“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.
The 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.
“I Feel Like Glitter” Hee Eun Chung
“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.
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.
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,” 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.
The 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″]Phil Harvey[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Harvest Magic[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Phil Harvey[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Palouse Twilight[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Fred Rothenberg[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Lenticular photo print[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Maggie Garrett[/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″]The Blakely’s Photography Studio [/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Ojai (c. 1950s)[/column]
[column col=”1/3″]Hand tinted photographic print[/column]