At its regular meeting on November 21, 2019 the Arts Commission
recommended that the City Council ratify its selection of Gai Jones for the
2019 Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. The City Council ratified this
selection after a slight delay due to coronavirus, in June of 2020. The Award
was founded by the Arts Advisory Committee (now the Arts Commission) in 1987 as
an important tribute from the City Council and citizens to Ojai artists who
have enhanced our understanding and appreciation for the arts. The criteria for
the award include (in descending order of importance): proven continuous
artistic excellence, demonstrated community involvement within the Ojai Valley,
established recognition within their field, and residency within close
proximity of the Ojai Valley. A recipient may be of any age.
Ms. Jones, Founder of CA Youth in Theatre, entered educational theatre
by way of a small liberal arts college for women in Oklahoma which offered a
specialized degree, BA in Speech and Drama (equivalent of a BFA). She completed
an MA in Theatre as the first woman to receive the degree at CA State
University, Fullerton in 1968. She
taught Theatre at El Dorado High School, Placentia, CA, for thirty-four years.
Upon her retirement, the Black Box Theater was named The Gai Jones Theater.
Ms. Jones is an Ojai
resident. Her local activities and
Interim Director of Ojai Performing Arts
Performer for Theater 150, professional Ojai
Theater for Off the Page staged readings;
Director for Ojai Art Center Theater;
Secretary of Ojai Art Center Theater Branch;
Volunteer at the Ojai Library as a Story Reader;
Actor in Ojai Rising’s production of Our Town;
Education Director of Ojai Rising;
Gai Jones currently serves as
President of Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), which sets policy for 2.4
million middle and high school honor Theatre students and their teachers and
is National Board Member of Educational
Theatre Foundation (ETF), CETA (CA Educational Theatre Associate) Executive Board,
DTASC (Drama Teachers Association of So CA.) Advocacy Director, and a SAG-AFTRA
Member presenting national workshops for Theatre conferences.
The City of Ojai Arts Commission is pleased to announce
applications for THE PAINT BOX PROJECT are now available. Artist are invited to
apply to transform selected City-owned utility boxes into works of art. This is
a limited competition as per the Public Art Ordinance (Sec. 4-16.211(c). Artist
wishing to be considered must reside in the Ojai Valley and be 18 years of age
To obtain an application and a comprehensive project description, artist should visit Ojai City Hall, 401 S. Ventura Street or click here. Completed applications must be received at Ojai City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020. Postmarks will not be accepted.
For further information about THE PAINT BOX PROJECT, please contact Luis Gomez in the City Manager’s Office by calling 805-646-5581 ext. 103.
The newly hung show at Ojai City Hall Gallery features the pastel landscape work of renowned Ojai Studio Artist, Tom Hardcastle. The exhibition will run through January 4, 2019, and is available to the public to view at any time during regular City Hall hours. The City of Ojai Arts Commission and the Ojai Valley Museum have been fostering a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship this past year and Hardcastle will also have 3 large oil works on display at the museum during this period. Hardcastle is an exhibiting member of the Degas Society, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, SBAA, Oil Painters of America. He is a signature member of the Artists for Conservation and has exhibited at several international pastel shows. He says of his work, “My art has provided me with many journeys over the years and I look forward to the growth and insight that comes with it.” One of these latest journeys was undertaken with fellow Ojai artist and celebrated landscape painter, Jennifer Moses, and this mentorship and artistic exchange has resulted in the works now on view at City Gallery. They are entitled collectively “The Quiet Places.” Working alongside Moses encouraged Hardcastle to “see Ojai through new eyes” and many of the pastels on display will intrigue viewers with fresh new angles on Ojai and views of the valley with which we might not be so familiar. Meanwhile, over at the museum, Hardcastle presents three striking paintings which are thematically and stylistically very different to the City Gallery series. “Icons and Archetypes,” comprises three large-scale oil paintings with a strong Pop Art feel that presents the artist’s perspective of select popular cultural icons and exploitive archetypes, especially the exploitation of females in the modern world. Although his first love is pastels and the smudging, tactile nature of that medium, this exploration of oils and iconography represents another new artistic journey for Hardcastle. When asked what drives him to create he says, “because I have to. I cannot not be working. I work at least 6 days a week in my studio outside of my time in the salon.” (Hardcastle also owns and operates the Delilah Salon in downtown Ojai.) The reception for “The Quiet Places” and “Icons and Archetypes” will be held at the City Gallery at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16th at Ojai City Hall, 401 S Ventura St, Ojai, and the artist will be present to talk about his work and techniques and the very different nature of his work in each venue. The City of Ojai Art Gallery at City Hall welcomes visitors Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except holidays. The Ojai Valley Museum is located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue, and is open Sundays from noon – 4 p.m., and Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.