Chico ART Festival - May 6 & 7, 2022

Maria’s Dream by Dolores Mitchell

Maria Phillips

Do you know why Art at the Matador is now Chico ART Festival and scheduled for May 6 & 7 at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Floral? Here’s some history.

Twelve years ago Maria Phillips, co-founder of Avenue 9 Gallery, said to me “I have this dream of taking over the Matador Motel for a visual arts festival. Imagine visitors strolling through intimate gallery rooms, giving artists feedback and buying art… we’d have music and a cantina, art for kids, free tables for non-profits and a scholarship room… what do you think?” 

“Hmmmm, lovely dream,” I responded while thinking: So, without any previous experience we’re going to convince The Matador motel managers to remove beds, get dozens of artists and entertainers to participate, plus manage food, security, porta potties, sound systems, tents, tables, chairs, advertising… how is that possible?

I’m so glad I kept “good sense” thoughts to myself since over the years thousands of people have experienced Maria’s dream of an arts festival that unites artists and public in a single communal space. 

The festival was suspended for two Pandemic years and the previous year we lost the Matador venue to a need for emergency housing. This year Maria’s dream will live again but outdoors within the beautifully landscaped grounds of St John’s Episcopal Church on Floral Avenue in Chico. It has a new name, Chico ART Festival, but the same goal of celebrating the accomplishments of our local artists

One thought on “Maria’s Dream by Dolores Mitchell

  1. Hi, my name is Heather 🌻 Presently, I am living in San Miguel de Allende. My passion is abstract painting using acrylics. I’m so excited to be coming to Chico in a week to see my partner’s home being built in Paradise. Then I will be spending the months of May and June there. I will be at the Art Festival! I’m excited about seeing everyone’s art, and hope to share some of my creations one day. Thank

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