Artoberfest preview

Artoberfest = big art month preview column!

The art horsies may have already lapped the City Hall parking lot at the Chico Palio kickoff event last week, but on the calendar Artoberfest technically begins today, Thursday, Artober 1. As we preview the art in store for the month, it seems worth asking whether the throwing of a frame around the calendar for October produces the best representation of Chico’s community of arts and culture. September, for one, is pretty good (Chico World Music Fest), and so is March, the heart of the spring semester. And what about May, with the CAMMIES!? October makes a really strong case though—with the university’s fall semester in full swing, all of the producers and players—community theaters, music promoters, local bands, university programming, slam poets, painters and random freaks and entrepreneurs—are arguably at their most productive. But for Arts DEVO, what probably puts this month on top as his No. 1 favorite community event of the year: the Open Studios Tour. Now taking place over five(!) weekends, the Chico Art Center’s annual tour (celebrating its 20th year) guides you to all of the art—in every gallery, on the walls of every restaurant and café and, best of all, in the studios of every artist. Let me put it this way: Open Studios is the one event in which just about every single artist in Butte County who is actively producing art will be taking part. I don’t know if we can top October. Here are the highlights—both on the official program, and off—as I see ’em (visit, and keep up with your weekly CN&R, for details):

Visual Art Oct. 1-31: Window Art Project (56 artists in windows of downtown businesses); Oct. 1-31: two shows, Debra Koppman’s I Saw the Strangest Things and Sue Richardson’s Once Upon a Time at Humanities Center Gallery; Oct. 1-30: Resonance: Music/Visual at The Turner; Oct. 3-Nov. 1: Open Studios Tour—opening reception at Chico Art Center (Oct. 3), Chico weekend (Oct. 10-11), Paradise (Oct. 17-18), Oroville (Oct. 24-25), bonus weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 1).

Art on sale Oct. 2-31: Janet Turner Museum benefit/exhibition featuring sale of prints and drawings by Turner at Avenue 9 Gallery; Oct. 3-4: Half-price sale of Norm Dillinger paintings (with proceeds going to buyer’s charity of choice) at his Lumina house; Oct. 8: 1078 Gallery Art Sale fundraiser featuring works by local artists for $50 set price.

Theater Oct. 1-17: Reservoir Dolls at Blue Room; Oct. 1-31: Rocky Horror Live at Chico Cabaret; Oct. 28-Nov. 1: Shakespeare’s As You Like It in Harlen Adams Theatre.

Oct. 24: “Thriller,” live dead

Dance Oct. 17-18: Rogue Theatre’s 24-hour Elephant Dance dance-a-thon/fundraiser at 1078 Gallery; Oct. 24: Thrill the World Dance—Chico’s contribution to a worldwide effort to break the record for the largest simultaneous dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will take place in the City Plaza.

Music Oct. 3: Blues and Brews Festival in Paradise Community Park; Oct. 4: Gillian Welch at Laxson, and Private Dancer (fun noise from St. Paul, Minn.) and Careerers at Empire Coffee (watch out for Empire, sneaking fun shows under the radar all month); Oct. 6: Del McCoury Band (bluegrass legends) at Big Room; Oct. 9: Thick and Thin Acoustic Music Fest (six voices, 15 instruments) at Chico Women’s Club; Oct. 11: Performance by Pamela Z (S.F. sound artist showing Audio: On at University Art Gallery Oct. 8-Nov. 13) in Wismer Theatre, and North State Symphony performs chamber music (including Malcolm Arnold’s Sea Shanties for Wind Quintet) in Rowland-Taylor; Oct. 16: Death of a Drummer—send-off for drummer Tino Marrufo (not dead, moving to L.A.) featuring Tino Special, Mute Witness and A.D. & The Puke Boots at the Down Lo; Oct. 21: Sphinx Chamber Orchestra and the Harlem Quartet in Laxson.

Oct. 4: Mim’s bazaar

Bonus art weirdness Oct. 3: Chico Community Labyrinth at Children’s Park; Oct. 3-25: Art-making workshops, plus the gallery and sculpture garden at The Art House; Oct. 4: Black Cat Bazaar—art, music, carnival games and more at Mim’s Bakery, and Cashore Marionettes at Paradise Performing Arts Center; Oct. 12-31: Jtown: An Interactive Artwork and Performance Series, presented by Janice Porter over three weeks at 1078 Gallery; Oct. 23-24: Art of Peace—two-day local fashion and food extravaganza presented by Boho boutique and Monks Wine Lounge & Bistro at The Frame (formerly TiON).