Archive for the ‘Display & Exhibits’ Category

Mithila Paintings

Exhibition: March 8 through April 9, 2010
Reception: March 11, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Inside the Pete P. Peters Ellipse Balcony, 3rd floor in the Library is a beautiful collection of photographs about the artists of Mithila who live in northeastern India. 

Madden Library

For centuries the rural women in northern Bihar and the adjacent southern Nepal have decorated the walls and floors of their humble dwellings on the occasions of the birth of a child, Yagyopavitra (the thread ceremony to initiate spiritual learning), and marriages, among many other festivals.

joan sharma

 joan sharma    

joan sharma

About the artist: Joan Sharma received a Master’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a BFA degree from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. During her junior year at Temple University, Sharma studied In Rome, Italy. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and India. These experiences have contributed to her awareness and understanding of the interconnectedness of our global community. She teaches color theory, photography, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional design as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at California State University, Fresno.
Sharma’s oil paintings reflect her passion for the subtleties of color and light. She recently installed fourteen 9’ x 3’ acrylic paintings on paper in the windows of the Warnors Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Fresno as part of a CCAC public art project. The most recent body of photographs was taken during her Spring 2009 sabbatical trip to visit the artists of Mithila in the Madhubani region of Bihar State, India.


Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

Location:  Henry Madden Library (2nd floor)

Date: Feb. 22 to March 16, 2010

On Feburary 24, 2010, AFSA (Asian Faculty and Staff Association) at Fresno State officially openned the Exhibit with a Tea Social at noon. Dr. Franklin Ng was the speaker. About 80 people showed up for the reception.

AFSA Tea SocialOpenning of the Exhibit

The Pursuit of Beauty: California Indian Baskets & The Art of Ansel Adams

PICT0610The Henry Madden Library is a safe haven for history. It houses an array of books that tell of years past, of fallen civilization and celebrated victories. It’s very design, that of a basket to represent the rich native history of the land, praises the details of past years. With the library’s latest exhibit, The Pursuit of Beauty:  California Indian Baskets & The Art of Ansel Adams, however, it can now boast of being one of the most culturally aware building on campus.display

Housed in the picturesque Ellipse room, the exhibit showcases photographs by Ansel Adam, the innovative artist who captured some of the most beautiful shots of the nearby Yosemite Valley ever to be taken, and breathtakingly intricate baskets crafted by California Indians. This blend of seemingly very different aspects of art is what the exhibit calls the “celebration of the land from which they came.” And indeed, as one wanders among the photographs and impressive baskets, one can feel the weight of the history and beauty they represent.

The photos by Adams are all of the natural beauty that can be found through the state, and most focus on the very valley that Fresno State calls home. PICT0648What is most striking, however, isn’t the gorgeous wilderness, but the very honest angles that Ansel used to frame his photos. An onlooker can almost feel the mist on their face as they stare at the photos of the river. This sensation is undoubtedly highlighted by the fact that this same onlooker can see their own reflection when they stare at the photo. They literally look as if they are there in the snow covered valley or watching the sunrise. One of the most interesting aspects of the displayed photographs involves the dates on which they were taken. Photos range from 1919 to 1946 to 1964, across so many periods of turmoil and change in American history. It is almost as if Adam’s photographs are comforting reminders that, even if American’s are fighting foreign enemies abroad or racism at home, the natural, calm beauty of its landscapes is unwavering and infinite.

The baskets, which are encircled by these photographs, are astonishing by themselves. Said to exist to tell “the legend of a people,” they appear to do just that. An onlooker can wander so very close to these works of art, these testaments to a culture so unlike our own, one with its own customs and marvels. It appears as if one recieves a gift of insight when they see the pieces so cleverly weaved.


Speaking of cleverly weaved, one could say the same about the room itself. Designed to mimic they very baskets it now holds, the entire room is surrounded with smooth, sleek, and smart wooden pannels that mirror the strands or raw, earthy materials that weave together to make such interesing baskets. Thus, the entire experience of the exhibit comes full circle.

PICT0615When the producers of the event gave it a name, The Pursuit of Beauty, they must have known that they had, indeed, found it.