Arts Devo

Welcome to Chico, freaks

PUMA wrestler Hilary Tellesen

PUMA wrestler Hilary Tellesen

Welcome to the good life New to town? Dude, you don’t even know how good you got it. Perhaps you’ve relocated to Chico from the San Francisco Bay Area or the Southern California Megaregion, and maybe you’re concerned that the cultural offerings in this little island in Nor Cal’s sea of nothing won’t match those available in your home sprawl. Let Arts DEVO set your mind at ease. For art, music, theater and friendly freaks who like to make it and take it all in, Chico is a rad place that has, in anticipation of your arrival, packed the calendar with …

• Street art: The incredible Beyond the Frame group exhibit currently up at the Museum of Northern California Art.

• Underground music: Chico’s independent rock, punk, indie, folk, metal music scene is on fire right now, with regular touring acts joining the locals several nights a week at places like Naked Lounge (118 W. Second St.); The Maltese (1600 Park Ave.); Argus Bar + Patio (212 W. Second St.); Blackbird (1431 Park Ave.); Duffy’s Tavern (337 Main St.); and Tender Loving Coffee (365 E. Sixth St.). This week’s hot pick: a noise buffet Saturday, Aug. 18, at Naked Lounge featuring Venezuelan post-punks Zeta plus local experimental rockers West by Swan, rockers SPUN and metal heshers Aberrance.

• California soul: Two nights of extended jams from Chico’s favorite sons, The Mother Hips, Aug. 28-29, at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.

• Original, local, experimental theater: The Butcher Shop returns with “a free outdoor festival of original music, plays, film, art and dance” in the orchards at the End of Normal, Sept. 1-2.

• An East Bay rapper: MC and Golden State Warriors ambassador E-40 makes a triumphant return to Chico, Sept. 5, at the Senator Theatre.

• Grammy-nominated house music: EDM producer Zhu at El Rey Theater, Sept. 7.

• Cosmic funk: Los Angeles groove-makers Orgone live at Chico’s funkiest dance hall, Lost on Main, Sept. 13.

• Pussies Under Massive Attack: The PUMA female wrestling crew—led by local theater badass Hilary Tellesen—has been rehearsing its moves for two nights of body-slamming fun at Blue Room Theatre, Sept. 21-22. The high-flying act is seeking donations to help construct its set, so visit to donate, and find “puma_chico” on Instagram to follow the fighters’ training.

Andre the Giant has a posse But probably the most impressive art event on Chico’s horizon is the impending arrival of Shepard Fairey. As luck would have it, the world-famous graphic designer/activist/street artist is arriving in Chico this week with a crew to paint a “Peace” mural on the side of the Chico Peace & Justice Center’s building downtown. This is the culmination of a three-mural series in town that started with “Love” on the Lulu’s building and “Unity” on the side of the Boys & Girls Club, both painted by one-time Chico artist Jed Speer, who collaborated with the CPJC—and their successful GoFundMe campaign—to bring Fairey to town.

The artist behind some of the most iconic images of the last three decades—the Obama “Hope” poster, “We the People” prints, Andre the Giant “OBEY” stickers—will be creating one of his works on a wall right here in little ol’ Chico, and you can watch it go down this Sunday-Tuesday, Aug. 19-21, at 526 Broadway. Dope!