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Fresno Art Museum Is Where the Wild Things Are Happening
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By Anya Ellis, Berkeley Correspondent
Published 9 months ago on
July 26, 2023

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Artwork from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” will greet visitors at the Fresno Art Museum’s reopening on Saturday.

“You know, grandparents and children have read it,” said museum executive director and chief curator Michele Ellis Pracy. “This is a celebration of this incredible book being in our world for 60 years.”

The exhibition contains a variety of works from Sendak: concept sketches, works on paper, and illustrations selected from private collections and friends of Sendak. The exhibit also includes the diverse art forms for which he became famous — including children’s literature, animation, and set design for opera, theater, and film.

In addition, the museum will showcase highlights from Sendak’s career. He illustrated more than 100 books and received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Award, a National Book Award, a Newberry Medal, and a National Medal of Arts.

Interactive Gallery

“The gallery is interactive including interactive trees, a cut out of Max (the main character from “Where the Wild Things Are”) for kids to put their face in, a boat built from scratch that families can sit in,” Ellis Pracy said. “I think that seeing the pages come alive will make the book come alive again.”

The exhibit will remain at the museum through Jan. 7, providing ample time to involve children from throughout the community. Beginning next month, third-grade students from Fresno and Sanger unified school districts, in small batches, will get to explore the museum in the mornings. When they’re done checking everything out, they’ll be offered a fun project based on what they have learned.

Live reading events are also planned.

“We always consider our visitors. … we really care about the youth in our area,” said Ellis Pracy, explaining the motivation for securing the Sendak exhibit

Beginning Saturday, the museum resumes its usual hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. It has been closed for exhibit changes.

For those eager to see and hear about the museum’s new exhibits, the opening reception is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free for members and $20 for non-members.

Bank of America Supports the Arts

If you are a Bank of America, Merrill, or Bank of America Private Bank credit or debit cardholder, you are provided free admission to the Fresno Art Museum and Arte Américas on the first full weekend of each month. The next time this offer is available will be Aug.5-6.

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Anya Ellis,
Reporter/Researcher
Anya Ellis began working for GV Wire in July 2023. The daughter of journalists, Anya is a Fresno native and Buchanan High School graduate. She is currently at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in film and media studies and minoring in creative writing. She plans to pursue her masters in screenwriting after graduating. You can contact Anya at anya.ellis@gvwire.com.

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