I am Pat Kemeny Macias, the current President of the Board of the Museum of Northern California Art (monca). My days are filled with details and more details concerned with opening Chico’s first art museum. Sometimes the “work” happens before I get out of bed . . . contemplating the unknown! As far as free time goes, there is not currently a lot of that but my energy and enjoyment that goes into making connections and telling the museum story. I am fortunate to have a husband just as passionate about this project as I am.
I am in Chico with my husband due to retirement in the Bay Area plus finding a less stressful but still cultural place to plant our roots for the final time. I was raised in Michigan, received my Bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a Master’s degree in Printmaking from Eastern Michigan University. For eighteen years, I taught art in the Ann Arbor public schools and was the Director of one of the Summer Art Fairs for seven years. Next, it was a move to St. Louis, MO becoming Education Director at Laumeier Sculpture Park before returning to teaching. A move to San Francisco led me to teach once again this time at Piedmont High School for thirteen years, retiring in 2006 before the move to Chico.
Why did we choose Chico? It reminded me a lot of Ann Arbor . . . a university filled with cultural events, approximately the same size town, a Farmer’s Market, a thriving arts community and it was affordable! The fun of seeing familiar faces around town; smiling and friendly people; people who CARE; and a supportive community that is embracing diversity more and more are what drew me here and keeps me here. The weather is also a plus!