Chico native returns for art show

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Published 2010-12-13T20:23:00Z”/>


Candyce Chilson

Animal heads dangle from the branches of a large neon pink tree as hunters shoot at them.

This is just one of Haley Hughes’ acrylic paintings to test the imagination.

Hughes, 26, will reveal her artwork at the 1078 Gallery from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8. There will be three events in which visitors can expect entertainment paired with extremely diverse, transcendent and amusing pieces.

The show, “Broken Shape,” will feature all new pieces.

Hughes lives in Brooklyn and is visiting Chico to create all the work in the three weeks leading up to the show, she said.

Although challenging, this was the perfect opportunity to create a whole new body of work.

“The process in and of itself I enjoy,” Hughes said. “I think the idea that you can create something that affects people, and makes people think and see things differently through this visual image that you’re providing, I think that’s really powerful.”

Hughes typically works with oil paint, but due to the short time frame of the show, she is using acrylic paint on canvases that she has built.

Hughes spent a lot of her time growing up in Chico at the Blue Room Theatre, where she was interested primarily in performance art, playwriting and painting some of the pieces on set.

At 18, Hughes embarked on a new journey as she left Chico and pursued a life in the busy streets of Brooklyn. She now works as the assistant to a sculptor, managing her studio and assisting in installing her shows.

Until eight years ago, Hughes never completely focused on creating artwork in a serious manner, she said. Once she was in New York City however, she was inspired by the busyness of the city and she jumped into creating her own inspiring and abstract pieces.

Hughes’ friends at the Blue Room lent her the “woodroom” at their venue while she stays in Chico. She is also creating some of her drawings at her sister’s barn.

1078 Exhibitions Chairman Thomasin Saxe discussed bringing some of Hughes’ work to display at the gallery.

“I’m totally proud of her,” Saxe said. “For years I’ve been wanting her to do something at 1078.”

Although Hughes has had her work featured in about 10 art shows, this will be her first in Chico.

The exhibit will be displaying eight to 12 paintings, 20 drawings and one abstract installation with mixed media, she said. Hughes has yet to create many of the pieces.

Hughes defines her artwork as very abstract symbolic narratives. In the end, the ultimate meaning of her art is up to the viewer.

“Most of them are landscapes with some abstractive, figurative narratives, and they are very much about the chaos and confusion that exists, as well as the narrative that I am trying to express,” Hughes said.

Hughes will be working 12-hour days to get everything finished. Typically one piece can take about a week to create.

All of the pieces Hughes created for the show will be for sale at 1078 Gallery.

The smaller drawings will range from $20 to $50 and the large-scale paintings, which are 7 by 9 feet, will cost $2,000 at most, although all of the prices are still being negotiated, she said.

Hughes’ art is filled with an array of vibrant colors – pinks, yellows, reds, a diverse range of blues and greens. This exhibit will analyze American rights and rituals of the past and present, according to the 1078 Gallery.

Saxe defines Hughes’ art as “a little wild.” Her paintings and drawings are representational, but extremely abstract. They are dreamlike and weird – as well as very interesting, he said.

The 1078 Gallery will be hosting three events while Hughes’ art is being showcased. The opening night Dec. 23 will feature musical acts from local soft-folk artist Nate Pendery and alternative rockers The Great Good.

The Americas, West By Swan, Chikoko and a surprise guest will fill the large room with music starting at 7:30 p.m Dec. 28.

For the final event, the play “Justice?” by Jesse Karch will be performed as well as “Piss Christ” by Forrest Gillespie, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8.

Candyce Chilson can be reached at

[email protected]


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