New Guidebook Shows Where to Find Mexican Muralists’ Work in California
Don Shorts
Don Shorts

You might be surprised to know you don’t have to go to Mexico to see murals painted by the famous Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. California has murals by them, too, and Ventura preservationist Don Shorts wants people to know where they are. His newest book is Mexican Muralists in California, A Guide Book, which Short will be signing Thursday, October 8, at 5:30 p.m., at the Museum of Ventura County, 89 S. California Street, Ventura.

Shorts’ latest book describes not only the history of California murals painted by “Los Tres Grandes” and other Mexican muralists, but the 200-page illustrated guide also describes how and where to find the paintings, and includes information on interesting nearby sites and places to eat and stay while exploring. The guidebook is $17.50, and can be purchased at the Oct 8 book signing, or by calling the Museum Store at (805) 653-0323 x 24.

Shorts serves on the County Cultural Heritage Board, and specializes in art of California and Mexico. He has written several other books, including 1200 Mexican Artists, George Mason and the Story of Monterey Furniture, Leo Carrillo, and co-authored a book on Carmel artist Jo Mora. Shorts is also an owner of the Old California Store in Ventura.

The Museum of Ventura County is at 89 South California Street, corner of California and Santa Clara Streets in downtown Ventura. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open first Fridays of the month until 8 p.m. Free admission, except for some events. For information, please call (805) 653-0323 or go to



Augustin Hadelich, violin
William Schuman: American Festival Overture
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

The Santa Barbara Symphony kicks off its 2009 – 2010 Season with William Schuman’s rousing American Festival Overture, followed by the return of top-notch violinist Augustin Hadelich who performed at the Symphony’s “Farewell to the Arlington” concerts in May 2008. Maestro Kabaretti and the outstanding musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony sizzle in Tchaikovsky’s explosive Fifth Symphony.

Date: Saturday, October 17, 8:00pm and Sunday, October 18, 3:00pm

Location: Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street, Santa Barbara

Ticket Range: Saturday $32 to $125, Sunday $25 to $110

For tickets and reservations, please contact the Granada box office at (805) 899-2222 or order online at



Captivating violinists Gilles Apap and Caroline Campbell, the former and current Concertmasters of the Santa Barbara Symphony, join forces for an unforgettable recital featuring an assortment of musical delights for both solo and duo violins accompanied by pianist Miwa Gofuku.

Sizzlin’ Fiddlin’ is a benefit concert to help support and sustain The Santa Barbara Symphony, an important musical institution celebrating its 56th Season.

Date: Thursday, October 8, 8:00pm

Location: Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara

Ticket Range: $55 to $100, $100 Patron Ticketholders are invited to attend the Post Concert Artists’ Reception and Silent Auction

For tickets and reservations, please contact the Lobero box office at (805) 963-0761 or order online at



The Museum of Ventura County is again participating in the fifth annual Museum Day, presented by Smithsonian magazine, on Saturday, September 26. While the Museum of Ventura County already has free admission in its present temporary location at 89 South California Street in Ventura, all of the expected 1,000 participating museums and cultural institutions with entry fees will provide free access that day if you present a downloaded Museum Day Admission Card (providing access for two people), found at Links and listings of participating museums and cultural institutions can also be found at the Smithsonian site.

Museum Day is intended to emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the world's most visited museum and research complexes. Smithsonian magazine is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.

Museum of Ventura County is now featuring two new exhibits, Wearing Our Stories: Costume and Cultural Identity in the Latino Community, and Immigration to Integration: The Art of Cristian Gheorghiu. For more information, go to


“Ventura Sunrise”
“Ventura Sunrise”
Enlarge Photo

An exhibit of original artworks by Linda Cowell, titled Life and Earth, will be at the Discovery Gallery from Friday, October 2 through Wednesday, November 4, 2009. There is an opening reception on Friday, October 2 from 5-8 pm. during the First Friday Ventura Gallery Crawl. The artist will also be at the Discovery Gallery for Ventura’s Harvest ArtWalk on Saturday, October 24 from 1-3 and 5-7 pm, and again on Sunday, October 25 from 12-2 pm.

The bold, beautiful, eye catching images of Cowell’s “Life and Earth” might cause a double take, but it’s worth the second look. Cowell’s realistic creations, in a variety of media, range from acrylic airbrushed animals on nontraditional surfaces to classic and poetic colored pencil drawings. Cowell’s interest in contrast and color give her an edge of super-realism. Local scenes, still life, and nature studies are expressions of shape, contour and texture – aspects of composition that are most intriguing to Cowell.

Showing creativity and enthusiasm for art from a young age, Cowell’s parents fully supported giving Cowell the outlets and opportunities she needed to help develop her talent. A desire to create with her older sisters also was a source of early interest in the arts. High School teachers were a large inspiration and encouraged various nontraditional media, planting seeds that would become the basis for Cowell’s endeavors down the road. Choosing the path most taken, and not the one her parents had hoped she would, Cowell did not study fine art in college but did came back to drawing and creating after her schooling was finished.

Cowell began airbrushing in the early 90’s and has covered everything from banners and t-shirts to surfboards and taxi cabs! In 2007 Cowell won the opportunity to design and paint Yellow Cab’s first “Cali Cab”, a mobile piece of artwork that is still transporting tourists and locals around the city of Ventura.

This is Cowell’s first solo exhibition with the Buenaventura Art Association.

The Discovery Gallery is located at the Ventura Visitor’s Bureau, 101 S. California St in downtown Ventura. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Receptions during the First Friday Ventura Gallery Crawl are held from 5-8 pm. For more information, call the Buenaventura Art Association at 805-648-1235 or visit their website at



Ventura College is pleased to announce a full schedule of music, dance, art, and lecture events for Fall 2009. For additional information regarding any event on the list provided below, please contact Alisa Sparkia Moore, Esq., Public Information Officer, 805-654-6462 or by email at

Ventura College Arts & Lectures Series – Fall 2009

Sept. 24 Author Jim Botting, former FBI hostage negotiator, speaking and signing his book “Bombs, Bullets and Fast Talk”, Library Reading Room, 6 pm – 8 pm, Free, 805-654-6462 for information
Thru Sep. 30 Hiroko Yoshimoto “Rising from the Ashes” Painting Exhibit, Gallery 2, Monday- Friday, noon to 4 pm, Free, 805-648-8974 for information
Thru Sep. 30 Kim Faust “Sanctuary” Photography Exhibit, New Media Gallery, Monday - Friday, noon to 4 pm, Free, 805-648-8974 for information CONTINUED »


Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ventura Film Festival would like to welcome all the new volunteers to our family! WELCOME!

We are planning for 2010 so its important to attend as many meetings as possible. Don't worry we have a great time and almost always have a surprise lunch at one of the great restaurants that support the Ventura Film Festival. In the last few weeks we've eaten at the Taj Cafe, Jimmy's Slice, and Sicily by Gino's.

The next Ventura Film Festival meeting is Friday, September 18, 2009 at 1pm at:

1pm Friday Sept. 18, 2009
(inside the main conference room)
Ventura Film Festival
701 E. Santa Clara St.
Ventura, CA 93001

Don't forget to visit the official Ventura Film Festival web site at to see the new slide show and images that have been recently added to the gallery.

New videos have been posted to the official Ventura Film Festival video portal Check them out!


Eight artists living in Fillmore met to discuss the formation of the Artists Guild of Fillmore with the purpose of promoting fine art produced by local artists. A series of meetings were scheduled to define ways and means to clarify goals. A prime concern is where to show the art and another is to create in people an interest for collecting work by local artists.

Those attending were Judy Dressler (oil painting), Lady Jan Faulkner (multi-media), Lois Freeman-Fox (mixed media), Lynn Hauge (oil and pastel), Joanne King (watercolor), Wana Klasen, (watercolor and mixed media) Virginia Neuman (acrylic and watercolor) and Luanne Perez (watercolor).


Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 10, 2009 – The Art Program at CSU Channel Islands (CI) has announced the opening of its next exhibition entitled ‘Locals Only’ at the new Ventura gallery location. The public is invited to an opening reception to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. The exhibition will continue through Sunday, Nov. 1. The art gallery is located at 21 California Street, on the ground floor of the historic Earle Stanley Gardner building on the corner of Main Street and California Street in the city of Ventura.

‘Locals Only’ will feature artwork created by selected artists of accomplishment and notoriety who live or maintain studios in the adjacent coastal cities of Ventura and Oxnard. Included in the exhibition are: Paul Benavidez, Lynn Creighton, MB Hanrahan, Carole Hilton, Gerd Koch, Steven Leslie, Paul Lindhard, Michael O’Kelly, Debra Mckillop, Christine Morla, Claudia Pardo, Michael Pedziwiatr, Julia Pinkham, Erik Reel, Helle Scharling-Todd, and Hiroko Yoshimoto. Artworks exhibited range in media including painting, sculpture, ceramic tile, and glass.

In addition to ‘Locals Only’ in the gallery’s north hall, featured artworks created by CI art students, alumni, and faculty will also be on exhibit upstairs and in the south hall portion of the grandiose exhibition space.

“This particular exhibition is our first attempt to reach out and acknowledge the impressive talents and noteworthy accomplishments of numerous local artists by inviting them to exhibit in this new University venue,” said Jack Reilly, Chair of the Art Program at CONTINUED »


Using everything from recycled bicycle tires to fabric, glass, plastic and precious metal, more than 30 local and regional artists and designers are busy creating clothing and accessories for the Museum of Ventura County’s 2nd annual art as fashion event Transformation: A Fashion Performance. The fundraiser is Saturday, October 3, with a catered reception at 6:00 p.m. and fashion show with runway seating at 7:15 p.m.

Fashions transformed from one use to another include one-of-a-kind clothes by clothing company Stewart + Brown, made of salvage cloth scraps from the manufacture of other garments; Anne Simon’s outfits fashioned of old rain gutter pipes, recycled Christmas tree beads and tops of mocha coffee drinks; Lisa D. Moore’s moving sculptural veil made from plastic bottles.

Museum support group Las Contemporaneas is hosting the Museum event. Tickets are $45 each or $40 for museum members; VIP preferred runway seating, including a gift CONTINUED »


Buenaventura Art Association announces a Photography and Photo Inspired Competition with the theme Channel Islands, Our Local Treasure. The exhibit will be at the Harbor Village Gallery from Wednesday, September 29 through Monday, November 8, 2009.

Here in Ventura and Santa Barbara County we are blessed with beautiful temperate weather and priceless views of the Pacific. Nowhere else on the Pacific Coastline are there such a group of preserved and protected treasures to gaze upon or experience as the Channel Islands National Park. Celebrate their beauty with your photography or photo-inspired image.

Awards will be given at the opening reception on Friday, October 9 from 5- 8pm. Peoples Choice votes need to be cast at Harbor Village Gallery on Thursday, October 1 from 12 - 5 or Friday, October 2 from 12 – 6.
Bill Dewey is juror for this Completion. Dewey is a well renowned CONTINUED »

Sketching at Inspiration Point.
Sketching at Inspiration Point.
Enlarge Photo

“Art at the Islands,” an exhibit of photographs, drawings and sketches by the Girls Club of Ventura County Assistance League, will be at the Harbor Village Gallery from Wednesday, September 29 through Monday, November 8, 2009. A reception for the artists will be on Friday, October 9 from 5 – 8 pm.

Emily Thompson created a drawing and photography class for children, to increase awareness of the beauty and diversity of life in The Channel Islands. Thompson wanted to give the opportunity to more children to experience the class that she applied for, and won a grant from ArtLIVE, a three-year initiative from the Ventura County Community Foundation in partnership with the James Irvine Foundation. The grants were distributed through the Ventura County Arts Council through their Artist in the Community Partnership Grants Program.

Thompson has been able to open the class to 20 girls from the Assistance League of Ventura County’s Girls Club to participate in 3 days of creative lessons CONTINUED »

“Sketch of Andrew”, charcoal and colored pencils by Debi Nowak-Hawkes.
“Sketch of Andrew”, charcoal and colored pencils by Debi Nowak-Hawkes.
Enlarge Photo

“Portraits in Oil and Charcoal,” a solo exhibit by Debi Nowak-Hawkes will be at the Buenaventura Gallery from Sept. 15 – Oct. 10, 2009. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, September 19 from 4 – 7 pm. During the First Friday Ventura Gallery Crawl (on Oct. 2, 5 – 8 pm), Nowak-Hawkes will draw portraits of any visitor wishing to sit for her.

Buttery oil paints and smears of rich black charcoal are used to preserve the likeness, personality and even the mood of the person, in this collection of impressionistic portraits. The camera has lessened the need for portraits, but the joy of an artist’s empathetic stroke continues to fascinate and draw the viewer into the subject’s world.

A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Nowak-Hawkes was born into an artistic family that always encouraged her art. She earned her B.A. in Commercial Art from Buffalo State College and began a successful career as a graphic designer and CONTINUED »


The first meeting for the 2010 Ventura Film Festival will be held Friday September 4, 2009 at 1pm at the Ventura Film Festival offices located at

701 E. Santa Clara St.
Ventura, CA 93001

We will introduce new volunteers and talk about what we did right and wrong at the 2009 Ventura Film Festival and make plans for CONTINUED »

California State University Channel Islands
California State University Channel Islands

Camarillo, Calif., Aug. 27 – The Art Program at CSU Channel Islands has announced their latest art exhibit at the John Spoor Broome Library entitled, ‘Photographic Portraits by Donna Granata: The Art of Building Community.’ These works are part of Ms. Granata’s Focus on the Masters (FOTM) Portrait Series.

The exhibition begins Sept. 3 and continues until Oct. 7. The public is invited to attend a reception for the artist on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6-8 p.m. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Donna Granata is well-known for her portrait series of outstanding artists. A Brooks Institute graduate, holder of an honorary Masters degree from Brooks as well as a member of the faculty of Brooks Institute, Donna has created more than 140 photographic portraits specific to this series, each one revealing the individual character of the artist. CONTINUED »


The 25th annual Ojai Peddler's Fair is being held from 9am - 4pm Saturday and Sunday, September 19 & 20, 2009. Located in the Chaparral Auditorium at 414 E. Ojai Ave., in downtown Ojai CA. Parking is free in he adjacent Municipal parking lot, and admission is free.

Held rain or shine, the Peddler's Fair is chock-full of quality antiques, collectibles, handcrafts and international crafts.

This is a benefit for the Mira Monte PTO.

Vendors are sought.

For more information, please contact Pat at 805-964-8915.

Ramona Comes Home Again

Performances by more than 30 actors and dancers from the world famous Hemet Ramona pageant will highlight the second annual “Ramona Days” - October 4, 10-4 at Rancho Camulos Museum National Historic Landmark, Piru, CA. Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1884 classic California novel, Ramona, will come to life at the “Home of Ramona” as we celebrate all things Ramona. In addition to seeing vignettes from the play, visitors can watch the 1910 Mary Pickford movie filmed on location at Camulos, view unique memorabilia and historic displays, experience living history and attend presentations by Ramona experts such as “Ramona Memories “ author Dydia Delyser, Ramona pageant historian Phil Bergandi, and film maker Hugh Monroe Neely. There will also be food, music, dance, art and craft sales and demonstrations, museum and garden tours, free children’s activities and more. Visitors are encouraged to come in costume and character for a true immersion experience.

In order to encourage wide community participation, admission fees will be reasonable with advance tickets for $5, and gate admission $8. Children aged 12 and under will be free. Advance tickets will be available in person at our gift shop and the Camulos fruit stand, via email, phone, mail, and at will call. Additional details will be posted at as available. Vendor, volunteer, and sponsorship opportunities are also available for this unique event.

A limited number of tickets at $50 each will also be available for a “Sneak Preview,” VIP fundraiser October 3, 3PM-6PM. The event will feature wine-tasting, food, unique entertainment and opportunities to interact with the Ramona cast. Contact the Museum at /805-521-1501. CONTINUED »

Showing at Museum of Ventura County August 22nd

"Tapadero", a feature-length documentary showing Saturday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m., at Museum of Ventura County. Admission is free.

The new enthusiasts of the legendary Californio method of horse training are the focus of Tapadero, a feature-length documentary showing Saturday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m., at Museum of Ventura County. Admission is free. Viewers will follow today’s new Californio vaqueros as they drive cattle on horses trained in a 300-year-old tradition, brought to California by vaqueros during the early 1800s.

Local filmmakers Susan Jensen and Paul Singer take us on a historic ride following the vaquero trail which starts in Sonora, Mexico, goes into Arizona, comes through Ventura County, and ends in Monterey. On this journey, we learn what kind of horses the early vaqueros rode, why they trained them differently, and what attracts young riders today to embrace this slow but rewarding method.

Ventura County’s own Aliso Ranch is featured in the documentary. It was once part of one of the great land grants formed during California’s rancho period.

The 82-minute film by J & S Productions, which features the music of Ian Tyson, can also be purchased at the Museum Store. For more information, go to


Sometimes artists must paint with words. If you seek to communicate more effectively through your artist’s statement or biography, resume for a grant submission or press release about your exhibit, sign up for the Buenaventura Art Association workshop “Words As Artist Tools.” The workshop will be held at the Buenaventura Gallery.

In the first session on Sunday, Nov. 1, Ventura County Star Copy Editor Don Scott and Museum of Ventura County Director of Marketing Susan Leeper Gerrard will share their experience and advice about writing to increase readers’ interest in your vision and artwork, whether in print or on the Web. In the second session on Nov. 15, artists will receive individual critique of your artist statement, resume/biography and press releases.

The workshop will be in two sessions: Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 pm and Sunday, November 15 at 2:00 pm. Cost is $15 for BAA members, $25 for nonmembers. Participants can register and pay online at or send a check to Buenaventura Art Association, 700 E Santa Clara St., Ventura, CA or stop by the gallery during normal business hours. CONTINUED »