Art festival looks to be new Chico tradition


Janet Lombardi Blixt painting on a canvas during Chico Outdoor art festival Photo credit: Alex Coba

It was all sunshine and good vibes at the first annual Chico Outdoor Arts Festival on Sunday. Local artists from around Chico gathered at The Palms, a local venue, to show off their talent to the public with a free art show.

Attendees looking at art during the Chico Outdoor Art Festival. Photo credit: Alex Coba

Spectators could watch the artists at work as well as buy prints of their art. Attendees were treated to live music and food trucks, as well as different vendors selling their wares and artwork.

Anyone watching was encouraged to talk to the artist, as they worked, about different art techniques and general questions about art. The goal of this was to encourage people to try painting and other techniques.

“The idea of the art show was, or my goal is, to have the artists to talk to the public and to talk about art so they become interested in trying it themselves,” said Christine Macshane, the organizer of the event.

According to Macshane, the overall event took six months to plan. All the artists featured in the art show were locals.

Janet Lombardi Blixt's art on display and for sale during the Chico Outdoor Art Festival. Photo credit: Alex Coba

Janet Lombardi Blixt, who owns and teaches at the Chico Art School and Gallery, expressed her delight in participating in the event.

“It’s fantastic to be out here – the weather couldn’t be better. It’s a perfect day, there’s music, there’s food trucks, lots of artists and lots of enthusiastic people. It’s perfect,” said Lombardi Blixt.

She wasn’t the only one enjoying the day. Susy Duarte and her family spent the day admiring the different artwork.

“My youngest (child) loves to paint so I thought it would be a great way to show him different kinds of art and to really expose him to this sort of thing,” said Duarte. “Plus it’s a great day to just be outside and take in the day.”

The Chico Outdoor Art festival, by showcasing many artists and encouraging local participation, looks to be a new Chico tradition.

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] or @Alexcoba9 on Twitter.