Thursday, March 4 through Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reception and Awards: Thursday, March 11, 4 – 6 p.m.

2010 marks the 9th consecutive year that the annual student art exhibit, “AWESOME ART” is mounted in the changing gallery at the Ojai Valley Museum, Ojai, California. The exhibition runs March 4 through April 11, 2010 and showcases upper level student artwork from Nordhoff High, Thacher, Besant Hill, Ojai Valley, Villanova, and Oak Grove schools.

On average, the AWESOME ART group exhibition features 150 works of art, including ceramics, sculpture, drawings, paintings, photography, graphic design, digital, and mixed media pieces. PLEASE NOTE: many of the artworks are available for sale. This is an opportune time to collect new talent, purchase a special & affordable original gift, and support the Ojai Valley Museum programs.

In addition to museum exposure for the burgeoning Ojai student artists, the “AWESOME ART” show is an award opportunity for the participants. Each year since 2005, siblings Karen O’Neill and Michael Burgos have granted monetary awards to selected exhibiting students in memory of their mother, Marion E. Smith. Mrs. Smith was a longtime Ojai resident, an Ojai Valley Museum docent and a youth art supporter. The monetary awards, given in her name, are for merit and scholarship. The judges of “AWESOME ART, 2010” will be Ojai Studio Artist members: Bruce Tomkinson, Ceramicist; Shahastra, Painter; and Valerie Freeman, Photography/Digital Arts.

The O’Neill and Burgos grant also allows free admission to all students visiting the exhibit.

The Award Reception will be held Thursday, March 11, 2010 at the Ojai Valley Museum between 4 and 6 p.m. This special event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please remember exhibited work is available for purchase, and that donations to the Museum are always welcome.

The Ojai Valley Museum is located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue and is open Thursday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. Specials tours can be arranged for Wednesdays.

Adult admission is $4.00. For more information call the museum at (805) 640-1390, email or visit the museum website at


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“Stage One”, glass by Helle Sharling-Todd
“Stage One”, glass by Helle Sharling-Todd
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Figures and Spaces an exhibit of fused glass and steel by Helle Sharling-Todd will be at the Buenaventura Gallery from Tuesday, March 2 to Saturday, March 27, 2010. Opening reception is on Saturday, March 6, from 4 – 7 pm.

Figures and Spaces is a collection of episodes, as Sharling-Todd titles them, depicting moments of human interaction. Her inspiration comes from observing people and the drama they create among themselves, simply by being alive. “To observe humans and their activities never ceases to amaze me, and to create little dramas between a group of figures is fascinating,” explains Sharling-Todd. By isolating the activity of a single individual, the fallen figure or the helping hand, Sharling-Todd’s linear compositions tell a story of expression and relationship. The colorful frozen narratives portrayed in glass and steel have a historical quality to them, like a psychological thesis. The theories and results of these “episodes” have been visually preserved for posterity.

Sharling- Todd is widely traveled and has studied mosaics and stained glass throughout the world. A graduate of Bauhaus School of Architecture and Design in Krefeld, Germany and the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Sharling-Todd also studied mosaics at Art Academy in Ravenna, Italy and the Mexican mural movement at the National School of Art in Mexico City.

Sharling-Todd has created well over fifty public art projects around the world and locally, including the gateways at Ventura Avenue, the tile mural at the Senior Center, the Wright Library garden mosaic, and the mosaic “Water Lines” that run throughout the Port Hueneme library. Serving on the board for the International Contemporary Association of Mosaic Artists, Sharling-Todd has spoken and shown her work in Japan, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, and Germany.

The Buenaventura Art Gallery is located at 700 E. Santa Clara Street, Ventura, CA 93001. Hours are Tues – Friday from noon – 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. Please call (805)648-1235 or visit



California State Old Time Fiddlers, District 8, meet Sunday, February 28, 130 - 4:30 at Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View.

Join the fiddlers for an afternoon of family oriented music and dancing. Free admission and parking. Refreshments available. Info: 640-3689 or 517-1131.



Sespe Players Auditions for Alice in Wonderland to be held Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 4:30-6:30P.M., Tuesday, February 23, 2010 from 7:00-9:00P.M., Wednesday, February 24, 2010 from 7:00-9:00P.M., with call backs on Thursday, February 25,2010 starting at 7:00P.M.

Auditions will be held at The Historical Train Depot located at 350 Main Street, Fillmore. Any questions please call Janet Foy at 217-2402 or Sara Glauser at 524-6960.

Looking forward to seeing you at the auditions.

Also, Sespe Players presents Beginning Acting Workshop hosted by acting coach Stephen Burhoe, Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 2:00-4:00P.M. at The Historical Train Depot 350 Main Street Fillmore. This class is free for anyone who would like to learn about acting, wants to be an actor, or simply looking to polish their interviewing skills. After ward, Sespe Players will begin Auditions for their spring production of Alice in Wonderland from 4:30-6:30P.M. for all those interested.


Grades 5 – 12 Invited to Illustrate “Western Nights and Carnival Lights”

February 16, 2010 (Ventura, CA) The 2010 Ventura County Fair Poster Contest is accepting entries. The contest is open to young artists in grades 5 – 12, who reside in Ventura County. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 13.

The theme of the 2010 Fair is “Western Nights and Carnival Lights” and will serve as the guideline to the imagery. Artwork may be created in any medium but may not be 3 dimensional.

Rules, deadlines and other information can be found on the Fair website, For more information about the contest call 648-3376 x 110 or send an email to

The Ventura County Fair will begin its annual 12-day run Wednesday August 4 and continue until Sunday, August 15.

For more information about the Fair, or the poster contest, please call the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 648-3376 x110 or visit


A second premier screening of 14 Days with Omar, a documentary by Ojai filmmaker George J. Sandoval on the art of Nicaraguan artist Omar d’León, has been added on Saturday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the Museum of Ventura County. The earlier screening that day is filled to capacity. Both screenings of the film short will be followed by audience question and answer sessions with the artist and the filmmaker. Admission is free, but space is limited; advance reservations are required. Call (805) 653-0323 x 10.

Sandoval filmed and photographed the artist in his Camarillo studio over a six month period, as d’León talked about his art and worked on a painting featured in the museum’s current exhibition. The Magical Realism of the Americas: The Art of Master Painter Omar d’León runs through February 28. Considered a national treasurer in his homeland of Nicaragua, d’León fuses elements of Impressionism with qualities of magical realism.

Other documentaries by George J. Sandoval include Bridget and Dominick – from Longford to the Oxnard Plain (2006) on the pioneer McGrath Family of Oxnard; Courage and Contribution: The Chinese in Ventura County (2004); Oxnard, The Changing Face of an American City (2003 and The Moment (2002) a thirty minute film in collaboration with writer/poet Aram Saroyan. Sandoval is currently working on a short documentary on the Piru Labor Camp built during the Bracero Program (1942-1964).

The Museum of Ventura County is at 89 S. California Street in downtown Ventura. For information, go to call (805) 653-0323.


California Lutheran University will host a free Chinese New Year celebration from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in Lundring Events Center.

The festive event will feature a traditional Lion Dance, Chinese acrobats and tai chi demonstrations. There will be singing, dancing and traditional Chinese music such as Er-Hu and Pi-Pa. Artists will demonstrate origami and Chinese writing and painting, and an acupuncturist will be available. Traditional Chinese food will be served.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In 2010, the Year of the Tiger, the first day of the first month is Feb. 14. This is year 4708 in the Chinese calendar. The holiday traditionally lasts 15 days and focuses on bringing good luck for the new year.

According to legend, Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. To protect themselves, villagers originally put out food to satisfy the Nian. Later, determining the beast feared the color red, they hung red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. Today, adults give red envelopes, often containing money, to children to symbolize wealth and prosperity in the coming year. Lanterns symbolize the brightness of spring. In dragon and lion dances, a group of dancers parade under an elaborately decorated dragon or lion costume to scare away bad luck.

CLU’s Chinese New Year celebration has grown steadily since its inception a few years ago. Last year’s event drew about 250 participants.

Lundring Events Center is in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, which is near the corner of Olsen Road and Campus Drive. For more information, call the Multicultural and International Programs office at (805) 493-3302.

March 13 through June 20, Public Reception March 12

Quilts aren’t always made to keep you warm on a winter night. Some are created to hang as art, and might include photo transfers, digital, sun printed or painted textiles, hand and machine stitching, beading, appliqués, and unexpected patterns and subjects. See how 28 quilt artists from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties prove the point in Museum of Ventura County’s Becoming Art at the Seams: a Juried Exhibition of Art and Contemporary Quilts. Opening with a free public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 12, the exhibit continues through June 20.

The 38 selected quilts are by Betty Amador of West Hills, Madeleine Bajracharya of Glendale; Loris Bogue of Simi Valley; Linda Cassirer of Santa Barbara; Margery Coler of Camarillo; Susan Conn Italo of Ojai; Sherry Davis Kleinman of Pacific Palisades; Isabel Downs of Santa Barbara; Sally Gould Wright of Los Angeles; Ranell Hansen of Carpinteria; Becky Haycox of Ventura; Margarete Heinisch of West Hills; Patty Latourell of Ventura; Rebecca Lowry of Los Angeles; Rodi Shemeta Ludlum of Oak Park; Pat Masterson of Ventura; Linda A. Miller of Culver City; Lorna Morck of Los Alamos; Roger Nguyen of Ventura; Kristin Otte of Goleta; Pamela Price Klebaum of Ventura; Karen Rips of Thousand Oaks; Carolyn Ryan of Thousand Oaks; Judy Rys of Goleta; Gayle Simpson of Thousand Oaks; Jeanne Surber of Santa Barbara; Susie Swan of Ojai; and Susan West of Santa Barbara.

Much of American quilting today includes traditional techniques passed down through the generations. However, quilters have historically embraced innovations, such as advances in textile printing in the 1700s, the introduction of the sewing machine in the 1800s, and ready-made patterns in the 1900s. In the 1970s, artists and craftspeople began to seriously make quilts for art exhibitions, exploring newly available materials and methods. In 1971, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York was the first major art museum to display quilts as art objects, according to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska.

The Museum of Ventura County, located at 89 S. California Street in Ventura, California, is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free admission, except for some events. For information, go to or (805) 653-0323.

"Sycamores" by Douglas Shivley, who started the Santa Paula Art Show.
"Sycamores" by Douglas Shivley, who started the Santa Paula Art Show.
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SANTA PAULA, CA - A ten-year effort to establish a permanent home for Santa Paula’s renowned art collection is about to succeed, as the sparkling new Santa Paula Art Museum is set to open its doors. The opening exhibit, Celebrating the Founders: Organizers of the Santa Paula Art Show, will showcase the artists who started the Santa Paula Art Show in 1937, and which resulted in Santa Paula’s amazing collection.

The Grand Opening will be held on Sunday, February 14th , from 1:00 – 5:00pm, at the Museum’s new home in the historic Limoneira Building on 10th Street. A traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 1:00pm, attended by the Museum’s Board of Directors, dignitaries from City Hall and friends and supporters of the Museum from all over southern California. The public is encouraged to come and share in the excitement.

“We finally did it!” exclaimed an exuberant Mary Alice Henderson, Chair of the Museum’s board. “We’ve come so far, and we have so many people to thank for making this dream come true. The biggest thank you goes to the Limoneira Company, whose vision and generosity have allowed us to transform their magnificent building into a showplace for great art.”

The iconic Limoneira Building, designed by celebrated Santa Paula CONTINUED »


CSU Channel Islands is hosting a photography and oral history exhibit created through a partnership with California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and award-winning photographer David Bacon. The show, titled “Living Under the Trees”, opens on Feb. 4 and presents a series of photographs and oral history panels focusing on the current housing needs of the Mexican indigenous farm workers in California. Many of the photographs were taken in the farming areas surrounding the CI campus.

Dr. Kathleen Contreras, a lecturer in the University’s Education program, said that she had seen the exhibit in Santa Paula and thought that bringing the show to CI and its neighbors would be a meaningful way to promote dialogue and cultural interchange within the community. Bacon’s work contrasts the bounty of California’s agricultural industry with the living conditions of its migrant workforce.

“We have students who are children of migrant workers CONTINUED »


Wm. L. Morris Chevrolet Agency has teamed with the Rancho Camulos Museum to display the recently restored buggy used by Senora Ysabel del Valle at the ranch after 1855. Everyone is invited to view the buggy and the newest 2010 model autos in the Agency showroom.

The rockaway buggy dates from 1850-1855 and probably was bought for Ysabel when they lived in Los Angeles and came with her when they moved to Rancho Camulos. She used it for social calls and administrating to the ill near the ranch and Piru.

The buggy was very comfortable with rain curtains for the coach section and a seat for the driving in front.
Ralph and Pat Rees spent 22 months restoring the buggy “from the ground up.” The new upholstery and antique carriage lamps makes you feel like “taking a ride” at any moment. Some of the undercarriage had to be hand carved to replace bad wood. Leather straps were replaced and the axles were all worked over until, as Ralph said, it is good for another 100,000 miles. John Morgan gave Ralph direction when needed. This antique buggy is now in mint condition and as strong as the day it rolled out of the building of Miner and Steven Manufacture in New York.

Marie Wren spearheaded the fundraising for the $7300 CONTINUED »


January 24 District 8 Old Time Fiddlers presents an afternoon of family oriented music and dancing. Local musicians. No admission charge, free parking. Refreshments available. Come, join the fun. 1:30-4:30 at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View.
Info: 640-3689 or 517-1131

18th century seekers, 2009 Baffin Babes highlighted

The 11th Annual Nordic Spirit Symposium at California Lutheran University will highlight explorers whose expeditions date from the 18th century to spring of 2009.

“The Nordic Explorers: From Polar Frontiers to the Silk Road” will blend music, dining and the free exchange of ideas to enhance the pleasure of learning in the time-honored spirit of a symposium.

A reception for presenters, performers and the public will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in the Scandinavian Center. Admission is $10.

In the Samuelson Chapel at 7 p.m., the program will continue with a presentation on Nordic explorers’ conquest of the polar frontiers. A Scandinavian scholar and nature photographer will then retrace the first and last journeys of the famed pioneering ethnobotanist Carl Linnaeus. Admission is $20, but free for students.
On Saturday, Feb. 6, the program begins at 9 a.m. in Samuelson Chapel. Ingebjerg Tollefsen and Kristin Folsland Olsen of Norway will share photos, videos and stories from the 80 days they and two other Scandinavian women known as the Baffin Babes spent skiing across Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Three scholars will discuss Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, Icelandic Canadian-Arctic anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Swedish inner-Asia explorer Sven Hedin. Retired Thousand Oaks pastor Larry Johnson will speak about recently deceased agronomist Norman Borlaug, who will be inducted into the California Scandinavian American Hall of Fame. Magnus Martensson, Music Director of the Scandinavian Chamber Orchestra of New York, will present comedy and music in the style of Victor Borge. Admission is $40, but free for students.

Diane Jarvi, the 2000 Finlandia Foundation National Performer of the Year, will perform a variety of folk and world music at the Saturday dinner celebration, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Lundring Events Center. Admission is $38.

Reservations are requested for the Friday reception. The deadline to register for the Feb. 6 luncheon and dinner is Jan. 25. Reservations are recommended but not necessary for the presentations.

The Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation and CLU are sponsoring the symposium. It is made possible by grants from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in San Francisco.

For more information, call (818) 788-4552, e-mail or visit

“Wisdom”, conte crayon by Edwin Maltz
“Wisdom”, conte crayon by Edwin Maltz
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Do Faces Tell A Story? Architectural Fantasies and Portraits will be the exhibit of Edwin Maltz’s art works at the Buenaventura Gallery. His art works will be on exhibit from Tuesday, February 2 to Saturday, February 27, 2010 with an opening reception on Saturday, February 6, from 4 – 7 pm.

Maltz brings a harmonious connection between the structure of place and the soft graceful lines of the figures of his focus. The two subjects intermingle with each other as a story book does with words and illustration. The narrative among his strokes, lines and shadows of his images, capture our interest and lure you in for a closer listen. Many of Maltz’s images begin in the studio or on a drafting board, studies of a model or a place he’s visited, perhaps a European piazza from a travel abroad or a well rehearsed and translated passage from a history book. From there here takes us to a place from the past or to a place we can visit from his own imagination.

Maltz began drawing illustrations of teachers and classmates, these CONTINUED »

digital photograph “Flower” by John Ferritto
digital photograph “Flower” by John Ferritto
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John Ferritto will have an exhibit of original artworks, titled “Photography by John Ferritto” at the Harbor Village Gallery, from Friday, January 29th to Sunday, March 7, 2010. Artist Reception is Friday, January 29th, 2010 from 5 – 8pm.

Capturing photographs of life’s pure and simple moments radiate throughout John Ferritto’s works. His subject matter include boats bobbing in the harbor, blooming flowers, eye catching architecture and other works of precious and wholesome moments. Ferrito takes you on a personal tour of what catches his eye; beauty in life’s simplicity.

Ferritto’s appreciation and study of photography began while growing up in New York City, wandering through museums, galleries and with two uncles who taught him composition and form. He used a four by five Crown graphic sheet film camera photographing his school newspaper and during his professional career as an engineer, developed an eye for the technical aspects of photography. Now in semi-retirement, Ferrito delves back into the world of photography, exploring the medium again. A member of the Ventura County Camera club, he actively helps others grow in their passion and technique of photography.

A resident of Ventura for many years, Ferritto has won awards at CONTINUED »

CLU event is part of Black History Month

California Lutheran University will host a free performance of “Our Voice: A Celebration of Black Women in Music” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in Preus-Brandt Forum, as part of Black History Month.

The performers are current and former cast members of Broadway’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia” and Disney’s “The Festival of The Lion King.” Nicole Pryor, Alana Simone, Nadine Roden, Angela Clark, Danielle White and Joel Rene make up the talented rotating cast.

This 45-minute show takes the audience on a journey through African American history using the music of African American women. The show includes songs like “Hoe Emma, Hoe,” a call and response slave song, and “Never Give Up,” which was originally performed by Yolanda Adams, one of gospel music’s most celebrated contemporary artists. It also includes the music of such 21st century entertainers as Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Beyonce.

The Las Vegas Review Journal called the show “a historical panorama in song, narration and photo projections.”
Reservations are requested. CLU’s Office of Multicultural and International Programs is sponsoring the show. For information and reservations, call Linda Boberg at (805) 493-3323.
For more information about the performers and video clips, visit

Last Chance to Explore Palace of Versailles With George Stuart

The last of artist George Stuart’s monologue presentations, If these Walls could Talk: Versailles, is scheduled at the Museum of Ventura County on Monday, February 1, 2010, at 1:30 pm. Learn about the grand architecture of Europe’s most famous palace, once the residence of some of history’s most famous figures.

The George Stuart Historical Figures® of King Louis XIV and of Marie Antoinette with her children are also on view at the Museum through February 28. The one-quarter life-size sculptures are renowned for their expressiveness and intricately detailed costumes.

Monologue seating is limited, so reservations are required. Call (805) 641-1876 ext. 305. Admission for the general public is $15, for museum members $10, and members of the George Stuart Historical Figures® Guild may attend at no charge.

Versailles has been synonymous with elegance in fashion and etiquette since 1682, when Louis XIV made it the showplace of the French monarchy. Today the palace and its grounds remain one of Europe's most visited sites.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 89 S. California Street in downtown Ventura. For more museum information please go to

Krotona in the Ojai Valley
Krotona in the Ojai Valley
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Joseph Ross
Joseph Ross

Join historian and author Joseph Ross for a presentation and booksigning at the Ojai Valley Museum, Sunday, Jan. 10 from 1 to 3 pm. Ross’s latest book, Krotona in the Ojai Valley, is a portrait of the prominent theosophists that colored the economic, cultural and spiritual life of the unique Ojai community in the 1920's. The book also gives intimate glimpses into the life of the internationally renowned spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti who lived and taught in the Ojai Valley for much of his life.

Ross’s interest in theosophy brought him to Ojai in the 1960s. He has been collecting letters, photographs and rare documents for decades. Author of seven books, he has recently published several more volumes of his Krotona history series, culminating with the fourth and final volume, Krotona in the Ojai Valley. The series follows the history of the Krotona Institute from its early years in Hollywood to its relocation in 1924 to Ojai, where it resides today.

The theosophical threads are widespread throughout the Ojai Valley and though the visionary theosophical leaders are long gone their spirit is very much alive here today. Come hear this fascinating and unique history from a local expert. Admission is FREE!


Peggy Dark grew up in Ventura in a family of devoted cooks, and following that tradition, eventually founded The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, one of Southern California’s premier catering firms. On Saturday, January 16 at 3:00 pm, Dark comes to the Museum of Ventura County to sign the new book “Fabulous Parties: Food and Flowers for Elegant Entertaining,” which she wrote with florists Mark Held and Richard David of Mark’s Garden. Along with food tasting, the event will include Dark’s discussion about the book, which adapts the principals of planning lavish large events to the more intimate scale and budget of home entertaining. She will also talk about how her career was influenced by her family and her hometown of Ventura.

Attendance is $15 for the general public, $10 for museum members. Call 805-653-0323 x 10 to make reservations. Because there is limited space, reservations are on a first-come, first-taken basis.

Dark, a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara, co-founded The Kitchen for Exploring Foods in Pasadena in 1984, a catering and gourmet take-out business with a devoted Southern California following. Mark Held and Richard David are the owners of Mark’s Garden in Los Angeles, recognized in 1999 by the London Financial Times as one of the outstanding florists in the world.