Contemporary Art Exhibitions
At the core of every Vita Art Center exhibit is our commitment to bring museum quality contemporary art to Ventura. Exhibitions included the art of locally and internationally acclaimed artists .



Hilary Brace - Linda Ekstrom - Peggy Pownall - Astrid Preston

  • Preview Champagne Reception: Feb 23, 4-7pm

  • $10. (members free)

  • First Friday Opening: March 1 from 6-9pm

  • Exhibit Dates: March 1 thru March 22

In celebration of Women's History Month, March 2019, the Vita Art Center in collaboration with Focus on the Masters will exhibit the artwork of 4 women artist that will be interviewed and documented by Donna Granata in 2019. FOTM has done an incredible job documenting the work and lives of extraordinary artists that have dedicated much of their lives to their craft and Vita Art Center is honored to showcase the work of some of these women. This is the third annual all Women's art exhibit co-curated by Vita Art Center and Focus on the Masters.



Black is the Day, Black is the Night

  • Preview Champagne Reception: Saturday, March 30, 4-7pm

  • $10. (members free)

  • First Friday Opening: April 5 from 6-9 p.m.

  • Exhibit Dates: March 30 thru April 20

    Of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States, an estimated 100,000 of them are kept in solitary confinement, often for years on end.  Black is the Day, Black is the Night, a project spanning from 2009-2016, explores how that type of long-term isolation and incarceration can affect an individual's psychology, sense of self, and perception of reality.  Through personal correspondence with men serving life and death sentences, I created images that attempt to showcase the unexpectedly vulnerable aspects of my pen pals' incarcerated lives. Using appropriated material, I created composite landscapes of memories shared in letters, overlaying them to account for the number of years each had spent in prison as well as pixelated portraits using an image loss ratio of years behind bars to years alive.  I constructed objects with instruction from my pen pals like jump ropes made of bedsheets and paint sets made of dissolved candy and tap water.  I sent these images to them. This went on for years.  Of the seven men I originally wrote with: one man was released in 2010 at the age of thirty after spending 15 years in prison.  Three men eventually opted to move on from the project. One man was executed in 2009 after spending 12 years on death row, another executed in 2012 after spending over 15 years on death row, both of which maintained their innocence throughout their sentences.  And most recently, one of the men was released early from a life without parole sentence that had been given to him at the age of 16. Leading up to his release, he had served twenty-two years in an adult super max prison, seventeen of which were spent in solitary confinement.

Amy Elkins is a visual artist primarily working in photography whose work explores the multifaceted nature of masculine identity as well as the psychological and sociological impacts of incarceration.  Her approach is series-based, steeped in research and oscillates between formal, conceptual and documentary.

Elkins received a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  She has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art; among others.  Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Aperture, Harpers, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, PDN and Vice.   She received the Lightwork Artist-in-Residence in Syracuse, NY in 2011, the Aperture Prize and the Latitude Artist-in-Residence in 2014 and The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant in 2015.

Her first book Black is the Day, Black is the Night won the 2017 Lucie Independent Book Award.  It was Shortlisted for the 2017 Mack First Book Award and the 2016 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize as well as listed as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by TIME, Humble Arts Foundation, Photobook Store Magazine and Photo-Eye among others.