Teen leads tours showcasing downtown Fresno's art

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Miranda Deis stood next to her favorite piece of art, Fresno's washing woman, as she led an art tour in downtown Fresno.

"(It's) is one of only six original castings in the world and the only one that visitors can touch," she said.

Le Grande Laveuse is a Renoir sculpture and the location of the original might surprise you. The corner of Mariposa and Fulton is now the Renoir corner and Miranda is making sure people know it.

The 14-year-old set out to lead the art tour highlighting some pieces that fit the surroundings perfectly, and others with volcanic origins.

The tours started as a Girl Scout project to earn her silver award for showing a dedication to make her community better.

"I also wanted to bring more people downtown to help revitalize downtown, so I thought having an art tour would be a good way to get kids downtown to enrich their lives with art and also to get parents downtown," Miranda said.

She studied up online, and got help from some experts, like Craig Scharton, who helped with some Fulton Street history on Saturday's tour.

"This is the oldest building in downtown. 1881," Scharton told the tour group.

Miranda's given the tour to hundreds of people over the years, including some from as far away as New York. But it's the locals she's hoping to see, and then see again.

"Most of the reactions I've gotten are people who thought downtown was just dead and no one is here. And some days it is like that, but they've realized that downtown has definitely changed throughout the years and for the better," she said.

She's posted her tour online if you want to do it alone, or you can wait for her next one.
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