“Goose at Gate” by Jessie Arms Botke, c. 1920s, oil on board, 16” x 14” (available in the live auction).
“Goose at Gate” by Jessie Arms Botke, c. 1920s, oil on board, 16” x 14” (available in the live auction).
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On Saturday, March 19, 2016, the Santa Paula Art Museum will host its Sixth Annual Fine and Decorative Art Auction with works by noted early twentieth century California artists like Jessie Arms Botke, Cornelis Botke, Ralph Holmes, and Douglas Shively highlighting the event. The silent auction begins at 3:00 p.m., followed by the live auction at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the auction is $15.00 for museum members and $20.00 for the general public.

Over 60 works of art, ranging from stunning oil and watercolor paintings to decorative glass, pottery, and prints, will be up for bid. Contemporary works by renowned local artists including George Lockwood, Gina Niebergall, Susan Petty, and Victor Schiro will complement the more historic offerings. To see a complete catalog of all of the items available in the auction, please visit www.santapaulaartmuseum.org/auction.html.

The annual Santa Paula Art Museum auction is a wonderful opportunity to find beautiful works of art for one’s home and private collection. All proceeds from the auction benefit the Santa Paula Art Museum, Jeanette Cole Art Center and its educational programs. Guests will also experience the thrill and fun of a live auction, announced this year by professional auctioneer Mr. John Eubanks of California Auctioneers.

The event is graciously supported by sponsors Bank of the Sierra, Calavo Growers, Rotary Club of Santa Paula, Limoneira Company, and Santa Paula Community Bank. The Santa Paula Art Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. Contact the museum by calling (805) 525-5554, or email info@santapaulaartmuseum.org.


a wooden suspension hook.
a wooden suspension hook.
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Cal Lutheran collection was last exhibited in 1972

Papua New Guinea artifacts belonging to California Lutheran University will be on display for the first time in more than 40 years.

“Ritual and Art: Pluralities in The Ellsworth La Boyteaux Collection of New Guinea Artifacts” will be exhibited from March 3 through April 7 in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art on the Thousand Oaks campus. A reception will be held at 5 p.m. March 11.

The exhibit will feature many sculptures including Abelam ancestral figures. There are also Kwona bark paintings, drums, coconut-shell spinning tops, woven masks that adorned large yams during harvest ceremonies, and the prow of a canoe. The display will feature items of personal adornment such as jewelry and a bride’s hair covering, as well as utilitarian objects including elaborate ceiling hooks, daggers, spears and spear launchers.

The pieces come from the Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea in the Prince Alexander Mountains and the surrounding area. Usually in storage on campus, the collection contains more than 150 objects collected in the early to mid-1960s from various groups in the East and West Sepik provinces.

Unlike other collections containing pieces that show significant revision by artists after removal from the field, often to increase their appeal to Westerners, this collection has been largely untouched.

The pieces provide a peek back in time to a period of increasing contact between Westerners and people from the Sepik River region, when artisans from the indigenous cultures began to create work specifically for foreign consumption. Some of the exhibit’s items were made expressly for sale to outsiders, but others were intended for everyday or ceremonial or military use.

An Australian patrol officer originally collected the artifacts and La Boyteaux, an art collector, later acquired them. The late Jerry Slattum, an art professor at Cal Lutheran, arranged for many of La Boyteaux’s pieces to be displayed on campus in 1972. La Boyteaux donated the collection to the university a few years later.

Admission to the exhibit and reception is free. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It is located in William Rolland Stadium, north of Olsen Road between Campus Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, contact curator Rachel T. Schmid at 805-493-3697 or rollandgallery@callutheran.edu or visit CalLutheran.edu/rolland.


"Olivia" by Photographer David Baker.
"Olivia" by Photographer David Baker.
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"Olivia" by Photographer David Baker.
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"Italian Cafe" by Photographer David Baker.
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"Bride" by Photographer David Baker.
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"Patriot" by Photographer David Baker.
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"Boris" by Photographer David Baker.
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The Ojai Photography Club welcomes the return of Ojai based photographer David Baker to their February 16, 2016 meeting. The program begins at 7:00 PM, at Kent Hall, located at Help of Ojai’s Little House, 111 Santa Ana Street, in Ojai.

Baker will speak on “Luminosity Masks Using Photoshop.” This will be a richly in-formative mini-workshop for photographers interested in advancing their ability to bring out the very best in their images. Although designed primarily for intermediate to advanced Photoshop users, the presentation is sure to inspire anyone attending by showing how dramatically luminosity masks can transform images. Baker will be using his award-winning photographs to demonstrate his process before and after masking.

The basic function of luminosity masks is to isolate and manipulate tones in an image - lights, darks, and all the intermediate values. The masking process uses only the data in the photograph itself and blends the tones seamlessly. This powerful technique allows the photographer to select specific areas of an image to enhance, at the same time avoiding the hard edges of standard adjustments. From simple corrections for exposure problems, to complex personal expressions of beauty and color, luminosity masks provide photographers with a versatile tool kit for exploration and creativity.

Baker is internationally known for his creative website and graphic designs. He is best known in the United States for his web site design for the 1995 Academy Awards, Super Bowl XXX, Microsoft Windows NT site, and the California State Legislature.

In the early 1970s, after seven years as a deputy sheriff for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, he worked as a professional contract photographer for the Monterey Park Progress newspaper.

He then left the photography profession to become a successful software engineer and graphic designer. He was founder of Beverly Hills Software, an internationally known website design firm as well as founder and President of Real Time Computer Science in Camarillo. He has served as Director of Development for Symantec/Peter Norton and as Computer Architecture Specialist at Intel Corporation.

In 1998 Baker relocated to Ojai, California, and rekindled his lifelong passion for photography. He currently serves as the chair of the Photography Branch at the Ojai Art Center and acts as the Ojai Art Center Staff Photographer and Website Architect. Active in the Ojai Photography Club, he recently became a core member of the club’s central team that oversees the organization. Visit his website for images and extended information: http://www.ojaiimages.com/

After his presentation, Baker will review images submitted by club members. Monthly presentations are part of the Ojai Photography Club’s community service outreach and visitors are welcome to attend.

The Ojai Photography 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 review. For additional information please visit: www.ojaiphotoclub.com/.

Cal Lutheran concert one of six California tour stops

A choir that has performed from Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden to Carnegie Hall will give a free concert at California Lutheran University on Feb. 20.

The Augustana Choir Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Samuelson Chapel.

Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, is known throughout the United States for the excellence of its choral tradition. Founded in 1931, the Augustana Choir is the school’s premier choral ensemble and has performed in some of the most storied venues in the world, including Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. The choir has released many recordings and performed on commercial and public radio and network television.

The Cal Lutheran concert is one of six stops in California where the Augustana Choir will perform under the direction of Jon Hurty in February.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit CalLutheran.edu.

Quartet’s free concert Feb. 19 at Cal Lutheran chapel

The Saxomania quartet will trade their saxophones for clarinets in a free concert slated Feb. 19 at California Lutheran University.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Richard Bunter, Patrick Ingram, Don Nardone and veteran faculty member Daniel Geeting will play works for a clarinet quartet by Alfred Uhl and Paul Harvey. Geeting will also play Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinetas commissioned by Benny Goodman. Accompanying him on piano will be faculty member Eric Kinsley.

Bunter studied under Bill Cain at California State University, Northridge. The Oxnard resident is a member of The Palace Hot Society Orchestra, an Oxnard group that performs Roaring ‘20s music, and the Harry Selvin Big Band.

Geeting has been a member of the Cal Lutheran music faculty since 1984. The Canoga Park resident conducts the University Symphony and teaches music history and music appreciation in addition to saxophone and clarinet. He earned a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Oregon. He received an institute certificate from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and previously held professorships at Cornell College and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Ingram studied with Don Raffell. The Thousand Oaks resident performs with the Harry Selvin Big Band, Ventura County Concert Band, The Palace Hot Society Orchestra and The Unforgettables big band.

Nardone studied clarinet with George Jones at Princeton University while earning a degree in electrical engineering. The Thousand Oaks resident performs with the Conejo Pops Orchestra and the Cal Lutheran Wind Ensemble.

Donations will be accepted.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit CalLutheran.edu/music.

Sunday, February 7, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join us for Free Family Day at the Santa Paula Art Museum on Sunday, February 7, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Families can enjoy our newest student art show and participate in a variety of art activities around the Museum. Guests will also be able to tour the Museum’s current exhibitions including “Nature Inspired: The Paintings of Sherry Loehr,” a stunning display of paintings by award-winning Ojai artist Sherry Loehr. Loehr’s work is inspired by nature, and her depictions of birds, flowers, fruits, and plants will delight visitors of all ages. Also on view is the “De Colores Art Show: Campesinas,” which illustrates the unique experience of campesinas (female farmworkers) in California and Ventura County. Admission to the Museum is free for everyone on Free Family Day.
The Santa Paula Art Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and is free for museum members and students. For more information, please contact the Museum at (805) 525-5554, or email info@santapaulaartmuseum.org.

Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Join us for a panel discussion of luthiers James Wimmer of Santa Barbara, David Eichelbaum of Ojai, Matt Larrivée of Oxnard and David Salais of Ventura as they discuss their training, techniques, and sourcing of rare woods that they use to craft one-of-a-kind instruments for musicians. Collectors and musicians turn to luthiers (i.e., someone who makes string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box) if they are in search of a unique tone or sound, or if they want to create an instrument that doesn’t exist anywhere else. These craftsmen, featured in the Museum’s exhibit Duets: Art and Artisans in Harmony, explain their craft, their inspirations and their most unique creations.

James Wimmer is a master violin maker who resides in Santa Barbara. As a young adult, James established a band and started to perform locally. After a few lineup changes, their repertoire changed to string band music and blues. They wound up taking their act to Germany and finding plenty of work. As a result, Jim wound up staying there for a prolonged period of time and decided to take work as an apprentice violin maker with master craftsman Wolfgang Uebel. After returning to the United States, James opened his shop in 1986 and started producing find concert qualify violins.

David Eichelbaum is one of today's most sought after steel string acoustic builders. Since 1994 he has offered his popular line of Finger style guitars including the Grand Concert and the Grand Auditorium. He currently produces fewer than 15 instruments a year, each one a collaboration between client and luthier. David works out of his studio in Ojai. He stated, “I realize that commissioning a handmade guitar is often the realization of a lifetime dream, and I feel fortunate and honored to spend my life doing this work I love so much.”

Jean Larrivée began a guitar-building apprenticeship with Edgar Monch Sr. in Toronto, Canada. His first guitars were based on European classical guitar designs and became part of the Larrivée Family Collection. In September 2001, Larrivée opened a second plant in Oxnard, California. In 1971 Larrivée began adding inlay designs to their guitars. From the jungles of India, to the south of Spain, Jean continues his tireless quest to secure the finest woods in the world.

Davis Salais of Ventura has a studio in the Bell Arts Factory on Ventura Avenue in downtown Ventura. He hand crafts requintos, which are small guitars. The term requinto is used in both Spanish and Portuguese to mean a smaller, higher-pitched version of another instrument. He began as a carpenter at 15, gradually learning to work with fine woods and teaching himself to make classical and flamenco guitars. He also makes ukuleles and requintos, some of which are carved from 1 pieces of mahogany wood.

The panel will be moderated by museum librarian Charles Johnson, who is a musician as well. Admission to this event is included with Museum admission and is free for Museum members.

For further information please contact: Stefanie Davis, director of marketing, at (805) 653-0323, x303 or sdavis@venturamuseum.org

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 $5.00 Adults (18 years & older) $3.00 Seniors (65 and older), Students & AAA members with ID, $1.00 Children (17-6 years old) Children 5 years old & younger are FREE. The first Sunday of every month is free general admission for the public. For more information go to www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.

Presented By Artists Guild Of Fillmore

Ventura College Santa Paula is pleased to host Via 126, an art exhibition presented by the Artists Guild of Fillmore. The exhibition will be featured at the Ventura College Santa Paula Learning Resource Center (957 Faulkner Road, Suite 106, in Santa Paula) from January 19 through March 11, 2016. A meet-the-artist reception is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Artists Guild of Fillmore was founded in 2009 to promote interest in original work created by local artists. Via 126 showcases ten diverse artists who utilize a variety of media including watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, and more.

“We are very fortunate to be able to highlight the outstanding work of some of our local artists,” said Ventura College President, Dr. Greg Gillespie.

Works from Fillmore artists Paul Benavidez; Judy Dressler; Lady Jan Faulkner; Lois Freeman-Fox; Joanne King; Jeremy Kirsch; Virginia Neumann; Doris Nichols; Luann Heber Perez and Lia Verkade will be on display for the community to enjoy. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Free Parking is also available.

“The Artists Guild of Fillmore is both honored and pleased to once again exhibit our artwork at the Ventura College Santa Paula campus,” said Fillmore artist Virginia Neumann. “We especially appreciate the enthusiasm and hard work the staff has shown in bringing the Via 126 show to life.”

For more information, please call (805) 525-7135 or visit www.venturacollege.edu/santapaula and www.artistsguildoffillmore.org.

Ventura College, an accredited two-year institution of higher education, has been a part of the beautiful seaside community of Ventura, California, since 1925. It is conveniently located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. The 112-acre campus, set in the rolling hills of Ventura, has an enrollment of 14,500 students. Ventura College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Sciences Degrees in 33 majors, and Certificates of Completion and Proficiency Awards in 61 areas of study. Ventura College also has Transfer Guarantee Agreements with CSUCI, CSUN, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. Class schedules are posted at www.venturacollege.edu. For more information, contact the Ventura College Welcome Center at 805.289.6420.


CSU Channel Islands (CI) has added the Camarillo Library as a venue for this year’s Spring Library Lecture Series.

CSU Channel Islands (CI) hosts more than a dozen free public lectures from January through May at libraries throughout Ventura County, as well as the Channel Islands Boating Center.

The Syrian refugee crisis; the drought; the Chumash; immigration; pollution from microplastics; computer security; oil spills; grief and connecting communities through public art are among the topics that will be explored by experts from numerous departments at CI, including Biology, History, English, Computer Science, Political Science, and Environmental Science & Resource Management, to name a few.

When organizing the library lecture series, Dean of Arts & Sciences Karen Carey, said she looks for variety and makes an effort to bring back speakers with topical and popular subject matter.

“I also try to find faculty who haven’t given a community lecture before so that people in the community can hear about all the great work being done on campus,” she said.

Camarillo Library, 4101 E. Las Posas Road
Lectures are Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m.

March 7
“The Prehistory of the Channel Islands and Coastal California: A 10,000 Year Retrospective” by Professor of Anthropology Colleen Delaney, Ph.D.

Centuries before coastal Ventura County was awash in lights and cars and noise, the Chumash and Tongva people paddled to the Channel Islands in plank canoes that were some of the most sophisticated ocean-going craft in the Americas. They used a type of shell and bead currency that was still used in California when Europeans arrived.

Delaney will take the audience back 10,000 years to learn about the Channel Islands, why they were so important to ancient people, and why they remain important to us today.

April 4
“Politics to the Extreme” by Professor of Political Science Sean Kelly, Ph.D.

Not since the U.S. Civil War has the political gulf between Americans on opposing sides been so wide and so angry. “Politics to the Extreme: American Political Institutions in the 21st Century” is a book Kelly co-wrote with fellow CI Professor of Political Science Scott Frisch, Ph.D. Kelly will draw from his research to give some context to the ideological polarization we’re seeing as we near the 2016 Presidential election.

Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. Janss Road
Lectures are Wednesdays, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 (Wednesday)
“Reconnecting Art, CONTINUED »

"Puddle" by Paul Finkel
"Puddle" by Paul Finkel
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Cal Lutheran exhibit features works by Paul Finkel

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A Westlake Village photographer will exhibit a series of new works that focus on reflective surfaces in urban areas at California Lutheran University in February.

“Reflections,” featuring digital works by Paul Finkel, will be on display from Feb. 5 through 20 in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art. A reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8. Finkel will lead a tour of the exhibit, recalling the locations and stories behind the photos, from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 13.

In the exhibit’s photographs, Finkel aims his lens at the reflective surfaces of high-rise buildings, storefronts, display windows, bus windows and puddles. Through unexpected juxtapositions and changes of color in the digitally modified works, he transforms mundane images that are generally ignored into the extraordinary.

The retired doctor has traveled the world for 30 years. He initially used traditional photographic techniques to capture the wonders of nature and glimpses of the human psyche in candid moments. He exhibited many of those photographs in two Thousand Oaks exhibits in 2006.

Finkel turned to the idea of reflections after an inspiring trip to Iceland in 2012. After taking a photograph of a Plexiglas spiral staircase in the Reykjavik Photography Museum, he marveled at the layers of unexpected reflections in the image. He began looking for reflections around him in urban areas.

Born and raised in Chicago, Finkel became a board-certified internist and kidney specialist after earning a degree from University of Illinois Medical School. He served two years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, caring for troops with traumatic acute renal failure. Finkel and his family settled in Westlake Village in 1974. In addition to practicing medicine, he taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, for 15 years. He retired from his practice in 2014.

Finkel, who has served on the board of the New West Symphony for seven years and is currently the chairman, will donate the net proceeds from the sale of works during the exhibit to the symphony and Cal Lutheran.

Admission to the exhibit and events is free.

The gallery, located in William Rolland Stadium, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Rachel T. Schmid at 805-493-3697 or rollandgallery@callutheran.edu or visit CalLutheran.edu/rolland.


Helen Hunt Jackson Returns to Rancho Camulos January 31
On January 31, at 1:00 PM, experience Helen Hunt Jackson’s January 23, 1882 visit to Rancho Camulos which inspired her to include this vestige of the Californio lifestyle as one of the settings for her novel Ramona. Re-enactors will engage and delight you as they portray this event which forever changed the peaceful life at Rancho Camulos. “A Women with a Mission”, a presentation on the life of HHJ by author Patricia Clark Doerner will follow the reenactment.
The museum is located on Highway 126, 10 miles west of the I-5 freeway near Piru. Details at (805) 521-1501, info@ranchocamulos.org, or www.ranchocamulos.org.

Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark Tours
Docent led public tours are available Sundays at 1, 2, and 3 and by appointment. See the “Home of Ramona” including the 1853 adobe, 1867 chapel and winery, 1930 schoolhouse, and beautiful grounds. View the 1910 silent film “Ramona” starring Mary Pickford that was filmed on location at Rancho Camulos. The suggested donation for the tours is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children over 5. Entrance to the non-profit museum which is on private property is only allowed with a docent escort. Check the website before going in case of closures due to weather or special activities. The museum is located on Highway 126, 10 miles west of the I-5 freeway near Piru. INFO: (805) 521-1501, info@ranchocamulos.org, or www.ranchocamulos.org.


CA State Old Time Fiddlers will meet on Sunday 1/24/16 from 1:30-4:30pm at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View. The public is invited to play, listen and dance to Country Western and Bluegrass music. Free admission and parking, refreshments available. calfiddlers.com or call 805-797-6563.

March 12, 2016

Members of Ventura’s historic families will serve as Grand Marshals when the annual Ventura County St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches down Main Street for the 28th time in downtown Ventura on Saturday, March 12.

The theme of this year’s parade, which begins in front of Mission San Buenaventura at 10 a.m., is “Celebrating 150 Years of Ventura’s History.” The city was incorporated on April 2, 1866. Members of the historic families to serve as Grand Marshals will be announced at a later date.

The whole county will be turning out in green on Main Street. Last year’s parade drew over 90 entries, including floats sponsored by civic groups, nonprofits and local businesses and restaurants; marching bands; car clubs; horses; clowns and the Biggest Green Pig in the World. There also will be high school pep bands, youth groups and fun-loving adult groups entered in the parade.

The Ventura County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which ends at Laurel Street, is presented by the Ventura Elks Lodge #1430. The event’s committee is accepting entries for the parade. For entry forms or more information about the parade, visit www.venturastpatricksdayparade.com, call Jim Monahan at (805) 643-4275 or mail Nan Drake at nanodrake@aol.com

Geno Palilla
Geno Palilla
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The Santa Paula Concert Series has been revived and will have its fourth concert of the new series, Music for a Romantic Night: Classical Piano Music with Geno Palilla, on Saturday, February 13th at 7:00 PM at the historic Universalist Unitarian Church, a Ventura Historical County landmark, located at 740 East Main Street, Santa Paula. Parking is on the street or behind the church. This concert for Valentine’s Day will feature a champagne and chocolate reception with the artist. The program will feature shorter works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Debussy.

After informal piano lessons with his father and self-teaching, Geno Palilla studied several years under the late Peter Yazbeck, until going off to study piano performance at Cal State University Northridge, under the Piano Chair, Francoise Regnat. His first inspirations were the music of Beethoven, whom he wanted to emulate in every way, including in temperament and hair. Then gradually he came to love everything else, but especially the music of Bach, Mozart and Chopin, who are to him more like gods than men. In recent years he has been dedicated to teaching piano, in the classical tradition, but with an openness and appreciation of jazz and blues, which he sees as not wholly estranged certain modes of classical composition, in its freest, imaginative sense. He may surprise us with an improvisation or two.

The Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula has been home to a number of musical events throughout its 127-year history. Admission is $20 donation at the door. Proceeds benefit the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula Building and Historical Fund. UUCSP is a registered Ventura County Historical Landmark. For more information, call 805-525-4647 or email uuscpoffice@gmail.com.


Since the 1890s postcards have represented a quick, easy and economical way to share a trip with friends and family. The Ojai Valley Museum’s latest exhibition, “Wish You Were Here: Postcards that Enticed Visitors to the Ojai Valley” highlights vintage postcards. The Ojai Valley postcards are enlarged for better viewing of interesting details. Not only are the images often beautiful, what people wrote speaks to earlier eras while also pointing out how some things never change. In an adjacent space, each visitor is invited to write and send a contemporary postcard themselves.

Also on view are historic promotional items including brochures and maps. Beautifully rendered early 20th century pieces are contrasted with exuberant items from mid-century.

The opening reception for “Wish You Were Here” is Saturday, January 16. Enjoy the exhibition and a no host wine bar for the price of regular museum admission: $5 per adult, children 6-18 $1, current museum members and children under 6 free.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. It will be on view through March 27, 2016.

The Ojai Valley Museum is located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue in Ojai. Free parking is available behind the museum, off Blanche Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. Group or school tours available by appointment.

For more information, call the museum at (805) 640-1390, ext. 201, email ojaimuseum@gmail.com, or visit the museum website at OjaiValleyMuseum.org.

Sierra #1, oil on canvas, Ernest Browning Smith
Sierra #1, oil on canvas, Ernest Browning Smith
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Buenaventura Art Association will unveil another dozen historical pieces of regional art with California Climates: Fire and Ice, an exhibition opening Jan. 5 at Buenaventura Gallery in downtown Ventura. Among the desert and snow scenes in this addition to the California Heritage Collection are two works by a noted early landscape painter.

The collection is from the estate of a late Ventura couple who spent decades acquiring beautiful artworks in California and worldwide. The anonymous pair’s large and well-documented art legacy encompasses a wide range of styles, including California Impressionism, Plein-Air schools and Modernism.

Frequent visitors to their hometown gallery, the couple left instructions to involve BAA in offering the works for sale. Small groupings of their extensive treasure trove are being featured in a succession of showings at Buenaventura Gallery and a catalog is available for review.

Two pieces in the California Climates show, titled simply Sierra #1 and Sierra #2, are by Ernest Browning Smith, an influential plein-air painter active over three decades in the early 20th century. Born Nov. 30, 1866, in Brimfield, Mass., he was educated there at private Hitchcock Free Academy and, according to his 1932 autobiography for the Los Angeles Museum of Art, “spent two years at law and six years in business before moving to California in 1894 at the age of 27.” After a year of ranching, he moved to Los Angeles.

Having also studied harmony, sung and directed church choirs in Massachusetts, Smith taught himself to play the cello at 28 and, two years later, the French horn. By 1897, his proficiency earned him the position of first French horn in the inaugural Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, with which he performed until 1911.

In 1902, he took up photography “with the idea of expressing his love for nature in that medium, but found it lacking in color and design.” He tried watercolor painting the following year, and switched to oils in 1904, again both self-taught. That year, Smith was named to the St. Louis World’s Fair Symphony Orchestra and during his visit to that exposition “took advantage of the opportunity to make a careful study of that great collection of contemporary art.”

For the next five years, he “devoted every moment not needed in his musical work to the careful study of nature and the development of individual technique.” In 1909, his first gallery exhibition drew critical acclaim, with a Los Angeles Times reviewer writing, “Mr. Smith is a man of much power and orginality and (not belittling his fine work on cello and horn) is a man who was born to be a painter.”

Two years later, Smith resigned from the symphony to devote all of his time to painting and, on an extended European trip, made comparative studies of all the art schools at museums in France, Germany and England.

Upon returning, he held one-man exhibitions each year from 1912-1916, then rejoined the symphony for five years, during which time he continued to paint but did not exhibit. He was an early and active member of the Laguna Beach Art Association and the California Art Club.

In 1921, Smith left the symphony again to resume his art focus and the next decade was his most productive and successful; he made painting forays all over the state, creating a body of award-winning desert and mountain landscape work that earned critical praise and museum recognition. His plein-air expeditions even took him to Mount Shasta, where he was among the early artists to capture its grandeur.

Smith earned awards at Los Angeles County and California State fairs and was honored in 1932 with a one-man show at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. That museum and the San Francisco Art Museum purchased his paintings for their collections. Sadly, he developed health problems shortly after the museum show that later led to nearly a year of hospitalization in 1937 and a gradual decline. Smith died on April 26, 1951.

BAA welcomes inquiries from collectors and museums about current and future offerings from the California Heritage Collection. Owners of other early California artworks are invited to contact the nonprofit association about possible inclusion in the exhibition series.

Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Private viewings of the California Heritage Collection are available by appointment. For more about BAA or this special collection, visit www.californiaheritagecollection.com, www.buenaventuragallery.org, or call 805-648-1235 during gallery hours.

Channel Islands Harbor excursions give sightseers a front-row seat

Let’s go whale watching! Channel Islands Harbor celebrates the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale with its 20th Annual Celebration of the Whales. Each winter, these enchanting whales migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel on their way to the lagoons of Mexico, where the females will give birth. Whale watching excursions to the Channel Islands National Park are offered daily from Channel Islands Harbor and provide sightseers the best opportunities for viewing the whales, which are up to 50 feet long and weigh approximately 36 tons, as they travel south. Excursions began Dec. 26 and run through mid-April 2016.

Businesses at Channel Islands Harbor offering these sight-seeing excursions include Channel Islands Sportfishing, which provides excursions from January through April, (805) 382-1612; and Island Packers, which offers half-day trips through mid-April (805) 382-1779. For more information, visit www.channelislandsharbor.org.

As the first recreational harbor in Ventura County, Channel Islands Harbor has become one of the largest in California, after Marina Del Rey and San Diego in Southern California. It now includes over 300 acres of land and water, but the initial development included only a small portion of the current harbor area. Additional construction took place over the years, including the west channel of the harbor, along Harbor Boulevard and Peninsula Road. Development of the harbor has been largely accomplished through leases with private developers, who have constructed eight marinas (not including the three constructed by the County) comprising over 2200 boat slips, two hotels, two yacht club buildings, two boat yards, three shopping areas, two freestanding restaurants, a Maritime Museum, over 100 condominiums and 485 apartments. In addition, public agencies have provided parks, restrooms, the public launch ramp and parking for the public. For more information on Channel Islands Harbor visit www.channelislandsharbor.org.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Ventura County Rose Society will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday,January 21, 2016, at the Ventura County Office of Education Conference Center at 5100 Adolfo Rd., Camarillo. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and advice from Consulting Rosarians.. Our speaker presentation will begin at 7:30 P.M. (Please note that this is the third Thursday of the month instead of the fourth Thursday)

The VCRS meeting will feature Dona Martin, American Rose Society Master Rosarian, and award-winning photographer. She will be speaking on "Roses & Photography" How to take pictures of roses and post-processing the pictures on a basic level. She has over 460 roses in her Escondido, CA garden. Her photos are exquisite and we will learn her techniques in photographing roses. This should be a very informative presentation.

Visitors are always welcome to our VCRS meetings. For more information contact; Janet Sklar at 818-337-9970 or Dawn-Marie Johnson at 805-523-9003. Our website is http://www.venturarose.org/

New “Studio Sunday” Program Teaches Art in A Social Setting

The Museum Ventura County’s new art instruction series, Studio Sunday, has provided a great reason for friends to gather at the museum and cultivate their inner artist. The Studio Sunday painting classes are taught by Mary Perez and Megan Bisbee of Vita Arts Center, and are open to all regardless of their level of expertise. The classes occur once a month on selected Sundays from 1-4 pm at the museum. Each of the classes has a theme and style of painting or creating that evokes famous artists.

There are two sessions coming up! Pre-paid reservations are being taken now.

January 17: "Pinots with Picasso"
Learn collage techniques to evoke Picasso’s cubism period.

February 21: “Koi Fish, Water & Wine”
Take to the water with this colorful symbolic fish, learning the timeless art of watercolor painting.

The class fee is $40 per person, or $35 for MVC members, which includes instruction, art materials and light refreshments. Each class is limited to 40 people. To reserve, call (805) 653-0323, x315, or go to the museum’s website at http://venturamuseum.org/studiosunday and pay online.

Tom Ashbrook
Tom Ashbrook

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - The January taping of National Public Radio show “On Point” in Santa Barbara is sold out, but fans can visit with host Tom Ashbrook the next morning at California Lutheran University.

The award-winning journalist will discuss highlights from his career when KCLU presents “Coffee and Conversation with Tom Ashbrook” at 10 a.m. Jan. 23 in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Nearly 2 million NPR listeners across the country listen to Ashbrook each week. "On Point" unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts important stories.

Ashbrook joined NPR in 2001 after he was enlisted to provide special coverage following the attacks of 9/11. He has spent more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor and author. He spent 10 years in Asia, starting at the South China Morning Post and then working as a correspondent for The Boston Globe. Ashbrook was based in India, Hong Kong and Japan. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China. He has also covered the turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Ashbrook received the Livingstone Prize for National Reporting in 1996.

He was serving as a fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation when he decided to leave the Globe and take a four-year plunge into Internet entrepreneurship. He and a college friend launched what became homportfolio.com. Ashbrook chronicled the experience in the book “The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush.”

Raised on an Illinois farm, Ashbrook studied American history at Yale and Gandhi’s independence movement at Andhra University in India. Before taking up journalism, he worked as a surveyor and dynamiter in Alaska’s oil fields, a teaching fellow with the Yale-China Association, a Hong Kong television personality and a producer of international editions of Chinese kung fu films.

“Coffee and Conversation” is a fundraiser for KCLU, a community service of Cal Lutheran. Tickets are $30. To purchase tickets, call KCLU at 805-493-3900.

KCLU, the first station on the West Coast to carry "On Point," airs the show from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays. The award-winning NPR affiliate serves more than 100,000 listeners on 88.3 FM in Ventura County, 102.3 FM and 1340 AM in Santa Barbara County, 89.7 FM on the Central Coast, 92.1 FM in San Luis Obispo and online at kclu.org.