MonCA’s first “Pop-Up” Exhibit!

I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of MonCA‘s first “Pop-Up*” art exhibit on April 6th at 325 Broadway  (one of those cool old brick storefronts that is just “so Chico”). 

Waif Mullins (right) poses with his painting, “The Collector (Portrait of Reed Applegate),” and its subject.


If the works of art on exhibit (just a fraction of the collection) are any indication of the quality of art that has been purchased for decades by local collector Reed Applegate, Chico is in for a real treat as these “pop-ups” continue.  (Mr. Applegate has generously donated his collection so that the public may enjoy the fruits of years spent investing in Northern California art.)  Click here to view some of the wonderful works.

My friend Trudy Duisenberg (along with the other MonCA Board members and volunteers) has put in countless hours working to bring this collection out into the open for all to enjoy.

Trudy Duisenberg at the Soroptimist of Chico Home, Garden & Leisure Show, 3/12

MonCA is currently working to raise funds to purchase a van (Mobile Museum) to share the art with  schools, retirement communities and other local organizations.  Donations can be made here.  (Ultimately they hope to find a permanent location for the collection.)


(*Pop-Up museums are temporary art installations in nontraditional settings.  The Pop-Up at 325 Broadway continues through the month of April, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (open till 8 p.m. April 12, 13, 19, 26).   Where will the next one be?  Stay tuned…)

2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show!

Rain or shine, the 2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show is HAPPENING this weekend, March 17 & 18, at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds!  Over 300 exhibitors, and 100% of the proceeds from this show benefit LOCAL causes.  This is THE major fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Chico, so please come out and support the show and your community! (Admission:  $5 adults, kids 12 and under free.  $2 parking)

Cheerful Soroptimist volunteers - "All About Food"

Unique creations for sale!

Whimsical displays in the Horticulture Center

Wonderful antiques for sale

What’s A Chico Soroptimist? from Jeanne Rawlings on Vimeo.

Arts for All

Last week a group of us attended the 2nd Annual Performing and Fine Arts Gala at the new CUSD Center for the Arts here in Chico.

Chico Unified School District (CUSD) Center for the Arts

Wow, were we impressed (with both the new facility and the performances)!  Located  at the Pleasant Valley High School campus at  1475 East Avenue, the facility seats 484 people and is available to citizens and community groups for meetings and public activities.

It was great to see Chico area students (elementary through high school) engaged in all sorts of creative activities, including singing, musical instruments, drama, and different forms of dance.  Prior to the live show, we were treated to some delectable treats made by the PV High Culinary Class and a slideshow of students’ art (painting, ceramics, mosaic art, etc.).

Arts for All (check out their Facebook page here) is a component fund of North Valley Community Foundation.  Donations are tax deductible.

Kudos to the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the Chico arts community for working together to keep the arts alive for our youngest citizens!

CUSD Center for the Arts - interior



John Ross is a funny guy who is serious about bringing live comedy to our little town of Chico.  Talk about following your dream!  John and his lovely family packed up their belongings and moved here from Sacramento last year in

pursuit of a better lifestyle and to fulfill John’s longtime vision of opening a comedy club/teaching venue.

After many long months of beating the bushes for the right location and dealing with all of the red tape that accompanies such an undertaking, John will be greeting customers at The Last Stand Comedy Venue this weekend! (February 3 and 4) with shows at 7:00 and 8:30.

Located at 167 E. 3rd Street in one of those cozy old brick downtown “Chico-chic” buildings, the intimate setting  is sure to be crackling with excitement as the featured comedians prepare to share their shtick.

In addition to live comedy, John will be offering standup classes for all you aspiring comedians out there.

Tickets for opening weekend can be purchased by clicking here and are just $10 each…such a deal for LIVE entertainment.  Help welcome John and his talented troupe to Chico!

The Last Stand Comedy Venue, 167 E. 3rd St., Chico, CA





Check out (and “like”)

The Last Stand Comedy page on Facebook.




                           Watch a one minute video with John Ross

It’s ARTOBERFEST Time Again!

It was during ARTOBERFEST in Chico several years ago that I discovered the gorgeous, whimsical work of local mosaicist Cooie Grey-Lavin.  Eva (my daughter-in-heart) and I were spending the day enjoying the Open Studio Tour, and I knew I couldn’t miss this particular artist (as I had long been interested in this art form).
Boy were we in for a treat!  Cooie’s home, studio and yard are like one giant work of art in and of themselves!  Walking through her garden is like floating through a dream, with it’s enchanting mosaic creations peeking out from among the lush foliage.
And her studio! A plethora of sparkling, intriguing odds and ends that inspire creative artistry.  Suffice to say I was promptly sucked into the mosaic art vortex and began haunting the local thrift  and tile stores and yard sales for usable pieces and trinkets.  Soon thereafter I took one of Cooie’s mosaic classes (followed by several more over the past several years) and loved every minute of it. Check out some photos from the class and this YouTube video for a 2-minute instructional video Cooie did about getting started with mosaic stepping stones.  You can browse Cooie’s web site for more photos of her exceptional work.
Speaking of art, check out the Artoberfest guide to see a schedule of the 150 art exhibits, performances and special events happening in Chico this month.  (There is a reason Chico has been recognized as one of the best small arts towns in the country!)
This year’s Open Studio Tour is Oct. 22/23 and 29/30.  Don’t miss it; you may find some life-changing inspiration yourself!

Laura's bird bath start

Laura's "Koi" Bird Bath finished!

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