Our Vision

The vision of the Museum of Northern California Art is to be a vehicle for communities in the region to experience and create art for the sake of enjoyment, expression, social cohesion, innovation and communication. The museum will improve public perception of art by creating vital educational programs that inspire enthusiasm and increase the quality of life for artists, art enthusiasts and the public at large.

Board of Directors


Art Educator for over 35 years, kindergarten through university levels with certification in Michigan, Missouri and California. Previously worked as a gallery director at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, CA. Education and Docent Coordinator at Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis, MO and Lead Reader and Scorer for Educational Testing Service/Art Praxis Tests for the past 14 years. 


Ms. Byers currently works for a local e-commerce company, and is committed to helping monca extend its reach through web, social media, and educational outreach. She is a Chico native, with a background in studio art, including time spent studying Traditional Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Ms. Byers holds a degree in Art History and Museum Studies from CSU, Chico, and while there participated in various art/museum education internships involving extensive hands-on teaching to K-12 students locally. In the fall of 2011, she assisted the Museum Education department in assembling the "Clayton Bailey's World of Wonders" exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA.



Mary moved to Chico in 1974, then moved to the Bay Area in 2003.  She retired in 2013 and she and her husband Eddie returned to Chico.  Mary has 30 years of experience in Higher Education; twenty years at CSU, Chico and ten years at UC Davis.  Mary's expertise is in Finance and Management which includes fiscal management, human resources, staffing, training, can physical building management.  During that time, Mary's particular interest and education was leadership training and team building.  Mary enjoys being back in Chico and closer to her son, daughter, and friends.



Originally from Napa, California, Ken graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 1985 with a BA in Management. Ken has been a licensed Real Estate Salesperson since 1987, and currently works as a real esate broker with Keller Williams Realty Chico. Ken’s volunteer and charitable work goes back to nearly a decade with the Moraga Education Foundation (MEF) in the San Francisco East Bay where he served as a board member and President to raise millions of dollars for the local public schools focused in arts, music, technology and supplemental programs. In Chico, Ken has been an active member of the Chico Chamber of Commerce serving as an Ambassador. Prior to being a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Ken was a member of Rotary in Half Moon Bay, Moraga, and Chico. Ken is currently a member of Chico Elks Lodge, and continues to seek service and neighborhood based opportunities to support our wonderful Northern California lifestyles. Ken has resided in Chico since 2006 with his wife, Linda.


David Hopper founded Orient & Flume Art Glass in Chico, CA in 1972. Under his leadership and management the business gained world-wide recognition. In 1982, he built a glass sculpture studio in Paradise, CA. His art glass has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, including 14 one man shows in galleries within the continental U.S. and Germany. In 1984, David started Paradise Pictures, providing memorial portraits for cemetery markers. David and his wife Shari are avid supporters of the arts in the North State. He says of monca, “Shari and I have followed the efforts of monca’s board of directors and agree with its mission. A regional art museum will be a great benefit to both the Chico community and to communities throughout northern California”.

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Sara Smallhouse

Sara Smallhouse grew up in Chico, surrounded by art created by her glassblower father and painter/illustrator mother.  It is no surprise that she was drawn to the arts, receiving her B.A. in Art History from UC Irvine in 2008 and her M.A. in Art History from CSU, Chico in 2015.  From 2010-2012, Sara taught English in Seoul, South Korea, where an interest in Asian art commenced. She has worked at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College, the Hollywood Bowl Museum, the Janet Turner Print Museum and the Chico Museum.  Sara currently teaches Art History courses at Butte College and CSU, Chico. She is fervently dedicated to using her experience and network to help monca become more sustainable and engaged with the community.



Originally from the East Coast, Rodger moved to Chico last year after living in San Francisco for 25 years. Rodger is a graduate of Boston University, where he was a documentary filmmaker, with an art history concentration, and now is a fine art photographer with a specialization in floral photography. Rodger has had an award- winning career in hospitality management and food and wine marketing, promoting clients from around the globe. In addition, Rodger has been a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the San Francisco Professional Food Society, where he served several terms on the board of directors. He has also served on the arts committee of his San Francisco church and is a member of 1078 gallery in Chico.



Born and raised in Richmond, California, Sally lived in Oakland for 30 years before moving to Chico in 2011.  She has been a lifelong art enthusiast, an interest initially sparked by children's and teen classes at Richmond Art Center.  She enjoyed many art history courses in college and later went on to design and fabricate jewelry.  More and more, she and her husband Ron find themselves making art a major focus of their travels.  Since moving to Chico, Sally has been impressed by the local art scene and believes monca will be a great asset to Chico and the greater region.


Tierra is a practicing artist and chose to move to Chico because of the flourishing art community, excellent schools, year-round farmers markets, and friendly people. She holds a degree in Art History and Curator Arts and a degree in Studio Arts with a focus in painting, scientific illustration, and gold-smithing, with minors in finance and marketing. Tierra attended the masters program in English at Humboldt State University with a focus in teaching creative writing for one year, before moving to the middle of nowhere to homestead on 20 acres, write, make art, have a baby, and start a federal construction company. After moving to Chico with her young daughter, Tierra met long-time local, Jeff Cummings, and fell in love. Today, the couple has a lively two-year-old son and feel that supporting the arts and community enrichment programs, like monca, is an important investment in their children's future.



Emily Gallo