Film Strip

EVENTS & EXHIBITS

Vita Arts Center exhibits the work of exceptional artists with monthly shows open to the public.

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HUGH MARGERUM

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, April 4, 2014

From 6-9 p.m.

Containers, Topiaries, and Ponds

Abstract Works on Paper and Canvas by Hugh Margerum

Exhibit Dates: April 4 - 26

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Hugh Margerum has been an exhibiting artist for most of his adult life. His work is in numerous collections in Santa Barbara and around the country. Primarily working with oil paint - on canvas, paper, and monotypes - Margerum's abstract work reflects his interest in exploring relationships of scale, figure and ground, and most of all color. Practicing his art in Santa Barbara since 1978, he has also during that time been a printmaking instructor SBCC's Adult Education program, a landscaper/designer, a concrete artisan, a curator, and co-author of two books on plants of the Santa Barbara foothills. In 1981, he and his family founded the Wine Cask Restaurant and Hugh continues to be involved in the wine world as website, online sales and wine club manager for Margerum Wine Company, his brother Doug's winery.

statement by the artist:

"My work is an abstract interpretation of things that happen in nature and everyday life. I find I'm often dealing with reconciling opposites and dealing with contradictions, in life, philosophy, and art. In the work, this process of reconciliation serves as a metaphor for things we deal with as humans. As with anyone involved in making serious art, I'm attempting to make something "real", which in my case can be loosely defined as an attempt to find and re-present the poetry in the world around us. Making things by hand, painting with oils oftentimes seems to be an old-fashioned endeavor in this digital age. By utilizing the romantic nature of oil paint, exploiting the qualities unique to themedium; the lush color and two-dimensional plasticity I'm able to express feelings, thoughts, and impressions that have arisen as a result of my "research" in the field; the observation of nature and pondering the nature of human-ness.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

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John Nava

Selected Portraits: Paintings and Tapestries

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 2, 2014

From 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: May 2 -30, 2014

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

ARTIST STATEMENT:

All of my figurative work - including figure studies and thematic works - ends up as a sort of portrait. Commissioned or not it always important to me to connect the human image depicted to a specific individual. The level of scrutiny and degree of care required for the likeness gives the work, for me, an intensified engagement, truth and gravity.

About John Nava:

John Nava studied art at UC Santa Barbara and did his graduate work in Florence, Italy. His work is found in numerous private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan including the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C.

Nava has done large-scale public works including projects for the Tokyo Grain Exchange in Japan, the Seattle Symphony Benaroya Hall and Westmont College. In 1999 Nava was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to create three major cycles of tapestries for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.  Our Lady of the Angels, the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States, opened in September of 2002.

In 2003 Nava's tapestries for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels won the National Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) Design Honor Award for Visual Art. Other tapestry projects include large-scale works for the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at USC (2011) and the Firestone Library at Princeton University (2014).

This month, in addition to his show at VITA, Nava's work will be shown in the exhibition "Fifty Years of Distinguished Alumni" at UCSB's Art, Design and Architecture Museum (opens May 17) and in a survey of his projects for churches at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles (opens May 25).

 

Artwork: Chloe, 2007, 35 x 35 inches, Jacquard Tapestry, Edition of 10

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

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FRANK ROMERO

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, Marchy 7, 2014

From 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: March 7 - 31

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Throughout his 40 year career as an artist, Frank Romero has been a dedicated member of the Los Angeles arts community. As a member of the 1970s Chicano art collective, Los Four, Romero and fellow artists Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha and Gilbert Lujan, helped to define and promote the new awareness of La Raza through murals, publications and exhibitions. Los Four's historic 1974 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was the country's first show of Chicano art at a major art institution.

Since then, Romero has successfully balanced a career in both the public and private arenas. He has completed over 15 murals throughout the city, and was a key contributor to the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival with "Going to the Olympics," a large scale mural which adorns one of Los Angeles' busiest freeways (Highway 101). He recently restored this mural with a grant by the Amateur Athletic Foundation, as well as working on new murals for SPARC (Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima) and North East Trees (along the Los Angeles River) and in Silverlake.

Romero has shown extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan. Notable exhibitions include: "Chicanarte" (L.A. Municipal Gallery), "Hispanic Art in the United States" (Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C. and national tour), "Le Demon des Anges" (Nantes, France; Barcelona, Spain; Lund Sweden and Brussels, Belgium), and "American Kaleidoscope" (National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.). His work is featured in many permanent collections, including the National Museum of Art in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, CA.

Frank Romero was a recipient of the prestigious 2001/2001 COLA Award Grant In addition, his work is included in two current traveling shows: Cheech Marin's Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge and Arte Latino, Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Romero's works can be seen at the Patricia Correia Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and his newly created 44' mural, The L.A. River, is currently on display at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles' L.A.: Light/Motion/Dreams exhibition.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

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PAMELA GRAU

Awakening

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, February 7, 2014

From 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: February 7 - 28

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Awakening

Pamela Grau grew up above the Sunset Strip, not far from Hollywood and the glare of its theaters and near-perfect starlets. But for the last three decades, while working and raising a family in other Southern California hubs of Tinsel Town-like glamor, Ms. Grau has always been more fascinated by the over-looked beauty of the not-so-perfect--misfits, the lost and the left-behind. Accordingly, in prior works, she has incorporated plastic cups, old tennis nets and--in her 2009 exhibit, "Crustacean Infestation" -missing socks. In Awakening, Grau returns to using discarded socks, repurposing them this time, however, as metaphors for life —words that gained new meaning after battling breast cancer in 2010.

Grau's installation imagines socks-turned-pods entering through a portal onto the ground as near-blank slates-virtually colorless but for tiny glimpses of gold beneath layers of blandness. On two large walls, pods cling, huddling together in like-minded groups separated by colors of varying brilliance. Some groups or are these clans? or parties?—are iridescent; others, blue or green. Collectively shaped by the same processes, they remain undeniably distinct. While some resemble rose buds, sea urchins and shells, others emerge like parts of the human body: There are wagging tongues, beating hearts, disgorged intestines, and more—a reminder, for better or worse, Grau says, of their unshakeable individualism.

Biographical Notes:

Pamela Grau has been active in the Southern California art scene for more than three decades, and her work has been shown at more than 50 solo and group exhibitions, including Judy Chicago's "Envisioning the Future" project. Though primarily a painter, Ms. Grau frequently moves between two- and three-dimensional installations, often invoking multiple layers and textures. She is the former Director of Exhibitions at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, Calif. and her previous work has been featured on KCRW's "Art Talk" and written about in the Orange Coast Magazine, Luxe and Riviera Magazine, among others. Grau attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and the Leo Marchutz School of Art in Aix-en-Provence, France; and she has a degree in art history from Mills College in Oakland. She currently lives in Ojai, Calif.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment


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DAN LEVIN: A RETROACTIVE, Objects of Curiosity

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014

From 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: Jan. 3-30

Friendly lunacy and logic do an odd kind of dance in the assemblage art of Dan Levin. In his approach to the medium this artist understands that logic, even of a twisted variety, can prevent the appearance of randomness in work that's all about discarded objects. Despite wild-eyed humor and hints of chaos, Levin's art has a surprising cohesiveness of design through a series of variations on a particular theme. While his art may startle and amuse the observer, there is a method of the artist's careful devising.

Dan Levin was born in Los Angeles, raised near New York City and returned to California where he earned a degree in graphic design and fine art in the 1980's. He has exhibited in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Francisco with work in collections from New York City to New Zealand. Having spent several years living in Australia and Europe, the artist now resides in California, exploring nature and fabricating assemblages. More of Levin's work can be viewed at www.danlevin.com.

"One man's trash is another man's career." D.L.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Anonymous, Youth Scholarship Fundraiser

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Anonymous Gala, $25.

6:30-9 p.m. Art sales begins at 7:00 p.m.

All artwork is priced to sell at $100.

Free child care, Ages 5 and Up

An art and pizza party is available free to the kids of attendees. Spaces are limited, reservations are a must. 805-644-9214

Anonymous Gala tickets on sale, $25.00

Your receipt will serve as your ticket for the event

Dozens of well-known and emerging local artists will donate their creative efforts for a fundraiser for the Vita Art Center, a West Ventura teaching facility which offers local youth a safe and nurturing environment during their least structured and therefore highest-risk times: after school, on weekends, and during the summer months.

Called the "Anonymous" exhibition, the event features 12-inch-by-12-inch canvases. The paintings are exhibited anonymously with the artists signing the back of their paintings. "Visitors collect art without knowing who the artist is until after they've purchased the piece," said Vita Art Center Founder Mary Perez. "The fun is for visitors to collect work they like and maybe pick out a favorite artist's work or collect a new artist."

Wine, Microbrew beer and delicious appetizers will be served.

This is the fifth year of the annual "Anonymous" exhibition. "It's our biggest fundraiser of the year," Perez said. 'Last year we sponsored hundreds of youths in our art programs, totaling more than $14,000 in scholarships to families with financial need.'

All Vita Art Center classes are taught by local artists. 'Not only do we help youth, we create jobs for local artists,' Perez added.

The Vita Art Center, located at 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30, in the Bell Arts Factory, offers consistent, quality art education and mentoring which impacts social development, academic achievement, and vocational opportunities for youth and teens. Studies show that when youth have substantial engagements with the arts they are more likely to go to college, get good grades, obtain a degree and to hold a full-time job. The facility is an educational not for-profit organization under the sponsorship of Bell Arts Factory, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Contributions to the Vita Art Center are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

For more information, contact Mary Perez at (805) 644-9214, MaryPerez@sbcglobal.net

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Vita Art Center presents

Ralph Corners - Forty years

Opening Reception: November 1, 2013 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: November 1 - 30, 2013

Image: "Get Your Goat"

I think of myself as an extension of that hairy fist that first grabbed a chunk of charcoal and scrawled the image of the beast he feared, worshiped, needed and desperately wanted to understand. Just as our ancestors captured the images of animals on the walls of caves in the hope of exercising power over a world in which they had little control; I struggle with the image of the modern beast. Unfortunately, the beast is more difficult to define, more subtle in its form, and infinitely more varied in its purpose. Now, of course, the beast is us.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment


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Vita Art Center presents

Jacqueline Woods

"To Thine Own Self"

Opening Reception: October 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: October 4 - 27, 2013

Image: "The Equal Right of All Men", Gelatin Silver Vintage Print on Paper. 27" X15"

Jacqueline Wood's work is often about the role of photographs as spur to memory; both personal and collective. She uses both photographs she has made as well as "found" or anonymous, to explore the innate nature  of the visual image.  In this body of work she alters vintage photographs to challenge our ideas and assumptions about identity.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment













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Vita Art Center presents

Elisse Pogofsky-Harris

Opening Reception: September 6 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: September 6-29, 2013

Artist Statement: Over the years my work has had several themes that are repeated with some variation of style. Among those I notice reappearing are landscape and seascape. The work I am presenting at Vita Art Gallery next month fall into this general category. Marilyn Lavin, art historian from Princeton, wrote in an article about my work: "Sea and Sky" remain in the memory from which diverse forms emerge. A new kind of freedom declares independence, colors are liberated from nature, shapes are emancipated, compositions take on their own destiny.

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Vita Art Center Presents

"THE ART OF STREET"

Solo art Exhibition by

URIEL LEON from MOMENTUM COLLAB

Opening Reception: Friday, Aug. 2 from 6-9 p.m.

exhibit dates: Aug. 2-24, 2013

www.VitaArtCenter.com • 805-644-9214

VITA ART CENTER • 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura • 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Exhibition Summery:

Imagine an entire wall painting in historic Ventura, which will be incorporating up to 15 canvasses within this exclusive piece of art.   Artist, Uriel Leon will be showcasing his perspective of the continuing evolution of street art. His innovative creation will be a significant part of history, as the wall will be preserved, with the exception of the canvases. Each unique individual canvas will highlight the unquestionable allure of urban art.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Gerd Koch

Gerd Koch Artist of Distinction Mini Retropective

Opening Reception: Friday, July 5 from 6-9 p.m.

exhibit dates: July 5 - 27, 2013

ArtWalk Ventura Names Gerd Koch the 2013, "Artist of Distinction"

A special selection committee of ArtWalk Ventura has named Gerd Koch as the recipient of this year's ArtWalk Ventura's Artist of Distinction award. His award will be presented at Vita Art Center on Friday, July 5 at 7:00 p.m. The exhibit is a featured event during the July 21-22 ArtWalk.

The exhibition features work from 1959-2013 and will include a milestone painting series with examples from the 1959 OJAI period one of which received the First and Purchase Award at the LACMA Art Annual (artists from S.B. to S.D.). This period is still of interest to U.S. collectors. Also there will be an Ojai painting from the "A view from the window series" inspired by MATISSE and created for Koch's MFA degree from U.C.S.B., in 1967. Koch was a Teaching Assistant to a visiting German Prof. who graduated from the last class in 1934 of the famous BAUHAUS German art school. Vita Art Center located in the Bell Arts Factory at 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30, Ventura.

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, and by appointment www.VitaArtCenter.com

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Big Fancy Art Show"

Terence Ulrich

Opening Reception Friday June 7 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: June 7 - 30

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Big Fancy Art Show Artist Statement:

The name for the Big Fancy Art Show came to me as I was texting a friend about the show. Spontaneity is an important aspect of my work. By focusing on techniques and materials, I make works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognised, such as the relation with popular culture. Also repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations. I try and create paintings where a world that is light-hearted and where rules are undermined. I consider making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to reality, but not always reflecting reality. I think my works are notable for their finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to my craftsmanship

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Blessed and Obsessed"

Selected work of

Alexander Juhasz

Opening Reception Friday May 3 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: May 3- 26

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

MB Hanrahan

The Seven Deadly Fascinations

Opening Reception Friday April 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: April 5 - 28

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment







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Vita Art Center Presents

WITHOUT YOU I AM GONE, Face of a revolution

Skye Gwilliam

Opening Reception Friday March 1 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: March 1 -31

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

A NYC Appraiser of Art Meets a California Street Artist

Skye is a master of the "one gesture" - he doesn't lift his brush once he lays it down on the white surface. His lines are one complete movement in chronological time and in "signifier." The end result hits hard - as hard as the shapes of his line, creating a calligraphy of a new urbanstruct language which had its birth in the immediacy of creating guerilla art for the streets. - Fine Arts appraiser/Elizabeth Stewart.

Skye Gwilliam's artistic purge arose out of the environment of his youth. His need for artistic outlet grew with age into public forums as innovation of expression evolved into the need to impact culture in a world where the many have little weighable voice. -Horatio Rothchild

Artist Statement:

"With myself, it is a constant battle to magnify the emotion of human triumph and struggle. Through my arts, I war in isolation. I war on the streets to capture a moment of scream within the history of my generation." Skye Gwilliam

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

ART PEACE

A group exhibition reflecting on peace

Opening Reception Friday Jan. 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates Friday 4 - 27, 2013

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center in collaboration with Bell Arts will be exhibiting artwork in the theme of "peace". With the New Year upon us and so much turmoil happening in the world we feel a group exhibit reflecting on peace is the appropriate way to bring in the new year. With this group exhibition artists will express their intention for peace through their art.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Anonymous, Youth Scholarship Fundraiser

VITA ART CENTER

Friday, December 7, 2012

5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, $50.

"First Dibs" couples price, $75.00

6-9 p.m. Reception open and free to the public

All artwork is priced to sell at $100.

"First Dibs" Gala tickets on sale

Ticket Options


If you can't attend you can still participate in supporting our youth.

Click here to donate

ANONYMOUS Exhibition and Gala

Dozens of well-known and emerging local artists will donate their creative efforts for a fundraiser for the Vita Art Center, a West Ventura teaching facility which offers local youth a safe and nurturing environment during their least structured and therefore highest-risk times: after school, on weekends, and during the summer months.

Called the "Anonymous" exhibition, the event features 12-inch-by-12-inch canvasses. The paintings are exhibited anonymously with the artists signing the back of their paintings.

"Visitors collect art without knowing who the artist is until after they've purchased the piece," said Vita Art Center Founder Mary Perez. "The fun is for visitors to collect work they like and maybe pick out a favorite artist's work or collect a new artist."

The Friday, Dec. 7 event begins with a 5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, for those who want the first chance to look over and purchase the exhibited works. Wine and delicious appetizers will be served. After 6 p.m., the event is free and open to the public.

This is the fourth year of the annual "Anonymous" exhibition. "It's our biggest fundraiser of the year," Perez said. "Last year we sponsored hundreds of youths in our art programs, totaling more than $14,000 in scholarships to families with financial need."

All Vita Art Center classes are taught by local artists. "Not only do we help youth, we create jobs for local artists," Perez added.

The Vita Art Center, located at 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30, in the Bell Arts Factory, offers consistent, quality art education and mentoring which impacts social development, academic achievement, and vocational opportunities for youth and teens. Studies show that when youth have substantial engagements with the arts they are more likely to go to college, get good grades, obtain a degree and to hold a full-time job. The facility is an educational not for-profit organization under the sponsorship of Bell Arts Factory, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Contributions to the Vita Art Center are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

For more information, contact Mary Perez at (805) 644-9214, MaryPerez@sbcglobal.net or visit www.VitaArtCenter.com.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Guillermo Figoli

"Weather"

Opening Reception Friday Nov. 2 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates Friday Nov. 2 - 30

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

WEATHER

The weather is a complex and variable system that cannot be predicted with accuracy, much like our own emotions. Similarly are each of our lives; we cannot know exactly what our future holds, but for reasons unknown we are part of its creation. This exhibition features landscapes of differing climatic conditions with the necessary variations to be completed by our own observation. This uncertain and vacant space left by the artist is an opportunity to begin a game of co-creating a future in accordance with our own tastes and needs. This constant interaction of covering up vacant spaces in our lives connects us to the wonder of human co-creation that aligns everything, provided we are in a state of peace and happiness, understanding that emotions change naturally like the weather.

BIOGRAPHY

Professional artist who has been supported and rewarded by institutions such as National Endowment for the Arts, Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, Government of Buenos Aires and Uruguay Embassy in USA. He studied fine arts at Panamerican school of arts in Buenos Aires and at many workshops with artists as a Martha Zuik. Also, Fígoli is finishing a bachellor in film with a minor concentration in artistic photography. His works were exhibited in galleries and museums in America and Europe. As a master of experimental painting Fígoli have been winning the artist residency of Fund's Ephraim "Lopito" Lopez in 2009 for his experimental art workshop for students of public education. Also he was selected to do a restoration on the presidential balcony at the Goverment House (Pink House) of Argentina in 1995.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

Robert Hanna

"SYMBOLIC DECONSTRUCTION"

Opening Reception: Friday, Oct. 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates Friday Oct. 5 - 28, 2012

ARTIST STATEMENT: These paintings are the result of my own invention a technique that's based on addition and subtraction and transcends the common product of either process. The addition involves the accumulation of as many as 30 layers of paint to the supporting surface, each layer representing facets of the historical drama of my life, my heritage, my politics and the substances with which I have personally wrestled, vacillating between dependence and liberation. My paintings, for example start with a layer of paint metaphorically symbolizing addiction. I then paint several layer of the same symbol. My addiction symbolized each layer in various shades, until the layering creates a density not unlike the psychic weight of such addictions. Then the inevitable subtractive process begins to tear away the veils, revealing new perceptions of historical layers and experiences through grinding and sanding, sometimes harsh abrasive revelations that lead to new points of view, previously unseen abstractions and complexities. Other paintings explore various juxtapositions, layering Coke with the phallic shape, religious crosses and the graffiti "tag" RGH, with which I sign and profoundly own each addiction as well as each resurrection as mine, and mine alone. I think of my paintings as sculptures in that the layering and sanding process creates new dimensions of experience and visual adventure. At one point I found myself looking through a magnifying glass at one of my pieces and discovered that the sanding process actually revealed layers "between" the layers I had painted. These layers appeared to be infinite in number like the mathematically infinite number of possible points found between any two given points. These layers revealed new colors made from the combination of colors used in any two adjacent layers. I also noticed that the coarse sanding cathartic- ally scarred the surface of the paint and the finer sanding left a delicate circular pattern resembling the molecular structure of DNA. Because these details could only be seen through magnification, I hypothesize that they alter the viewers' experience on a subconscious level, a level that, after all, is the ultimate "other dimension" for man incarnate, a dimension where an infinite number of symbols unite us in the collective unconscious. My pieces represent perseverance and hope. I see myself as an example of one who is succeeding in conquering their demons. Each painting represents a personal journey of mine as an addict One's journey into addiction doesn't necessarily have to be their last. One can come out of addiction and use the events that occur in a positive manner. My pieces are about taking responsibility and using everything that I've learned on this trek and reinventing it into something creative and inspirational. When I finally grasped the notion of using everything that I've learned in a positive manner and in my case it is as an artist. If everything you go through and you use in a way to further yourself and your community then the experience can be inspirational and generate hope for people who are on the crossroads. These paintings are representative of my life's journey one layer at a time.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

Len Poteshman

Opening Reception: Friday, Sept.7 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates Sept. 7 - 30, 2012

Len Poteshman describes himself as a non-conceptual artist, whose work provides him the possibility of bridging illusion and reality. As a child, he showed talent in both music and art, and dreamed of becoming a concert violinist, but that dream was shattered when he was wounded during World War II. So he turned to his love of art, and studied at the Chicago Art Institute, the American Academy of the Arts, the Los Angeles Art Center, and the Chouinard Institute, and graduated from the University of Guadalajara with a Master of Arts degree. His multi-faceted background includes an exciting career as a law enforcement officer in art crimes, doing undercover work, forgery detection, composite drawings of suspects, and theft investigation. He also co-authored a book on art crimes titled "Museum, Archives, and Library Security". He is the creator of a sculpture made from confiscated weapons which is permanently on display at a California courthouse. His work has been exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum and the Riverside Museum as well as in galleries in Spain, Washington, and California. Now living in Ventura, he is a member of the Buenaventura Artists' Union, an artist participant of the Ventura Music Festival, and an original tenant of the Bell Arts Factory, where he maintains his studio/gallery. /p>

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

Richard Amend

"Vanished Splendors & Other Amusements"

Opening Reception: Friday, August 3 from 6-9 p.m.

exhibit dates: Aug. 3-31, 2012

Vanished Splendors, Thought Forms, & Amusements: The paintings of Richard Amend, both visually arresting and mysterious, investigate nuanced details of nature, architecture, and illumination. The stillness and clarity of perceptual exercise evolve into singular, psychological moments in time and space. Accordingly, rather than processing things and places into his pictures, Amend makes deliberate formal choices-for a particular motif or for a discrete detail of a large image. His pictorial decisions reveal a preoccupation with specific structures: the curves and lines of shadows, or the passageway and pause between actual physical experience. In her essay, "Under a Liquid Sky: The Ambient Landscapes of Richard Amend," Jo Lauria writes, "Richard uses the format of landscape as a point of departure to render radiant abstractions of nature, specifically lush canopies of trees, foliage illumined against the shimmering sky, and nightscapes resplendent with ethereal light. The artist skillfully blends unabashed romantic realism with design devices to create a highly saturated, stylized approach to the plein air tradition. His concerns are to clarify nature through abstraction, controlling the relationships of scale, detail, color and illusion. The paintings please through ordered rhythms, high-keyed pigmentation, and lavish detail."

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

"From the Camera to the Archive"

Donna Granata: Over Two Decades of Photography

Opening Reception: Friday, July 6 from 6-9 p.m.

July 6 - 29, 2012

Ventura's Westside ArtWalk Names Donna Granata 2012, "Artist of Distinction" A special selection committee of Ventura's Westside ArtWalk has named Donna Granata as the recipient of its Westside ArtWalk Artist of Distinction Award. Westside ArtWalk organizers present the Artist of Distinction award annually for a distinguished body of work, combined with outstanding service to the arts and to the larger Ventura community. The award will be presented on July 6th during the opening reception of From the Camera to the Archive at Vita Art Center. The exhibit is a featured event during the July 21-22 ArtWalk.

The month long exhibit and ArtWalk weekend will come to a close with Focus on the Masters' ArtWalk After Party & Auction for the Arts July 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring artwork donated by FOTM documented artists and community minded artists and businesses. The live auction and weekend showcase will be held at 89 South California St. in Ventura.

"Art is the ultimate communication and artists are powerful communicators." Granata shares with Mary Perez, Vita Art Center Director and ArtWalk Committee member. "Some use words, some use brushes, even welding torches. I use a camera. With each portrait I capture an artist in a particular space and time, searching for the essence of that individual."

From the Camera to the Archive traces the genesis of FOTM. The exhibition includes early experimental work, long before FOTM was established, to the most recent portraits taken in 2012. Founded in 1994, FOTM is a non-profit arts education organization and archive whose mission is to bring highly accomplished artists to the forefront of the community. FOTM unites art lovers, patrons and educators to provide the public with a first-hand experience with accomplished artists.

"My passion for portraiture is the foundation on which FOTM was built. As I focus on each artist I am also focusing on those life experiences that have changed me and changed the artist.” Granata continues, “It is a courageous act to put your art out into the world, to subject yourself to praise or criticism, to understanding or ignorance."

"I created FOTM to help our community truly understand the importance of the arts and the essential role artists play in helping us understand the world around us and ourselves. There is a healing and unity that takes place in sharing one's art. An artistic expression is as unique to an individual as a signature. There is such a beautiful lesson in that. We must look at the uniqueness in all of us and celebrate our differences."

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, and by appointment www.VitaArtCenter.com

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Vita Art Center Presents

Helle Sharling - Todd

"Transparencies"

Opening Reception: Friday, June 1 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: June 1 -30, 2012

Artist's statement:

Art is like music as it stimulates the mind and the senses. With this in mind I build my pieces with emphasis on space, form, color, line, rhythm, and content. I have produced a group of sandblasted glass sculptures and stelas, standing transparencies, with organic soft forms that dissolve into space. 

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Vita Art Center Presents

Jill Smith - Shanbrom

"Euclid's Garden"

New Encaustic Paintings

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates: May 4 - 27, 2012

Artist's statement:

"The laws of Nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God." -attributed to Euclid, ancient Greek mathematician

Whether Euclid, the father of geometry, actually said the words, the interplay of mathematics and the natural world is a source of fascination and beauty to me. My latest series of work is an exploration of nature and math, and an attempt to comprehend an alien language. Mathematics is as foreign a language to me as Greek, and although I don't expect to ever speak it fluently, I have recently been inspired to increase my very elementary understanding of it. I have long been intrigued by the human desire to name, to measure, to find meaning, to create. I have no head for math, but amazingly, I have a son who has turned out to be a mathematician! This new exploration of mine is due in part to trying to understand his work, and who he has become as a result. Through exposure to his studies, and in very patient conversations, I have been attracted to the beauty of the forms in math as well as the language. I love hearing the rhythm and musicality of voices speaking another tongue such as Italian, French, or Japanese, and find beauty in the delicate alphabets of Arabic and Sanskrit, despite not grasping the meaning. In the same way, I appreciate the shape and weight of numbers, the enigma of equations, the abstract forms of geometry, the unique symbology of math, however inexplicable! In this work I have tried to put these forms to use, to see how they complement and contrast with the organic, natural forms I am familiar with - a language I have a better grasp of - the natural world of biology and botany. (Fortunately, I have a second son from whom to learn as well, a biologist!) The ancient medium of encaustic, using beeswax and tree resin, has allowed me to explore in layers, to hide and reveal, to contrast organic gesture and natural texture with the crisp lines of transfers, as well as to build and carve dimension. I have found that art, like math, like nature, finds its own balance between order and chaos, revealing a most surprising beauty.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

Colin Fraser-Gray, "Profiles"

Opening Reception: Friday, April 6 from 6-9 p.m.

exhibiting with special guest Larry Hulse

exhibit dates: April 6 - 29, 2012

Artist, Colin Fraser Gray, has taught drawing classes to the homeless population for the past 9 years at Casa Esperanza in Santa Barbara. This is where Colin first became interested in capturing the faces of the homeless through portraits. Also on exhibit will be one of Colin's students from Casa Esperanza, Larry Hulse.

VITA ART CENTER, 432 Ventura Ave Studio 30, Ventura, 805 -644-9214

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri. from 10-5, weekends by appointment

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Vita Art Center & Bell Arts Factory Present

MARCH

A two-gallery group exhibit celebrating women as the subject of art

Opening Reception:

Friday, MArch 2, 2012 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: March 2 -31

Featuring Artists:

Isabella Kelly-Ramirez - Mary Carol Kenney - Fred Ziegler Elisse Pogofsky-Harris - Christina Altfeld - elle-je' freeheart - Wil Shepherd - Laurie Raskin - Carolyn Hubbs - Jennifer Guernsey

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Vita Art Center Presents

Ricardo Rodriguez

"Traces"

Opening Reception:

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: Feb. 3 - 26

Ricardo Rodriguez presents unfamiliar images created with a medium that is mostly associated with representing the known, the familiar. Captured directly on photosensitive paper without cameras or negatives, Rodriguez’s shadow images investigate photography's nature and try to define the photographer’s own experience. Because it is in constant transformation, identity is difficult to pin down—much more so for a person who struggles between two cultures, as Rodriguez does. His work invites a dialogue about our perceptions of reality and identity and how we construct them.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Vonder Gray

"Out of Chaos Comes Hope"

Opening Reception:

Friday, January 6, 2012 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: January 6 - 29

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VITA ART CENTER

Friday, December 2, 2012

5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, $50.

"First Dibs" couples price, $75.00

6-9 p.m. Reception open and free to the public

All artwork is priced to sell at $100.

"First Dibs" Gala tickets on sale

Ticket Options


If you can't attend you can still participate in supporting our youth.

Click here to donate

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ANONYMOUS Exhibition and Gala

Dozens of well-known and emerging local artists will donate their creative efforts for a fundraiser for the Vita Art Center, a West Ventura teaching facility which offers local youth a safe and nurturing environment during their least structured and therefore highest-risk times: after school, on weekends, and during the summer months.

Called the "Anonymous" exhibition, the event features 12-inch-by-12-inch canvasses. The paintings are exhibited anonymously with the artists signing the back of their paintings.

"Visitors collect art without knowing who the artist is until after they've purchased the piece," said Vita Art Center Founder Mary Perez. "The fun is for visitors to collect work they like and maybe pick out a favorite artist's work or collect a new artist."

The Friday, Dec. 2 event begins with a 5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, for those who want the first chance to look over and purchase the exhibited works. Wine and delicious appetizers will be served. After 6 p.m., the event is free and open to the public.

This is the third year of the annual "Anonymous" exhibition. "It's our biggest fundraiser of the year," Perez said. "Last year we sponsored hundreds of youths in our art programs, totaling more than $14,000 in scholarships to families with financial need."

All Vita Art Center classes are taught by local artists. "Not only do we help youth, we create jobs for local artists," Perez added.

The Vita Art Center, located at 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30, in the Bell Arts Factory, offers consistent, quality art education and mentoring which impacts social development, academic achievement, and vocational opportunities for youth and teens. Studies show that when youth have substantial engagements with the arts they are more likely to go to college, get good grades, obtain a degree and to hold a full-time job. The facility is an educational not for-profit organization under the sponsorship of Bell Arts Factory, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Contributions to the Vita Art Center are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

For more information, contact Mary Perez at (805) 644-9214, MaryPerez@sbcglobal.net or visit www.VitaArtCenter.com.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Erik Reel

"Signs of a Lost Civilization"

Opening Reception:

Friday, November 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: Nov. 4 - 29

The Vita Art Center hosts the third installment of a three part exhibition by Erik ReeL. This installment will feature the biggest and best of the selection along with select smaller pieces at reduced prices. ReeL works primarily in liquid acrylics combined with various drawing media, such as soft pastels.

This body of work is part of a continuing exploration of human markings, or "proto-markings", or as the ArtForum art critic, Jae Carlsson, puts it: "micro-stories told via little tetches of color, via efficient tagmemes of emotion."

Art critic and philosopher, Nikki Arconi, recently wrote: "ReeL's technique exhibits a high degree of transparency, layering, sfgraffito and graffito, with a strong sense of hand, the hand-made, and an absence of any references to the material world. This work can be seen as a thorough-going critique of materialism, the machine or machine-made, and the triumph of feeling over the manufactured. For ReeL, marking is a defining characteristic of the human and the primordial act of signification and meaning for human consciousness."

ReeL has exhibited in over three dozen solo and a hundred group shows including the Society for American Graphic Artists in New York City; the Brooklyn Art Museum; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Landscape Unlimited, Chicago; Print Electronico , Buenos Aires; the Seattle Art Museum; and an assortment of commercial, public, museum, and university gallery spaces. His work is in private collections in New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Seattle, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Diego, among other places.

 

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Vita Art Center Presents

Claudia Pardo

Defying Gravity/p>

Opening Reception:

Friday, Oct. 7 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: Oct. 7 - 31

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Vita Art Center Presents

Games People Play II

Opening Reception:

Friday, August 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: August 5 - 28

A juried art exhibition showing collaborative works based on the theme "Games People Play". The works shown are a collaboration that consists of two or more artists that worked together on one piece.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Hiroko Yoshimoto

"Backyard Peace and Happiness"

Opening Reception:

Friday, July 1 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: July 1 -30

Westside ArtWalk Names Hiroko Yoshimoto 2011

"Artist of Distinction"

A special selection committee of the Westside ArtWalk has named Ventura-based Hiroko Yoshimoto as the recipient of its first Westside ArtWalk Artist of Distinction award.

Committee co-chair Mary Perez said Westside ArtWalk organizers plan to present the Artist of Distinction award annually for an outstanding, distinguished body of work, combined with outstanding service to the arts and larger Ventura community. "Given her status in the arts, her long, distinguished service as a teacher, her mentorship of so many, and her leadership contributions to numerous institutions and causes including Ventura College and the Museum of Ventura County, as examples. Hiroko was the committee's overwhelming choice to receive the inaugural award in 2011. It is richly deserved."

The award will be presented on July 1st, during Yoshimoto's opening reception at Vita Art Center, with her month-long exhibition a featured event during the July 23-24 ArtWalk.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Elissa Batchley

"Compulsion"

a melted glass sculpture installation

Opening Reception:

Friday, June 3 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: June 3 - 26

ARTIST STATEMENT:

As far back as I can remember art has been my vocation. Visual art is my language, my best tool to communicate, and to cope. My work is a direct acknowledgement of this, my goal; to start a dialogue, to distract, to give the viewer a moment to step back, and reflect.

I primarily use kiln formed glass in this installation, taking advantage of both the glass's inherent qualities and the viewers' innate response to the medium. Glass is transcendent, it has the ability to bend, absorb, and play with light, to distort, and to magnify. The glass I work with is the type commonly used for windows, a non-recyclable material. Every shard of glass in these pieces was saved from entering the landfill. The process of building and constructing this work takes hours of making patterns, folding wires, cutting glass, and days of firing kilns for each component.

At the core of this site specific installation is one idea that has been a common thread throughout my body of work, gravity. Gravity shapes my work not only on a physical level, but also figuratively, it is the underlying theme of my exploration. Being deeply moved by emotions can be overwhelming. I start to feel as if I am ruminating, like I am deeply thinking about something until it is all I can think about it. This piece is the product of a cathartic meditation, based on the principle of gravity, molded by the weight of emotions. -Elissa Batchley

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Back to the Garden"

Carolyn Fox

Opening Reception:

Friday, May 6 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: May 6-29

Carolyn Fox's work is bold and whimsical, with a contemporary sensibility. Full of energetic color and movement, the paintings bring a feeling of optimism to the viewer and encourage imaginative exploration. The work is a melding of different stylistic approaches from American, European and East Indian painting that all celebrate the beauty and importance of nature, our surroundings and everyday life. In each piece, shape, color and pattern lead the viewer into a  world  that emanates its own particular light and space. Instead of using linear perspective she often uses a more narrative and abstract approach that incorporates multiple points of view. The scenes are at once familiar and exotic, combining grounding architectural elements with stylized plants, trees and figures.

Fox's work is painted with acrylic on either paper, wood panel or canvas. The shapes of fabric and lace are carefully adhered and integrated into the surface of the painting. All of the fabric is from Carolyn’s eclectic collection which spans decades. This adds to the richness of the symbolism as we see a bit of scarf from the forties placed next to some crinoline from the sixties, or a Thai silk juxtaposed with Seersucker.

Carolyn studied painting and sculpture at UC Santa Cruz and received a M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania. She and has been actively painting and sculpting for the last 25 years. Her work is shown throughout Southern California and is in many private collections. She is also  on the Ojai Studio Artists Tour and is the Art Specialist at the Monica Ros School in Ojai. More of her work can be seen on her web site: www.cfoxart.com.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Johanna Spinks

365 Days of Drawing

Opening Reception:

Friday, April 1 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: April 1- 25th, 2011

VENTURA ARTIST LETS WORLD INTO HER STUDIO FOR A YEAR

Artist Johanna Spinks let the world into her Ventura studio daily embarking on a very public drawing challenge to draw no matter what for 365 days straight. That she did every day in 2010, through stomach flu, migraines, work travel and the daily ups and downs of an artist's life, all in front of public eyes.

The world tuned into to watch via a lively social media campaign Spinks decided to run to showcase the challenge on a blog and public Facebook page devoted to it. People started posting and emailing her from all over the world to show support and most of all became curious. Would Spinks fail? What would she draw, complain or rejoice about today? Many told Spinks she had inspired them to start their own personal art challenges.

Spinks' daily drawings done during 2010 will now be featured in a solo show "365 Days of Drawing By Johanna Spinks" opening Friday April 1st at The Vita Art Center in Ventura.

"No-one knows how many days there are in a year until you do something every day, even if you don't want to, " says Spinks whose focus in art is primarily classical oil portraiture. Spinks was inspired to do the challenge after seeing the movie "Julie and Julia", about a young chef who embarks on a public cooking challenge.

"I asked myself what was the one thing I could do everyday that would make a difference to what I do. And it was drawing. The repeated daily discipline of flexing the drawing muscle. I found it to be priceless."

The commitment was for half an hour a day with no cheating but more often than not it was for far longer that she drew: "The drawing challenge being so public made me raise my game. Who wants to post not so good drawings for everyone to see and comment on. Sometimes I would spend three hours on a drawing a day. And the time spent researching what I was going to draw each day that would be of interest to not only myself to do but the people following the challenge, was really immense."

Being so public was not always easy:"When I started the year of drawing, I was kinda giddy with novelty aspect of posting it all. It was fun to see the challenge build and people start to really follow it and wait for the drawings each day. But there were times later in the year when I wanted to crawl in a corner and shut it all off feeling I was revealing too much of my studio art life but I had come too far and was learning about my art in leaps and bounds. It was a very personal, yet extremely public, extraordinary art year of my life. People have since told me they really miss my challenge now. I kinda miss it too."

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Vita Art Center & Bell Arts Factory Present

"MARCH"

a juried art exhibition focusing on the strength & achievements of women

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates March 4-27

MARCH (verb) a. To proceed directly and purposefully, b. To walk steadily and rhythmically forward in step with others.

3 Galleries and over 40 artists

Juried Best of Show:

Jennifer Guernsey, Artwork featured on the "March" poster

Lisa Talbot, Solo exhibition in 2012

Jurors:

Denise Simdelar, Public Arts Supervisor

Susan Scott, ArtsLIVE Consultant and Nonprofit Specialist

Ricardo Rodriquez, Bell Arts Factory Curator

Mary Perez, Executive Director, Vita Art Center

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Vita Art Center Presents

Alexander Juhasz

Opening Reception:

Friday, Februay 4 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: February 4 - 27

To view the beautiful stop motion created by Emmy Award winning illustrator Alexander Juhasz visit his website at:

http://www.alexjuhasz.com

ARTIST BIO:

Alex Juhasz was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey and currently lives and works in Ojai, California. He received a degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in Fine Art Illustration. For over six years his professional work has been focused designing and story boarding stop-motion animation. He recently was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Title Design (2009), Society of Illustrators Gold Medal (2005). He was lead designer or two ANNIE Award winning commercials for United Airlines Dragon(2005),Heart(2007) He has had shows in several New York galleries, this is his first showing of personal work in California.

ARTIST STATEMENT:

I started this series of paintings as 2010 was winding down and my as thirtieth birthday approaches. I didn't begin these images with anything particular in mind that I was aware of. I have an aversion to making political or social commentary with my art, I don't know why. My personal work remains a mystery to me while and after its finished. Meaning may dawn on me later. Most of my art is drawing, I feel competent and free with it. Painting, on the other hand, seems impossible. Not only how to complete a painting, but how to be satisfied with what remains. Gouache is what I learned to paint with, and I still find it nearly impossible to understand. Painting is a process of rediscovery for me. This body of work is special because it represents the first time I've been able to make a body of paintings that seemed to fit together. The look, the way they are painted and the subject matter. I can say with some degree of probability that the subject of this work is about addressing my life long expectation to be dead by now. My mother died when she was 30. As I reach my mother's final age, my notion of my own mortality is illuminated again; both in the forefront of my thoughts and the black of my mind. I don't really know what these paintings are about, it changes. But for the time being, the persons, environments and the symbolism in these paintings are a means to an end. A way for me to view my internal conversation; my looming doubt, fear and the humor in irony regarding this particular superstitious milestone.

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Anonymous, Youth Scholarship Fundraiser

VITA ART CENTER

Friday, December 3, 2010

5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, $50.

6-9 p.m. Reception open and free to the public

The Vita Art Center presents our second annual "Anonymous" art exhibit, a fund-raising group exhibition that includes both emerging and established artists creating 12" x 12" pieces of art. The paintings are exhibited anonymously with the artist signing the back of their painting. The fun is to collect work you like and maybe you can pick out your favorite artist's work and/or collect a "new to you" artist. All artwork is priced to sell at $100.

This is our big fundraiser for the year that raises funds for youth and teen scholarships. Last year with the generous support we received we were able to give over 100 scholarships to students with financial need to attend our summer programs, after school classes and teen programs. Our goal for 2011 is to increase scholarships by 20% and to create outreach programs we can hire local artists to teach.

For those wanting to get an edge on the competition, delicious appetizers and wine will be served when you join us for the "First Dibs" gala from 5 - 6 p.m.

"First Dibs" Gala tickets on sale

Click here to purchase tickets

If you can't attend you can still participate in supporting our youth.

Click here to donate

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Transfigured Light"

Luther Gerlach

Wet Plate Photography

Opening Reception:

Friday, November 5 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: November 5-28

"Over the last 25 years I have concentrated on early photographic processes. I've specialized in processes that were used in the first fifty years of photography, the 1830's through the 1880's. To photograph these images I have used my extensive collection of antique cameras and lenses. The special focus of this collection consists of mammoth plate cameras. In my work I use these cameras to produce negatives in the waxed paper collotype process, wet plate collodion, dry plate gelatin, or commercially available large format film. These mammoth plate cameras range in size from 11" X 14" to 30" x 44". The printing processes I use include collotype, daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, albumin, platinum, gum bichromate, cyanotype, kallitype, carbon print, and carbro. My love for the last 10 years is the wet plate collodion positive (ambrotype and tintypes). I spent a year building my own "golden ratio" 22"X 30" camera. It is the largest wet plate camera being used in the world today. I use these cameras and processes to celebrate my love for the truly handmade photographic image."

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Vita Art Center

Children's Art Festival

Occtober 2010

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 from 6-9 p.m.

First Friday Opening Reception and Silent Auction

Exhibition Dates: Oct 1 -31

"Creative Minds Think for Themselves"

Youth Art Exhibition Ages 6-13

"HOPE"

Black & White Photography of Children

by STEVEN FALCONER

Silent Auction Fund-raiser

Many great items to bid on! All proceeds go towards youth scholarships!

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 from 12-3 p.m.

Free Admission

MICHAEL KATZ tells folktales from around the world. The stories celebrate the uniqueness of different cultures, and the intriguing similarities between them. "Katz has such a gift for telling tales and reeling you into the story, the kids were transfixed" -S. B. Independent

LUIS PEREZ "Cantemos en Espanol", a concert that teaches Spanish through music and games. This is a fun and interactive concert for all ages! "Luis is no less than a cultural treasure" -Tom Schnabel- Cafe L.A. Radio Show

ART ACTIVITIES & LUNCH Taqueria Tepatitlan will be selling their delicious & famous Mexican food with proceeds going toward our youth programs. Free art activities will be available from 12-1.

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Art Walk: Oct 16 & 17

FREE ART ACTIVITIES

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Vita Art Center Presents

"HOPE"

Photography of children

by Steven Falconer

Opening Reception:

Friday, October 1 from 6-9

Exhibition Dates: October 1 - 31

"Hope" was shot on film in black and white over a period of many years. The photographs are of children from a certain place and a definite time. The photographs capture children with their uncontainable energy, their powerful will and their insatiable curiosity.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Mosaic Artwork of Rafael Matias

Opening Reception: Friday,Sept 3 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates:Sept. 3 - 26

Imagine seeing a large, vibrant and colorful piece of artwork. Detailed imagery, and intricate design. Then imagine walking up close and discovering that the picture you have been admiring from afar is actually made up of tiny beads. This is the mosaic artwork of Raphael Matias from Los Angeles, California. Raphael is a mosaic artist and his tesserae of choice are tiny glass beads. Each bead is individually placed with a pair of tweezers which explains why his current six foot square mural has taken fourteen months so far. Raphael began doing mosaics while living in South Africa. His early pieces were life size steel sculptures covered with Byzantine glass, glass beads and found objects. His first solo mosaic show was in South Africa in 1996. Raphael changed his style of mosaics to "mosaic painting" in contemporary style. Raphael describes himself as a "...story teller, writer, poet, who uses mosaic instead of words or brush strokes to tell my feelings and stories. The combination of my pieces are about balance and harmony between man, woman, lovers, family, community and my dreams. Always present in the pieces of my work is the heart representing the theme of love and forgiveness." Raphael has exhibited in over 50 shows in such museums and galleries as the Seef Trust Gallery and Metro Life Gallery in Capetown as well as El Pueblo Gallery, Barnsdall Art Center, Brand Art Center, Museum of Santa Barbara and many other locations in Los Angeles. His work has also been featured in the Bead Museum of Washington, DC and the Orlando Latin American Festival. He has been featured on the cover of Interweave Press Beadwork Magazine, in 500 Beaded Objects by Lark Books, in Passion for Beads from the Bead Museum of DC just to name a few of his many accomplishments. World on a String, an international documentary also features his work.

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Vita Art Center Presents

"PIECES"

with Paul & Leighton Roux

Opening Reception: Friday,August 6 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates:August 6-28

"PIECES" features Paul and Leighton Roux - two artists new to Ventura: the exhibition showcases a fresh mix of painting, soft sculpture and performance art.

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Vita Art Center Presents

"RAICES"

Opening Reception: Friday,July 2 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates:July 2-31

Vita Art Center presents "Raices" an exhibition showcasing the work of 4 diverse Latina artists. The exhibition highlights how these artists, despite their uniqueness, have commonly exhibited their relationship to their cultural roots. Featured artist include: Maribel Hernandez, Anna Bermudez, and Claudia Pardo-McFadyen. Also exhibiting works will be young artist Amadeo Perez at 12 years old his cut paper art is reminiscent of the folk art tradition of Mexico.

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Vita Art Center Presents

Valori Fussell

Opening Reception: Friday,June 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates:June 4 - 26

The work of Valori Fussell is described as intense, alive and authentic.

"I know I am in an authentic place when I feel connected to what I am making and my heart responds to the work. The sensation of this connection fills me with purpose and excitement. And even though there is clearly a controlled hand in my painting and drawing there is also the inner guide which creates (and keeps) the "happy accident"." -Valori Fussell

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday from 10-5 Weekends by Appointment

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Vita Art Center Presents

"The Eve of the Phoenix"

The Beginning of a New Day

Opening Reception: Friday, May 7 from 6-9 p.m.

Juried Teen Exhibition

Teens ages 13 -18 were invited to submit works in all mediums in the theme ≥The Eve of The Phoenix≤ The phoenix is symbolic of rebirth, new beginnings & change.

Best of show Juried by Sylvia White

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Love Thy Earth"

Opening Reception: Friday, April 2 from 6-9 p.m.

ArtWalk: April 17 & 18

4 artists each sharing a unique view on our earth the nature around us.

Marlene Struss: Best known for her work with recycled magazines in a process she calls photage. The basis of her unique photage technique is a sensitively built palette of complementary colors and textures from magazines.

Michelle Wilson-Pettit: Using gifts from the sea (beach glass and driftwood) combined with copper and nickel silver Michele creates an underwater seascape. All of the beach glass was sourced from local beaches over the past ten years. It was the intension to create the illusion of being underwater by creating horizontal screens of copper 'bubbles' and suspending them overhead affording the viewer a fish-eye-view while walking through and around the other elements.

Botbala Arvai: "Endangered Fairyland" features the art of Borbala Arvai and teaches us how to appreciate what we see and understand, as well as what we don't see and don't know much about: the unseen world of "Fairyland". The creatures of Fairyland are visible only when they want to be seen, but most of us know they are part of our nature. For generations, they have existed in stories, fairy tales, and traditions in every culture on earth.

Silvia Huerta: Showing some of her pen & ink stippling with watercolors. Her paintings are depictions of California flora and fauna.

Dianne Bennett: A love for the natural world informs Bennet't's work. A commitment to sustainability inspires her choice of materials and grounds. Using salvaged building materials, old metal signs, household objects, forgotten children's toys along with other discarded items to create pictographs, rebuses and altars. The intent is to create visual poems and hieroglyphic postcards to the future from now.

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 -5 and Weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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"Out of Context"

Bell Arts Tool Room Gallery

John White will work with a group of teens from Vita Art Center to transform the Tool Room Gallery in to a thought provoking installation piece. This is an eco-friendly art project to create public awareness about "green-living".

Friday, April 2 from 6-9: Come and watch the artists work in progress

ArtWalk, April 17 & 18: The transformation of the gallery is completed

Installation art describes an artistic genre of site-specific, three-dimensional works designed to transform the perception of a space.

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"MARCH"

MARCH (verb) a. To proceed directly and purposefully, b. To walk steadily and rhythmically forward in step with others.

Vita Art Center & Bell Arts Factory Present

"MARCH"

a juried art exhibition focusing on the strength and achievements of women

3 Galleries and over 50 artists

Opening Reception Friday, March 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit Dates March 5-28

Juried Best of Show: The selected artist will receive a $500 honorarium and their artwork will be featured on a 2010 "March" poster. The "March" poster will be sold to support the Vita & Bell Arts "Women in the Arts" fund.

Women Speakers: The month of March will feature an array of guest speakers.

For a schedule of speakers click here

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CALL TO ARTISTS

"MARCH"

For a submission and guideline form, 3 page pdf, click here

Vita Art Center & Bell Arts Factory Present

"MARCH"

a juried art exhibition focusing on the strength and achievements of women

3 Galleries and over 50 artists

Submission Deadline February 12

Artists are invited to share their interpretation of "Woman and Strength" in personal or public spheres.

All mediums are welcome

$10 entry fee, $5 for each additional entry.

JURORS:

Anna Bermudez-Curator of Collections, Ventura County Museum

Susan Scott-ArtsLIVE Consultant and Nonprofit Specialist

Bevery Decker-Artist/Educator, Cal State University Channel Islands

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"stART"

a juried art exhibition featuring a collection of works by students of Valori Fussell

Opening Reception January 16 from 2-5 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: January 16 through January 30, 2010

Vita Art Center is located in the Bell Arts Factory, 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30, Ventura

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Anonymous" Youth Scholarship Fundraiser

Friday, December 4th
5-6 p.m. "First Dibs" gala, $50. pre-sold tickets
6-9 p.m. Reception open and free to the public

The Vita Art Center presents our first annual "Anonymous" art exhibit, a fundraising group exhibition that includes both emerging and established artists creating 12" x 12" pieces of art.

The paintings are exhibited anonymously with the artist signing the back of their painting. The fun is to collect work you like and maybe you can pick out your favorite artist's work and/or collect a "new to you" artist. There are a lot of great artists to choose from with each piece priced at $100.

For those wanting to get an edge on the competition there will be the "First Dibs" gala from 5-6 p.m.. Tickets will be pre-sold for $50.

The exhibition opens December 4 giving the community an opportunity to purchase original art in time for Christmas. All proceeds go directly to the Vita Art Center Scholarship fund for youth. On display will be art that has been generously donated by 75 artists.

Vita Art Center is an educational not for-profit under the generous sponsorship of Bell Arts Factory, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in Ventura, California. Contributions to Vita Art Center are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. All donations go directly towards scholarships for youth with financial need. The scholarships provide an opportunity for youth to participate in art experiences, learning new techniques and creative expression. Scholarships are also granted to Teens eligible to enroll in our Teen Art Program, an intensive program helping teens with a desire to expand their visual arts knowledge, interested in pursuing intensive study in a professional art-school environment and/or students ready to prepare competitive materials for visual art college admissions.

Click here to purchase tickets to the "First Dibs" gala



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Artisan's Holiday Boutique at the Vita Art Center

December 4 thru 24, 10-5 daily

Stop by and browse our Artisan's Holiday Boutique! The Vita Art Center's gallery will have been transformed into an art marketplace featuring the work of Ventura artists ranging from pottery and paintings to jewelry and hand woven garments! Give something special this season......give the gift of art!

Vita Art Center, 432 Ventura Ave. Studio 30 www.vitaartcenter.com, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

"Zero in Space: Past, Present and Future"

Rafael Perea de la Cabada featuring Recent Paintings, Prints and Works on Paper

Luis Perez featuring ceramic musical instruments

Opening reception: Friday, Nov. 6 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit dates: Nov. 6-Nov. 29

"Zero in Space: Past, Present and Future" draws its title from the Mayan concept of zero. The Mayans used zero as a tool in their quest for the meaning of time, which was considered an attribute of the gods. In their search for the ever-changing stages of past, present and future time, the Mayans perceived it as coming from a divine realm in its very essence, permeating all and being limitless. The termination or completion of a time cycle is equated with death, but not as a finality, rather as a portal of human spiritual evolution. Zero does not mean that there is nothing, but that the counting has evolved or spiraled up to higher levels.

Rafael Perea de la Cabada and Luis Perez are two Mexican artists with a similar international trajectory. They share things in common, such as their place of origin, Mexico City, their lineage, which is a mixture of native Mexican Indian and European blood, and their love for their ancient Mexican art and culture and contemporary artistic expressions. Their powerful work is a reflection of this and much more. For the first time they will be sharing the same space where past, present and future meet in a timeless manner.

Perea's artistic touch is reminiscent of the elegant and symbolic Maya writings style fused with 21st century influences from both Mexican and European cultures. Luis Perez is a professional musician whose important contribution to Mexican music has been the use of pre-Columbian musical instruments in contemporary music by sound manipulation through electronic devices. Vita Art Center is proud to present Rafael Perea de la Cabada and Luis Perez's work as a joining together of their ancestral and futuristic artistic visions in the same space.

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 -5 and Weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Ventura Art Walk

Vita Art Center Schedule of Events

Saturday Oct. 24 from 1-9 pm & Sunday, Oct. 25 from 10-5 pm

Make sure to visit our exhibits and events throughout the city.

Vita Art Center Gallery - Featuring the art of Scott Yeskel

Live Draw Event - 5 Artists, 3 costumed models and a live audience. Saturday from 2-8

Bell Arts Tool Room - "Physique", An exhibit focused on the human form. Featuring artists participating in the "Live Draw" event.

Vita Teen Exhibit - "The Sound of Silence"- Ventura City Corp. is exhibitng art created by Teens from Ventura. Curated and Organized by Teens in the Vita teen program.

Vita Youth Exhibit - Student work on Display at Bell Arts

"Park & Ride" at Stoneworks - Vita's students created art specifically for this unique exhibit featuring Altered Chairs and Bikes.

Sunday is family day with free art activities for all ages.

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

Scott Yeskel

"L.A., Ventura and In Between"

Opening reception October 2 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit dates: Oct. 2 - Oct. 29, 2009

Los Angeles based artist Scott Yeskel has been painting his love/hate affair with Southern California since his relocation to the area six years ago. Traffic snarls, boxy apartments and occasional car crashes often act as Yeskel's muse. It is when Scott switches to his abstract work, his love affair with the spirit and color of the West appear. That's right, Scott paints both abstract and representational landscapes switching back and forth using many of the same colors and themes. Inspired by mid-century masters such as Diebenkorn and Richter yet original in both content and style, Yeskel's oil paintings are true statements of contemporary California living. Yeskel's frequent visits to Ventura has served as a nice respite to his hectic Hollywood neighborhood. The sea and crisp air have inspired a current mix of colorful visions of the seaside town mixed in, ofcoarse, with his iconic L.A. cityscapes.

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 -5 and Weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

photography by Steven Falconer

"Fashion From the Other Side of the Tracks"

Opening reception September 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit dates: September 4 thru September 26

"Fashion From the Other Side of the Tracks" Will feature photographs of beautiful young people and their alternative styles of living and dress seen in the streets of America.

Present will be some of the "models" that are in the pictures. There will be conversation and maybe a paparazzi or two. Great music will be playing on the stereo. So dress up in your funky finest and join the party!

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 -5 and Weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

MB Hanrahan

A collection of recent works

Opening reception will be held August 7 from 6-9 p.m.

Exhibit dates: August 7-28

Award winning artist MB (Mary Beth) Hanrahan earned an MFA in sculpture from Humbolt State University. In addition to creating numerous murals throughout southern California, she has experience with a wide variety of media, including photography, graphic arts, and set design. Always dedicated to creating a dialogue about social issues, MB is often an advocate for community ideas through her works of public art.

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 -5 and Weekends by appointment

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Vita Art Center Presents

Wil Shepherd & John Edward Marin

"Incomparable"

Opening reception, Friday, July 3, 6-9 pm

Show Dates: July 3 thru August 2

Incomparable explores two distinctively different approaches to the use of recycled materials. Both; painter, John Edward Marin and sculptor Wil Shepherd take advantage of these vast resources by utilizing discarded materials other wise headed for the land fill. With a consciousness for the environment these two artists demonstrate incomparably different directions, yet think within similar paths when considering each of their choices for materials.

Marin uses house paints he inherits, leftovers from remodeling projects, and customer rejects. Marin takes these rejects to an incomparable level, using what is commonly referred to as mis-tints, or oops paint from paint retailers, that otherwise would need to be recycled in processing plants, that are costly and hazardous to the environment. His creations are uniquely organic abstraction on wooden panels he builds himself, and finished in a protective coating of epoxy resin preserving their integrity and giving them fossil like appeal. Often people equate his images to sliced marble, or stone.

Shepherd uses broken, discarded, forgotten, found objects; the left behind, that were once whole and have been dismantled by time. Wil re-assembles these components into contemporary sculpture with a new story and purpose that is an imaginative expression of use and re-use. His sophisticated use of these materials yields "off kilter" sculptures with an underlying sense of whimsy. From pianos to teacups, Shepherd’s vision of the possibilities of these incomparable items highlights his imaginative and considerate approach to recycling, out of something most would not consider at all. These constructions give life to the lifeless, sparking hidden sensitivities, memories, and new pathways to imagination.

Gallery hours Mon-Sat from 10-5.

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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Teen Art Exhibit

"US"

Opening reception, Friday, June 5, 6-9 pm

Show Dates: June 5 thru June 28

Vita Art Center is proud to present the work of the talented young artists from our Teen Program. The teens are among a group of applicants that were selected into the program. The art displayed represents the work completed in our 12-week program.

Featured Artists: Annie Johnston-Glick, Aubree Nicoletto, Donegal Doherty, Gena Brookes, Hannah Kirkegaard, Jim Bern, Lizzie Barminski, Saoirse Doherty, Vanessa Wallace

The teens studied with the following artists: John White, Hiroko Yoshimoto, Sylvia White, MB Hanrahan, Luis Perez, Debi Nowak-Hawkes, and Scott Yeskel.

The Vita Art Centers Teen Program connects teenagers to contemporary visual art and artists in Ventura. Our Teen Art Program presents opportunities for young people to meaningfully interact with outstanding local artists from a variety of disciplines. During this in-depth program, students create their own artwork under the support and guidance of professional artists. Students receive instruction in a variety of mediums.

Gallery hours M-Sat from 10-5.

Vita Art Center, 432 N. Ventura Avenue Studio 30, Ventura, 805-644-9214

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