The Orion

Chico Art Center wants more student involvement

Chico Art Center member and volunteer Erin Wells smiles as she talks about the art center. Photo credit: Megan Moran

Chico Art Center member and volunteer Erin Wells smiles as she talks about the art center. Photo credit: Megan Moran


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The Chico Art Center, located on Orange Street, provides a place for local artists to showcase their pieces.

As Erin Wells thought back on her 12 years as a volunteer at the Chico Art Center, she smiled.

“You don’t have to know a lot about art to be here, that’s the thing,” Wells said.

The Chico Art Center runs mainly on a volunteer basis. People like Wells come in a minimum of once a week to answer phones and help keep the center up and running.

“We are like a very tiny nonprofit,” Wells said.

Chico Arts Center

Chico State sophomore Hailey Miller views a canvas of an orangutan playing in the leaves. Photo credit: Megan Moran

What the center is lacking, according to Wells, is student and younger generation involvement. With a very small public relations budget, the center often struggles in creative ways to advertise the showcases and activities.

“Everything that costs money [radio, TV, etc.] is pretty much eliminated,” according to Wells.

A younger crowd would be beneficial to both the center and the students, according to Wells. Wells joked that the center could use a few public relations students’ creativity, although the trade-off would be beneficial for all.

It is only $40 to become a member, which grants access to showcasing art pieces at any time.

Chico Arts Center

Sculpture made by Chico Arts Center volunteer Erin Wells. Photo credit: Megan Moran

For students it only costs $20 to become a member. There are also many other ways to become involved and the center is always looking for volunteers.

The gallery changes the pieces on display every four to six weeks, and there are many events throughout the calendar year. Many of the events include classes which are available to anyone, not just members.

“It would be wonderful to see more students get involved,” Wells said. “It’s a great way to get integrated in the community. Also, it’s a great way to feature and even sell your art– for free.”

Sarah Strausser can be reached at [email protected] or @strausser_sarah on Twitter.

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Chico Art Center wants more student involvement