Creative Fusion spotlights young artists


Ceramics by Brisa Reyes Photo credit: Abigail Jones

More than 200 pieces of art by junior high and high school students are being displayed at the Chico Art Center now through April 28. “Creative Fusion” displays works by Pleasant Valley, Chico and Fair View High, Inspire School for the Arts, Marsh, Bidwell and Chico Junior High, Blue Oak Charter School and Chico Country Day.

Creative Fusion presentation Photo credit: Abigail Jones

Creative Fusion began 13 years ago as a result of the Chico Art Center and teachers brainstorming how to control the amount of work to take in. What was once was a countywide art show became too much work to do the entire county.

“This was a chance to get people into the gallery who would never go into the gallery like parents,” said Reta Rickmers, Visual and Performing Arts Department chairperson. “It’s one of the only chances students have to get their work hung in a real gallery.”

This art show was sponsored by Graham Hutton of Made in Chico who handed out grand prizes to the winners. The first place and People’s Choice winners each won $100, second place won $50 and third won $20.

Ceramic work by Ottoman Lopez Photo credit: Abigail Jones

The students work on their pieces during art class. Their teachers then select which ones make it in the show. Each year there is a guest juror as a judge. This year the guest juror was Paula Busch, an artist specializing in encaustic painting- heated beeswax and pigments mixed together. Guests who went to the reception April 7 voted for their favorite art piece that would win the People’s Choice.

The exhibit had a wide range of themes such as animals, scenery and people. Each student uses traditional media such as ceramic, tempura, acrylic, digital illustration, glass or photo. Many of the art pieces were only displayed to showcase the artist’s talent while some were up for sale.

Sea turtle by Marilyn Tran Photo credit: Abigail Jones

The prices ranged from $3 up to $999.99. Prices were set by the students with some guidance.

“They (kids) tend to under-price things,” Rickmers said. “They forget to factor in how much time they spent on it.”

Here are the winners of this year’s Creative Fusion:

1. Laine Wood of Chico High “’Cisco Runway”

2. Chase Wilson of Chico High “Plague Doctor Mask”

3. Callie Greene of Chico Jr. High “Aqua Dreams”

The winner of People’s Choice was: Ryann Woods of Pleasant Valley High School.

Julia Maldonado can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.