Chico art curators host 3-D mural art gallery

Angel Ortega

Chico Idea Fab Labs hosted a gallery featuring artwork from Santa Cruz muralist, Elijah Pfotenhauer, on Saturday.

Daniel Govan, co-founder of Idea Fab Labs, says the art gallery, titled “Terraform,” is one of a handful that they host throughout the year.

“We throw galleries quarterly, about every three to four months,” Govan said.

The goal for Idea Fab Labs is to help artists, both amateur and professional, learn and expand their skill set to evolve their artistic style by giving access to tools and resources.

Pfotenhauer is a “muralist by trade,” according to Govan, but was able to evolve his work by using Idea Fab Labs’ creative workshops and gaining the ability to have his art gallery curated.

“Terraform” features a variety of wooden sculptures and 3-D murals.

Pfotenhauer wanted to visualize the harmonious relationship between people and their environments while also emphasizing how we, ourselves, are our own environments.

“[The environment] affects us and we affect it,” said Pfotenhauer. “We have environments inside of us, and in our minds, it’s a landscape in there, too.”

When discussing the pieces that were displayed, Pfotenhauer said he liked “building off the canvas and into the 3-D plane.”

“I like to play with space and not get limited by a rectangle or a square or, if I’m doing a mural, consider the environment around it.”

“Terraform” has been in the making for many years, according to Pfotenhauer. As he walked into his workshop, Pfotenhauer showed off a tub of wood in which he’s been saving pieces of wood for 10 years, hoping to one day create something with them.

“Even before I came [to Chico], for years I’ve been saving pieces of wood wanting to do this,” Pfotenhauer said.

“Terraform” was originally slated to be showcased last November but was postponed to February due to the Camp Fire.

Pfotenhauer credits Idea Fab Labs for giving him the ability to evolve and learn how to create and improve his 3-D murals sculptures.

“It’s kind of like water,” he said. “There’s potential energy that’s waiting to go somewhere and when you work through different barriers or learn certain things, all of sudden that water can pour into new channels and I feel like my art is doing that here.”

After Chico, Pfotenhauer plans on traveling to Arizona and possibly Mexico, creating murals and embarking on new artistic endeavors.

You can follow Elijah Pfotenhauer on Instagram @PaintedLadder

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.