Renzi Artwork Survives Fire; Needs new home

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — The Fagbule Glass House that seemed to be a target for vandalism also had a prominent piece of art by a well-known local artist on one of the exterior walls.

The giant art piece behind me still appears to be standing…it’s called “A Day in the Park ” and it was installed by artist Clement Renzi. Art advocates who came to see the condition after the fire this morning are concerned about the demolition and question if the art will stay in one whole piece…

“My big concern is that at this very moment, that piece of art is in dire apparel,” said Bruce Kalkowski, board member with the Fresno Arts Council

This giant terra cotta art installation was completed in 1981 by well-known artist Clement Renzi. He passed away in 2009 but his legacy lives on in art displayed in public places across the country. Some of his work is featured in downtown Fresno along Fulton Street and in front of The Selland Arena.

“Anybody that’s familiar with artwork and art in Fresno know who Clement Renzi is,” Kalkowski explained

Now the question is whether his work on the Fagbule building is salvageable, and if so, what will happen to it?

“Renzi is one of the most famous artists in Fresno, his artwork goes back decades and it’s something that we really do want to preserve for our children and future generations,” said Andrew Janz, Fresno City Attorney.

The city does not own the building but is working closely with the owner, contractors, and demolition crews to keep the art in one piece and potentially find it a new home.

“We’re working with the Fresno Art Museum, we think they might be able to have the capacity to hold onto it,” explained Janz.

“People with the right skills, I think, can take out that whole wall intact, lift it up, put it on a trailer, and move it to some safe place, and then have it reinstalled in another public location,” added Kalkowski

Renzi created sculptures in his backyard studio in Fresno for decades before he passed away from cancer at the age of 84.

He also has prominent pieces on display still at Fresno State.

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