The Creative Center’s art gallery is teeming with ‘weird creatures’ in new exhibit


Exhibit opens March 1 at the Jon Ginsburg Gallery in Visalia

By Nancy Vigran
Reporter for the Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – The Jon Ginsburg Gallery is going to the dogs. Quite literally. In concert with its Weird Creatures Art Show opening Friday, March 1, the Gallery is hosting a community dog show.

Like many of the shows at the Gallery, “Weird Creatures” was inspired by common themes that our artists currently produce,” said Stevi Daniels art marketing director for the Galley and the Creative Center. “I noticed that a lot of animal art has accumulated this year.

“Our artists have a very unique way of seeing things. Their animals are not average animals; a rooster that looks like a dragon or a dog that looks like a mythical creature with six legs. I’m fascinated by these weird creatures, so I decided to put them together as a cohesive show.”

The dog show came as a second thought.

“I love dogs, and I know many of our clients do as well,” Daniels said. “It’s hard to find places in Visalia that invite dogs. This is a fun opportunity for people to do so!

“The dog show is lighthearted and easy. I wanted anyone to be able to participate, and I thought this would be the perfect, quirky addition to an art show about strange-looking animals.”

Potential dog entrants are asked to be socialized and friendly. They also should be healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations.

The first class starts at 5:30 p.m. with the Best Wag; following at 5:50 will be the Best Trick. The Best Dressed will be judged at 6:10, followed by the Cutest at 6:30, and the Ugliest at 6:50. Rounding off the evening’s dog events will be the dog Who Looks Most Like His Owner, well, or vice versa at 7:10.

Each class has a $5 entry fee. Pre-entry is suggested. Onsite registration may be available, room permitting. All entrants must remain on leash at all times, and owners will need to clean up after their dogs.

Weird Creatures
From 5:30 to 8 p.m. visitors are also welcome to browse the gallery’s Weird Creatures on its opening night. The show features the artwork of Gary Hovannisian, and other members of The Creative Center.

Gary’s piece, “The Dragon,” was selected to appear on the advertising poster for the show. But, it’s not really a dragon, it’s a rooster, he said. It was named “The Dragon” because it looks vaguely like a dragon, Daniels said.

Gary, who has been with the Creative Center for more than 30 years, is looking forward to the dog show portion of opening night. 

“I’m excited to come to the dog and art show,” he said. ”I will be there with a table of my art. I’m excited for the dogs!”

Another featured artist is Beverly McMahan, who tends to work very slowly and thoughtfully, Daniels said. Her piece is called “A Drink in a Dry Place” which took about six months to create.

Yet still another artist whose work will be on display is Richard Burdge, who almost always creates animals from the “Great Outdoors.” 

“Deer, elk, wolves, horses, and antelope often make it into his work,” Daniels said.

Weird Creatures will be on display with artwork available for purchase through the month of March.

The Jon Ginsburg Gallery is located on the Creative Center campus at 410 E. Race Ave. in Visalia. For more information or to register, call 559-733-9329 or message @CreativeCenterVisalia on Facebook or Instagram.

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