Due to financial losses associated with the upkeep, Great Northern Coffee will no longer be in business as of December 31, 2019. Chico Art Center Board of Directors have loved sharing this adventure with the community. A volunteer transitioning committee will be developing new, income-based options for utilizing the train car. For questions or comments please inquire to Lisa Freeman-Wood email@example.com.
Open Studios Art Tour is an annual Butte County tradition. Artists share their private studios with the public to explore. This month-long event series is produced solely by Chico Art Center (CAC) volunteers as our major fundraising project of the year. Your participation and patronage pledges your commitment to visual artists in your region and helps make CAC's programming possible all year. Many thanks to our sponsor, Heithecker Financial and local businesses advertising in the Tour Guide Booklet. We hope you'll support local artists and businesses with your patronage.
Make A Date For Art!
"Make a Date for Art" is our theme for the 2020 Open Studios Art Tour (OSAT). We do not want to bypass this annual tradition. Both artists and the public look forward to this community favorite every year. With COVID-19 still active, we have adapted the Tour to accommodate required safety measures.
Online + Studio Visits
Connecting Art Patrons with Northern California Artists. Explore artworks of all media through Online Galleries, artists profiles and studio visits in Butte County.
Make a date for face-to-face Studio Visits by appointment, following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Instead of having the traditional Tour for only two weekends, as we have in previous years, we will promote studio visits by appointment for all year long.
It will be important to practice social distancing and to use masks and hand sanitizer for both visitors and the artists while on the Tour. All recommended protocols will be listed in the tour guide and artists may make any special requests when scheduling appointments with visitors.
October 3- November 1, 2020
Free and open to the public. View one artwork by each artist, buy a tour guide with map and artist info and plan your self-guided tour of artists’ studios throughout Butte County.
Tour Guide with Map
Purchase for $15 at the following locations
#3 Art Space
#3 Place to Buy Art
(the only non-profit)
#3 Art Space
#3 Place to Buy Art
#1 Art Space
#2 Place to See Art
CACs 30th Annual "Open Studios Art Tour"
Chico Art Center's "Open Studios Art Tour" activates an ecology system in which artists inspire visitors who give artists insightful feedback. What's more, the event supports an art organization that serves not only its members but the larger Chico community.
The passionate involvement of volunteers such as CAC Board member Jana Lawton and Board President Lisa Freeman-Wood attests to the 63 year old organization's continued vitality.
Why has Jana Lawton worked on the Open Studios Art Tour for more than 20 years and served as its coordinator for 10 years when she might have channeled that time and energy into her ceramic art?
Lawton explains: "I truly believe in the value of CAC's Open Studios to artists and to Chico and neighboring towns. It is an event like no other--a 'behind the scenes' look at creative people and their processes with the Tour Guide allowing entry into the little secret places that are artists' gardens and studios."
Jana Lawton, "Dreaming of Delft," hand-made porcelain buttons in a shadow box
Lawton continues: "I make a point of chatting with 'tour goers' who say they always come away inspired. They like that if they purchase art they'll know how it is made and will have heard the personal stories behind it. And for artists, feedback from the public is precious 'food.' An artist feels validated if, after months of solitary work, a visitor is moved by a piece."
Lisa Freeman-Wood, CAC Board President (she made the necklace she is wearing)
Lisa Freeman-Wood concurs: "Artists spend much of their time working within their private spaces that are not connected to the rest of world. While they need to be reflective as they experiment with materials and ideas, they also need feedback from the public. Open Studios makes dialogue possible. Visitors might not always walk out of a studio smiling, since art can provoke a rethinking of set ideas, but they often discover new aspects of themselves."
Lisa has personally experienced how CAC fosters social connections. "In 2013, my husband and I, wanting to be closer to our kids in the Bay area, moved away from our large family and supportive friends in Ventura to relocate In Magalia. Driven by a need for friendship with people who were also starting new chapters in their lives, I took a refresher course in watercolor at the Chico Art Center. I soon realized that I had skills in setting goals, running meetings and networking that I could contribute to the organization. I joined the Board, and have been President since January of this year."
Lisa Freeman-Wood, "Pink Hydrangea," watercolor
Jana Lawton notes that "Demos are a popular part of every Open Studios Art Tour. This year's include welding, acrylic pouring, marquetry, print making, knotting jewelry, photographic experiments, hand-building and wheel throwing in clay. At Butte College's 'Maker Space' visitors can watch demos of 3-D printers, embroidery machines and other high tech equipment, and then go back another day to decorate a t-shirt, for example, at no charge!"
Lisa Freeman-Wood recalls: "When I took the Open Studios Art Tour last year I was fascinated by what I found in usually private spaces, such as bulletin boards covered with cartoons and wise sayings that resonated with me. And I loved hearing artists' stories of how they had made art as children and returned to it after retirement."
Here are some of Lisa Freeman-Woods' photographs and impressions from her visits during last year's Open Studios Art Tour. These artists will be on the 2019 tour.
Lisa Freeman-Wood, photograph of Waif Mullins' studio, 2018
Lisa says: "Waif Mullins, in addition to displaying his pastels and oils, left out trays of pastels for visitors to examine. I noticed that he'd carefully kept even small pieces rather than discarding them. That reminded me of some tubes of watercolors I've kept for many years. Though they may have dried completely, I'll still cut them open and use them. I share Waif's deep respect for pigments."
|Waif Mullins, "In the Pasture," Pastel|
L. Freeman-Wood photo of color charts in "Chico Art School"
Blixt's art lessons for children and adults foster skills and quicken imaginations.
Lisa notes: "I really liked seeing Janet Lombardi Blixt's acrylic color charts inside her Chico Art School. I treasure my old watercolor charts and I even arrange my clothes by color."
J.L. Blixt's "Chico Art School,"
261 E. 3rd St. 570-3895
Lisa Freeman-Wood, Rachelle Montoya's studio, photograph, 2018
Lisa says: "Rachelle Montoya's studio was of particular interest to me since we both work in watercolor and make jewelry. Rachelle decorated the floor
herself by covering it with a tissue paper collage which she coated with water-based polyurethane. She says it is quite durable and gives her studio a cheerful feeling. I thought it was vibrant!"
This poetic landscape by Montoya will be in her studio for this year's tour.
Nadia Kosheleff-Browne is a first time participant in Open Studios. I hope readers will welcome her by stopping in to give her feedback on her art. Here's an interview with Nadia by Kimberly Rachelle Ranalla a Guest Writer for Art Talk. You'll find Kimberly's bio and one of her paintings in the "DCBA's Art Walk" section of this issue.
Nadia Kosheleff-Browne's World of Imagination
an interview by Kimberly Rachelle Ranalla
When Nadia moved to Chico three years ago, one of her first ventures out of her introverted world was to the Chico Art Center. She found a welcoming environment that helped her come out of her shell as an artist and become an "introvert braving the world."
Nadia Kosheleff-Browne, "The Voyageur," acrylic
Growing up with an alternative type of lifestyle in the Santa Cruz mountains, Nadia was inspired by early sci-fi movies. Her dad was a big fan of Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family comic strip, She laughed as she told me how much her own childhood resonated with the comic strip.
Nadia is a self-taught artist in sculpture and painting but had three years of textile design for hand painted fabrics. This knowledge and the wooded mountains of her childhood inspired her as she launched into creating the creatures and worlds that inhabit her creative mind. She is fascinated by plants that can move and her anamorphic designs combine elements of plants and animals.
Nadia Kosheleff-Browne, "The Walker"
During Open Studios, Nadia, using her living room, will display the progression over several years of her otherworldly art. Visitors will see greeting cards that feature whimsical children's themes and fantasy birds as well as jewelry inspired by her paintings and sculptures. Her work is full of curious and playful originality and her creatures have so much personality that it seems they could come alive at any moment.
MY OPEN STUDIO
This is the twelfth time I've opened my studio for the CAC event, and I'm hoping for reactions to my "Chico Mythology" paintings that I'll be working on in oils. Visitors can leaf through my 3-ring notebook filled with hundreds of sketches.
Several times a month I'll go treasure hunting for "Chico Mythology" motifs. I pack light, just a small sketchbook and a dozen watercolor pens. I especially love the small, older houses that give Chico a sense of neighborhoods. I seldom use the sketches "as is" but combine elements, changing colors, redoing plantings, adding fencing, to suit my evolving visions. I'm not trying to document but rather to express personal desires I sense in a setting.Dolores Mitchell, "Chico Mythology Series: Bungalows of All Seasons" in progress
Mitchell, thumbnail watercolor pen sketches done on location inside my car.
I'd love to hear what landmarks from Chico and surrounding communities stay in the minds of visitors to my studio.
Jana Lawton says: "I think of the Patrons' Preview and Reception as a 'Cast Party' with Open Studios artists present. Attendees get a first look at an exhibit of a single work by each tour artist and a chance to buy pieces by artists they've been following. They can chat with artists in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy food and music."
The Patron's Preview is a fund-raiser and CAC truly needs funds. They get no city money, never charge for gallery shows, and yet have all the usual expenses involved in staying open. Their free exhibits range from juried shows to art-for-all ones like the Puzzle Show. Gallery Director Cameron Kelly and the CAC Board make a point of reaching out to diverse ages and cultures as in the "Creative Fusion" exhibit for teens, and "Day of the Dead" altars exhibit. CAC has been giving on-going support to Camp Fire survivors with donated art supplies, a year of free membership, and Sunday use of classrooms for artists who've lost their studios.
As Jana Lawton reminds us: "Art enhances life. It brings us joy, challenges us and tugs at our hearts. Culture--visual arts, theater, dance, poetry, music--makes our community sing."
Thursday, April 18th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm at the Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA)
The Chico Arts and Culture Foundation (CACF) is hosting an event to recognize six local arts heros, celebrate our organization's 2018 achievements, and highlight one of the artists in our community, Jenise Coon.
The program is on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at the Museum of Northern California Art
(MONCA) located on the Esplanade, 5:30-7:00 PM. Jonathan Richman will be providing a musical interlude before the program begins.
The program will include honoring the 2019 CACF Champions of the Arts with a Certificate of Recognition to:
- Amber Palmer, MA, MFT, Fine Art Consultant & Artist
- Cameron Kelly, Gallery Director, Chico Art Center
- Christine Mac Shane, Artist and Owner, The Studio 561
- Jessie Mercer, Artist, Key Project Tribute, Butte County Art on Wheels
- Marc Edson, Executive Director, Chico Theater Company
- Rebecca McIntyre Senoglu, Coordinator, Enloe Regional Cancer Center, Healing Art Gallery
All of the Champions of the Arts acknowledge that awareness, education, and maintenance of public art is good for our city and the people in our community.
Jennifer Parks, President of the Chico Arts and Culture Foundation, stated recently, “These Champions provide great vision, problem solving, and leadership in supporting arts as a central part of Chico’s cultural vibrancy.”