Museum of Northern California Art

Chico, CA Art Museum

The vision of the Museum of Northern California Art (monca) 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.

The monca Board of Directors was thrilled to announce that the Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved our lease of the historic Veterans Memorial Hall in Chico on March 26th, 2013. The Veterans Memorial Hall was built in 1927 on the site of what had been John Bidwell’s hay warehouse in the 1880s on the former Tehama County Road. By the 1920s, the road, now The Esplanade, was still Chico’s major northern axis. Two lots just to the south of the Chico Vecino area and opposite the high school were purchased in 1926 from Mrs. Theresa Purdue for $2,500 by the County Board of Supervisors

A prominent Chico architectural firm of the 1920s, Cole & Brouchaud, was chosen to design the building. Their knowledge of the appropriate interpretation of classic elements is seen in this building as well as in several on the CSU, Chico campus (in early Christian-Byzantine Revival styles). The Veterans Hall has remained an integral part of the Chico community since its dedication on Veterans Day 1927

This grand building sits on the Esplanade in close proximity to other museums in the community, and it is a fitting home for monca’s permanent collection and exhibitions. In 2022, the museum celebrated 5 years in the building and we are looking forward to many more.

Museum of Northern California Art's (monca's) Permanent Collection

Reed Applegate Collection / Maria Alquilar Acquisition

Reed Applegate’s inspiring collection of Northern California art, the inaugural monca collection, began with a single purchase in 1964. It was a restrike of a Kathe Kollwitz work, “The March of the Weavers.” Over the next several years, another print would occasionally be purchased or an artwork traded with an artist friend.

The collection has grown to include works of art by over ninety-six artists in a variety of media including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and ceramics. The vision of the museum is to extend its collection beyond the Applegate gift, not only in size, but also in breadth to include video art, installation art and conceptual art.

Exhibition Highlights

Currently on View

The Museum of Northern California Art (monca), located in beautiful Chico, California, opens the door to world-class artworks for everyone. monca’s collection includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and photography from nearly 100 artists in Northern California.

The Playful Spirit   “The Playful Spirit” is a juried exhibition that evokes a sense of wonder and play. Northern California artists bring their most whimsical and imaginative works to monca, creating an atmosphere that celebrates creativity and joy. This […]
The Museum of Northern California Art (monca) is thrilled to announce an upcoming dual exhibition featuring “My Cabinet of Curiosities” by Norma Lyon and “The Playful Spirit,” a juried exhibition showcasing Northern California artists.   Both exhibitions will run July […]
Museum News

Latest News From the Museum of Northern California Art (monca)

Museum of Northern California Art (monca) Reviews

Hear From Past Visitors

When I was an Art student at Chico State in the late '50s the nearest museum for us to visit was the Crocker in Sacramento. There weren't even any galleries in town. > Now, thanks to the vision, hard work and persistence of a handful of dedicated advocates spearheaded by Pat Macias, there is a community-based Art Museum to fill that void. I believe it grew from a mobile Art Bus to a series of pop-up galleries to the ongoing restoration and conversion of the old Veteran's Hall into a series of exhibition spaces, research library, even a small gift shop, with more to come. I am most impressed with the way a historic structure has been re-imagined into a handsome, up-to-date Museum that reflects the community it serves. The cultural climate of the entire area is enriched by the addition of this Museum. It fosters a creative spark, a vitality and appreciation for a wide variety of visual art that spills over to include music, theater and other art forms. I admire and appreciate the tenacity and will-power demonstrated in creating this wonderful center for the Arts in the community of Chico.

Marlowe Boyd (Chico Resident)

We are the Adult class at Chico high school and would like to give MONCA, our neighbor on the Esplanade, A big THANK YOU for all the opportunities you have provided for our class. You are, of course, our favorite site for vocational experience, but you have also tickled our artistic bones. Not only do students get to appreciate the art while we work, but Pat has included our student artwork in shows which is very exciting for motivational for us. Mucho Gracias MONCA!

Chico High School Adult Class (Student)

Fabulous museum of art, activity and heart! Literally, something for everyone including a library of art books and references and weekly events. And, a historic building was saved, renovated and reused for the public's enjoyment.

Pam Figge (Facebook)

Mon ‒ Wed: Closed
Thu ‒ Fri: 11am ‒ 5pm
Sat ‒ Sun: 11am ‒ 5pm

Adults: $30/year
Seniors: $25/year
Dual/Family: $50/year
NARM: $100/year
Corporate: $750/year

900 Esplanade, Chico, CA, 95926