Crowds gathered inside the M Street Art Complex on Feb. 2 to meet the new members of Gallery 25: Iris Duarte, Judith Goulart, and Jeanette Goulart.
The complex in downtown Fresno was open to the public during February’s first Thursday ArtHop and holds multiple pieces from the artists who are using their art to tell stories of environmental issues, personal growth and freedom of expression.
“I always wanted to be an artist since I was a little girl,” Jeanette Goulart said. “This is my calling.”
Goulart represents freedom of expression in very personal ways through her art with acrylic paint. Pieces that were already sold hung on the wall next to those that were still available, each one embodying a different meaning or personal stage in her life.
“You struggle until you get to a place where you’ve flourished, and I’m there,” Goulart said.
An emotional Goulart said that she knows she is finished with a piece of art when she takes a step back and feels joy that is when it is complete.
Across from Jeanette Goulart’s exhibit is Fresno State alumna Duarte’s gallery of artwork with encaustic paints.
“I have been working with this medium for 15 years and I can tell you I am still learning,” Duarte said. “It is an amazing medium. It gives luminosity, it gives texture. There’s just an endless amount of things you can do with it which is why it appeals to me as an artist.”
Encaustic paints are made up of heated beeswax, damar resin and pigment. Originating from Ancient Greece, the artistic technique is one of the world’s earliest art forms. Duarte uses this art style to exemplify social and environmental issues.
“Right now, what inspires me to create art is what’s going on in our planet,” Duarte said.
She dedicated a full wall to environmental issues and said each person has a role to play when it comes to the environment. More of Duarte’s work include symbolism of the lotus flower and representation of the cosmos.
Parallel to Duarte’s showing is Judith Goulart’s fine art photography exhibit, inspired by the Central Coast.
“The reason that it is called fine art is because of the ink it is printed on and because the paper is hundreds of years old,” Goulart said.
Giglée prints hang on the wall with enchanting colors of starfish captured by Goulart from a trip she took in Carlsbad with her son.
An engaging fine art print of waves hitting the pier is the photograph Goulart calls her favorite. Capturing this image caused her to fracture her vertebrae after she took a step backward and fell on the rocks.
“It’s kind of been a blessing,” Goulart said. “It has taken a year to recover, and through the process I’ve been able to have more time to do my photography.”
Goulart said it is a dream come true to have her artwork displayed.
The New Member Exhibit will run through Feb 25. A second reception will be held on Feb 11 from noon – 4 p.m.