Winter Harmony: KCUSD’s Visual & Performing Arts Programs Illuminate the Season

by Jim Mulligan

As winter approaches and temperatures drop in the Valley, Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) is bringing warmth and vibrancy to the community through its Visual & Performing Arts (VAPA) programs. From elementary schools to high schools, the district's commitment to fostering creativity and artistic expression is evident in the diverse offerings that make up the VAPA umbrella.

The Art of The Real Tom Sawyer

by Lorie Lewis Ham

This week I am thrilled to be interviewing the wonderful Thomas B. Sawyer about his new book The Art of The Real Tom Sawyer. Many mystery fans know Tom from his work on Murder She Wrote and his mystery novels, but did you know he was also an artist/illustrator? He even worked with Stan Lee! I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

Engage Your Senses

by Molly Eide Marquez

Art is not meant to be purely visual; it should engage all of your senses. At least, this is the mission of Fresno artist, Ann Leedy.
Ann has always been an admirer of beautiful things, but didn’t truly understand her passion for art until adulthood. As a child, she enjoyed reading, writing, and drawing, and attended the California Guild of Arts and Crafts.

Art Mysteries

by Nina Wachsman

One can lead to the other—at least in the hands of a mystery writer. In my novel set in the seventeenth century, The Gallery of Beauties, an artist’s commission to paint the portraits of the most beautiful women in Venice stirs dangerous passions and leads to murder.

The Labyrinth Art Collective

by Lorie Lewis Ham

There is a black box theatre performance space on Van Ness in the Tower District that has hosted many different groups and gone by several different names since I started covering the arts in Fresno. Last year, something new started there called The Labyrinth Art Collective and recently we chatted with one of the people who run it, Alicia Rodriguez, to learn more about what they do. She runs it together with her partner Matt Comegys.

Reedley College Instructor Spotlight: David Hicks, Ceramic Artist

by Jim Mulligan

While his full-time job may be passing along the basics of his artistic and practical craft to students of all ages at Reedley College, David Hicks relishes in taking the bits and pieces of organic inspiration found in the Central Valley and creating both monolithic pieces and conglomerations of smaller parts with his medium of choice, inorganic clay.

A Mystery Wrapped in a Greater Mystery Wrapped in a Novel

by Lois Winston

For the eleventh book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, I created a story where I incorporate an actual crime that took place more than three decades ago. In 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston was burglarized. To this day, it is still considered the largest art heist in history. None of the stolen artworks, including the miniature Rembrandt self-portrait that plays a role in Guilty as Framed, have ever been recovered, and most of the suspects and persons of interest have since died.