Karen Lewis Exhibit: Faces, Places, and Things

Karen Lewis Exhibit: Faces, Places, and Things

Image may contain: 2 people, people sittingThe City of Ojai Arts Comission is pleased to announce an exhibition of the work of artist Karen Lewis in our the Ojai City Hall Gallery,401 S. Ventura St,. and a concurrent exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum,130 W. Ojai Ave., from January 7 to March 15. The exhibit is called “Faces, Places, and Things” and is a retrospective of the former Ojai Arts Commissioner and respected Ojai artist. Lewis will be on hand for a public reception at the Museum on January 18th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of downtown Ojai’s Third Friday events.

Lewis, whose works are large scale oils on canvas, received her BA from UCLA and her MFA from Lehman College in the Bronx. During her time in New York she exhibited in the SoHO district at the Pindar Gallery in New York City and taught high school art for 15 years. She was also an adjunct instructor for arts education at the College of New Rochelle. Lewis returned to California in 1990 settling in Ojai. She continued her educational journey with cutting-edge printmaking workshops in Santa Fe New Mexico; in Lucca and Florence, Italy; and in nearby Santa Barbara.

“It was after landing in Ojai that I really fell in love with the landscape and joined a throng of local plein air painters,” said Lewis, who now divides her time between landscape painting, studio painting and printmaking.”My progress with plein air painting had a slow start because while living in NY I fell in love with painting ‘portraits’ of chairs, which I collected on weekly trash nights. My N.Y. loft and home were filled with my scavenged beauties and their large scaled portraits. I left many behind when we moved to Ojai and when I started plein air painting here, I was immediately drawn to the beach, deck, and patio chairs that populated the California scene. A few are included in this current show. I’ve gradually weaned myself from those California natives and am deeply in love again with the California sky, sea and mountains.”

Lewis, a vital part of the Ojai arts community, has had innumerable solo exhibitions, including “Please be Seated” an exhibit of her large scale paintings of California chairs at the Ventura County Government Center and annually exhibits with the Ojai Studio Artists. She was honored in 2012 as a documented artist in the Focus on the Masters archival project.One of her larger pieces, inspired by a London garden scene, was purchased by Bank of A. Levy and is in the Ventura County Museum of History and Art’s collection.

“Faces,Places, and Things” can be viewed at City Hall from 9 a.m,- 5 p.m. Monday- Friday and at the Ojai Valley Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-4 p.m. Sunday. Her work can also be viewed online at her website, www.karenklewis.com, and at ojaistudioartists.org, and by appointment at her Ojai studio.

Ojai Studio Artists Awards $10,000 in Art Scholarships

Ojai Studio Artists Awards $10,000 in Art Scholarships

"I Feel Like Glitter" Hee Eun Chung

“I Feel Like Glitter” Hee Eun Chung

"Overcome" Ayliah Zweig

“Overcome” Ayliah Zweig

The Ojai Studio Artists will award $10,000 in scholarships to ten Ventura County high school and college art students this year.  The winning students will be honored and awarded their scholarships at a special reception at Ojai City Hall on Saturday, June 2 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.  The quality of work continues to astound as we observe 25 years of OSA Scholarship reviews!


Everyone is invited to attend this special recognition event and student exhibition. These events take place at City Gallery at Ojai City Hall, located at 410 S. Ventura Street, Ojai. The show extends from May 30-June 29; open Monday-Friday, 9-5:00PM. The Ojai Arts Commission generously hosts the show installed throughout City Hall for the benefit of the public.


The prestigious Beatrice Wood, Horace Bristol, and Otto and Vivika Heino Awards honor the legacy of these important Ojai artists and past OSA members. The Ojai Award goes specifically to local students. As well as Ojai, award students hail from Westlake Village, Oxnard, Newbury Park, and Ventura. Gayel Childress and Richard Amend will present on the history of the Ojai Studio Artists and the value of scholarships, respectively.


Each year OSA raises money to support young artists to further their art education.

To date, the artists’ organization has funded over $233,950 in scholarships and other ArtReach programs, including books for the Library and repairs for the Ojai Art Center.  Proceeds from OSA’s Annual Studio Tour (October 13-15, 2018) together with private donations, fund these initiatives.  For further information about our artist organization, our annual tour and how to donate to the scholarship fund, please go to www.ojaistudioartists.org and click on “donate”.


About Ojai Studio Artists

The organization’s mission is to create an environment where artists thrive ― professional and student alike — and fulfill the potential of the arts to enrich lives and build community.


Deadline Extended! Open to call to photographers for exhibit juried by Donna Granata

Deadline Extended! Open to call to photographers for exhibit juried by Donna Granata

Keeping it Cool in Ojai: Seekers and Dreamers is the theme of an open call to photographers to be exhibited in the city gallery.
Entries are through the Public Arts Commission website, Artsojai.org. Online entries only.

Enter HERE.

Due to the fires in the area, the deadline for entry is Wednesday, January 10 at 5 pm.. Artists will be notified by Friday, January 12. The top entries will have their pieces exhibited at the Ojai Valley Museum. Selected photographers must bring in their pieces by 10:30 am on Saturday, January 13 to Ojai City Hall. Ms. Granata will decide the top winners at that time.
The exhibit will run through March 16 with a reception Friday, January 19 from 5:30 – 7:00 during Ojai’s 3rd Friday.

About the Juror:
Donna Granata is an internationally published and award winning painter turned photographer. Her photographs have been displayed across the United States. Selected works from her Focus On The Masters portrait series are housed in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Artists; in the photographic Collection of the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York and other public institutions that house the personal archives of the artists documented.

Donna received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree and Honorary Masters of Science Degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography where she was an adjunct professor in the Portrait Department. She received a Master’s Degree in Arts Journalism from USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, graduating with honor. Granata is listed in Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

What Ojai Means to Me Exhibit through Jan. 6, 2018

What Ojai Means to Me Exhibit through Jan. 6, 2018

“What Ojai Means to Me,” an open show featuring works by artists within the Ojai Valley will open on Monday, October 2 and run through January 6, 2018.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will have their works exhibited at the Ojai Valley Museum. The winners are Sylvia Raz for “In the Forest;” David Baker for “Ojai Love;” and Susan Guy for “Topa Full Moon Rise.”
The public is invited to a reception for the artists will be held during “Third Friday” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Ojai City Hall on Friday, October 20, 2017. The Ojai City Hall Gallery is located at 401 S. Ventura St., Ojai, CA.

  • Joanne Pavlak D08-01
    Joanne Pavlak D08-01

City Gallery Highlights Selected Works from the Permanent Collection

City Gallery Highlights Selected Works from the Permanent Collection

permCollectionThe Ojai Arts Commission is proud to present a group of newly acquired and/or rarely seen items from our Permanent Collection. Artists represented include:

[column col=”1/3″]Phil Harvey[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Winter Magic of the Palouse[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]C-Print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Phil Harvey[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Harvest Magic[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]C-Print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Phil Harvey[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Palouse Twilight[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]C-Print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Fred Rothenberg[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Lenticular[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Lenticular photo print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Maggie Garrett[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Swimmingly[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Audrey Sanders[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Panther Way[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Enamel on paper/wire construction, 1979[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]Linda Taylor[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Nest of Grass[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Print[/column]

[column col=”1/3″]The Blakely’s Photography Studio [/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Ojai (c. 1950s)[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Hand tinted photographic print[/column]

ArtsOjai Artists Mentor Group Exhibition

ArtsOjai Artists Mentor Group Exhibition

City Gallery is proud to highlight the visual artists who participated in the ArtsOjai Artist/Mentor Program

Erin Kobrin, a senior at Nordhoff, split her time with two artists, Elisse Pogofsky-Harris and Linda Taylor. Their focus was on drawing, using a variety of drawing materials, and art history, leading to explorations of abstraction and realizations in print making.

Spencer Solana, a senior at Nordhoff, worked with mosaic artist Gail Hercher.

“Gail Hercher was an amazing person to work with,” said Solana. “Gail’s teachings allowed my creativity to take me wherever I wanted to go. I not only learned about the styles and techniques of mosaics, but also how to sell the artwork I had created. One of my favorite experiences was going into an actual shop in Ojai and being able to see how a mosaic shop works – from the tile making process, to putting the pieces together in a much larger scale than what I was doing. The pieces I was able to complete were some of the best artwork I had made in my life. It was always fun to see the pieces go from plain to a little messy to a quality mosaic. Thank you Gail!”

Student / Mentor exhbibition - Ojai City GalleryMariela Ramirez, a junior at Nordhoff High School, worked with Kyle Crowner, in textiles.

“We took a wonderful road trip to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles,” said Crowner. “Mariela was able to meet with an advisor and pick up all the paperwork she’ll need to apply, as well as get inspired by the level of creativity and achievement of FIDM students. We both like the idea of taking an existing garment (yea, thrift stores) and up-cycling it into a new life. Together, we rose to the challenge of making a sophisticated prom dress, which Mariela will wear at the Art Commission presentation on Oct. 16.”

“My experience was definitely a positive!” said Ramirez. “I learned so many things with Kyle, from learning how to deal with the sewing sequence, to making sure to check your work many times. I never thought that I would make a dress and knowing that I did well, let me just say, that’s amazing. I always begged my mom to take me (to FDIM) but there was never enough time to go, or transportation to get there, and having Kyle take me was the best thing someone could ever do. I really am thankful for this mentor program. It taught me the meaning of hard work and dedication.”

Artist Mentors received an honorarium for their contribution, and the students receive a $500 scholarship.

Artists interested in showing at the invitational City Gallery may send their name, contact information, short resume and jpg samples of their work to Heather Stobo or Mimi Moore for consideration.