ArtHop scene comes to Clovis

Pottery was one of the visual art forms showcased at Clovis Community Education’s ArtHop event on March, 15, 2018. (Ron Sundquist/Clovis Roundup)

In an effort to give artists an outlet, two Clovis organizations recently joined Fresno Arts Council’s ArtHop as official venues.

On March 15, Clovis Community Education, which offers a wide variety of enrichment classes for adults, showcased various forms of performing and visual arts by its students and instructors. At the same time, Clovis Friends of the Library featured permanent ink artist Kirk Cruz at Clovis Regional Library.

In various classrooms at the adult school, students and instructors showcased forms of visual art, including quilting, pottery, bonsai and painting. In the quad area, scheduled performances included rock fusion cover bands, the Clovis Community Band, ballroom dancers, belly dancers and a ventriloquist.

While each classroom featured a different category of art, a universal message of talent was vivid. As visitors walked into the wall-covered quilt room, each with a unique design, the time and effort that went into making each piece was evident.

Paula Welch, a quilt-making student, said her hand-made piece took her nine months to complete. Although she could have used a sewing machine, Welch said she visually prefers the look of a hand-sewn quilt.

A visually enjoyable piece, Welch’s quilt consisted of various animal cut-outs in colorful fabrics with various trees and houses in the center. Each square kept the eye deeply examining the intricate and flawless details of each print.

Though some quilted items were on sale, many that were simply for display had guests wishing they had a price tag.

The idea of the adult school joining ArtHop festivities came from Kelly Peterson, the school’s program specialist.

“I really wanted to showcase our teachers, and I wanted people to sign up for our art classes,” said Peterson. “I started talking to them about ArtHop and they were really excited. So, it just kind of turned into a [Clovis] Community Education showcase and we ended up with quilting, pottery, bonsai and all of our performing arts classes.”

As you walked from classroom to classroom, you couldn’t help but overhear the music coming from the school’s quad area. Rock fusion instructor Jaime Moreno had various groups covering 80s, 90s and 2000’s rock songs which added a youthful touch while also entertaining the adult crowd.

Children of all ages to seniors filled the halls and quad. Many sat and enjoyed a bite from food trucks, Quesadilla Gorilla and Raw Fresno, as they watched each performance.

The performance by a ventriloquist instructor captivated the attention of all. The humor she added to her performance was well executed, with reference to the city and what made the adult school special.

A few blocks away, at Clovis Regional Library, Cruz displayed his remarkable Sharpie art and gave participants the opportunity to make their own piece. Cruz maintains his interest in color through the study of color theory, a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.

The art pieces showcased by Cruz were captivating. Poster-size frames held vibrant pieces all with large amounts of detail and focus points. From a distance, the design of each piece resembled abstract shapes. From up close, the details appeared to be delicately executed.

Cruz was born in Fresno and has studied art for over 25 years. Growing up, his father Gilberto encouraged him to explore color, as it was a challenge for him.

Cruz is currently employed as an art counselor through Madera County Arts Council. There, he teaches youth his ink technique along with color theory.