The Chris Sorensen Studio closed recently, with all artists in the space required to vacate the building by Monday. Photo by Ben Hensley

published on June 20, 2024 - 3:58 PM
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Earlier this year, renowned Fresno artist Chris Sorensen, known as Fresno’s “Man of Steel,” died at 98; last week news came down that Chris Sorensen Studio in Downtown Fresno was closing, forcing more than 60 local artists to move from the building they called home for years.

Now, at least one prominent Fresno family says that they will continue to not only support the studio and its artists, but reaffirmed their dedication to preserving Fresno’s artistic heritage.

The Caglia family, owners of local waste solution company Caglia Environmental, reassured the Fresno arts community that they remain committed to finding solutions that will benefit both the artistic community and Fresno as a whole.

“Our passion for the arts runs deep,” said Richard Caglia, owner of Caglia Environmental. “The Caglia family has supported the arts in Fresno for decades. We would love to see the Chris Sorensen Art Studio continue, but until such time that a viable entity comes together for the management of the gallery, unfortunately, this is the status.”

The Caglia family, whose efforts saved the Warnors Theatre from demolition by purchasing the Warnors Center in 1973, have long been supporters of the local arts community and businesses participating in the arts.

Epitomized by the dedication of the late Sally Caglia, the family announced in a press release Thursday, that it intends to preserve the mural of Chris Sorensen painted on the side of the studio as a tribute to his impact on the Fresno art community.

“The Caglia family has been good to Fresno and to my father,” said Chris’ son, John Sorensen. “There’s no bad guy in this situation, just a challenging set of circumstances.”

The Caglias said that they will seek collaborative opportunities with local organizations to find and maintain solutions to support Fresno’s art scene.

The studio sits at 2223 S. Van Ness Ave., approximately 1 1/2 miles south of the historic Downtown Fresno’s Mural District. Sorensen’s studio was the founding location for Fresno’s ArtHop.

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