Chico celebrates art with a glass of wine


Wine is poured throughout Chico as many come together to enjoy some beautiful artwork. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

Laughter, jazz and the sound of glasses clinking together rang out in downtown Chico during the Art & Wine Walk Friday.

Each year the Art & Wine Walk graces the downtown area for the fall season. Local businesses open their doors to celebrate local artists and musicians, offering a space for displaying artwork and, in some shops, for complimentary wine tasting.

A sign to start off the Chico Art and Wine Walk event downtown. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

Visitors wandered from shop to shop with glasses in hand, gazing at paintings and getting refills. Many stores, already dripping with black cats, pumpkin baskets and cotton-ball ghosts for the season, popped open bottles of wine for customers, before waving them over to pieces of artwork on display.

Friends talk by some of the artists’ work. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

Artists were allowed to paint right on the sidewalk outside of some shops, such as outside of Anika Burke, a clothing boutique, and present work in person at other stores, such as the clothing shop For Elyse.

A painting class was taught by Christine McShane in front of Parkside Restaurant on 3rd St. Briskly waving to the model for the other artists – a painting of two pumpkins leaning together against a cobalt background – McShane never stood still as she passed out paints and checked each patron’s handiwork.

Crowds gathered outside stores with extra wine and deals at business receptions at locations such as at Kirk’s Jewelry and at Gabrielle Ferrar, where the line was often out the door.

Just down the street, the rich scent of pastries and the swell of horns pulled passersby to linger outside of Upper Crust Bakery. The Chico Saxophone Quartet played renditions of ’60s songs like, “When I’m 64” by The Beatles and “The Pink Panther” by Henry Mancini.

Down on the next corner, the group Jazz Impressions charmed customers at Zucchini & Vine with their playful cover of “The Girl From Ipanema.”

As the evening went on, more and more visitors returned to some shops for more tastings and to hear other musicians, such as the boisterous covers by the Trinity Accordion Group outside of Chico Paper Company.

The Art & Wine Walk lights up the streets of downtown Chico every year to help usher in fall and spotlight local artists and what they are making. The next event taking place in the downtown area will be the Parade of Lights on Oct. 14.

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.