Psychedelic art gallery in Grass Valley registers as nonprofit to educate public

Grass Valley art studio offers guests a trippy time

GRASS VALLEY – First was the gold rush, then the marijuana green rush, and now some people might call it a trippy rush in Grass Valley.

A psychedelic art studio right on Main Street has been gaining so much momentum it recently registered as a nonprofit organization to educate the public and allow them to view psychedelic and fine art that they might not otherwise have access to.

The Chambers Project in Grass Valley has been 30 years in the making, but they just opened up a physical gallery a little more than two years ago. Now, Psychedelic Arts and Culture Trust (PACT) was created to engage the community.

"People can come from all over the world to our lovely little town and experience something they might not be able to unless they were going to New York or LA," said Chambers Project board member Leah Plenge.

Founded by Brian Chambers, the project and gallery have no target audience. It stems from the psychedelic movement out of San Francisco in the 60s.

"A lot of this stuff is very historically relevant across the planet and viewed as some holy grail material," said Chambers.

The goal is to make priceless art accessible to the public.

"My intention is to be able to teach them and educate and show them. What I think is interesting is to examine the effects that psychedelics have had on arts and culture throughout time and to be able to visually show the development," said Chambers.

"It's such a blessing to have this in the community. It makes sense this place is kind of attracting artists all the time," said a community member.

CBS13 spoke with an artist who painted a mural in the heart of Grass Valley, something that needed approval by the city council and the community.

"And that was sort of the first time that the community has gone through that process, right? So it sort of was one of the first times that anything big and colorful like that has come to the community and it opened a doorway for more things to come," said artist Justin Lovato.

"I think we're seeing a shift in how the art world at large views this particular aesthetic and this genre of art. In the past it might've been deemed as outsider art," said Chambers.

He says the art is helping to destigmatize psychedelics and people are learning how they've influenced fashion and design. But he says you don't have to be a user of psychedelics to enjoy the gallery.

"Everything we make we put back into the artists and we're going to continue to build and develop more shows and create more art," he said.

The gallery's previous show raised $20,000 for the Wixaritari Tribe of North Western Mexico. 

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