The Fresno Art Museum is open again, reinventing itself amid the pandemic, and getting ready to stage a blockbuster exhibit early in 2022.
Drum roll, please.
Among the artwork en route is an Andy Warhol exhibit. It is titled Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop, Works from the Bank of America Collection and features an extensive collection loaned free to the museum from Bank Of America’s corporate art collection.
“This display of art in Fresno, I think is a really unique, rare opportunity to have this exhibit come to a suburban size market,” said Marisa Moore, Bank of America’s local market executive for Fresno and Visalia.
Warhol Exhibit Will Feature His Iconic Pieces
The museum and the bank have been working to bring Warhol here for several years. The exhibit is comprised of 94 artworks representing 12 portfolios and individual prints by Warhol. Among them: the iconic soup cans, as well as magazine covers from Warhol’s Interview magazine.
Fresno Art Museum curator Sarah Vargas says she hopes that Valley residents will be excited about the variety of art coming to Fresno. She says the exhibit is an opportunity for younger people to become acquainted with Warhol’s art.
“Some of these portfolios focus on really significant individuals from our history and I know a lot of people are already very familiar with Andy Warhol. He’s a very popular artist, very well known,” said Vargas. “I think that it’ll be a huge introduction for a lot of the younger students that are coming through our museum, especially because we have such a large educational program and we see so many schoolchildren.”
The exhibit runs from Feb. 5 to June 26, 2022.
Warhol, a leader of the Pop Art movement, was an American artist, film director, and producer. He died in 1987 at the age of 58. The highest price paid for a Warhol work is $105 million for the serigraph Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster).
Pandemic Accompanied by Digital Expansion
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the museum to close in March 2020. During the downtime, museum leaders brainstormed ways to remain accessible to the community, said Michele Pracy, the museum’s executive director.
“There was a silver lining about the pandemic — we had to go digital or die,” said Pracy. “We won’t worry so much now if someone can’t visit us in person.”
The museum started school tours in November, and while tours now happen at a much smaller scale, the museum has found a way to survive and even thrive in a post-pandemic world.
“The museum exists to serve the public and without the public, it was very empty and quiet,” said Vargas. “So we are so happy that people are once again coming in and enjoying the art that we hold in trust for this community and that we want to share.”
Bank Of America Promotes Museum Visitorship
The museum and the bank have worked together for more than 30 years to bring popular and unique artworks to Fresno. As part of the partnership, Bank of America offers their Museums on US® program. It allows Bank of America cardholders to visit various museums in the country for free on the first weekend of every month.
“The arts matter, and Bank of America recognizes the value that museums and exhibits bring to the local economy and to creating cultural connections in the community,” said Mark Riley, President of Bank of America Fresno/Visalia. “So we’re very excited to be able to lend our Andy Warhol collection to the Fresno Art Museum, a longtime partner of ours who can soon display these iconic works to the public.”
The Fresno Art Museum is at 2233 North First St. (next to Radio Park, between Clinton and Yale avenues).
Current hours are Thursday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All visitors are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
For information on additional exhibits coming to Fresno in 2022, visit their exhibitions page.