Arts DEVOté

This is a horse of course.

This is a horse of course.

Riders ready?
Next week, October’s Artoberfest kicks off … in September? That’s right, the sprawling month-long collage of Chico artsiness officially starts with the two-day Chico Palio kick-off event Sept. 26 and 27. Day one features the outdoor community banquet in the City Hall parking lot Friday evening (call 228-2860 for ticket info), followed by Saturday’s day-long visual arts, music, theater and dance exhibition, and the signature horse-sculpture race that will circumnavigate the entire plaza at high noon.

If you want to taste that collective arts-community flavor, the Palio festivities are where it will all be, all at once. Just show up and drink it in. For the rest of the month, however, exactly how connected you feel to any potential Artoberfest vibe (whether you’re an artist or arts lover) depends on how much you take part. Arts DEVOté says, don’t wait for it to come to you—put your own horse in the race.

Allied forces
Speaking of art and collectiveness, the folks at Avenue 9 Gallery, along with all the big players in the local visual-art scene (Chico Art Center, 1078 Gallery, All Fired Up, etc.), have joined forces to create the new Chico Visual Arts Alliance, or ChiVAA (say it out loud—it’s kind of sexy). The goal of the collaboration is to serve as a link between artists and galleries, framing shops, cafés, etc. Plus, playing off the idea of the CN&R’s monthly Art First Saturday art map, the group also will create a permanent map that will be available to Chico’s visitors via hotels, restaurants and the Chamber of Commerce. Say (in your most passion-filled voice), “Hello ChiVAA,” at the alliance’s info booth during Chico Palio.

Sharing the spotlight
Chico loves Australian acoustic guitar shredder Tommy Emmanuel, and in his first local show since a three-night stint at the Sierra Nevada Big Room, Emmanuel will lay waste to his fret board on a different stage, the one at Chico State’s Laxson Auditorium (Friday, Sept. 19).

While Chico Performances’ Dan DeWayne gets the honor of introducing Emmanuel over Sierra Nevada’s Bob Littell this time around, the Big Room honcho is getting plenty of stage time with the acoustic virtuoso these days. The first by-product of Emmanuel’s marathon run at Sierra Nevada (a DVD, produced by Peter Berkow, and PBS broadcast are forthcoming), the double live CD Center Stage came out this past spring and features the harp-playing Littell on four straight songs. The second disc kicks off with Emmanuel asking, “Got anything to say there, Bob?” to which Littell replies like a freight train, blowing his way into the spotlight during “Working Man Blues.”

A.D. takes his hat of to Mr. Littell and his hometown harmonica.

Aka The Lorax, Marklar, Ace or Charles Markley.

One last devotion
I have something in my eye! By now you probably know that A.D.’s officemate, bandmate and BFFF Mark Lore is leaving the CN&R, and Chico, and burritos, and 109-degree July evenings for the inviting Pacific Northwest jewel of Portland, Ore. He’s still around for one more issue, but since this will be the last chance to embarrass him in print before he’s in Stump City sharing a microbrew with his sweet lady Alexis in a rose garden under the refreshing mist of a late-summer rain, A.D. has just one thing to say (as spoken by the wise Stanley Harvey Eisen): Through a dream I have a come to an ancient door (Lost in the mist!) / I have been there a hundred times or more (Pounding my fists!) / Now inside, the fire of the ancient burns / A boy goes in and suddenly a man returns.

Think about that and kick Portland’s ass.