|Chico ER: Art Feature: Chico Palio: Pageantry opens Artoberfest|
By J. LAVELL RESK - The Buzz
The flavor of Italy, specifically a palio (a competition/festival marked by colorful team flags), inaugurates Chico's second annual Artoberfest on Saturday.
Brainchild of both the Chico Arts Commission and of Debra Lucero, county director of cultural tourism, Chico Palio and the arts calendar reflect unprecedented collaboration.
Four major venues along with dozens of smaller features highlight the artistic potpourri that comprises Chico.
Rather than racing horses as in Italy, teams of foot racers representing neighborhoods or communities will compete from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Chico's Municipal City Hall Center parking lot at 411 Main St. Ten artists were commissioned to depict Butte county icons on each team flag.
Gate time is 10 a.m., accompanied by theatrics by the Alliance of Chico area Theatres (ACT). Chico Children's Choir follows at 11 a.m.
Lucero boasted, "There's a need for this (community involvement) to be dynamic. Any good event is a grass-roots effort."
She added the equestrian community, the historical society, the gourmand, theatrical and fine arts groups are all cooperating.
A Chico Palio picnic from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday in Children's Playground in downtown Chico will precede the main event.
Partially sponsored by the Downtown Chico Business Association and Round Table Pizza, that event will host decorating stations for kids who want to participate in Saturday's pageant.
The 1078 Gallery's new, expanded location will facilitate its major role in Palais Ideal, a new, four-day Artoberfest attraction inspired by a French "festival of adventurous, strange and visionary music," Oct. 19-22.
Expressing 1078's theme, the music of John Cage will be featured Oct. 27 with a John Milbauer piano performance and dinner.
An activity-based art reception for Irene Chan and Joon Sung will be served up Oct. 7. Exhibition committee head Susan Larsen said of Chan, "She works in a sort of 'Cageian' way -- she uses chance in her type of artwork. She takes sumi ice. She freezes it and she takes handmade Chinese paper, sets it in the middle of the paper and it melts. And that's her piece."
Five works will be created during the reception. With visual arts still its basis, 1078 broadened its mission to reflect the current influx of multimedia. Visit www.1078gallery.org.
According to Larsen, Cage, teaching at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, influenced not only experimental music, but also a range of arts. Rob Davidson has innovative music and literary events planned throughout fall.
The largest food component of this year's Artoberfest is an extravaganza at Feather Falls Casino in Oroville on Oct. 18. Called "A Night at the Moulin Rouge," local olive oils, a French dinner and desserts will complement entertainment by Chico Cabaret.
Chico's Spiritual Enrichment Center will offer another choice experience, Oct. 22. "Three Painters and Jazz" showcases Cynthia Schildhauer, Janice Porter and Dylan Tellesen painting to the sounds of the Groove Diggers at Lakeside Pavilion, 2565 California Park Dr. The evening includes wine and appetizers, and art show and auction of the jazz-inspired creations.
October's finale, billed, "Dance Fest: Chili feed and Masquerade carnival," presented Oct. 28, by Chico Creek Dance Centre, 1144 W. First St., is a fundraiser produced by Chico Community Ballet and Full Force Hip-Hop.
Speaking to multiple generations as well as to multiple genres, gigs are also scheduled at Café Flo, Has Beans, Tower Records, Moxies Café, 24 Hr. Drive By Gallery and Paradise Lost Video as well as many other venues in Chico, Paradise and Oroville.
In addition to these special events, dozens of concerts and other performances already scheduled for venues such as Laxson Auditorium, Sierra Nevada's Big Room, Off Limits, and many local drama playhouses have been earmarked as Artoberfest events.
Lucero sees this annual event becoming a destination for tourists and a major source of revenue for the county, much as the Gilroy Garlic Festival or the North Coast's Kinetic Sculpture Race.