“The Artist Playground: Mixed Media Visions” by Carlos Grasso

“The Artist Playground: Mixed Media Visions” by Carlos Grasso

“The Artist Playground: Mixed Media Visions” by Carlos Grasso

Carlos Grasso will have an exhibit at the Ojai City Hall Gallery from Monday, July 15 through Saturday, August 18, 2018. A reception for the artist will be held during Ojai’s Third Friday on August 17, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.

Carlos Grasso’s personal journey began in the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his parents encouraged his interest in the arts, particularly music. As a young adult, while studying figure drawing in drawing workshops, he also studied both piano and flute at the National Conservatory of Music before moving to Paris, where he worked as a professional flautist for 15 years. During this period, he also trained and worked as a graphic designer. After moving to Southern California, it only took one class with artist David Leffel for Carlos to discover a new passion: painting. Over the last 25 years, not only has he transitioned from music to making art full time, he’s also shifted from representational works to abstraction and mixed media. Throughout this period, he has participated in many gallery and group exhibitions, and received several awards for his work. Most recently, his “9” series was featured in the 2017 LA Art Show.

Says Carlos: “What some might see as nothing but a thorn piece of canvas or a rusty sheet of metal to be discarded, I visualize as the perfect ingredient for my next piece of work. What others might view as worthless scraps of wood or slit fabric, I envision as works of art. They speak to me just as much as my paints and brushes, sometimes asking and sometimes flat-out demanding to be included in my art. They form the blood and bones of my current creations.”

Carlos lives and works in Ojai and is a member of Ojai Studio Artists. To find out more about Carlos, visit his website at www.CarlosGrasso.com

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jaye Hersh

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jaye Hersh

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Jaye Hersch

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts will be awarded to Jaye Hersh on July 10 by the Ojai City Council. Hersh is widely known in the community for her work with the Ojai Shakespeare Festival, Nordhoff High School’s theatre and choral productions, Ojai Performing Arts Theatre, the Ojai Art Center Theatre, and the Ojai Music Festival. She was also voted a 2003- 2004 Ojai Living Treasure by the Ojai Rotary.

“In choosing Jaye for the award we focused on her strong commitment to the arts in Ojai,” said Michael Addison, Ojai Arts Commissioner and the Lifetime Achievement Award Commitee Chair. “The Award is given in recognition of her proven continuous artistic excellence, demonstrated community involvement within the Ojai Valley, and established recognition in her field. She brings it all to the table.”

Besides her involvement as a vocal director in the above Ojai events and institutions, Hersh herself is an accomplished actress and vocal performer. Local audiences may have seen her in roles as diverse as the classic Shakespearean role Ophelia or as Dolly in the Broadway hit “hello Dolly.” As a founder of the Ojai Madrigali she often performs annually strolling through the arcade during the holiday season decked in period costume and giving impromptu concerts to the delight of shoppers and merchants.

According to the Ojai Rotary website, “Jaye Hersh believes that everyone has a voice and nobody should be ashamed to use it. She has made a mission to help people young and old tap into something she thinks is becoming lost in our culture: a connection to music on a personal level.”

Please join us for the Tuesday evening award at the July 10th meeting of the Ojai City Council, 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 401 S. Ventura Street, Ojai, CA.

What Do These Photos Have In Common?

What Do These Photos Have In Common?

They are both musical instruments!

The instrument on the left can be found in the Accademia Museum in Florence. The instrument on the right can be found right here in Ojai’s backyard. It’s the Trimpin Sound Arch, located at the entrance to the Libbey Park Bowl. You might know that the Sound Arch is triggered by motion, but did you know it also has an interactive IPhone app?

Few of Ojai’s citizens or visitors realize that the Arch they walk under in and out of Libbey Bowl is a musical instrument that is not only triggered by motion, but also can be played on an IPhone! To demonstrate what the Sound Arch can do, the Ojai Music Festival’s Sunday line-up will feature a free 15 minute demonstration that includes local composer Raymond Powers playing the Sound Arch live on a midi interface. The “Trimpin Sound Arch Redux” will take place at 9:00 AM and is free to the public.

In 2011, the Arts Commission’s Public Art Jury selected the internationally known artist and composer, Trimpin, to contribute a musical element to the walkway into Libbey Bowl. Trimpin took care to design the curve of the Sound Arch to reflect the curve of the Libbey Bowl’s newly designed open-air dome. The Sound Arch was unveiled at the 65th Ojai Music Festival, a premier venue for the introduction of new compositions. Former Ojai Music festival Executive Director, Jeff Hayden, wrote at the time, “The symmetry of the Arch, the colors, the placement, the artist, and the fact that it is also musical in a space for music is all perfect.”

Trimpin intended that the Sound Arch serve as a living piece of auditory sculpture and toward that end composed some original compositions for the Arch. Last fall, the Trimpin Sound Arch Committee was formed to follow up on Hayden’s suggestions including that the Ojai Music Festival invite one of its visiting composers each year to compose a short piece for the Arch. This year, as part of the demonstration, one of Ojai’s talented composers, Raymond Powers, will perform a piece on a midi interface.

The Sound Arch’s crown is an automated xylophone made up of 24 tuned metal rods operated by mechanical mallets. Each of the two steel sections weighs 550 pounds. An electronic eye senses when someone walks beneath, triggering a computer to play a xylophonic precomposition creating a unique percussive experience. Trimpin built an interactive IPhone app into the Sound Arch’s computer driven programming. Anyone with an iPhone can download the app and choose a song from the available playlist. In addition Redux attendees will learn a little about Trimpin, a 1997 MacArthur “Genius Award” winner.

It has been said that Trimpin blurs the lines between sound, sculpture, and musical instrument design making it difficult to classify. In describing his artworks, Trimpin offered the following, “A blind person can hear the movement and a deaf person can see it. You don’t have to understand the science of sine waves, pitches, and timbres, to feel the impact of melodic percussive sounds.”

Please join us on Sunday, June 10, at 9:00 AM, at Libbey Bowl in front of the Sound Arch for a free public demonstration. Don’t be late! The demonstration is but 15 minutes long! You will be amazed at what one of Ojai’s iconic public artworks has to offer.

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.


Ojai by Design – Fine Architecture of the Ojai Valley Now Available for Purchase!

Ojai by Design – Fine Architecture of the Ojai Valley Now Available for Purchase!


Ojai by Design

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 book is available for purchase directly from Ojai City Hall (walk to the front reception area and they can take your order), Bart’s Books and Ojai Valley Museum. The cost is $29.95. More locations coming soon!


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, who designed it. There were many photographers contributing to this book, the primary photographer being Dawn Rosa of Ojai.

Addison commented “Ojai is blessed with artists of high caliber, 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.”

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