City of Ojai Arts Grants 2020

City of Ojai Arts Grants 2020

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is pleased to announce that the 2020 Grant Program begins accepting applications on Monday, July 15th, 2019. The deadline for applications is Friday, September 27th, 2019 and all applications and supporting materials must be received at City Hall by that time, postmarks notwithstanding.

The grants, which are awarded each year at the December Ojai City Council meeting, help to ensure the vitality of the arts in the Ojai Valley, and the City of Ojai is proud to be able to offer Art Grants each year as the budget allows.

The Grants Program funds non-profit arts organizations and individual artists whose primary purpose is to produce or present arts and cultural programs, primarily in the City of Ojai. Arts Grants are made for one year and requirements include that grantees provide a dollar-for-dollar match for the amount requested funding and must complete their project within 2020.

A Grant application workshop will be offered at Ojai City Hall on Monday, August 12 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Only complete applications will be considered and all applicants are highly encouraged to attend this workshop to ensure they are meeting all the parameters and requirements of the application process. Past recipients of grants have found the workshop to be invaluable. To ensure your place in the workshop, contact Luis Gomez, City Manager’s Office, 401 S. Ventura Street, Ojai CA 93023 (805)646-5581 x103,

Goals of the Arts Grant Program include: encouraging artistic excellence; developing new audiences for the arts; promoting diversity in Ojai’s cultural life; promoting and encouraging arts and cultural activities in the City of Ojai; and encouraging community partnerships and artistic collaboration.

Last years recipients were: Focus on The Masters; Ojai Art Center Theater; Ojai Film Society; Ojai Independence Day Committee; Ojai Music Festival; Ojai Youth Opera; The Townies. Inc. Podcast.

Individuals and organizations wishing to apply for a 2020 City of Ojai arts Grant should click here. Applications are accepted from July 15, 2019 until 5:00 PM September 27th.

Photo by Perry Van Houton, Ojai Valley News
The Grand Sweepstakes winner of the 4th of July Ojai parade was The Ojai Luminaries, a playful project funded last year by the Arts Commission! It marked a very Ojai tribute to some of the leading lights from Ojai’s storied past, including Edward Libbey, Jiddha Krishnamurti, and Beatrice Wood, amongst others – all riding dinosaurs in an eye-catching (particularly for children) display designed to prompt questions about the famous riders from the past.
OSA 2019 Scholarship Awards Reception

OSA 2019 Scholarship Awards Reception

Brett Childs receiving his 2018 OSA scholarship in front of a piece of his own work.

Recently, the Ojai Studio Artists (OSA) Scholarship Committee met to select 7 students who, this year, will receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships. A reception to disburse the awards will take place at 5:30pm on Monday June 17th in Council Chambers at Ojai City Hall.

OSA awards its annual scholarships to qualified juniors/seniors in local public and private schools, and to college students who are resident in the Ojai Valley and are pursuing a career in the visual arts.

Since its inception, OSA, a 501 (c) (3) California non-profit organization, has raised over $244,000 for educational support. The scholarship program is a vital part of the organization’s mission and is financed by donations and funds raised during the Annual OSA Studio Tour.  The 2019 OSA Tour takes place on October 12-14. 

Speaking for OSA, local artist Carol Shaw-Sutton said “We see this program as an important educational opportunity for young artists. They write an artist statement, organize photographs of their work, request letters of support from their teachers, and participate in an exhibition where they are asked to speak briefly about their artistic goals. We are hoping to grow this important aspect of OSA, and give more money to talented students every year.”

This year’s recipients are Shay Beckson, Brett Childs, Matthew Etheridge, Kamile Fargher, Artemisia Grasso, Arley Sakai and Aliyah Zweig.  Two students are attending Nordhoff H.S., and the others will be going to the College of the Atlantic, California College of Art, Otis College of Art and Design, and Santa Monica College in the fall semester.  

One student, Brett Childs, a local who studies Photography at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, is receiving an OSA Scholarship for the second year running in order to help him finish his degree. In his testimonial he expresses gratitude saying “It is so amazing that Ojai Studio Artists are able to raise money from the Ojai community and give that money back to artists working in the community. More than just an affirmation of the artistic work being produced, it also helps to secure much needed supplies – always helpful for the working artist!”

Student Applications for 2019 Mentorship Program

Student Applications for 2019 Mentorship Program

Now in it’s 6th year, this popular, growing, and highly rewarding program returns! There are 5 mentorships available, with local, professional artists of all genres each mentoring one high-school student in an unforgettable, sometimes life-changing experience for both artist and student.

The Nuts and Bolts.
The Ojai Arts Commission has funding for 4 mentor-mentee pairings, while the Ojai Education Foundation funds a fifth. The minimum commitment is 50 hours of mentorship, which may be completed at any time and in any way over the summer vacation. Artists and students make their own schedules together.

At the end of the mentorship, artists and students will be honored at a ceremony at City Hall in late August, where they will give a short presentation about their experiences during the program. Students will have an opportunity to publicly and professionally display – for at least a month – any work they may have produced with their mentor during the summer.

Visual artists will also be given the opportunity to display their work to the public for the same amount of time in the Wilson Gallery at the Ojai Valley Museum.

Once the artists have been selected, students interested in the particular fields of art offered for mentoring may apply. Students applying must be resident in the Ojai Valley. They must be Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors and may come from any school, public or private, but must not be boarding students. Scholarships up to $500 are available. The deadline for student applications is May 20th 2019 and application forms, when they are available after artist selection, may be completed online here, or in person at City Hall.

Each year an increasing number of students apply but, because funding is limited to just 5 mentors and 5 mentees, selection is unfortunately not guaranteed. The only requirement of students, however, is that they be enthusiastic about learning their chosen art form, and committed to at least 50 hours of mentoring.

UPDATE: The 2019 Artist Mentors have been selected! Each has long professional experience in their field and we are excited to offer such a broad range of opportunities in different fields of the arts under the mentorship of such outstanding individuals.

The 2019 artist mentor are as follows.

Amy Lynn Stevenson, Artist and Illustrator. “I will encourage my student to explore and find their own unique style using drawing and acrylic painting techniques. we will do research and discover a variety of artists’ works that will challenge and inspire us, reaching to new levels.”

Tim Arlon, Songwriting and Development, Band Mentoring: “I intend to develop my student’s musical ideas, exploring the passion they have for their art. We will work on songwriting, song structure, arrangement, and either or both individual and band practice , as applicable.”

Angela Sowers, Metal-Smithing, Art, And Jewelry: “I have a home studio in downtown Ojai that includes 3 work stations to work easily with a student. I work with a variety of tools and materials including texturing hammers, mandrels, flex shaft, and soldering torch with Oxygen. I will teach my student safety precautions in using these items, as well as how to create beautiful art using them.”

Richard Kuhlman, Acting, Directing, Improvisation and Comedy: “I have an extensive library of plays to draw upon, not to mention what is available online. Together, the student and I will develop a simple acting piece that can serve them well in their college years and beyond. My approach to this kind of work is to discover and utilize the student’s existing strength and to stretch their abilities towards new achievements.”

Dave Cipriani, Guitarist in Many Styles, Introduction to Music from Different Cultures:“My intention with the student is to develop a repertoire of songs and ideas for them house for composition and improvisation. My student will learn pre-existing (traditional) repertoire as well as create original work. The student will learn music concepts from around the world and choose ideas from different cultures of India and Africa. We will perform both traditional and original style pieces.”

More information about the individual artists will follow in a separate post as soon as possible, so check this website again, and our Facebook Page entitled City of Ojai Arts Commission. This is a really exciting opportunity for students who are keen to develop their own art form or to try something completely new.

Students, apply below!

Students! Display Your Artwork in The US Capitol!

Students! Display Your Artwork in The US Capitol!

Your artwork here?

Calling all Ojai High School students and those that love and support them! Can you picture your artwork hanging in the US Capitol for a year, and a ticket to Washington DC to receive an award for it? Here’s your chance! Let’s represent our art-lovin’, creative, amazing wee town!

Follow the link below

Ojai City Gallery to Feature Gayel Childress through May 31

Ojai City Gallery to Feature Gayel Childress through May 31

“Ojai River Bottom” by Gayel Childress.

Gayel Childress, one of the primary artistic forces behind Ojai Studio Artists, will be the featured artist at The Ojai City Gallery and with a companion show at The Ojai Valley Museum March 18 through May 31.

In this exhibit, “Ojai Landscape Through the Eye of the Artist,” Childress showcases her expressive and innovative use of color while combining several media to capture the spirit of Ojai. Her substantial body of work ranges widely from landscape to figurative and from still life to abstract, but always includes a touch of whimsy that gives her work a sense of the mythical.

“I’m not interested in photo realism or an exact reproduction as the public might see the landscape,” said Childress. “I like to think I use my heart to see when painting. I feel shapes, colors, textures, and design. And oftentimes my brush leaves a touch of whimsy when finished.”

Born in Los Angeles, Childress moved to Ojai in 1976. She taught art in the local schools and was later appointed to the City’s Arts Advisory Board, now the City of Ojai Arts Commission. As one of Ojai’s first art activists she co-created the City Gallery, began the acquisition of local art for the City of Ojai’s Municipal Art Collection, and co-initiated an annual Ojai City Art Grant Program that continues to allocate funds for the Arts in Ojai today.

Childress is also a founding member of the Ojai Studio Artists Tour, an annual event spanning over 30 years; and co-founded the Gold Coast Watercolor Society. She received a commendation from the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for “Outstanding Contribution in the Arts in Ventura County” in 1997 and was awarded the Ojai’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. Childress has received numerous purchase awards from the City of Ventura and Ojai as part of their permanent collections.

The City of Ojai Arts Commission invites the public to join at a reception for the artist March 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Ojai City Hall Chambers, 401 S. Ventura Street. The exhibit will be open to public viewing during normal City Hall hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at the Museum Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Childress will also be doing hands on demonstrations at The Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave. Call the Museum for scheduled dates at 805-640-1390.

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