Ojai Photo Club hosts Donna Granata, Founder and Executive Director of Focus on the Masters

"Tom Jenkins" by Donna Granata.

"Nick Ut" by Donna Granata.

"Norman Kirk" by Donna Granata.

"Deborah McKillop" by Donna Granata.

"Matt Furmanski" by Donna Granata.

"Beatrice Wood" by Donna Granata.
Donna Granata portrait by photographer Johnny Vong.
Donna Granata portrait by photographer Johnny Vong.

The Ojai Photo Club will host a presentation by Donna Granata, Founder and Executive Director of the Ventura based Focus on the Masters (FOTM), a highly respected non-profit educational program documenting contemporary artists. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 14th, at 7 p.m. in Help of Ojai’s Kent Hall, 111 W. Santa Ana Rd., Ojai CA.

Focus on the Masters is recognized as one of the leading arts organizations in California. Founded in 1994, the goal of Focus on the Masters is to demonstrate the importance of the arts to society. Granata will present an in-depth look at her creative process in achieving this goal; including highlights and a behind the scenes look into the documentation process for the FOTM Portrait Series. Featuring portrait studies and biographies of master artists, the series is ongoing, with new artists added each year. She says, “The FOTM archive is a treasure-trove of unique recordings of oral histories and video-taped interviews, each one tracing the professional and personal arcs of an artist’s life.” Selected works from the FOTM portrait series are housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive of American Artists and in the photographic Collection of the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, as well as other public institutions.

In her presentation Granata will share the latest developments for FOTM. Recently she completed a Master’s Degree in Arts Journalism from USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and is putting the new practices to good use. She is enthusiastic about the possibilities of the new technology, and comments, “Harnessing today’s technology to time-tested research means that Focus on the Masters can communicate the importance of the creative spirit to audiences well beyond our geographical boundaries.”

An accomplished artist in her own right, Granata is an internationally published and award-winning painter turned photographer. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Honorary Master of Science Degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography where she was an adjunct professor. Focus on the Masters has been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of its outstanding contributions to arts education, including the 2005 inaugural Ventura Mayor’s Art Award – Arts Educator and the 2007 Ventura County Arts Council Art Star Award. Granata received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts in 2012 from the City of Ojai. For more information on this outstanding photographer and her award-winning arts organization, go to http://www.focusonthemasters.com

Monthly free presentations are part of the Ojai Photography Club’s community service and education outreach. The general public is always welcome to attend.

The club, which is devoted to education, inspiration, and camaraderie, meets on the third Tuesday of each month, February – November. Only members may submit images for critique. More information is available at: www.ojaiphotoclub.com/