Pieces displayed were from the exhibit "Aileen Imperatrice—Mini Retrospective" as well as works by Chris Janzen, MFA, assistant professor of art at FPU.

"Art receptions like these are a great way to bring the creative community onto our campus, expose FPU students to standard practices of the art world, and celebrate the excellent professional work of Aileen Imperatrice," Janzen said.

In addition to showing her work, Imperatrice visited painting and drawing courses throughout the semester to speak with students. The aret department plan to showcase more local artists, senior art major thesis exhibitions and nationally touring exhibitions in the future. The FPU Art gallery is in Room 104 in Sattler Hall. Gallery hours are noon-4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Admission is free.

Born and raised in Fresno, Imperatrice became interested in art as a child and throughout her life has experimented with many different forms. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Arts/Advertising Design with a minor in Psychology from California State University, Fresno, and has worked professionally as a graphic artist, advertising coordinator and in IS administration, while staying involved artistically through exhibitions and auctions.

"As an artist I try to express the emotions and experiences I encounter in my daily life," Imperatrice says in an artist statement. "I feel a great need to put into visual form, images which enter my thoughts or that strike my attention. Often I find my greatest inspirations come from within my dreams. I wake to a strong image and quickly sketch it down before it escapes. Then I'll come back to it later and put it into the creative form I choose."

As a third-generation Mexican-American, Imperatrice sees her experience with two cultures as unique and valuable. "My impressions of what I have seen and felt up to this point greatly influence the way I express myself and how I choose to involve myself in the community," she wrote.

That community involvement includes work with the Fresno Arts Council, the San Joaquin River Parkway Trust, the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fresno Rogue Festival and the Fresno Coalition of Arts, Sciences and History, now the Valley Cultural Coalition. She is or has been a member of Arte Americas, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Creative Fresno and the Fresno Art Museum. Today Imperatrice consults with arts organizations, judges competitions and receives awards and recognition for her work locally, nationally and internationally.

More on Imperatrice at ashtreestudios.net/

More on the FPU art program at fresno.edu/department/art


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations