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IN THE PINK: Gioia Fonda, founder of Pink Week, poses for a very pink portrait that includes her "Official Pink Week Cookbook."
IN SACRAMENTO-BASED artist and teacher Gioia Fonda's world, there are things that are pink and things that are decidedly "un-pink."

It is easy to identify the pink things — pink toenails, bubble gum, ham.

The un-pink? Well, she explains it like this:

"In New York, by November everybody wears black clothes down to their feet,' she says, pointing to her plastic pink shoes. "They are very un-pink."

Fonda did not intend to be the spokeswoman for all things pink when, in 1993, she arbitrarily declared the second week of November Pink Week. At the time she was an undergraduate studying printmaking and metalsmithing at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, now known as California College of the Arts.

When you look at the woman behind the pink scarf and pink sweater you see, well, just more pink. She wears pink eyeglasses and pink eye shadow. Her hair is best described as a shade of pinkish-brown.

In fact, even her personality can be described as rosy.

As Fonda flips though a pink binder filled with pink ribbons and pink stickers, she describes what Pink Week is all about.

Pink Week is:

- An art piece that takes several forms. It is a mailing campaign, in which Fonda mails pink stickers, tags and buttons to hundreds of Pink Week participants across the country to wear during the week.

- An excuse for a pink theme party, and Fonda has compiled a cookbook with recipes sure to turn out pink but "not guaranteed to be delicious," she says.

- A theme for two gallery shows, one in Oakland and one in Sacramento.

What Pink Week is not is a political statement of any kind.

"It is just a week to celebrate the color pink and everything that happens to be pink" Fonda says. And while celebrating the color, Fonda adds, people can feel the joy of a holiday while participating in what can only be described as a growing art movement.

"People don't have to go out of their way to get to this art," she says. "It doesn't cost anything to participate in it. You don't have to buy anything."

You see, Fonda says, art school in the early 1990s when Pink Week was started was trs un-pink.

Students were all about black. Black hair, black shoes, black pants and black shirts were the norm.

"Pink was kind of outlawed," she says.

As a weekly routine, she and her best friend and husband-to-be Eric Wood would go thrift store shopping every Wednesday. Fonda had amassed a significant number of pink clothes during these trips, she just never wore them.

So Fonda had all this pink in her closet and decided to wear pink all week the second week of November. She declared the week Pink Week and "anything that you declare you are going to do in art school becomes an art piece."

Although she didn't intend for this to happen, shortly after the 32-year-old artist started Pink Week, it became a sensation. First at her art school, then at the local grocery store.

Fonda brought Pink Week with her when she lived in New York City, to her hometown of Oakdale and to Sacramento.

Now, as Pink Week enters its 13th year of celebrating all things pink, people mark the occasion in Oakland, Sacramento, Atlanta, New York, Green Bay, Amsterdam and Australia.

Even people who hate pink celebrate Pink Week by avoiding the color altogether.

In Oakland, Pink Week will have an official gallery showing in November at the Cricket Engine Studio, 499 Embarcadero. The show opens Friday, Nov. 10 and will be on display Nov. 11 & 12 and Nov. 18 & 19.

The call for artists is still open, with artists invited to enter their pink-theme work into the juried show until Friday.

To receive a Pink Week button, send something pink and a self-addressed stamped envelope to P.O. Box 2329, Sacramento, CA 95812-2329.

To order a cookbook, send $7 cash or money order to the above address.

You can contact Laura Casey at (925) 416-4860 or at lcasey@angnewspapers.com.