am no art critic, (my inner artist only extends as far as photography, cosplay crafts and the occasion doddering attempt at literary works) I do enjoy immersing myself in the atmosphere of art galleries. The creativity, the intrigue, the skill, the craft and the passion that goes into the art world is one that I love to visit. I got rather spoiled when I was living in Southern California and could visit the monthly LA Art Hop, jumping from gallery to gallery along Spring Street and 1st, sampling wine and cheeses, enjoying and envying the amazing art… and laughing at the travesties masquerading as art. (A dead bird smeared with cat poo? Okay, LA, whatever.)
So while I miss the chaos and hoity toity yupperyof the LA art scene, I’m not completely deprived of the gallery experience in Hanford. We’re not completely without fine art in the Central Valley – though it usually does require some digging to find anything worthwhile. The Kings Art Center has been doing a fantastic job making art readily available to the public and the local community with their free galleries open all week long.
A couple of days ago I stopped by to visit the current exhibit, Yosemite Renaissance. This is the 28th year of this annual exhibit. The display features 46 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures from the representational to the abstract, all interpreting the majesty of the Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas.
Being a sucker for the Sierra Nevada (I am partial to the Sequoias, but do have a deep love for Yosemite as well), I found this exhibit to be thoroughly enjoyable. I was impressed with the variety of mediums displayed, and I would even go so far as to say that this is the best display I have seen at the Kings Art Center to date. It was hard to choose a favorite piece. I am usually predisposed toward the photography works, but I would have to say the piece that riveted my attention the most was the acrylic on canvas painting by Stacey Best, “The Western Redbud in the Sierra”. (Pictured below.)
The prole, member-of-the-unwashed-masses side of me usually finds a piece of art or two that I scoff at and think, “This is art? Really?” But I didn’t find anything on display that was overly abstract or surreal or irrelevant to invoke my inner critic. Everything was a gorgeous representation of the familiar Yosemite scenes, whether in color, texture or feel. So my art happy? Officially filled up. ^_^