The 2010 DEVO Award goes to …

2010: I think I overdid it.

2010: I think I overdid it.

The 2010 Arts DEVO awards Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for Arts DEVO’s year-end, random, local-arts-awards ceremony. The envelope, please …

Best challenge: Make 1,000 animals If you made one of those color-coded maps that showed Chico’s industries, in 2010 textiles would have a disproportionate spike thanks to Muir Hughes’ 1,000 Animals and Me art show at RAYRAY Gallery featuring the 1,000 unique stuffed creations that the industrious artist/designer made in a mere 2 1/2 months.

Best winner of an actual award: Stephen Gutierrez — Live From Fresno y Los, Gutierrez’s book of short stories (published by local Bear Star Press) was selected for a 2010 American Book Award.

Best local art advocates: Chico Paper Co.; Art, Etc.; Avenue 9 Gallery; Lyon Books; James Snidle Fine Arts; and The Vagabond Rose Gallery & Framing — The usual recognition for arts advocacy goes to nonprofit groups and volunteers, but these storefronts are actively stocking, selling and making money for local artists. Money in artists’ pockets? What a concept!

Best lyrics: (Tie) MaMuse and Garrett Gray & The Perpetual Drifters — Gray and company’s “For My Friends” is a nice snapshot of the heart of the local music scene (“Everyone here they gotta band and a guitar neck in their left hand … I don’t wanna make a scene/ I just wanna play until my fingers bleed for my friends”); and MaMuse’s “Springtime” is a nice snapshot of, well, spring doing its thing (“Boy, have mercy on me, it’s springtime … and all of my creeks are overflowing/ Flowing over former banks”).

Best community theater news: Jerry Miller at TOTR — The lion of the Chico theater scene takes over the reins of artistic director at Butte County’s oldest theater, Paradise’s Theatre on the Ridge. The new season’s lineup includes the Miller-directed Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (opens Jan. 20), plus Noel Coward’s Present Laughter (March 24) and I Love Piano (June), a celebration of the music of Irving Berlin. Visit for full schedule.

Best reunion: 28th Day, at Duffy’s Tavern —

The seminal psychedelic pop trio (and Arts DEVO’s all-time favorite Chico band) rocked better live than most of the rest this year—current hip kids included.

Best reason to toot our own horn loudly: CAMMIES turns 5 — For the fifth year in a row, the CN&R devoted its energies to filling the springtime air with song with its annual celebration of live, original music in Chico. Arts DEVO was actually allowed to steer the boat this year, and the ride was a lot of fun for an awful lot of musicians and music lovers (me included).

Best of Chico’s best: Arts DEVO’s year-end top five — 1. Soft Crest—members of History Invades and Belda Beast are making something beautifully lush and noisy—after witnessing them just once, they might be my favorite local band; 2. RAYRAY Gallery—Chico’s new, constant source for new art fun; 3. Eye Que & Live Assist—fun, funky and unpredictable live parties every time; 4. Aaron Belcher’s Gone Awry series of prints—shining lights on the elephants in the city (including the evocative “Halloween,” pictured); 5. Nothing at 1078 Gallery—featuring Brad Thiele’s provocative blank walls.

Gone in 2010 Paradise Performing Arts Center; The 46 art space; Nick’s Night Club; Dwight Frey as director of Chico State’s AS Live; Lorraine Dechter’s Good Ol’ Fashioned Folk Music Show (after nearly 30 years) on KCHO; artist/graphic designer/Dr. Becky Sagers DJ Matt Loomis, who took his talents to Huntington Beach. Local bands calling it quits: Gruk, The Secret Stolen, Watson 349, Rock Creek Jug Band. Local band calling an indefinite hiatus: The Makai.

New in 2010 RAYRAY Gallery; Origami Recording Lounge; Inspire School of Arts and Sciences; Chico Unified School District’s Center for the Arts; Feather Falls Brewing Co.

New again in 2010 Ol’ HawkEyes ArtShackle music/arts venue closes Nord Avenue location and reopens in a new warehouse on Park Avenue.

2010 anniversaries Theatre on the Ridge (35); Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (30); KZFR community radio (20); Chico Arts Commission (20); Chico Cabaret Theatre (10); Open Mikeful open mic night (10).

Rest in peace

• Greg Tropea: Chico State philosophy professor, peace activist, arts promoter, musician, poet and founder of Humboldt Studios

• “JD” Suino: Oldies 102.1 DJ and reporter

• John Bilinsky: KZFR board member and volunteer

• Brad Nalbone: Guitarist (Good Luck Tumwater), acoustic-music supporter and wrestling ref

• Ron Myles: Jazz scene supporter and father of local singer/poet Sarah Myles Spencer