“Olivia Regina” by Victoria Sulski

“Olivia Regina” by Victoria Sulski

Still open
You thought you were done? Hah! Just because you visited 59 art studios and galleries in two days doesn’t mean your art-walking is finished. Far from it. This past weekend was just the first of four for the Open Studios Art Tour this year. Next up is the Paradise installment, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, to be followed by Oroville the next weekend, and the special county-wide “bonus weekend” after that.

As I sought out a piece of representative Paradise art to go along with this little shout out to the Ridge, I came across the Web site of No. 66 on the Open Studios map, Victoria Sulski ( and her colorful paintings of landscapes, portraits and mythology. There’s also a link on her site that takes you to a blog called Friends of Victoria, which is a kind of support and information page for her and her loved ones. Sulski, it turns out, has cancer, and according to the latest update is in Palo Alto receiving treatment at Stanford Medical Center.

Apparently, the doctors don’t yet know the type of cancer, and in light of that uncertainty, Sulski sees an opening for things to take a turn for the better, and she’s asking her friends to do the same. From the blog: “She asks that we visualize with her that space in which nothing is fixed, and in it create the possibility of healing; a new template for reality.” I’m on board. If you visit no other studio, stop in at No. 66 (her husband, Peter, is coming home to open the doors) and make your presence felt.

More rock PROPS
CN&R contributor, KZFR deejay and bona-fide local rock legend Barbara Manning made a guest appearance on the Fillmore stage with Calexico during the Sept. 28 sold-out performance by the Tucson, Ariz. rockers. Of course, Bobbie knows the guys from their days as her back-up band on two of her studio albums, and the band backed her again as she rocked one of her new songs, “Better by Bounds,” a tune Manning is playing with her latest crew, Champion. “It was truly goose-pimply giving,” she said. “The audience roared with applause and I felt like a million bucks.”

Also got an e-mail tip from my gloriously bearded friend Dan Greenfield last Thursday that former Chico drum stud Joey Ficken (of Land of the Wee Beasties and Swords Project fame) might be appearing on David Letterman that night with Beck. Alas, Joey didn’t make it on stage, but the rumor is that as Beck’s drum tech he’s been making the occasional stage appearance on percussion. But, according to papa Chris, he at least got to hang out with Bill Murray in the dressing room. Yeah Chico!

The new cinema
Arts DEVO is not really the venue for discussing the rights and wrongs of the Po-Po’s adventures in Party Town, USA, this past weekend, but it is the perfect place in which to share observations on the instantaneous guerrilla cinema streaming across his monitor in the aftermath.

From YouTube, CHICO RIOT 2008, by Caitlinequalsawesome:

Flame on!

Scene: A bouncing crowd gathers around a flaming couch in the middle of the street. Suddenly, young males in the crowd descend upon the bonfire, flying bravely through the flames to the delight of the onlookers.

Dude in the crowd: “This shit is fucking nuts.”

Dudette [to Dude]: “Hey, baby.”

Dude: “Somebody’s going to catch on fire, and I’m going to laugh! How much do you love this town?”

Dudette: “Cops are coming. Woo-ooh!!!”

Dude: “What are you going to fucking do about it?”

Other noteworthy dialogue samples include the spirited crowd that switches from chanting “Fuck the police!” to “Fuck some chicks!” in Chico State “riot” 2008, by jessmt on YouTube, and the much more sober observations in Rachel Marie’s Welcome to Chico State on MySpace: “We are going to leave before we get in trouble by the cops …or get raped.”

Who says one of the top-10 art towns can’t coexist with one of the top-10 repressed party towns? The dramatic tension is sublime!