Architecture Book Published by The City of Ojai’s Public Arts Commission

Architecture Book Published by The City of Ojai’s Public Arts Commission

The Ojai Valley is known nationally for its stunning visual landscape—the majestic mountains surrounding the little Valley, the magnificent Pink Moments, the cozy little town feel. And all that “provides a splendid showcase for the Valley’s rich architectural heritage of Southern California”, says historian Craig Walker, author of a new book called “OJAI by DESIGN: Fine Architecture of the Ojai Valley.”

The brainchild of Arts Commission Chair Michael Addison and managed by artist and Commissioner Bobbi Balderman, the book of photographs and essays documents 23 historic buildings designed by such renowned architects as Greene and Greene, Richard Neutra, Paul Revere Williams, Julia Morgan and George Washington Smith. Many of the buildings are private residences so the public has not been able to realize much of the visual wealth of the Ojai Valley. Until now.

Working with Walker and Balderman on the project, sanctioned by the City of Ojai’s Arts Commission, were local journalist Mark Lewis who edited the book and Ojai artist Carlos Grasso (designer) and principal photographer Dawn Rosa.

Addison commented “Ojai is blessed with artists of high calibre, not the least of which are the architects whose work is illuminated in this book. Bobbi Balderman brought her artistic vision into play as she drew together the images that are at the core of the book. Our hope is that this is the first of an Ojai Arts Commission series of books about art and our community, celebrating the creative energies that so enrich our lives.”

The book will be launched at a book signing party at the Ojai Valley Museum Saturday, January 27 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

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.

Call to Artists: Open Show “What Ojai Means to Me”

Call to Artists: Open Show “What Ojai Means to Me”

Call to Artists: What Ojai Means to Me an exhibit at the City of Ojai’s City Gallery.
Entry deadline September 19, 2017

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is holding a call for artists for the City Hall Gallery. The exhibit is “What Ojai Means to Me.” Artists can submit up to 3 images and are asked to write one sentence on what Ojai means to the artist. A limited number of 3D work can be accepted. This exhibit is only open to residents of Ojai and the Ojai Valley.
To enter, submit your entry below.
Entry deadline is September 19 at 5:00 pm. Artists will be notified on September 21 by 5 pm.
The top entries will be hung at the Ojai Valley Museum.
A reception for the artists and the public will be held on 3rd Friday, October 20 from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Khaled Al-Awar Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts will be awarded to Khaled Alawar on Tuesday, June 10 by the Ojai City Council.

A 1970 emigrate from Lebanon, Alawar moved to Ojai in 1982 from Chicago with his wife, Sheryl, after they fell in love with Ojai’s small town feel. Purchasing the Ojai Playhouse, the Alawars and their family established The Primavera Gallery and have gone on to become an essential part of the Ojai community.

“In choosing Khaled Alawar for the award we focused on his overall support for the arts in Ojai,” said Michael Addison, Ojai Arts Commissioner and the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee Chair. “Khaled has maintained a high profile Arcade gallery, which has featured Ojai artists, both individually and in group shows. He repeatedly makes the theatre available gratis to community groups for meetings and film showings, provides a continuing venue for the Ojai Film Society on Sundays and a showcase for the student films sponsored by the Ojai Film Festival and an artistic home for the Ojai Film Festival. In short, Khaled continually uses his resources in a generous way to support the arts in Ojai.”

Alawar’s Primavera Gallery has been exhibiting American craft for over 29 years representing more than 100 artists from across the country. He focuses on emerging as well as long-established artists working in a variety of mediums including glass, wood and ceramics. It has been a labor of love for Alawar.

“The more galleries and the more art there is in any community, the more we celebrate art in a community, the better,” said Alawar in a recent interview promoting the recent “Discarted” show. Alawar, who is inclusive and ever supportive of newcomers to the arts community continued, “There is an amazing transformation that happens to people

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when they walk in and see the art.”

Outside the Gallery, Alawar also has collaborated to bring emerging and established artists together for exhibitions to benefit the Ojai Studio Artists Scholarship Fund and has been an Ojai Music Festival Board Member.

Older Ojai residents will also remember Alawar for saving Ojai’s only theatre during a time when single-screen movie houses were closing nationwide. Alawar purchased the shuttered theatre, made needed repairs and improvements, and then brought back first-run films.

In helping to found the Ojai Film Society, Alawar and his theatre now showcase limited-run art films on Sunday afternoons. Alawar continued to increase accessibility to film by making the theatre available free of charge to the Art21 film series, begun last year by the City.

“There is nothing on this earth that is not an expression of art,” said Alawar, already voted a Living Treasure by Ojai’s Rotary. “Art is everywhere.”

The public is welcome to attend the June 10 meeting of the Ojai City Council at 7 p.m. for the presentation of the award. The meeting will occur at Ojai City Hall, at 401 S. Ventura Street.

City of Ojai Grants Awarded for 2018

$25,000 in grants was awarded among 9 Ojai-based arts organizations, it was announced today by Arts Commission Chairman Michael Addison.  “We had 6 recipients last year and this year we’ve awarded 50% more grants for a total of 9.  That’s very satisfying,” he said. “The word is getting out to local arts organizations that the City is committed to its artists.”

The nine recipients are:  the Ojai Youth Opera, at $6,000, whose goal is to build on the success of their “Brundibar” production in Libbey Bowl last year; the Ojai Art Center at $5,250, which wants to increase production values of its theatrical season’s offerings, including the casting of some professional artists; Focus on the Masters, granted $3,000 to promote a critical thinking initiative they’ve created called Learning to See.

Also, the Ojai Music Festival, at $2,500, to develop its Family Arts Daycare Camp to stimulate children to make art; Performances to Grow On, the recipient of $2,000 which will allow them to created 3 performances especially for children; Ojai Performing Arts Theater at $2,000, which allows the theater-making organization to expand its season to 3 productions while encouraging a conversation between professional actors and those new to theater arts.

Madrigali, Ojai’s legendary early music chamber group, was awarded $1,650 to pay for artistic personnel performing at 6 at senior centers and public schools; and, at $1,500, the visual artist Brian Berman who would continue with his annual Peace Concert.