by Tom Sims
Tom Sims covers the Tower District, Downtown Fresno, and Old Town Clovis in his monthly column Strolling the Town.
We feel these are three areas in this Valley that are filled with history, culture and interesting stories. So join us each month as Tom goes Strolling!
A year ago, Craig Scharton opened a little spot on the Fulton Mall in Fresno where other businesses have tried and failed. As the chief advocate of downtown at City Hall, he decided to put his money and his life where his words had been for some time and he opened Peeves Public House.
Now, celebrating a year in business, Peeves is a neighborhood market, a venue for musicians, a room for community gatherings, a showplace for art, a place to eat and drink, and a one-stop bulletin board for community information. Peeve, the dog, the Pet Peeve, still presides, but Peeve’s the Place has taken on a life of its own.
Now it has attracted another public person with a long record of service, to showcase his second life and developing passion – photography.
Juan Arambula has served a number of elected roles from School Board to County Supervisor to State Assembly member. He earned the Rose Ann Vuich Award for Ethics in Leadership in 2002.
A Harvard graduate, Arambula also received a Masters in Educational Administration and Public Policy from Stanford and a Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley. His parents were farm workers and he has always remembered his roots in the Central Valley.
Now, Arambula, a world traveler and observer of life, is celebrating his retirement career and following his passion as a photographer.
Scharton has opened the Peeves venue to Juan Arambula’s work for the entire month of October. He opened on October 1 with a reception and was part of Arthop on October 2.
And Peeve (the pet) is wagging his tail in excitement.
Craig Scharton says, “Juan Arambula has served our community in multiple roles as an elected official. Now in retirement, he is getting a chance to follow his creative passion…photography.”
Scharton also observed, “Our region’s best educated and biggest-hearted legislator/leader has proven to be a renaissance man. While claiming to be retired, he has developed a burgeoning talent and passion for photography. Come see his work!”
Peeves is always on the Arthop. On a recent visit, barista-in-chief, Sol told me that “It is rare for the walls to be bare.”
Wonderful young lady that she is, Sol laughed when I observed that she was a poet and ought to know it. She recalled meeting Arambula last week and said, “He is one of the kindest men I ever met.”
If you cannot get to Peeves, and you should, you can see some of Juan Arambula’s work on Flickr.
Mr. Arambula enshrines deserts in bloom, Baja sunsets, and family altars. He interprets what he sees with a sensitivity to people and to place. He aims his lens at that narrow scape of reality that captures his heart and then he captures our hearts.
He peeks around corners, stares through gaps between objects, and stands amazed in the open spaces where there are no distractions or obstructions.
Reflective moments of reflecting ponds are recorded for posterity. Harmonious sounds are engraved with light through the shutter of the artist’s point and click response.
Juan Arambula sees the world with the artist’s eye and paints the truth of what he sees with vivid colors and breathtaking immediacy.
There are places you have been, places you hope to go, and places you can only imagine.
Juan Arambula takes you on a journey. You gladly go along and you want to return again and again. His work is worth a glance followed by a gaze followed by more than a passing thought.
For days and hours go to the website: Peeves.