Arts DEVOté

Watts Towers

Watts Towers

A horse is a horse of course
Take a minute and put yourself in another time—a time in the not-too-distant future, when the leaves turn and the North Valley’s summer heat slowly gives way to … Artoberfest! It may seem a little early to be thinking about October and all the art it has to offer, but you don’t want to be caught with your stirrups in the barn (whatever that means). Get your team together now and start building your art horse to race around the City Plaza during the Chico Palio opening festivities. Contact organizers for guidelines:; (530) 228-2860.

Vision Quest 2007
Arts DEVOté has been taking advantage of the sleepy summer by spreading his DEVOtions beyond the Chicosphere the past few weeks. The most recent excursion was a meandering three-day trek around California, from Simon Rodia’s insane “Nuestro Puebelo” (aka “Watts Towers”) in the heart of lovely Watts, to A.D.’s childhood home of Hemet (home of the green-painted-rocks-instead-of-grass front yard), followed by a marathon drive through Mojave National Preserve, up the Lost Highway, across Death Valley and then all over the mighty Yosemite National Park. Almost too much inspiration in too little time. The biggest surprise was the stark and other-worldly Death Valley, which is now A.D.’s destination No. 1 for the next getaway.

Meanwhile …
Back on the home front, the impending return of Student Nation has local arts organizations finalizing their plans for the coming season. The newly reshaped Blue Room crew has announced its new offerings. So far things look really great—maybe a little more mainstream in places, but just barely. The season opens Sept. 6 with Doubt: A Parable (one of three Pulitzer Prize-winning/nominated selections on the schedule), a story of new-world vs. old-world values in the Catholic church, and is followed by the off-kilter comedy Kimberly Akimbo (opening Oct. 4), about a teenager who looks four times her age due to a disease that accelerates her aging. See the entire schedule

Death Valley Junction

Also showing off an impressive lineup of arts fun for the upcoming semester is the crew at the Crux Artist Collective. Wet your wacky whistle this week with Angry Inch Night, featuring local bands covering tunes from Hedwig and drawing and costume competitions (Fri., Aug. 10, 7 p.m.). Other highlights include a Burning Man “Preburn” dance party/costume contest (Aug. 18), Swass: The Artwork of Ayejay and Faydog (opening Aug. 30) and a hip-hop battle in September. More info at

Weekly Devotions (City of Chico edition)

Colors of Nature: Photographs of Upper Bidwell Park by John Peters throughout the Chico Municipal Building.

Art in Public Places: The committee meets Fri., Aug. 10, at 3:30 p.m. in city managers’ conference room 1 on the third floor of the Chico Municipal Building.