Arts, in list form
What better way to honor the hard work and creative energy of our lovely arts town than shoving a year’s worth of art into a pre-formed box? Arts DEVOté actually prefers it that way. So, with no apologies, here it is, your Top Ten local art stories of 2006:
10. Norm Dillinger on TV: Local pointillist painter had Lumina, his home art environment, filmed for an upcoming episode of HGTV’s Offbeat America.
9. Chico Palio: The new anchor event for Artoberfest brought the horse-racing tradition of Italy’s Siena Palio to the parking lot of the Chico Municipal Building with community-created horses and flags.
8. Theatre, ETC.: Theater vets Shannon Beattie, Jeffrey Childs and Jeff Duncan started a community theater for the local kid community.
7. 10 Spot magazine: CN&R ex-pats Josh Indar and Carla Resnick created a beautiful, colorful, quarterly magazine devoted to the local arts.
6. Public art: From mosaic benches downtown to chess tables in the new City Plaza, the city of Chico is spending more on public art than ever. Look for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of new public art to hit Oakway Park, Forest Avenue and the City Plaza in the coming year.
5. 1078 Gallery, Crux Artist Collective get new homes: Chico’s two avant garde art galleries moved into new digs closer to downtown—the longstanding 1078 to the big and beautiful 820 Broadway building, and the up-and-coming Crux to the cozy shop at 1421 Park Ave.
4. Kay Grace Theatre Festival: The Alliance of Chico Theatres (ACT) brought community theater even closer together with a new tradition of free showings for a day in the memory of KCHO radio personality Kay Grace.
3. Art First Saturdays: This is kind of a little horn tootin’ on behalf of organizers CN&R here, but the real story is that there are 30-plus galleries and studios taking part in this new once-a-month mapped-out arts walk.
2. Downtown City Plaza: Love it or hate it, our newly unveiled downtown centerpiece is big news. How it looks and was designed will be a topic of discussion for years to come.
1. Artoberfest: Based on the scope of the project alone, this one’s a no-brainer. Friends of the Arts honcho Debra Lucero and the city of Chico’s work at creating a cornerstone arts event for Chico took a huge leap forward this year by being more inclusive than ever.
But wait, more highlights:
Avenue 9 Gallery’s Chico Icons group show. Chilling in the sunshine at the Chico Art Center’s hands-on art stations during Chico World Music Fest. All Fired Up, a new ceramic arts center, opened up at 830 Broadway. Chico State’s Court Theatre returned this summer after a one-year hiatus. The Butte Art and Design Digital Outdoor Gallery (BAD DOG) was unveiled on the Butte College campus and at Second and Broadway in downtown Chico. Chico State piano badass John Milbauer covered John Cage’s prepared-piano pieces at the 1078 Gallery. Chico Performances, the Blue Room Theatre, Chico Cabaret and Chico State’s School of the Arts kept their traditions of energetic, high-quality scheduling alive and thriving. And, if he may, Arts DEVOté would also like to point out that the Palais Idéal fest was a pretty overwhelming and inspiring four days of experimental art that he is still recovering from.
Chico Art Center (50 years), Chico Performances (25 years), 1078 Gallery (20 years).
This column is dedicated to the local artists who passed away in 2006: Franz Cilensek, poet, illustrator, calligrapher, “philosopher king,” and Santa Claus; Dorothy Wilson, Chico State professor emerita, music education—advocate for arts education for children; Winston Megorden, Chico State professor emeritus, art/art history.