“Sunlight”, Rug by Regina Vorgang and photo by W. Scott Miles.
“Sunlight”, Rug by Regina Vorgang and photo by W. Scott Miles.
Enlarge Photo

Origins: Rugs in Inspirational Places is an exhibit of hand woven wool rugs by Regina Vorgang with photographs by W. Scott Miles at the Buenaventura Gallery. Exhibit begins Tuesday, August 17 to Saturday, September 11, 2010. Opening reception is on Saturday, August 21, from 4 – 7 pm. Meet the artist on Friday September 3 for First Fridays Ventura from 5 – 8pm.

Vorgang’s creations bring a new meaning to the phrase “consider the source”. Many of us have learned to pay attention to the country our clothes were made in or the state our vegetables originated. Have you ever thought about where the fibers in your rug come from? Chances are there is a story to tell. If you’re Vorgang, then you’ve not only met the sheep, but you’ve helped sheer and card the wool used to create these utilitarian masterpieces she wants us to walk all over.

“There are people out there who don’t even know there really are black sheep!” exclaims the artist. The black untreated wool, as well as the variety of browns, grays, whites and every natural hue in between, have traveled from the farm only 20 minutes away to the loom in Vorgang’s studio at the Bell Arts factory in Ventura’s Westside…and, yes, the color of a majority of the wools used in Vorgang’s creations reflect the color of the sheep it came from.

Origins celebrates the materials used as well as their inspirational subject matter. Accompanying photographs include the woven rugs as a compositional element in their place of inspiration. This collaborative show provides insight into the creative process of a husband and wife, who celebrate their innovative expression in different media.

Although not every rug in this exhibit can claim origins from the same county it was woven in, each piece was consciously created with the skills and knowledge that is reemerging into our main stream consumerism. The awareness of where our food or art comes from is as important as how good it looks.

Vorgang is a member of Designing Weavers, a Los Angeles based juried fiber artists guild and shows her work at her studio, gallery exhibitions, and juried art and craft shows such as the American Craft Council, Contemporary Crafts Market, and the Southwest Arts Festival. Miles is a professional photographer and member of the faculty at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

The Buenaventura Gallery is located at 700 E. Santa Clara St, Ventura, CA 93001. Hours are Tues thru Friday from 12 – 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. For questions or an appointment during other hours, please call (805)648-1235 or visit www.buenaventuragallery.org.

 


 

There is still time to feel the heat generated at the Ojai Center for the Arts annual show, “Hot Summer Days, Hot Summer Nights.” Running through August 4, it features over 40 works in a variety of media that are sure to give you a hot flash.

The work varies from Soni Wright’s oil abstraction “Alpha II,” which won this year’s first place for “hottest,” to Mary Cogswell’s heat escape, portrayed in her “Pond of Tranquilty.” Ojai Studio Artist Sylvia Raz had her usual fun with her “Ode to Leger,” a take-off on the famous French painter depicting swim-suited-beauties in triplicate.

Don’t miss the showcases this month either, which hold a visual feast of color and whimsy with Shelby Harbison’s canvases, and the beautifully crafted complex computer images of Mary Ogle.

Whatever you do, make time to bask in the glow of this hot, hotter, hottest show. The Center is located at 113 S. Montgomery St, Ojai and is open Tues-Sun. 12-4:00 p.m. For more information call 646-0117 or go online at ojaiartcenter.org

 

Click here for Attractions Spa website


 

The Santa Paula Theater Center Concert Series Presents “Turn Back the Pages” by the Restless Hillfillies Saturday, August 7. Door opens at 7:00PM Performance starts at 7:30PM, The Santa Paula Theater, 125 South 7th Street.

Take a step back in time... when Ventura County was indeed the Wild West! “Turn Back the Pages” is an historical project of story gathering throughout the County. Crusty characters, famous events and places have been etched into time through songs about your own backyard: St. Francis Dam Disaster, early oil exploration, the story of Ramona and more. Many musicians throughout Ventura County have been involved in the melodies of these songs. The end results of this project will be archived through the Museum of Ventura County. This project was a best bet in The Star with an art show where artists submitted their work to depict the songs. Some of these pieces will be on display at this show.

Americana musicians, The Restless Hillfillies, will perform many of these songs and tell a tale. Are you asking “What's a Hillfilly?” Mountain girls (Mary Z. Wilson, Karen Orser and Rosie Tower) who like old-time music, resist to assimilation into the dominant culture and like to horse around. They are moonlighters rather than moonshiners all working for educational organizations but keeping alive their passion for music. They all hail from Ojai Valley in California, the Valley of the Moon. They will be joined by instrumentalists Dan Wilson and Barney Tower.

Come join us, it will be a night to remember at the Santa Paula Theater, 125 South 7th Street and Main, Santa Paula. Sat. August 7, 7:00PM, Tickets $15.00. Seating is limited and advanced reservations are suggested at our website www.santapaulatheatercenter.org or call 805-525-4645

 


 

Four Ojai artists will be featured at the Ojai Center for the Arts during the dog days of summer. The show, featuring the art of Kerry Crank, Dennis Wood, Sandy Wolk and Larry Carnes, begins Aug. 6 and runs through Sept. 1st.

According to Wood, his and Crank’s oil paintings “will line the gallery walls with landscapes, city scenes, and some of their life impressions.”

Carnes, an Ojai Studio Artist and colleague of Otto Heino, will feature his own impressions in his earthy yet whimsical, sometimes haunting, pottery and sculptures.

Wolk, a new Ojai Studio Artist, will bring her own playful earth-based spirit and unique sculptures, expressing the feminine soul in clay.

The Art Center invites you to view this summer treat Aug.6-Sept.1, with an opening reception with refreshments, and music provided by local musician Sus Corez, playing her soulful acoustic guitar with folk and jazz vocals.
The Art Center is located at 113 S. Montgomery St, Ojai, and is open Tues-Sun. 12-4:00 p.m. For more information call 646-0117 or go online at ojaiartcenter.org

 


 
August 7th, 2 pm, Sespe Auditorium

Kids from the Sespe Players Inc. Musical Theater Camp will perform in "THE WIZ" Sat. Aug. 7th, 2 pm, one performance only, at the Sespe School Auditorium, 627 Sespe Avenue in Fillmore.

This fun-filled hour will feature children from Fillmore, Santa Paula and Piru singing and dancing to this wonderful upbeat musical rendition of "The Wizard of Oz". No advance ticket sales or reservations. Admission is by donation only.

For more information on this show or future Sespe Players Inc. Children's Workshop Musicals, please contact Priscilla Rzezuski at (805) 524-0553.

 
It’s time to fiddle around

It's that time again. Old Time Fiddlers, District 8, meet Sunday, July 25, 1:30 - 4:30 at Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View. Country, Western, bluegrass music for listening or dancing. Free admission & parking. Refreshments available. Info: 640-3689, 517-1131 or www.calfiddlers.com.

 
“Missing You” by Mary-Jo Murphy.
“Missing You” by Mary-Jo Murphy.
Enlarge Photo
“Whimsical Wags… Where Art Meets Bark”

Mary-Jo Murphy’s collection of original works “Whimsical Wags… Where Art Meets Bark” will be exhibiting at the Harbor Village Gallery from Wednesday, August 11 to Sunday, September 5, 2010. A “pet-friendly” Artist Reception will be held on Friday, August 13, 2010 from 5 – 8pm.

Mary-Jo Murphy’s work is simply fun and catchy, bringing smiles and laughter to animal and art admirers. Her subjects are “man’s best friends” including; dogs, cats and other animals rendered in a range of colors, full of energy and love. Her work expresses the bond between beloved pets and humans. Looking into the eyes of our pets we feel their compassion and joy. Murphy states, “Their wisdom remains unspoken but not un-communicated.” Reminiscent of pop art with an iconic appeal, Murphy’s work is composed with fun, solid-color backgrounds and close-ups of the beloved animal’s smiling face. Think Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, but with funky animals as the star of the show! This exhibit joyfully presents Murphy’s bold work in acrylics, watercolors, and digital ink-resist.

Murphy’s passion and talent in the arts has been evident from a young age. When she was twelve she won ribbons for her work at the County Fair in Connecticut. During her mid-twenties she took painting, illustrating, and printmaking classes at The Academy of Art in San Francisco, but her artists’ soul gave way to a practical reality that guided her towards the medical field. Currently, Murphy is a Health and Diabetes Educator, a Registered Nurse, a Motivational Speaker, an Artist, and a writer and editor for the Ojai and Ventura View, among many other titles. One of her hot items right now is her personalized pet portraits through the Harbor Village Gallery. Prices range from $250 and up, in various sizes, and finely executed in watercolors, acrylics or digital ink resist.

Her work has been exhibited throughout several galleries in California including the Artist’s Union Gallery, the Buenaventura Gallery, Harbor Village Gallery, the Thousand Oaks Art Association Gallery, and the Topanga Canyon Gallery. She exhibited in the 2009 Art Bark Fest in Squaw Valley. Some of her awards include Best in Show for Painting with the Alta Bates Foundation in Berkeley. She has been a member of the Buenaventura Art Association since 2008.

Murphy’s work is beautiful and full of glee. Come and fulfill your need for art and laughter with her funky paintings of animals.

This is Murphy’s first solo exhibit with the Buenaventura Art Association.

The Harbor Village Gallery is located at 1591 Spinnaker Dr., entrance # 3 in the Ventura Harbor Village, next to the big lawn. Open Monday through Thursday (closed on Tuesdays) from 12 to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11a.m. to 6p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 805-644-2750 or visit www.harborvillagegallery.com or www.buenaventuragallery.org

 
Sponsors and volunteers are needed for the October 23rd event to be held at the Ventura Harbor

VENTURA, Calif.-Turning Point Foundation is looking for sponsors, volunteers and people or organizations interested in building a kinetic vehicle to take part in the 13th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. The events will be held October 23rd at the Ventura Harbor.

"The Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ventura is the only Kinetic Race held in Southern California. In 1969, Hobart Brown started the Kinetic Sculpture Race, almost by accident when he modified his son's tricycle to a five-wheeled, decorated "Pentacycle" and another local artist and gallery owner, Jack Mays, challenged him to a race down Main Street on Mother's Day. Race day came and so did ten other challengers. Neither Hobart nor Jack won the race, that honor went to Bob Brown (no relation) piloting his Kinetic Turtle.

Meanwhile, Hobart continued to sculpt and start other races. About ten Kinetic Races occur every year, from Baltimore to Western Australia, the spirit of "Adults having fun so children want to get older" infects individuals everywhere it lands. Hobart passed away in 2008.

Entry fee for the Adventure Race is $35 p/p for a 4 person team ($140) in advance and registration is available by calling Jane Lax at 805-652-0000 ext. 102.

Sponsorship packages are available, ranging from $125-$10,000. For information on how you can get involved please contact Jane Lax at 805-652-0596, ext. 11 or email jlax@turningpointfoundation.org.

www.turningpointfoundation.org.

 
Artist Embellished Libbey Bowls at Auction: Photographer Les Dublin.
Artist Embellished Libbey Bowls at Auction: Photographer Les Dublin.
Enlarge Photo

Story by Writer/Contributor: Michele Pracy, Ojai Valley Museum Director

The fifty-one Libbey Glass bowls embellished by Ojai artists glittered on long tables under ancient oaks at a private home in Ojai on the afternoon of June 27. After months of planning, the Ojai Valley Museum’s fundraiser to benefit their sister non-profit, the Libbey Bowl amphitheatre re-build, was about to begin. Between 3 and 5 p.m., 200 invited guests arrived at the auction site to view and bid on the artful bowls in support of two of Ojai’s favorite cultural venues: the Ojai Valley Museum and the Libbey Bowl.

Larry Hagman was Master of Ceremonies; the hosts provided beautifully catered food and drink; the stunning glass bowls attracted healthy bids along the line of tables. By 5 p.m. the auction was complete, bowls were wrapped for transport and the new collectors homeward bound with their Ojai-specific, one-of-a-kind, works of art.

All in all, the auction was highly successful. The Ojai Valley Museum will donate one half of the profits to the “Save the Libbey Bowl Campaign”. The remaining funds will be used by the Museum for its future exhibits and programs.

Fundraising efforts continue because of the Bowl Auction Project. Libbey Inc. is collaborating with the Ojai Valley Museum, spearheading a giving campaign at their corporate headquarters in Toledo, Ohio throughout July 2010. The resulting monetary gifts received from Libbey Inc. will once again be divided equally, by the Ojai Valley Museum with the Libbey Bowl re-build project.

 
Sunday, July 11th

Want a fun filled afternoon-join the Old Time Fiddlers, District 8, Sunday, July 11 from 1:30 - 4:30 at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View. Country, Western, Bluegrass music for listening or dancing. No admission charge. Free parking. Refreshments available. Info: 640-3689, 517-1131 or www.calfiddlers.com.

 
Shakespeare company stages play for first time

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – July 7, 2010) The 14th Annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival will present “The Winter’s Tale” for the first time to conclude its 2010 summer season at California Lutheran University.

Performances are slated at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from July 23 through Aug. 8 in scenic Kingsmen Park.

“The Winter’s Tale” is a dream-like story that explores the themes of jealousy, love, honor and rebirth. Convinced that his pregnant wife has been unfaithful to him with his childhood friend, King Leontes of Sicilia orders that his friend be killed and his wife imprisoned. Time brings reflection and repentance. The story is tragic and comic, solemn and irreverent.

Director Susan Angelo is the education director and a resident artist at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. She is returning to the Kingsmen festival after directing “Twelfth Night” in 2003. She conducts Shakespeare workshops at many high schools and colleges including CLU, New York University and University of California, Los Angeles.

Richard Baird, who played the title role in last year’s production of “Macbeth,” is Leontes. Veteran stage actress Aaryon Kopp is making her debut appearance with the festival as Leontes’ wife, Hermione. Travis Brazil, who began his career with The Royal Shakespeare Company and has performed on many European and American stages, returns to the festival after two years to portray Leontes’ friend, Polixenes, the King of Bohemia.

The festival grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. Pre-show entertainment featuring Renaissance music, comic Shakespearean improvisations and wandering performers begins at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and free for those under 18. Reserved lawn box seating is $60 to $75. Parking is available at the corner of Mountclef Boulevard and Olsen Road.

The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is the professional theatre company of CLU. In addition to producing one of the area’s most popular outdoor theatrical events, it provides apprentice programs, an educational tour program and summer theater camps for youth.

For more information, visit http://www.kingsmenshakespeare.org or call (805) 493-3455.

 

Rancho Camulos Museum has again been selected to sell advance tickets for the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival which will take place July 30 and 31, 2010 in Santa Paula. You save money and support Rancho Camulos if you purchase admissions through us. Advance Tickets are $7 per adult ($10 at gate), $3 per youth ages 5 to 14 ($5 at gate), kids under 5 are free. You may purchase tickets at Rancho Camulos Museum during our regular tour hours, 1-4, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, or at the Rancho Camulos produce stand daily from 7:30am - 7:00 pm.

You may also order tickets at info@ranchocamulos.org or 805-521-1501. You may also make arrangements to have your prepaid tickets mailed (allow 2 weeks) or held for you at the festival "will call". Talk this up with your friends and family. Consolidated orders are appreciated.

 

Ojai Valley Museum is to add flair to this year’s Independence Day celebration with an Italian Street Painting demonstration in the front courtyard of the museum. John Aaron, with the assistance of fellow artists, will draw the logo for next year’s 1st annual 4th of July Chalk Art Festival. This Aaron designed museum event logo will be scaled to an 8-foot chalk portrait that pays tribute to Michelangelo and Ojai’s amazing citrus. Aaron is the Artistic Director for the demonstration and next year’s Chalk Art Festival. Additionally, he is the founder of the global art project, CHALK4PEACE, a longtime artist, educator, events coordinator and graduate of Thacher School.

The chalk artists can be viewed from 8 A.M. – 5 P.M. Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 in the front courtyard of the Ojai Valley Museum at Blanche Street and Ojai Avenue. The public is encouraged to stop by this free demonstration.

For more information call the museum at (805) 640- 1390 or visit the museum website at: http://www.ojaivalleymuseum.org

 

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, the Museum of Ventura County marks the completion of phase one of their construction as they return to their permanent location at 100 East Main Street in Ventura, with free admission Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On July 4, in the museum’s new front plaza, Sueños Cubanos AfroCuban Folkloric will entertain from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and Danza Azteca Mayahuel traditional dancers from Ojai will perform from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Visitors will also see four new exhibits. The Museum is closed on Monday, July 5.

The museum’s 89 South California Street location in Ventura, which they occupied temporarily during construction, closed June 21.

Beginning July 6, admission to Museum of Ventura County is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17. MVC members and children under 6 are free. Located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura, the museum is open 11:00 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed most Mondays. For more information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.

 

SANTA PAULA, CA – Classical music aficionados are in for a treat as the Santa Paula Art Museum will present their first “Museum Musicale”, a program of chamber music by the acclaimed Highland String Trio, plus Oboe, at a concert Sunday afternoon, June 27th, at 4:00pm. The performance will take place at the new Art Museum, 117 N. 10th Street in Santa Paula, and will be staged in the Museum’s Great Hall.

Works by Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven will be performed by a quartet of superb musicians, each of whom has a long resume of significant musical accomplishment. The evening will conclude with wine and cheese and conversation with the artists, and tickets are still available. Reservations are $25 in advance, or $35 at the door. Call the Museum at 805-525-5554 to reserve your spot, or visit the Museum’s website at www.santapaulaartmuseum.org.

Stephen Custer, Cello, is presently enjoying retirement from the LA Philharmonic after a distinguished 35-year career. Dr. Custer continues to teach at Pepperdine University, and makes his home in Westlake Village with his wife Sharon. (Sharon is the only child of Bernice Boles and Del King, and thus is a proud third generation Santa Paulan.)

Irving Weinstein, Violin, has performed with the Roth Quartet at UCLA for the past eleven years, and is a life-long music teacher and educational administrator. He teaches Instrumental Music for the LA Unified School District and the LA Community College District, and is Vice Chancellor of the LA Community College District. Mr. Weinstein resides in Oxnard.

Delores Walker, Viola, served as the music educator in the Oxnard and Hueneme School Districts for 39 years, and played for over 30 years in the Ventura County Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Walker majored in Music Education at Northwestern University, and currently resides in Camarillo.

Bruce Walker, Oboe, was principle Oboist with the Ventura County Symphony Orchestra for 28 years, and was the solo English Horn player with the Santa Barbara Symphony for 22 years. Dr. Walker received his Ph.D. from UCLA, and lives in Camarillo with his wife, Delores.

 

"Smoke Wave” photograph by David Orias.
Enlarge Photo

David Orias’s collection of photographs “Reflecting on Waves” will be exhibiting at the Harbor Village Gallery from Wednesday, July 14 to Sunday, August 8, 2010. An Artist Reception will be held on Friday, July 16, 2010 from 5 – 8pm.

Southern California’s waves are shown in their spectacular beauty through David Orias’s lens. “Water is colorless, yet it can take on the colors of the light that is shown through it or reflected upon it.” Orias’s photographs display the complex beauty of waves and their colors, shades, and reflections with a harmonic touch of photographic mastery. He chooses to photograph at dawn, capturing warm comforting colors; while using a slow shutter speed and camera motion, adding a unique and soft touch to his work. His photographs reveal waves in a full range of colors from oranges, reds, blues, turquoises, and more; reflections of the dawn, California’s fires, and other atmospheric wonders.

Orias reminds us that “every day, waves generated sometimes thousands of miles away breaks upon our shore. No two waves are exactly alike. Approaching the shore, they rise from the surface, crest and then extinguish themselves on the sandy or rocky shore. As soon as one disappears, another is there to take its place in this endless cycle of nature.” Waves come and go quickly, but Orias’s work pulls you in to admire “the shape of the wave and the light that reflects off its surface, creating lasting impressions of a subject that we often take for granted.” With the spirit of a true native, all of the waves photographed are from the local Ventura and Santa Barbara area.

A California native, Orias grew up in Santa Barbara, graduating from University of California Santa Barbara in 1980. Primarily artistically self taught, he has been photographing for the past seventeen years, working with subjects from birds, landscapes, nature, surfing, waves, and more. In addition, his work has developed throughout photography trips with other fellow artists. His shoreline photographs have won Best in Show at the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo. Often his work is displayed in Santa Barbara’s First Thursdays. Orias has been a member of the Santa Barbara Association for two years and the Buenaventura Art Association for one year.
David Orias’s work is perfectly displayed in the Harbor Village Gallery, in Ventura Harbor, where one can enjoy his capturing work along side the beach! There is nothing like Orias’s photographs of waves, displaying atmospheric reflections dance with Southern California’s powerful waves.

This is Orias’s first solo exhibit with the Buenaventura Art Association.

The Harbor Village Gallery is located at 1591 Spinnaker Dr., entrance # 3 in the Ventura Harbor Village, next to the big lawn. Open Monday through Thursday (closed on Tuesdays) from 12 to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11a.m. to 6p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 805-644-2750 or visit www.harborvillagegallery.com or www.buenaventuragallery.org

 

California State Old Time Fiddlers Association, District 8, will meet Sunday, June 27 at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View from 1:30 to 4:30. Join the fiddlers for an afternoon of listening and dancing to Western, Country or Bluegrass music. Free parking. No admission charge. Refreshments available. Info: 640-3689, 517-1131 or www.calfiddlers.com.

 
 
Pink Orange.
Pink Orange.
Enlarge Photo
Sandra McCullough
Sandra McCullough

VENTURA, CA (June 10, 2010) – Gallery 255 will be exhibiting new work by Sandra McCullough one of the resident artists of the Sea Breeze Art Studios which she also founded in 2004. Ms. McCullough’s new work is a series of oil paintings. She has developed a unique surface of burlap and textured plaster on top of wood panel boxes. Her palette is in shades of pink and orange that is reminiscent of sherbet. One of the intrigues of this body of work is the juxtaposition of physical raw ingredients of wood, burlap and plaster to the sumptuous use of oil paint color.

In May 2004, as Owner/Founder, Sandra started Sea Breeze Art Studios and Gallery 255 (formerly Sea Breeze Art Gallery) in a dirty warehouse on Laurel Street from the ground up. While maintaining her full time artist studio and with her innate appreciation of dynamic artistic talent, Sandra has built a successful creative community within Sea Breeze Art Studios. Gallery 255 has also become successful as a selling contemporary art venue for artists whose exhibits rotate every four weeks.

Sandra McCullough has been creating art for over 50 years. With an adventurous personality, an entrepreneurial spirit and an interesting background, she continues to articulate those assets and her love of color in her artwork.

“Pink & Orange” runs July 8 – 31, 2010. The opening artist reception will be held on Saturday July 10 from 5:00-9:00pm.

 
A vintage Honda motorcycle.
A vintage Honda motorcycle.
Enlarge Photo

A very unique exhibit of exceptional vintage Honda Motorcycles to be shown at the California Oil Museum. Opening June 20 with a reception to meet the collector, Ron Mousouris, from 1-3pm. Nine motorcycles will be on display from 1952 to 1967 with one beautiful 1994 rare racing machine. These are from the collection of Ron Mousouris of Carpenteria. Hours are Wed – Sun 10am to 4pm. Admission is $4 Adults, $3 Seniors, $1 Students 6-17 and 5 & under are free.

One of the featured bikes is a 1954 Honda Benly J. The name "Benly" is a slightly altered Japanese word that translates to mean "convenient" in English. The Benly J of 1954 was the first Honda motorcycle ever to be raced in international competition. It was raced in Sao Paolo Brazil endurance race.

The Benly J was designed by Soichiro Honda, the founder of the Honda Corporation. Mr. Honda employed Mr. Kyoshi Kawashima, to assist with development of the engine and suspension. Mr Kawashima who was the very first employee of the Honda Company became president of the Honda Corporation when Mr. Honda retired.
The Honda Benly J represented the biggest gamble the Honda Company ever took on. There were over 140 motorcycle manufacturers in Japan during the 1950s. Had the 1954 Benly failed for any reason it would have meant almost certain death for Honda.

Here are a few key design features

1. 89cc single cylinder, 4 stroke pushrod activated over head valves.
2. Unitary swingarm/engine (the engine pivots in the frame with the swingarm
3. Inverted telescopic front suspension
4. Monoshock torsion block rear suspension
5. Reverse pivot brake an clutch levers
6. This example raced at the Mt Asama races of 1954
7. Never sold outside Japan

Vintage Honda collector and master restorer, Ron Mousouris, started hanging out at the local Honda shop during the “Summer of Love” in 1967. In September of ’69, when the first Sapphire Blue Honda CL350 Scrambler was uncrated at the shop, his sense of urgency peaked. The Honda CL350 cost $810 new and he had saved about $600. The shop owner recognized that the only way to get Ron to stop hanging around the shop all the time was to get him a bike. He let Ron work off the balance in his service department.

Ron rode the CL350 with reckless abandon every day for three months. One evening in late November he walked to the garage to find his Honda gone…Stolen. The vacancy in the garage felt like a crushing weight. “I wasn’t a particularly skilled rider at the time so the perpetrator may well have saved me from injury or worse”, said Ron. “In any case the life lesson that I have carried with me ever since is that a healthy person should acquire motorcycles regularly and often. This principle can also be applied to spouses. I have seen it done. For me though, it has always been motorcycles”.

What: Honda Motorcycles: Early Years to Present Day Racing
Where: City of Santa Paula’s California Oil Museum
When: June 20 to September 26
More information: Jeanne Orcutt, 805-933-0076 ext 291, jorcutt@spcity.org
www.oilmuseum.net