Three Degrees of Separation - Arte Americas Fresno - Women's Exhibition


on view through May 21, 2017

The Degrees of Separation Project is in an invitation-only exhibition that reinvents itself annually.  This marks the third stage of a five-year series that celebrates the diversity of work by women artists exclusively.  
For the series launch in 2015, the curators identified a group individuals with personal connections to previous exhibitions at Arte Américas that included artists, art collectors and gallery advisors. Each was asked to invite at least one woman artist that they knew personally to participate in an a show titled "One Degree of Separation."  The final grouping (including 'invitees') consisted of thirty-five women from throughout California. 

In 2016's iteration "Two Degrees of Separation" the project began to reveal its first artistic blossoms. Each of the previous year's ‘invitees’ could now suggest the name of another artist for the curator's consideration and artists from an even wider geographical base were included.  The show consisted of works by thirty-eight artists from cities in and around the Central Valley were showcased alongside others from Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Stockton, New York City, Taipei, Taiwan and Fukushima, Japan. 

This year, "Three Degrees of Separation" features forty-one women, primarily comprised of local artists. This is most diverse grouping in the series in terms of media and thematic substance; with a greater percentage of photographers and sculptors participating. The artists also include sisters from Stockton, Sacramento, Florida, and Los Angeles. 
Through a community collaboration, we  are also featuring an installation  that is made up of signs carried by local individuals at Women's Marches in  Visalia, Fresno, New York City, Oakhurst, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. 

The idea was initiated through a series of emails from Arte Américas supporter -- and former board member -- Phoebe Wall Howard to the exhibit's curator about how museums were taking in signs to create exhibitions.  

Fresno State professor Larissa Marcado-Lopez, PhD. helped to get people excited about the idea and coordinate an on-campus drop off point with  Women's Studies Program students assisting with intake on campus and at Arte Américas.  Our collaborators from WILPF also helped to bring in signs that were used in marches both near and far from the Valley.

The exhibition features hand-made paper, evocative installations, First Nations works, sculpture,schockingly  photorealistic paintings alongside abstracts.  The artists range in age from their 20s to their 70s and represent the spectrum of culture, heritage, background, and gallery experience.

The exhibition is timed to  coincide with National Women's History Month, opens on International Women's Day, and runs through Mother's Day. 
Degrees of Separation Team
Series Co-curator:
Rebecca Caraveo came up with the original concept for the series and plays a pivotal role each year in the exhibition's layout within the expansive gallery spaces. Rebecca is a photographer, musician, radio host, and Parisian tour guide.  She is also a member (and former President of the board) of Fresno's prestigious Spectrum Gallery.
Gallery Transition Lead:
Rose Ortega is a long-time volunteer can be seen in various leadership and supervisory roles at Arte Américas. But when it's time to prepare/repairs walls, patch, paint, or erase temporary murals, she can organize rotating teams of volunteers to knock out large painting projects quickly.  While she addresses all issues requiring power tools

Art Installation - Preparator:
Adam Mena uses a series of mathematical equations to hang each work of art so that it is centered to every other work of art on the walls.  He fine tunes the flow of works and carefully install extremely fragile works. Connected since he was an adolescent to Arte Américas through his mother/aunt's involvement in the Fresno County League of Mexican-American Women, he served as an intern in our galleries while completing his M.A. at Fresno State. He is co-founder the Fresno Art House and currently teaches art in Madera.

Curatorial Intern:
Emily Redondo is a student in the CSUF Art Department, photographer and member of Spectrum Gallery. She was incidentally a participant in last year's exhibition and invited by another experimental photographer. Her work is also included in the grouping and is on view currently at Spectrum.  


Chief Curator
Frank Lozano-Delgado

Curator's Statement 

When the series concludes in its fifth year (after "Five Degrees of Separation") anywhere from one hundred and fifty to two hundred women will have participated in the project. 

The dreamgoal (intention) is to host a multicity, multi-venue culmination exhibition in the sixth year titled to echo the commonly-known phrase “Six Degrees of Separation.All of the series  alumni would return to show their most recent works.  Each artist, gallery, and participant would be  one degree from Fresno, Arte Americas and – most importantly – each other.   

Another goal is to seek and acquire funding to tour smaller versions of this exhibition to Women’s Studies Programs across the United States -- delivered in custom crates. The exhibition would be customizable depending on the available square footage. The pre-packaged mini-exhibit – would com ecomplete with pre-printed title cards, literature, digital files for web usage, and links to videos where participating artists speak directly to the role of women in art.  

This project can be set free like a dove anywhere in the world.  I can imagine countless opportunities to re-establish the project in cities internationally and to track and observe the intersections.  Degrees of Separation in what would seem to be a random group of cities: Bangkok. Nashville.  Mexico City.  Havana. Barcelona.  The list is infinite.