Pixie Month, 2020

Katie Van Horne, Dancing Pixies, 2015
Katie Van Horne, 
Dancing Pixies, 2015

The Ojai Chamber of Commerce designates April as Pixie Month. It’s a campaign designed to celebrate local farmers and bring much needed social awareness to the seedless tangerine that grows prolifically in our valley. The idea is that having all local businesses rally around a small citrus named after a fairy unites our community and entices non-locals, a group that everyone who isn't a merchant resents.

In the past, such promotions proved challenging for us as a contemporary art gallery. Fruit, traditionally, wasn’t a big feature in our programming and I always felt uncomfortable curating around commerce. As always, my discomfort was outweighed by Lisa’s enthusiasm. She came up with the idea to hold a pixie-themed contest for artists. The prize would be a crate of pixies donated by a local farmer. We learned the hard way that a hero's dose of vitamin C was not alluring to artists. We had two submissions, a painting from a middle school student and an abstract photograph of an “orange” by an artist/friend who, I believe, felt sorry for us. After that, Lisa and I decided to abstain from Pixie Month.
In 2020, we changed our attitude. With the chocolates, we had an actual product to promote and launch. Our first bar, the Happy Valley Bar (72% dark chocolate flavored with orange oil and covered with Ojai "Pixie Dust”), was created as a tribute to Ojai. After all the years of sitting on the sidelines for Pixie Month, we were back.

In early March, we started preparations. We planned parties, sent out press releases, and hired a professional photographer. We were going to go big, and it was going to be documented. On March 15th, the government shut down our business.

Stay tuned,
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates

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