Arts Devo

Getting weird in Chico and adding color to gray of winter

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New weird worlds The CN&R got really lucky when we were looking for art for the cover of the Weird Chico issue. We stumbled upon the fantasy creations of Red Bluff photographer Natasha Root and found a wonderful world of strange characters that is at turns colorful and whimsical and dark and creepy. Root shoots her local subjects—including many belly and burlesque dancers from Chico’s weird-performer sphere—in natural settings and then transforms the scenes into fantastical ones by digitally manipulating the environment or the subject or both, with the purpose of creating a shot that “questions reality and brings imagination to life.” There are moon goddesses, mermaids, red-haired faeries, sirens in Big Chico Creek and even a baby nursing from mama vampire (who shows the bloody signs of having just nursed herself).

If you want to make some truly scary family portraits or place your wedding party in a Tolkein-esque fantasyland, drop Root a line at and schedule a consultation. And check out a gallery of her work at

Speaking of vamping There’s a most unfortunate (but not uncommon for Chico) conflict on the upcoming schedule of wonderful local weirdness. The CN&R’s Keep Chico Weird Talent Show is happening the same night as the centerpiece of the Vampires of Versailles Chico Coronation 2017, Saturday, Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m. at the El Rey Theatre for KCW; 6 p.m. at Chico Women’s Club for VOV). The coronation is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Chico chapter of the Imperial Court System, the worldwide LGBT charity organization. And the centerpiece of the event is the crowing of a new monarch, who this year will replace outgoing Queen Claudette de Versailles (search “Chico Coronation” on Facebook for the many details).

We at the newspaper of course want you to come get your freak on at our event, but if you were to choose something else, we fully support the good work (and the extravagant parties) of the ICS. Here’s to two fabulous productions making for a most colorful night in Chico.

RIP to Chico arts giant Just got word that longtime Chico painter Peter Jodaitis died on Jan. 5. He was 80 years old. Jodaitis moved to Chico in 1993 and has been one of the more prolific and respected artists in town over the last couple of decades. In February of last year, 1078 Gallery hosted Taking Stock, an impressive 50-year retrospective of the self-taught artist’s expressive, mostly figurative works, featuring 165 paintings and drawings in all. The Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home website has the most economical of obituaries: “Painter, sculptor, lover, husband, father, brother, friend.” As of press time there was no public memorial planned.