Exhibits of 2018

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Ricardo Rivera

Clase abstracta de brujería

Clase abstracta de brujería

January 18—February 15, 2018

Clase abstracta de brujería is a solo project by Fresno based-artist and City College instructor Ricardo Rivera. Rivera's expansive practice includes performance, drawing, and immersive installations that blend projections, video, sound, and sculpture. Over the run up to the exhibition, Rivera will move his practice out of the private space of the studio and onto campus, working inside the Art Space Gallery to produce a site specific installation that will dramatically alter its sense of space and volume. The gallery will be filled by a poetic arrangement of drawings, sculptures, and video projections that gesture towards California's agricultural landscape, labor, and history.

Rivera’s practice involves digitally mapping the gallery to create a three dimensional model of the interior. Small idiosyncrasies of the space, such as an oddly placed clock or alcove, are incorporated into the work. The title of the show could be translated as abstract sort of witchcraft. It refers to multiple alchemical processes: that of transforming the gallery; of labor into art; of extracting images from computer languages; making the invisible visible. A more literal translation might be abstract witchcraft class, suggesting a kinship between teaching and witchcraft.

Ricardo Rivera (1970, Sacramento, CA) earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001, and his BFA also from SFAI in 1997. Selected solo exhibitions include Oscillations, Maxxx Project Space, Valais, Switzerland (2016) and Fantasy is A Place Where it Rains: Part II, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA (2011). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including Words Imagined: Co-relations Between Art and Poetry, Sacred Heart University Art and Design Gallery, Fairfield, Connecticut (2017); Paix, Amitié, Limites et Réglements – Tout Ceci Se Trouvait, D’Habitude Á L’Extérieur, Installations in situ, Creative Villages, Leytron, VS, Switzerland (2016); and DRAWINGS | FRIDGES, Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2015). In 2014, he was awarded a research fellowship as a part of Ars Contemporaneous Alpinus, a theoretical and applied research project about the issue of site- specific practices taking the natural environment as a context in Sierre,Switzerland.Before his role at Fresno City College, Rivera taught at several Bay Area institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, Stanford University, and the California College of the Arts.



March 1 - April 6, 2018


There are several programs to accompany this exhibition

Opening Reception

Thursday, March 1

5:00 - 8:00 pm, Art Space Gallery


A roving, themed dinner series organized by Casey Droege (Pittsburgh, PA), that invites 6 artists to present their work in relation to a theme.

Presenting artists: Caleb Duarte, Tracy Teran, Teresa Flores, Ronda Kelley, Adrianna Alejo Sorondo, Leslie Batty

Friday, March 9, 6 - 9 pm, at the Art Space Gallery

Reserve your free spot

Experimental Quesadilla Lab

The Experimental Quesadilla Lab is a project by artist Teresa Flores. It is a pop-up kitchen, recipe exchange and conversation space. Cheese and tortillas become metaphors for the often indistinguishable boundaries between class and culture, creating dialog about food justice, California history, culture and colonialism.

Friday, April 6, 12 - 2 pm, Art Space Gallery


A thicket is site of entanglement, refuge; each twig a strand of raw data. It is intimate, but not exactly safe. Thickets brings together place-based and intergenerational feminist practices, focusing on works that code or obfuscate information, messages, and bodies, while playing with mapping and spatial relationships. It asks, how can art hide, heal, and connect us?

The artists in the show work within—or are connected to—contexts outside of traditional art world centers. The medium of quilting provides an important visual and conceptual seed, with its useful history as a coded messaging system, its inherently collaborative ethos, and relationship to mathematics and pattern. Another common thread is play with spatial relationships and mapping, through compression, use of the grid, and the production of illusory and metaphorical space. Included are works in collage, fiber, painting, sculpture, and installation.

Thickets brings together artists with roots in the Fresno area, such as Adrianna Alejo Sorondo (Fresno, CA), whose work reclaims indigenous motifs and healing rituals in abstract paintings and performances; Teresa Flores (Los Angeles, CA), whose experimental video and public interventions examine class and regional cultural experience; and Fresno-based fiber artist Ronda Kelley. Drawing connections to artists from further afield, Tina Williams Brewer, (Pittsburgh, PA), whose dense, layered works, and cosmic representations of time and space are rooted in the African American story quilt tradition, and Columbus-based artist Carmen Winant, whose collages and text-based works address the consumption of the female body in contemporary culture, will also participate. The inclusion of Judy Chicago (Belen, NM), who established the Feminist Art Program at CSU Fresno in 1970, acknowledges the vibrant history of feminist thought in Fresno.



Student Art Show

Annual Student Exhibition

April 26 - May 11, 2018

Reception: Thursday, May 3, 5-8 pm (ArtHop)

student working with clay

Join us to celebrate this annual showcase of the work being done by FCC students in all media being taught at Fresno City College. The exhibition will include works in ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, and more!

Fresno City College’s Fine, Performing and Communications Arts Division invites current students to showcase their artwork in a juried exhibition at the Art Space Gallery. This year, we are thrilled to announce that Fresno-based artist Leslie Batty will jury the exhibition with Lilia Gonzáles Chávez, Executive Director of the Fresno Art Council. Discipline-specific awards will be awarded to outstanding works.

Important Deadlines

April 17 & 18: Submissions Due

Students are asked to drop their work off in the gallery between 12 – 6 pm on April 17 & 18.

Students interested in submitting should ask their instructors for detailed submission requirements.

About the jurors

Leslie Batty earned a double BA in Literature and Art from California State University-Fresno in 2006, where, in 2010, she also completed an MA in Fine Art. Throughout her academic career, Batty received numerous awards, including the Provost Scholarship, the CSU-Chancellor’s Summer Arts Award, and the Dean’s Medal Nomination for both her graduate and undergraduate work in the Department of Art and Design. After graduating from CSU-Fresno, Batty spent two semesters abroad studying painting and drawing in Florence, Italy. She has since exhibited her work nationally and internationally, with two collective exhibitions at Galerie Métanoïa in Paris, France and a recent solo exhibition at Adler & Co Gallery in San Francisco. Her solo show, Redress, was presented at the Fresno Art Museum in 2017.

Lilia Gonzáles Chávez has been the Executive Director of the Fresno Arts Council since 2011. She was a program officer at the San Joaquin Valley Workforce Funders Collaborative from 2009 to 2011 and a field representative in the Office of California State Assemblymember Juan Arambula from 2006 to 2009. She was principal administrative analyst at the Fresno County Administrative Office from 1997 to 2006 and executive director at Arte Americas from 1987 to 1997. Gonzáles Chávez is a member of the League of Mexican American Women. She earned a Master of Arts degree in administrative leadership from Fresno Pacific University. Gonzáles Chávez is a passionate advocate for advancing the arts in downtown Fresno and beyond. She is a founder of ArtHop, Fresno's vibrant twice-monthly art festival, which has now grown to include over 50 different galleries, businesses, and non-profit organizations.


Bending Towards the Light of the Sun

Bending Towards the Light of the Sun

August 21 - October 11, 2018

Reception: September 6, 5-8 pm (ArtHop)

Bending towards the Light of the Sun consists of seven weeks of rolling programming that centers the Fresno area as a site of artistic and cultural production. Like the city itself, it sprawls outward, ranging from film screenings to artist publications, archival materials, and installation.

Artists: Maia Ballis, Caleb Duarte, Carissa Garcia, Laguna Collective, R.L. Muas, Sylvia Savala, Christian Vargas, Nancy Youdelman.

Bending towards the Light of the Sun is anchored by archival materials relating to Fresno’s history of activism and art making. Printed materials, photographs, and posters by National Land for People (NLP) and the Fresno chapter of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will be in the gallery.


  • Claiming Open Spaces (1995) / Austin Allen’s documentary about communities of color and public spaces. 
    • Screening: Thursday, August 30 at 1 pm
  • California Trilogy (1998) / Experimental filmmaker James Benning’s long slow look at the landscapes of California.
    • Screening: El Valley Centro, Tuesday, September 25 at 1 pm
    • Screening: Los, Wednesday, September 26 at 1:30 pm
    • Screening: Sagobi, Thursday, September 27 at 1 pm
  • In the Valleys: Las Mujeres Muralistas del Valle (2018) / Carissa Garcia’s film about a group of Chicana muralists working in Fresno in the 1970’s.
    • Screening: October


Christian Vargas, detail from Tianguis, 2018, mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist.
Christian Vargas, detail from Tianguis, 2018, mixed media installation
Hmong spirit money
R.L. Muas, (e)femmeral intimacies, 2017, Hmong spirit money (joss paper) on wire and canvas, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
In the Valleys
Carissa Garcia, still from In the Valleys: Las Mujeres Muralistas del Valle, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
Sun Sage
George Ballis, Sun Sage, 1984, color photograph. 
claiming open space
Austin Allen, still from Claiming Open Spaces, 1995. Video with sound. Image courtesy of Third World Newsreel and Austin Allen;
screen printed poster
NLP screen printed poster. 
Nancy Youdelman, installation shot of Leaves, 1973. Courtesy of the artist.


Confirmed events and gallery activities: follow @art_space_gallery instagram for most up to date schedule.

Week 1: August 21 – 23

An installation by R.L. Muas will be on view. Carissa Garcia’s film In the Valleys: Las Mujeres Muralistas del Valle will be on view. Archival materials: National Land for People and WILPF will be in the gallery, along with photographs and artwork from the personal archive of Nancy Youdelman which detail the experimentation of her early career.

Week 2: August 27 – 30

Screening: “Claiming Open Spaces” by Austin Allen, Thursday, August 30

Week 3: September 4 - 6

Christian Vargas will install his work in the gallery.

Reception: Thursday, September 6, 5 - 8PM (Arthop)

Week 4: September 10 - 13

Caleb Duarte will install his work in the gallery. Laguna Collective will lead students in a zine making workshop inspired by the self publishing activities of NLP and WILPF.

Week 5: September 17 – 21

Laguna Collective Zine, Poster and Risograph Workshop (Part 2). Work will go on view in the gallery. Offsite workshop, Friday, September 21.

Week 6: September 24 – 28

Screening: California Trilogy by James Benning

El Valley Centro - Tuesday September 25, 1pm

Los - Wednesday, September 26, 1.30pm.

Sogobi - Thursday, September 27, 1pm.

Field Trip: Saturday, September 29: Visit to Two Cabins, James Benning’s large scale, permanent installation in Pine Flat, CA.

Week 7: October 1 – 5

Nancy Youdelman – zine release + talk. Date and time TBD. Sylvia Savala will install her work in the gallery.

Participant Bios

Maia Ballis (Fresno, CA) is an artist, farmer, and one of the founding members, with husband George Ballis and Berge Bulbulian, of National Land for People (NLP). NLP was a group active in Fresno and the Central Valley during the 1970’s and 1980’s which fought to retain the family farm model of agriculture through political organizing, photography and self publishing. Ballis’s paintings and collages channel a deep connection between the self, land and environment.

Caleb Duarte (Fresno, CA) is an interdisciplinary artist and organizer. He has created public works and community performances at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, El Pital, Honduras, and throughout Mexico and the United States. Duarte is co-founder of EDELO (a Spanish acronym for “Where the United Nations Used To Be”), an international artist residency in Chiapas, Mexico. He is lead curator of the traveling exhibition ZAPANTERA NEGRA, with Rigo 23, Emory Douglas and Mia Eve Rollow. Duarte earned an MFA in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago in 2009, and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. He is currently an instructor of sculpture at Fresno City College.

Carissa Garcia (b. 1984, Fresno, CA) is an interdisciplinary artist who approaches her work as a storyteller and poet. She considers herself a “greñuda filmmaker”, working on untamed methods of documenting and reversing erasure as a decolonial means of creating and recuperating knowledge. She worked for four years on a doctoral degree and holds an M.A. from the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, as a mentee of Judy Baca. Her research concentrates on the relationship between place and memory for Chicana artists in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, where she was born and raised. She is currently working on a publication about the erased histories of Chicanx muralism throughout Fresno County and an anthology centering methods of art production and aesthetics of the Central Valley.

Jemimah Barba (b. Manila, Philippines, lives and works in Fresno, CA) and Vicente (b. Madera, lives and works in Fresno) are the founders of Laguna Collective, an independent print and publishing collective based in downtown Fresno. Barba is a queer Filipino-American artist, working towards a BA in Cultural Anthropology at Fresno State University. Vicente is a Chicano artist studying at Fresno City College to become an elementary school educator. Laguna Collective focuses on empowering young artists and artists of color to express themselves through the DIY medium of zines and risograph printing. Laguna Collective will open a store, gallery, and community space in the Fall of 2018 called Daily Market at 1418 Fulton in downtown Fresno.

Renae Moua "R.L. Muas"(b. 1991, Fresno, CA, lives and works in San Francisco) is a first-generation Hmong/American interdisciplinary artist, educator and radical community arts organizer. Muas’s creative practice centers on installation, photography, sculpture, printmaking and new media, and is influenced by the DIY ethos of underground art and music scenes, their upbringing as the daughter of refugees, and their indigenous heritage. Moua received a double B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Sociology from the University of California, San Diego; currently they are an Ethnic Studies M.A. Candidate at San Francisco State University. Moua was Artistic Director at SFSU’s Associated Students’ Art Gallery, and recently completed an Emerging Curator Fellowship with the Asian American Women Artists Association, where they curated the exhibition THANK YOU FOR NOTHING. Currently, they are the Visual Arts Curator in Residence at SOMArts Cultural Center.

Christian Vargas(b. 1986 Fresno, CA, lives and works in Knoxville, TN) received his MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his BA in fine arts from Fresno State University in 2015. Vargas has exhibited in several traditional and non-traditional spaces including shows in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Sylvia Savala (b. 1947, Clovis, CA, lives and works in Fresno) is a painter, essayist, and poet. Savala is largely self educated as an artist; she was inspired by the example of Frida Kahlo to draw from her personal life and struggles as source for her work, and later studied with Wayne Thiebaud and Alexander Nepote. Her paintings are fluid and gestural with a strong feminist perspective, often commenting on female sexuality and depicting common objects of desire such as shoes or cakes. Savala’s work has been included in exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and her essay, “How I became a Chicana Feminist Artist”, about her creative and personal journey, was included in “Entering the Picture: Judy Chicago, the Fresno Feminist Art Program, and the Collective Visions of Women Artists” (Routledge, 2011). Savala holds an MFA from Fresno State University’s Creative Nonfiction program. Currently, she teaches English at Fresno City College and devotes her life to family, painting, writing, and gardening.

Nancy Youdelman (b.1948, New York, NY, lives and works in Clovis, CA) was part of the first feminist art class taught by Judy Chicago in 1970 at California State University, Fresno. She continued her participation in the Feminist Art Program (1971—1973) at California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, where she participated in the internationally acclaimed project, Womanhouse (1972). Youdelman received her BFA from CalArts in 1973 and her MFA with an emphasis in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles in 1976. Youdelman has been the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Pollock/Krasner, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, and the Tree of Life Foundations. A retrospective of her work was presented by the Fresno Art Museum in 2017.

National Land for People (NLP) was a group active in the Central Valley during the 1970’s and 80’s who fought to enact a sustainable and environmentally sound agricultural future in the Fresno area. Founded by George Ballis, a self described "news reporter, news editor, community and union organizer, still photographer, film maker, organic gardener-farmer, shamanic guide, and teacher," NLP sought to to retain the family farm model of agriculture through political organizing, photography and self publishing, and through the court system. Their archive is held at Fresno State University.

Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) have been active in the Fresno area for over 50 years. The branch uses resolutions, marches, vigils, letters, lobbying, conferences, and workshops to express its views. WILPF’s aim is to combat the economic, political, psychological, and social causes of war while striving for constructive peace. Their objectives also extend to the elimination of violence and poverty, while promoting racial and women’s justice.



Sylvia Savala

Cakes and Daggers: Heartache and Emancipation

October 23 - November 15, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, October 26, 5:00-8:00 pm

Sylvia Savala (b. 1947, Clovis, CA, lives and works in Fresno) is a painter, essayist, and poet. Savala is largely self educated as an artist; she was inspired by the example of Frida Kahlo to draw from her personal life and struggles as source for her work, and later studied with Wayne Thiebaud and Alexander Nepote.

Savala’s paintings are fluid and gestural with a strong, Chicanx feminist perspective. Figures and objects sit in swirling, abstract fields of vibrant color, symbols, and form. Her works often chronicle dreams, personal narratives, and the ebb and flow of relationships. They express the power of female desire and sensuality, often placing her body, and by extension, her identity as a Mexican-American woman, unapologetically front and center.

Savala’s work has been included in exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and her essay, “How I became a Chicana Feminist Artist”, about her creative and personal journey, was included in “Entering the Picture: Judy Chicago, the Fresno Feminist Art Program, and the Collective Visions of Women Artists” (Routledge, 2011). Savala holds an MFA from Fresno State University’s Creative Nonfiction program. Currently, she teaches English at Fresno City College and devotes her life to family, painting, writing, and gardening. This exhibition surveys Savala’s paintings, drawings, and etchings, over a 25 year period, dating from the early 1990s.


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