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Labels: The Lives Behind the Labels

Feb 13 2024 - Feb 13 2024

Labels: The Lives Behind the Labels

  • Feb 13 2024 - Feb 13 2024


An interactive exhibition “The Lives Behind The Labels” opens at monca on March 7, 2024.

“As we know, we are all labeled in various ways,” according to art therapist practitioner Christine MacShane, a painter and muralist recognized by the City of Chico this October with its Award of Excellence in the Arts. “ I moved from Australia to Los Angeles in 1987 and even after living in Butte County for over 30 years, I still find some of the assumptions we make about each other, our social differences, our political outlooks and even our nationalities don’t budge.”

The lives and viewpoints of Chico’s youth in shelters and homeless adults camping on the streets (or in transition housing) is portrayed through a collaboration among MacShane, documentary filmmaker Chris Smith, and media specialist Dori Moura.

“This exhibit showcases the basic humanity, many times lost in political debate, shared between people labeled residents and those labeled homeless,” MacShane explained. “Visitors will be able to see the dimensions of a Pallet shelter as well as see the art and writing of the participants.” The documentary will also be part of this exhibit. Viewers can share their reactions by attempting to match portraits of those labeled homeless with the stories and artwork on display. They can also complete an on-site survey about their personal emotions and insights which will be added to the richness of the ongoing exhibit.

Last spring MacShane joined forces with Smith and Moura to apply for California’s new state program involving artists in post-pandemic community and economic development. The Upstate California Creative Corps announced in June that her Labels project was among 81 grantees from around 300 statewide to win 2023 funding, making it part of this first in the nation pilot program aimed at the state’s most vulnerable communities and environments, its least represented peoples, and some of society’s most critical issues.


Collaborating artist Chris Smith of Rocketspots TV is filming a documentary of the project. Smith specializes in impactful films and film projects. Readers may know him from his Emmy Award winning “Every 15 Minutes,” chronicling an anti-drunk driving immersive program for teens pioneered by the Chico Police Department in 1995 and now in use nationwide, or his work, “Three Days in Paradise” which depicts the harrowing experiences of the 2018 Camp Fire.

Writing instructor Dori Moura has a master’s degree in teaching international language and has taught academic writing at California State University Chico. She has more than 20 years of experience in promotion, marketing and media. Dori leads the writing workshops and has been instrumental in editing and creating the exhibit with Mac Shane.

We include interviews with the homeless youth. There are over 11,000 homeless young people in California and their stories are compelling.

“The Lives Behind The Labels” runs March 7 – 17th at monca.

Opening reception will be Friday, March 8th at 6pm. All ages welcome.

The documentary will be available for viewing through the exhibit.

Christine MacShane is available for interviews and appearances.

Contact 530 370 1285 or [email protected].

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