The Arts Diva

And the winner is … Each year The Chico Art Center chooses an artist for the cover of its Open Studios Art Tour guide. Last year Dee Danley-Brown had a delightful fabric piece with lots of confetti and two magical, rash-inflicted hands. This year the lucky guy (the gender of the cover artist is alternated each year) is a painter.

The envelope please … and the cover goes to … Richard Whitehead. I’ve managed to get the faithful readers of this column a sneak peak at “Blackboard,” the painting that will grace the cover of more than 2,000 tour guides this year. Congratulations, Richard.

Hot party Speaking of the Chico Art Center, it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a hot event June 24 out at Johnson’s Country Inn. There was food, art, balloons, raffles, music and 105-degree weather. Steve Ferchaud presided over the cartoonist tent, drawing portraits of kids of all ages. I admit to being one of those kids. Many wonderful people braved the heat to help with and enjoy the festivities, which were organized by the CAC’s Debra Simpson and carried out by its board of directors and countless volunteers. The lovely and talented Christine Fulton captured the mood as she celebrated winning a raffle item with an improvised performance piece, dancing her way to the prize table.

No restraint Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint, a site-specific installation that takes up the entire fourth floor at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, includes a feature-length film, photography, drawing, video and sculpture. More than a few Chicoans have made the trek to S.F. to witness the work, and reports are glowing. Barney’s Web site hints at the wonder of his work. The show runs through Sept. 17.

Rat Pack The Chico Theatre Company is opening A Night at the Sands, a musical tribute to the Rat Pack, tomorrow (July 14), and I can’t wait. I’m a sucker for the old standards and am usually thrilled at the different interpretations of these songs by vocalists and instrumentalists (aside from Rod Stewart, but that’s a different issue). The CTC’s promo says “special guest appearances.” Do you think Sinatra will show? It runs through Aug. 12.

Carla Resnick is a self-proclaimed arts diva, writer and musician whose day job is gallery director at 1078 Gallery. Send juicy art tidbits or questions to <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>.