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HANFORD — A little piece of Yosemite is coming to Hanford.

The Yosemite Renaissance, a traveling art exhibit, opens at the Kings Arts Center tonight. A festive reception will welcome the exhibit, now in its 33rd year.

“This particular Yosemite Renaissance exhibit is even more inspiring than last year’s truly excellent exhibit,” Kings Art Center Executive Director Bruce Kane said in a release.  “Its submissions evoke both a peaceful celebration of Yosemite’s beauty and a passionate desire to experience some of the more obscure parts of the Sierra Nevada first hand.” 

The annual exhibit was founded in 1985 in order to "motivate artists to develop diverse interpretations of Yosemite and its varied landscapes," according to its website, YosemiteRenaissance.org. A variety of mediums are utilized to capture the visions inspired by the Central California Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park. 

Every year, artists from around the nation submit their work to be adjudicated by Central California curators and experts. The assembled judges then select the best pieces to include in the exhibit. 

The exhibit begins public showings in Yosemite at the Yosemite Valley Art Gallery before traveling around the state. Paintings, sculpture, textiles, photographs, prints, paper craft and other three-dimensional works are all represented in the collection.

Hanford’s Kings Art Center has hosted the travelling exhibit throughout its 26-year history. Prior to the founding of the Art Center, the exhibit was displayed in the old Kings County Jail building, hosted by the Kings County Art League, which now operates in partnership with the Kings Art Center to encourage the on-going work of local artists and artisans. 

 “The most recent travelling exhibits have really represented an ever-increasing quality,” Kane said.

The Yosemite Renaissance seeks to inspire new generations to understand, preserve and protect wild lands and natural places by sharing the creative vision of these artists, officials said in a release.

The Kings Art Center exhibit will run through July 21 before moving on to Turlock and then Oakhurst.

Tonight’s opening reception is planned for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Ample hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be available along with live music from jazz artist Chris Williams. 

The opening reception is free to the public because of the sponsorship of Athena Financial and Jan and Jenny Kahn.

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