Art is the cure for the winter blues
This display of masks by ceramic artist Deb Lewis represents the “seasons of Lake Almanor.” Although she models many other works, she said, “I love to create the masks because they have personality.” Photo by M. Kate West
When that attack of cabin begins to feel endless, take a trip to Chester for your own art tour. Creativity is alive and well in the Almanor Basin.
Preparations are already under way for Art Around the Lake, the local art tour presented by Feather River Fine Arts and Plumas Arts. This year’s offering is set for July 20.
Last year, ticket sales from this event put $2,500 worth of art supplies in the public schools in Chester, Greenville and Westwood.
Artists from Lassen and Plumas counties (including snowbirds) interested in participating in the tour should contact Betty Bishop at 258-2028, or Pam Trebes at firstname.lastname@example.org before April 1 for more information.
Several local businesses are hosts to the FRFA Public Art project. Take a minute to check out original works at the Old Town Café, The Coffee Station, Dr. Brent Webb, U.S. Bank, Dr. Feil, Plumas Bank, the offices of Haws, Theobald & Auman, and the Chester Progressive.
On Main Street, Good Vibrations is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with their eclectic mix of goods, including local art and jewelry and a full service frame shop. Once again, Good Vibrations will be one of the hosts for the 2013 tour.
Morning Star Log Furniture, near the junction of highways. 89 and 36, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with occasional “personal” days off for fishing and other necessary respites. In addition to the furniture in the gallery, Mike and Cathy are happy to create unique cabinetry and doors, and again will be both hosts and participants in the tour.
Another stop will be The Blue Goose Gallery of Artists. With more than 30 artists, this co-op offers a wide range of art genres and styles. Winter hours for Blue Goose are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through March, or by appointment. Just call 258-2600, and someone will return your call.
Plein air painter Valerie Payne creates fine art both on location and from photographs snapped during her travels. Her latest works, now hanging in The Back Room Gallery, are from Deer Creek Falls, Canyon Dam and Yosemite. She is also displaying a mixed media collage. Photo by M. Kate West
The members operate the gallery, so you not only get to view the art, you can also chat with artists at every visit.
Change is under way at The Backroom Gallery, located in Books and Beyond in Old Town Chester. Two new artists joined the gallery in February.
Valerie Payne is a well-known Chico artist who has also been active in Lake Almanor Basin art events for a number of years. Valerie’s work is shown in the Avenue 9 Gallery in Chico.
She does both abstract and representational collages, acrylics, pastels and watercolors. Her work went on display in The Back Room Gallery on Feb. 1, when the co-op hung its newest show.
The other new artist is Deb Lewis, a ceramicist who says she just loves to play with clay. Deb and husband Scott moved to the Almanor area last year, after visiting for years.
A tile-making workshop with Chico clay artist Pat Koszi was Deb’s introduction to ceramics, which expanded to include more utilitarian wares.
Chance exposure to a display of ceramic masks in a gallery in the town of Murphy also piqued her interest. She met the artist, attended a workshop and created her first mask. Recent works include hand-built sculptures, both large and small. Deb incorporates found objects into many of her pieces.
The Backroom Gallery will host a reception at Books and Beyond on Friday, Feb. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m., to debut the new show and to allow the public to meet the artists.
So, when the mid-winter blues start to get you down, step out and experience the art in Chester.