Art, crafts featured at 44th annual Chico Artisans Faire

Pressed flower art
Pressed flower art by Gary Jensen on display at downtown City Plaza this last weekend at the 44th annual Chico Artisans Faire. Photo credit: Madeline Merlic

The weather was warm and the Chico City Plaza was alive with people of all ages walking about the booths at the 44th annual Chico Artisans Faire.

The two-day exhibition, which is always held the first weekend in May, was started by a local Chico artist and over the years has grown into what it is today.

Attendees were exposed to a wide range of art from jewelry to paintings to hand-carved wooden statues.

Cyrcle Productions, a local company that promotes exhibitions all year long, put on the event for the 25th year in a row.

Andrew Rooney, whose father started the production company in 1974 after attending Chico State, explained how the show is organized. Cyrcle Productions sells the spaces to the different artists, and when it comes time for the show, the artists are responsible for setting up their own booths.

“(This fair) is all about having handmade art,” Rooney said. “Some artists buy the materials then make their product. Others produce their art from raw materials.”

One artist that uses raw materials is Gary Jensen, who makes pressed flower art. Jensen has had his booth, which he calls “Pressed for Time,” at the Chico Artisans Faire for the past 21 years. He grows the flowers that he uses in his own garden. He then presses the flowers to make the unique art pieces.

Jensen is from Redding, and he travels all over Northern California and Oregon selling his art.

“(There is) so much more culture in Chico, and I think it’s because of the art,” Jensen said. “It makes it so unique.”

Madeline Merlic can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.