Stories From The Road

Summer in the Central Valley is a time to celebrate the beauty, flavor and culture of the region. Continue reading Stories From The Road

Splat on a wall

Visual art isn’t just the stuff hanging high on museum walls, far from human interaction. Art has outgrown its canvas; it’s poked its way into cracks and crevices. It’s the pictures slapped onto garbage cans, etched onto shop walls, and plastered on bus stops.

Like elsewhere around the world, this generation of artists continues to push the envelope regarding the media they make use of.

According to purists, graffiti is strictly defined as writing that is etched or sprayed on public spaces, whereas pictures and illustrations are thought of as street art. But today the two terms are used almost interchangeably. The fusion of these varied art forms was quite natural. graffiti-4-white.jpg Tagging

In recent years, artists realized galleries are no longer the place for art, and that the street is the contemporary place for expression. It speaks to a wider audience. From cave paintings to the murals of Mexico’s Diego Riviera, who painted enormous murals in public spaces, but, admittedly, was commissioned by governments to do so, public art serves the population. Diego Riviera

In Fresno at least it brings a neighborhood together. We’ll examine those cracks and crevices of art, murals, history and even taste our way through the Cultural Art District (aka Mural District) on Saturday morning. You can come along by getting your tickets at

and then there’s Frick

What parent would name their kid….? none! You all know how nicknames come along; some stick. Makes for conversation, you know? So on to the who is…..

After years of driving his parents crazy playing electric guitar and bass for hours on end in his room, Erick aka Frick, grew up to play for punk bands such as The Martyrs and Our Lost Cause. IMG_0070 Now he’s performing with the bluegrass band The Old Tire Swingers and occasionally leads adventures into the cultural arts district for us. Old Tire Swingers
So, check out the band some time soon after they get back from their European tour and then maybe come along on the Taste of Graffiti adventure with Frick some time. IMG_0027

Magical Music

Mozart’s Magic Flute is a fairy tale and a philosophy; it is an adventure-rescue story and political commentary. It is, simply stated, an endlessly fascinating work of art!

The Magic Flute has been described as an opera with its head high in the clouds and its feet planted firmly on the earth. Designed to entertain the decidedly unroyal audiences, the opera also had a profound moral purpose to improve, to inspire, and to enlighten.

Today, the story is a charming and tasty entertainment, just as the character Papageno accepts his simple pleasures – a good meal, lots to drink, and a loving wife. Or, you may find in The Magic Flute the message that things are not as simple as they may seem…. that an internal struggle is at work within us, and that faith, love, truth and wisdom will enable man to prevail in that internal struggle.

Viewing Mozart’s enlightened world through his work we are invited to be free actors able to create our own destinies just as the characters in the opera are able to influence their own lives. Stop in and visit it at City Hall some time.
Meanwhile you can join us for the next weekends Taste of Graffiti walking tour either Friday night or Saturday morning. Want a big discount? Click on over to Brown Paper Tickets…. but hurry… discount sales end on TH.

Natatorium. A What?

The Rainbow Ballroom on Broadway St was built in 1918, originally as the Fresno Natatorium, an indoor swimming pool.


Inside: A high dive platform over the massive pool with the latest spring dive boards, trapeze rings over the pool for stunts, dressing rooms and even a roof garden.

The end of that age has two historical accounts:
Longtime Fresno photographer Claude C. “Pop” Laval said the roof was destroyed in a fire in 1922 and the building was converted into a ballroom in 1924, but the book “Fresno County in the 20th Century” sets the pool’s closure in 1930.

All was not lost as the venue transformed into a hot concert location. This was the place to be with the likes of Glenn Miller, Harry James, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington, who recorded his popular “Skin Deep” there in 1952.

The Rainbow went on to become a concert venue with legendary rock acts including Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Carlos Santana Blues Band, Ike and Tina Turner Revue and Fleetwood Mac.

Today the Rainbow is still in use and a popular venue for Latin bands and alternative rock bands. We see the ol’ Rainbow and many other historic buildings on our Taste of Graffiti walking tour this weekend. You can choose either Friday evening or Saturday morning for a fun adventure. Regular price is $49 pp but you can get a huge discount if you book in advance on Brown Paper Tickets!