J.T. Ledbetter to share works on Midwest childhood
J.T. Ledbetter
J.T. Ledbetter

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - A longtime California Lutheran University professor will read from his latest book of poetry at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, in Lundring Events Center.

J.T. Ledbetter will share pieces from “Underlying Premises” during the free presentation.

Published in 2010, the collection of poems is set among the farms and small towns he knows from growing up in the Midwest. In his review of the book, Kevin Prufer, former editor of Pleiades Press, wrote, “Ledbetter’s uneasily graceful poems describe, through the eyes of a child and the lens of memory, the complexities of sex, death, and rural family life … These subtle, finely crafted, unerringly lovely poems surprise me at every turning.”

A CLU professor emeritus, Ledbetter taught English at the university for more than 30 years and continues to teach classes as an adjunct faculty member. His numerous publications include poetry, anthologies, magazine articles, works of fiction and music. In 2007, he and E. John Solem, CLU art professor emeritus, published “Blue Galaxy Iris: Connecting with Beauty and Nature’s Rhythm.” The book juxtaposes Ledbetter’s poems with Solem’s artwork.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, which is north of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus.

For more information, e-mail Jack Ledbetter at ledbette@callutheran.edu.


The Artists Guild of Fillmore recently hung a new show of small images at the Fillmore Library. This is their third show at that location. The artists shown are Karen Browdy, Wana Klasen, Lady Jan Faulkner, Luanne Perez, Judy Dressler and Virginia Neuman.
The Artists Guild of Fillmore recently hung a new show of small images at the Fillmore Library. This is their third show at that location. The artists shown are Karen Browdy, Wana Klasen, Lady Jan Faulkner, Luanne Perez, Judy Dressler and Virginia Neuman.
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“The Stoning of Soraya M.”
“The Stoning of Soraya M.”
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‘Stoning of Soraya M.’ to be shown March 7

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - The director and screenwriter for “The Stoning of Soraya M.” will discuss their emotionally charged film after a showing at 7 p.m. Monday, March 7, at California Lutheran University.

The 2008 movie will be presented in the Roth Nelson Room on the Thousand Oaks campus as part of the Reel Justice Film Series.

“The Stoning of Soraya M.” is based on the true story of an Iranian woman who was stoned to death in 1986. The powerful tale of a village’s persecution of an innocent woman is both a daring act of witness and a compelling parable about mob rule. Who will join forces with the plot against her, who will surrender to the mob, and who will dare to stand up for what is right? It is both a classic fable of good and evil and an inspiring tribute to the many fighting against injustice all around the world.

Director Cyrus Nowrasteh and his wife and fellow screenwriter, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, who will answer questions after the screening, saw in Soraya one story that stands for thousands of untold tales around the world, from Africa to Asia, from Europe to America, wherever people are battling prejudice and injustice. Their screenplay takes the hard facts surrounding Soraya’s fate and carves from them a lyrical, fable-like passion play that gets under the skin by posing a provocative question: Who among us would throw stones and who would take a stand against them?

The Reel Justice Film Series, which examines the themes of equality and social justice, will continue with "8: The Mormon Proposition" on March 30 and "Living Downstream" on April 6.

The Roth Nelson Room is located on Mountclef Boulevard between Olsen Road and Memorial Parkway.

CLU’s Center for Equality and Justice is sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Sam Thomas at sthomas@callutheran.edu or (805) 493-3693.


Moorpark student will sing ‘Symphony No. 4’ solo
Kayla Bailey
Kayla Bailey

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - The California Lutheran University Symphony will perform Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 4” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6, in Samuelson Chapel.

Mahler (1860-1911) is generally recognized as the last great symphonist musically descended from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. His “Symphony No. 4” is a very accessible work that features the multiple themes, intricate harmonies and extended forms that mark it as a 19th-century, Romantic period piece.

The final movement features a soprano solo that will be performed by senior music major Kayla Bailey of Moorpark. Faculty member Daniel Geeting will conduct.

Donations will be accepted.

The chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus.

For more information, call the Music Department at (805) 493-3306 or visit http://www.callutheran.edu/music.


Presented by Santa Paula High School students

Work began in September 2010 and will be finished and ready for public scrutiny March 13, 2011 within the South Gallery of the City of Santa Paula’s California Oil Museum located at 1001 E. Main Street. Hours are Wednesday thru Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 students, 5 and under are free. Students will attempt to address the historical impact that Santa Paula’s only high school has played in the hearts and minds of its graduates for more than 100 years. It will use a variety of primary and secondary sources to tell its story including, El Solano Yearbooks, Mr. Robert Raitt’s “Campus on the Hill” book, personal interviews, Santa Paula Daily Chronicle articles, and many more. A reception is planned at its unveiling March 13 from 1-3pm that will feature the Santa Paula’s marching band, cheerleaders, and guest speakers.

Since 1999 students from Santa Paula High School’s two 10th grade Academy World History Honors courses have diligently worked to produce museum exhibits inside the California Oil Museum for the Santa Paula community to enjoy. These exhibits run for approximately 3 months and have centered on both local and national issues.

Who: California Oil Museum
What: Our Campus on the Hill exhibit
When: March 13 – May 8, 2011
Where: South Gallery of Oil Museum
Why: To celebrate the history of Santa Paula High School

Canada Larga Canyon by Bert Collins, pastel (private collection)
Canada Larga Canyon by Bert Collins, pastel (private collection)
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Opens on February 26, 2011

SANTA PAULA, CA – A retrospective exhibit of works by beloved Ojai landscape and still life artist Bert Collins will open at the Santa Paula Art Museum on Saturday, February 26, 2011 with an opening reception from 4 – 6 p.m. To request an invitation please call the Museum at 805-525-5554 or email info@santapaulaartmuseum.org.

Alberta “Bert” Collins was born in Los Angeles in 1928. Her career as a painter began at the age of fifteen at a ceramics factory near her home in Glendale. In 1960, Bert began practicing with both acrylic and oil paint, and had her first solo art show just eight months later. Commissions soon poured in from galleries in Newport Beach to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In the following years, Collins maintained a near constant production of paintings in order to satisfy demand. Deciding that a less commercial creative process would be more enjoyable, Bert and her husband, Ralph, relocated to Ojai in 1976.

“This retrospective is truly representative of Bert’s entire evolution as an artist” states Museum Director, Jennifer Heighton, “It will include some of her earliest surviving paintings that few people have ever seen. It is rare to have such a comprehensive collection of an artist’s work spanning more than fifty years laid out before you.”

Bert was one of three artists who founded the Ojai Studio Artist’s Tour in 1983. After almost thirty years, the tour has revitalized local arts education and the economy. In 1984, Bert stumbled upon two particularly inspiring pastel landscapes in a gallery. She and her art were suddenly transformed. Bert immediately began painting in pastels and studied with such renowned pastel artists as Albert Handell and Glenna Hartmann.

The majority of Bert’s works are realistic landscapes, seascapes and still lifes rendered in soft pastels on sand paper. She continues to use acrylics and oils, but to a lesser degree than pastels. Collins is ambidextrous when she paints, capable of wielding a brush in either hand so that she may move more freely over her canvas. Although a well-known plein air artist, Bert prefers to paint from memory, or to use her imagination in developing subjects.

Museum Assistant, Julie Cluster, says, “That she often paints from her imagination is remarkable because her pieces are so realistic. The landscapes seem almost tangible. It’s as if you can feel the sunlight on your skin and sense the sky changing above you when you look at one of her paintings. Bert manages to capture the dynamism of nature because she has such a natural instinct for color and light.”

Today, Bert continues to teach pastel classes and workshops at her West Hills Ojai Gallery where she is oft quoted as asking, “Who has more fun than I do?” With a successful career spanning more than fifty years, a remarkably joyful spirit, and an extraordinary oeuvre, it is only natural that she should ponder such a question.

The exhibit will run until July 10th, and may be viewed during regular Museum hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM, and Sundays, 12 PM – 4 PM. The Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060.

Members of Ventura Improv Company
Members of Ventura Improv Company
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Valentine's weekend brings music, improv, and much more

Ventura, CA - Two comedy improv shows will be dedicated to exploring all aspects of love during the Ventura Improv Company's special Valentine's weekend, Friday and Saturday, February 11 and 12. Families, couples, and singles are warmly welcomed.

On Friday, February 11, at 8pm, musical improvisers from the Ventura Improv Company (VIC) will sing about the search for love, and all the mysteries and passions contained within. Based on titles and anecdotes provided by the audience, the talented musicians and singers will make up songs on the spot. A long-form, Broadway-style musical will complete the second half of the evening. The admissions for the night's show will be $10.

On Saturday, February 12, at 8pm, the VIC will present its yearly (and ever-popular) Valentine's Show. Performers will create improvised scenes, games, and musical numbers about love and romance. The cost of admission includes the show, champagne and cider, roses and chocolates for the audience, a photo area, and raffle of prizes. Special admission price is $15.

The VIC, now in its 21st year, is a fixture of downtown Ventura. Audience members, many of them loyal attendees for years, always enjoy this yearly Valentine's event. "It's a departure from our usual weekend improv shows," says Judy Gottlieb, Vice President of the VIC. "We love offering the special extras to the audience, and the night is often hilarious and touching at the same time."

Reservations are recommended. More information or reservations can be obtained by calling (805) 643-5701 x2, emailing vic@venturaimprov.com, or accessing www.venturaimprov.com/?p=2514.

About Ventura Improv Company
In 1989, Barbara Scott from Bay Area TheatreSports™ came to Ventura County to visit her mother and, while here, put on an improv workshop. The attendees included Gary Best and Tom Mueller, who considered the workshop "a revelation," and went on to form a local TheatreSports™ league. In the two decades since then, that league grew up to be Ventura Improv Company (VIC).

Located in the historic Livery complex in downtown Ventura, VIC offers comedy improv shows every weekend and a full lineup of improv and movement workshops throughout the year.

VIC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Ventura Improv Company is located at 34 North Palm Street, Ventura, CA 93001. The groups website is http://www.venturaimprov.com

Michael Falcone will perform original music
Michael Falcone
Michael Falcone

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - California Lutheran University alumnus Michael Falcone will return to his alma mater to perform his first concert of original music at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

The Michael Falcone and Friends concert will be held in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Falcone’s eclectic style of singing and piano playing ranges from Latin jazz and blues rock to swing and bossa nova. The Newbury Park resident began playing the piano and singing at the age of 6. At CLU, Falcone performed with the Kingsmen Quartet, jazz band and choir as well as acted in drama productions and played soccer before graduating in 2006.

Joining him in the concert will be Dino Durand on guitar, Danny Young on bass, and Landon Young on drums.

Samuelson Chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive.

Donations will be accepted. For more information, call the Music Department at (805) 493-3306 or visit http://www.callutheran.edu/music.

February 15, 2011, Ojai Photography Club
Photographer Tom Reed
Photographer Tom Reed
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Adventurer, author and photographer Tom Reed (http://www.tomreed.com) will present a digital slide show about his new book, “The Granite Avatars of Patagonia,” at the February 15 Ojai Photography Club meeting. The presentation is free to the public.

Reed will offer a “behind the scenes” look at the making of the book, including photos from excursions among the granite spires of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy (El Chaltén), as well as other features of Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The book will be available for sale at a 20% discount, and Reed will stay after his presentation to chat with guests and sign books.

“This should be of great interest to travelers and outdoor enthusiasts as well as photographers,” said club president Dean Zatkowsky. “Tom has created exhibition-quality prints and a coffee-table photography book using a point-and-shoot camera. He proves that you don’t need fancy equipment to make great images.”

The meeting begins at 7:00 PM on February 15, at Help of Ojai’s Kent Hall, which is located at 111 Santa Ana Street in Ojai.

About Tom Reed
Wilderness photographer and writer Tom Reed has a long history of remote backcountry travel since earning a degree in geography from Rutgers and moving to Alaska 30 years ago, where he worked as a backcountry surveyor.

Working as a whitewater guide and sailor, Reed abandoned photography when his camera was crushed in the Caribbean, taking the opportunity to rid his backpack of all the glass and steel and film, and began studying beautiful scenes to understand why they were so moving.

He then explored other arts, including pen and ink, acrylic, watercolor, and wood sculpture.

After 20 years of training in Japanese martial arts, Tom moved to the Mendocino coast of California to teach, and there began studying with a master of Japanese aesthetics, focusing on the Zen practice of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, ink painting, and flower arranging.

This exposure built a Japanese approach to his sensitivity inspired by the photographs of Ansel Adams, the plein air paintings of the Sierras by Edgar Payne, and the wilderness paintings of the Hudson River School.

About 6 years ago, improvements in digital technology lured Tom back to photography. He now combines his exceptional backcountry and navigational skills with a Zen eye and sensibility to find and capture dramatic compositions.

His first book, “The Granite Avatars of Patagonia,” features images and text from three trips to Argentinean national park “Los Glaciares,” and focuses on the peaks of El Chaltén (Mount Fitz Roy) and Cerro Torre. He was fascinated with the experience of the awe humans feel when witnessing nature in its fullest glory. Reeds goal was to produce portraits of these granite towers in conditions and with compositions that convey their dramatic and dynamic qualities.

For Tom, photographing nature is about finding the right place at an opportune time to create a composition that “touches” or “speaks to” the viewer, and reminds them of the power of nature’s beauty.

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the Patagonia Outdoor Company says, "Patagonia has a keen, close observer in Tom Reed. His feeling for the landscape and its wild power comes through in his photographs and writing and in the questions he raises about ourselves as natural beings acting in a natural world."

About the Ojai Photography Club
The Ojai Photography Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, January – November, at 7:00 PM in Kent Hall, which is located at Help of Ojai’s Little House, 111 Santa Ana Street, Ojai, CA 93023.

The club’s primary goals are education and camaraderie. Meetings typically include presentations by our guest judges, discussion of photographic events or exhibits, and critiquing of member photographs.

Meetings are open to the public, but only members may submit photographs for critique and competition. Members also receive free admission to club-hosted workshops. Membership costs only $20 per calendar year, $10 for students under 21.

For more information, visit us at www.ojaiphotoclub.com.

Evening Presentation March 3, 2011

What words and images should represent an artist’s life and contributions for posterity? How should they be chosen? On Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m., Focus on the Masters founder Donna Granata will address these choices when she offers a multimedia sampling from Focus on the Masters (FOTM) archives, featuring legendary Ventura County artists Carlisle Cooper, William McEnroe, Norman Kirk and Gerd Koch. A question and answer session will follow. The presentation at the Museum of Ventura County is $10 for the general public, $5 for museum members. For reservations, call 653-0323 x 315. Admission to all museum galleries is included.

Granata will touch upon the evolution of FOTM’s archiving, and the process involved in documenting a life. Cooper, Kirk, McEnroe and Koch, who helped shape Ventura County’s art community, shared their oral histories with FOTM between 1997 and 2004, during the formative years of the archives. The artists are also featured in Four Masters - Four Legends, the museum’s concurrent retrospective, on exhibition February 26 – April 24.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura, California. Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, free for members and children under 6. For more museum information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.

Jack McGee
Jack McGee

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - Veteran character actor Jack McGee will talk to California Lutheran University students and the community at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the first of a series of informal discussions with actors on their craft.

“A Conversation With … Jack McGee” will be held in the Preus-Brandt Forum on the Thousand Oaks campus. Actor, writer and director Markus Flanagan, who teaches at CLU, will be the moderator for a one-hour talk followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

McGee co-stars in “The Fighter,” the 2010 film that has been nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. The movie also received four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for McGee and the four other stars.

The youngest of eight children born and raised in the South Bronx, McGee began striving to get noticed early in life and went on to be the president of his senior class and a star football player before discovering his knack for performing. He performed with the 1960s rock band “The Young Rascals” and in the late 1970s worked as a New York City firefighter to make ends meet. Fittingly, his first big part was in the 1985 firefighter film “Turk 182.” McGee went on to appear in a series of feature films and television movies and series. His most notable role has been as Chief Jerry Reilly on FX’s edgy firefighter drama “Rescue Me.” He also played Hickey in the Spike TV series “Players” last year and has recently guest starred on several shows including “CSI: Miami,” “Criminal Minds” and “Monk.” McGee appeared with Kevin Spacey in the 2010 film “Father of Invention” and with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in the 2009 action thriller “The International.” Later this year, he will be seen alongside Nicholas Cage in “Drive Angry” and with Brad Pitt in “Moneyball.”

Flanagan, a 24-year veteran in the industry, has appeared in 10 movies and more than 100 TV shows. He also lectures for acting programs throughout the country.

Flanagan’s 2007 book, “One Less Bitter Actor: The Actor’s Survival Guide,” explains how to make it in the business of acting while staying sane and focused. The “A Conversation With…” talks at CLU will take the same approach, providing theatre arts students and other aspiring actors with advice from professionals. The next talk in the series at 7 p.m., March 23, will feature Doug Jones, who is best known for his work under heavy makeup and prosthetics playing science fiction and horror characters.

Donations will be accepted. All proceeds will benefit the CLU Theatre Arts Department.

Preus-Brandt Forum is located south of Olsen Road near Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, call (805) 493-3415 or e-mail dramadpt@callutheran.edu.

“The Lottery”
“The Lottery”
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Documentary explores education crisis in U.S.

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - California Lutheran University will screen a documentary on the efforts of four families to get into a charter school at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23.

“The Lottery” will be shown in Lundring Events Center on the Thousand Oaks campus as part of the Reel Justice Film Series.

In a country where 58 percent of African American fourth graders are functionally illiterate, “The Lottery” uncovers failures of traditional public schools that cause hundreds of thousands of parents to attempt to flee the system every year.

“The Lottery” follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win what they see as a chance for a better future.

Directed by Madeleine Sackler and shot by award-winning cinematographer Wolfgang Held, “The Lottery” explores a ferocious debate surrounding the education reform movement. Interviews with politicians and educators explain not only the crisis in public education but also why it is fixable. A call to action to avert a catastrophe in the education of American children, “The Lottery” makes the case that any child can succeed.

The Reel Justice Film Series, which examines the themes of equality and social justice, will continue with “The Stoning of Soraya M.” on March 7, “8: The Mormon Proposition” on March 30, and “Living Downstream” on April 6.

Lundring Events Center is located in Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, which is north of Olsen Road near Campus Drive.

CLU’s Center for Equality and Justice and Black Student Union are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Sam Thomas at sthomas@callutheran.edu or (805) 493-3693.


“Fantasy of Flowers” will be the theme for the 2011 Fillmore Flower Show to be held April 16,17 at the Senior Center located at 533 Santa Clara St., Fillmore, California. The show will be free to the public during the hours of 1:00pm-4:00pm both Saturday & Sunday. Entries will be accepted Saturday between 7:30am to 10:30am. There will be one entry fee of $5.00 for each adult exhibitor, no matter how many entries are entered.

There will a youth poetry, prose, or short essay contest like we offered last year with the topic being the same as the show theme. Entry brochures will be available soon at City Hall, the Library, the Fillmore Historical Museum, & the Senior Center. Music will be provided by Asher Smith.

The Fillmore Historical Museum brought a wonderful Flower Show History scrapbook to display last year with the first entry dated 1925. Many guests enjoyed looking at it & discovering pictures of themselves & friends from years gone by. We chose to take a look back at the 57th annual flower show of 1980, by reusing the theme for that show.

Notes taken from the scrapbook stated that music was provided by Byron & Marian Bessette of Oxnard. The Grand prize award would be an Irish silver plated bowl. Another article said that 1980 was proclaimed a “terrible year” for flowers because of “terrible wind & extreme heat.”

Now that the theme is announced, you can begin to allow your creative “juices” to flow with fresh ideas for a fantasy of flowers entry.


Hear Ventura County’s most influential and legendary living artists share their processes, inspirations and thoughts on the region’s artistic tradition, when Carlisle Cooper, William McEnroe, Norman Kirk and Gerd Koch participate in a panel discussion on Sunday, February 27 at 3:00 p.m., at the Museum of Ventura County.

Colleague and artist HirokoYoshimoto, guest curator of Four Masters - Four Legends, the museum’s concurrent retrospective of the four men’s work, will moderate the panel. Attendance is $5 for the general public, free for museum members, and includes entry to all museum galleries. For reservations, call 805-653-0323 x 315.

The artists will discuss their creative motivations and inspirations, as well as their involvement over 50 years in the development of Ventura County arts organizations and the art department at Ventura College. Drawing upon decades of artistic experience and influence, the panelists will also share observations about today’s art students and arts community, as well as what they think the future might hold. A question and answer period will follow the panel discussion.

The Four Masters - Four Legends exhibition opens with a free public reception Friday, February 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and continues through April 24. For information on other related events, go to www.venturamuseum.org .
The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura, California. Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, free for members and children under 6. For more museum information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.


Camarillo, CA. – Harold S. Edwards, President and CEO of the Limoneira Company, will be a featured speaker at CSU Channel Islands (CI) on Friday, Feb. 11. Edwards is appearing as part of the spring speaker series presented by the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics.

The event, which is free and includes lunch for the first 250 attendees, will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in Malibu Hall on the CI campus. It is sponsored by the MVS School of Business & Economics and the MVS Business Advisory Council.

Dr. William P. Cordeiro, Director of the MVS School of Business & Economics, noted that Edwards has been a longtime friend and supporter of CI and is also a member of the University’s Foundation Board.

The NASDAQ-listed Limoneira Company has a 118-year history and is a global, vertically integrated agribusiness based in Santa Paula. Harold Edwards is a fifth generation member of one of the farming families associated with the company over its long history.

Founded in Ventura County in 1893, Limoneira’s founders were pioneers whose vision helped create the foundation for California’s current dynamic citrus industry. Along with strategic investments in agribusiness, real estate, water and energy businesses, Limoneira is also the largest avocado producer in the United States and the largest vertically integrated lemon supplier in California.

To attend the event please visit: http://business.csuci.edu/events.htm. For additional information contact Merissa Stith, Events Coordinator, at 805-437-8548 or merissa.stith@csuci.edu.

Free parking will be available on campus in lot A10 located off Ventura Street. Once on campus, follow the directional signs to parking lot A10. Shuttle service will be available between the campus parking lot and presentation room.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research.

'On the Ranch' by Andrea Vargas Mendoza
'On the Ranch' by Andrea Vargas Mendoza
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Paintings & Found Art Come Together

There are no boundaries between painting, drawing and sculpture in Inheritance, a site- specific installation of new dimensional works by Andrea Vargas-Mendoza, on exhibition in the Museum of Ventura County’s Sculpture Garden from February 26 – May 3.

Vargas-Mendoza, who uses schematic lines that cut and animate space within her paintings, describes the coming together of her paintings, drawings and found objects as homage to the history of our San Buenaventura landscape, in the tradition of California Romanticism.

The artist was raised in the San Francisco Bay area, where art lessons early in life and the guidance of mural artists gave her a foundation upon which she could built. After graduating in rhetoric from the University of California Berkeley, Vargas-Mendoza moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and studied art while pursuing independent projects in animation and illustration. Her work has been featured in international exhibitions, in an installation at the Oakland Museum, and in the 2008 group exhibition Between Heaven & Earth, at the Museum of Ventura County. She is currently an artist in residence with Arts for Action in Ventura County.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. Hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, members and children under 6 are free. For more museum information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.

St Thomas Aquinas Church
St Thomas Aquinas Church
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Mark your calendars for Town Talk Sundays at the Ojai Valley Museum: January 30 and February 13, 2011 from 2 to 4 pm.

An elite group of long time valley residents will fascinate and titillate attendees with wonderful historic Ojai stories. Paula Spellman will be the moderator and the topics covered will have a wide range from ghosts to scandals!

The January 30th panel includes Rose Boggs, Terry Hill, David Mason, Helen Peterson, Maxine Tempske and Craig Walker. The February panel consists of Lerie Bjornstedt, Dwayne Bower, Bill Burr, Pat Doerner, Alan Rains and Cricket Twichell.

Town Talks are held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, “The Allure of Ojai’s Arcade.” The exhibition was underwritten with a substantial gift from “Ojai Community Bank” and was sponsored by the following current Arcade businesses: Ojai Village Pharmacy, Primavera Gallery, Rains Department Store, Kava Home, Human Arts Gallery, Feast Bistro, The Hub, Kindred Spirit, Busy Babes, Barrel 33, Casa Barranca Winery, Ojai Terrain, Priscilla’s, and Bonnie Lu’s Café.

The events will be held at the Ojai Museum, 130 W. Ojai Avenue. Admission is free for 2011 members and $8.00 for non-members. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Payment is to be made in advance by check, credit card or cash. Please call 805 640-1390 to reserve or for additional information. Visit the museum website at: http://www.ojaivalleymuseum.org

Books include ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’
Lisa See (Photo by Patricia Williams)
Lisa See (Photo by Patricia Williams)

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. - New York Times bestselling author Lisa See will speak and sign books at California Lutheran University on Thursday, Feb. 17.

An Evening with Lisa See will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Lundring Events Center. She also will sign books from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Pearson Library foyer.

See has always been intrigued by stories that have been lost, forgotten or deliberately covered up, whether they occurred in the past or are happening right now. In her 2009 novel, “Shanghai Girls,” she delves into the forgotten history of two sisters who leave Shanghai in 1937 and go to Los Angeles in arranged marriages. It is a story of immigration, identity, war, love and sisterhood.

In See’s 2005 critically acclaimed international bestseller, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” Lily and Snow Flower are trapped in the rigid gender expectations of their culture. They must use “nu shu,” the secret writing developed and used by women in China, to communicate and share their experiences with each other.

See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, where she still lives today. She lived with her mother as a child but spent a lot of time with her father’s family in Chinatown. In her first work, the critically acclaimed 1995 memoir “On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family,” See traces the journey of her great-grandfather. Fong See overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family. The 1995 book explores the immigrant experience, Chinese culture, biracial and bicultural families, and United States and California history.

Her other novels, including “Flower Net,” “Dragon Bones” and the instant New York Times bestseller “Peony in Love,” have all received praise and awards for their excellence.

See also designed a walking tour of Chinatown and has helped develop gallery spaces and exhibits, including the interactive Family Discovery Gallery at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. She was the 2001 National Woman of the Year selected by the Organization of Chinese American Women.

Lundring Events Center is in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, which is located north of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus. Pearson Library is located south of Olsen Road near Mountclef Boulevard.

The Center for Equality and Justice, Pearson Library and Multicultural Programs are presenting the free public event. For more information, contact Yen Tran at (805) 493-3092 or nttran@callutheran.edu.

Paul Dwork, The Magic of Merlin
Paul Dwork, The Magic of Merlin
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March 12 at High Street Arts Center in Moorpark, Notable Cast of Performers Lines up For Annual Magic Show in Moorpark

Local magician Paul Dwork has lined up five famous colleagues to perform in the annual Rotary Creates Magic show, March 12 at High Street Arts Center in Moorpark. The event is organized by the Rotary Club of Camarillo to benefit a designated worthy cause and this year’s recipient of the proceeds will be the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County.

The acts perform a wide range of magic for all ages, from illusions to stage magic, comedy and quick change. All six performers are members of the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Dwork, known professionally as “Merlin,” created the show in 1985 as a fund raiser for his children’s pre school. He brought in colleagues from the Magic Castle and the show was a real hit with the audience. It is now an annual tradition and it sells out every year.

Along with Dwork, the show will feature Tony Clark, a master of close-up and stage illusions; Farrell Dillon, an illusionist who has performed all over the world; and Stoil and Ekaterina, an eastern European couple who perform costume change magic. Shawn McMaster, who combines close-up and stage magic with comedy and has been featured on the television series Masters of Illusion, will serve as Masters of Ceremonies. McMaster and Clark are Ventura County residents.

Dwork resides in Camarillo, learned magic while serving in the Army and has been performing for over 40 years. He calls his act “The Magic of Merlin.” Dwork is a pharmacist, too, and operates a magic store within his successful main business, a pharmacy and medical supplies outlet in Camarillo, Merlin Medical Supply.

“This is a high energy show with CONTINUED »