Matthew Rosenquist  Preview Champagne Reception
Jun
29
4:00 PM16:00

Matthew Rosenquist Preview Champagne Reception

Preview Champagne Reception: Saturday June 29 from 4-7pm

$10. (members free)

Los Angeles based sculptor Matthew Rosenquist carves commentary on contemporary life out of rough-hewn wooden block. His process suggests a “take-no-prisoners” approach, much as his figures suggest self-snapping punkrockers on their cell phones.

Matthew Rosenquist was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He acquired his MFA in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

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Ceramic Plate Workshop
Jun
30
3:00 PM15:00

Ceramic Plate Workshop

  • Sunday, June 30

  • 3-5pm

  • $30

Join Sue Pollack and Mary Perez for an afternoon in the ceramic studio. We will be carving texture and design along with painting with glazes on preprepared plates. The plates will then be fired in the kiln and ready for pick up in a week or two.

30.00
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Image Transfers, Mixed Media Workshops
Jul
7
10:00 AM10:00

Image Transfers, Mixed Media Workshops

  • Sunday, July 7 from 10-4pm

  • $75.

  • Instructors: Amy Schneider & Mary Perez

Join us for a full day learning multiple techniques in transferring images and incorporating them into your paintings. You can bring in your own photos or images printed from a laser jet (not ink Jet) or choose from the many images we will have available. Transfer techniques include: heat , citrisolv, carbon, tape and oil pastel. All supplies are provided. We will take a lunch break, either pack a lunch or you can grab something from any of the nearby restaurants.

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The O Word, Poetry Reading
Jun
14
7:00 PM19:00

The O Word, Poetry Reading

  • The O Word, Multiple Takes on Orgasm

  • Friday, June 14

  • Doors open at 7pm, Reading begins at 7:30

  • Organized by Marsha De la O and Phil Taggart

  • $5, (members free)

Join us for an evening of poetry and art. The poetry read is in response to David Eddington’s current exhibit at Vita Art Center, specifically the painting of orgasms.

Poets: Ellen Reich, Florence Weinberger, Jean Colonomos, Alis Morris Soto, Ron Alexander, Becky Sanvictores, Phil Taggart, Nina Clements, Friday Gretchen, Marsha De La O, & Chris Spangenberg.

David Eddington was born in Bedfordshire, England, David Eddington is best known for his large-scale paintings, rendered in acrylic on linen. He obtained a diploma in mural painting from the Central School in Holborn, London, post-graduate diploma in environmental design from Hornsey College of Art in London, and a master’s degree in the social and political influences in art from the University of Trent in Nottingham. In 2000, the artist relocated to the United States from England. The move coincided with an evolution from figurative, almost photorealistic renderings to a style that is more expressive. Eddington has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and has lectured extensively at several institutions, including: California State University, Northridge, Louisiana State University, Loyola University, Tulane University, California State University, Long Beach, Plymouth University in Devonshire and Derby University in Derbyshire. He received the British Council Award in 1987 and 1994. Eddington currently resides in Venice, California.

Marsha de la O was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her MFA from Vermont College and is the author of three books, Every Ravening Thing, just out from University of Pittsburgh Press and two collections of poetry: Black Hope (1997), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, and Antidote for Night (2015), winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize from BOA Editions. De la O is associated with the landscapes and cityscapes of Southern California, and her poetry is known for its nuanced observation and description of the region.

Phil Taggart is the current Poet Laureate of Ventura County. 

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Artisans Market
Jun
7
6:00 PM18:00

Artisans Market

Vita Art Center is holding its first Artisans Market, a curated market featuring local artisans, on Friday, June 7 from 6-9pm. during First Friday’s Ventura.

If you are interested in selling your hand crafted goods email an overview and image of your items to info@vitaartcenter.com. There is a $30. Participation fee.

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Meditation & Drawing, Equilibrium      
Jun
3
6:00 PM18:00

Meditation & Drawing, Equilibrium      

Monday June 3,2019

$30. per class

Class theme: Equilibrium   

All of nature revolves around and is dependent on the notion of equilibrium or balance and we rely on our sense of equilibrium all the time. It plays a role with everything we experience. 

Equilibrium in nature can be understood as unity which occurs when opposites or polarities come together. When this happens, it is understood that things are in balance, much like that of the Chinese’s concept of yin and yang. While polarities are in contrast and opposition they are also indispensably joined together. 

In this workshop we will be working on the opposites, stability and instability. We will start with a guided 15/ 20 min Yin and Yang meditation. Then we will take this concept of equilibrium and compare it to drawing in two ways: symmetrical drawing and asymmetrical drawing.

  • Monthly, first Mondays

  • Dates: Jun 3, Jul 1, Aug 5, Sep 2

  • Time: 6-8:30pm

  • Fees: $30. per class or $110. for 4 classes

  • Instructor: Lauren Volk

  • Category: Adult

“Drawing is the urge to illustrate what we see and feel.” -The Zen of Seeing

 Awareness is very important. We are here, nowhere else. Since we are here why not be here?

In this course students will learn meditative exercises to become more intuitively aware of enhancing their perception. The first step toward creation is to see everything as it really is. This approach to art can be seen as a form of meditation, a way of getting into intimate touch with the visual world around us and become fully awake. You cannot be an artist without relating to some practice of meditation. The key to drawing is to set conditions to cause a mental shift to an altered state of consciousness that enables you to see truly and well. In this drawing mode, you will be able to draw what you perceive even for those who have never studied drawing. Students develop the perceptual skills necessary for realistic drawing: contour line, positive/negative space, perspective and proportion, light and shadow, and seeing and drawing the whole.

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Op Art Workshop
Jun
2
1:00 PM13:00

Op Art Workshop

40.00
  • Sunday, June 2

  • 1-4 pm

  • Instructor: Amy Schneider & Mary Perez

  • Adults

This one day workshop is inspired by the Op Art movement. Op art, short for optical art, is a style of visual art that uses optical illusions. Op art works are abstract and give the viewer the impression of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibrating patterns, or of swelling or warping. Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, and Marina Apollonio are a few of the Op artists we will look to their work for inspiration. We will create our work using paint markers.

Come join us us for a glass (or two) of wine in a relaxed, fun environment, with expert guidance. No experience necessary. You will be lead, step-by-step, through the creation of an original piece of art to take home! These are not a "paint by numbers" type of art class, we provide instructions, guidance and inspiration at the end of class each student will have their own unique creative interpretation of the project.

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David Eddington
Jun
1
4:00 PM16:00

David Eddington

Preview Champagne Reception: Saturday June 1 from 4-7pm

$10. (members free)

Born in Bedfordshire, England, David Eddington is best known for his large-scale paintings, rendered in acrylic on linen. He obtained a diploma in mural painting from the Central School in Holborn, London, post-graduate diploma in environmental design from Hornsey College of Art in London, and a master’s degree in the social and political influences in art from the University of Trent in Nottingham. In 2000, the artist relocated to the United States from England. The move coincided with an evolution from figurative, almost photorealistic renderings to a style that is more expressive. Eddington has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and has lectured extensively at several institutions, including: California State University, Northridge, Louisiana State University, Loyola University, Tulane University, California State University, Long Beach, Plymouth University in Devonshire and Derby University in Derbyshire. He received the British Council Award in 1987 and 1994. Eddington currently resides in Venice, California.


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Sumi & Sip
May
11
4:00 PM16:00

Sumi & Sip

  • Sumi & Sip  

  • Saturday, May 11th 4-6pm

  • Instructor: Kathleen Kaller

  • Adult

  • $35.

Japanese inspired refreshments and creative exploration.  A introduction to the mediative practice of Suminagashi- The Japanese Art of Marbling.

Using special inks we will float them on the surface of water.  We will print our work on rice paper and transform them into beautiful stationary for your loved ones!

Just in time for Mother’s day!  All supplies included.

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Dorthea Tanning Inspired Workshop
May
5
1:00 PM13:00

Dorthea Tanning Inspired Workshop

Dorthea Tanning Inspired Mixed Media Workshop
40.00
  • Sunday, May 5

  • 1-4 pm

  • Instructor: Amy Schneider & Mary Perez

  • Adults

This one day workshop is inspired by Surreal Artist, Dorthea Tanning. Her art is rich in symbolism, like other surreal artists Tanning looked to her own dreams for artistic and psychological exploration. In this mixed media workshop we will create and explore using collage and paints.

Come join us us for a glass (or two) of wine in a relaxed, fun environment, with expert guidance. No experience necessary. You will be lead, step-by-step, through the creation of an original piece of art to take home! These are not a "paint by numbers" type of art class, we provide instructions, guidance and inspiration at the end of class each student will have their own unique creative interpretation of the project.

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First Fridays Ventura
May
3
6:00 PM18:00

First Fridays Ventura

GLASS EXHIBIT

Kazuki Takizawa, , Katherine Gray,

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Joe Cariati

  • Champagne Preview Reception: 

  • Saturday April 27 from 4-7 p.m

  • First Friday Community Opening: Friday, May 3 from 6-9 p.m.

  • Exhibit Dates: April 27 - May 24

The Vita Art Center is proud to present the work of four glass artist from southern California.  The exhibition presents a diverse array of techniques and approaches to handmade glass including functional, sculptural, and wall mounted. 

Kazuki Takizawa is a Japanese glass artist currently based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with High Honors in 2010. He has since worked and taught at various glass educational facilities including Pilchuck Glass School and Public Glass. For the past decade, Takizawa has been making work in glass to speak about his personal experiences with mental illness. His most recent glass installation project, In Between Light and Shadow, was installed at STARworks Glass Lab in North Carolina to bring awareness on mental illness and suicide. He has traveled to numerous universities in the country such as Columbus College of Art and Design and University of Southern California to speak about his work and his experiences with mental illness. He currently lives and works in West Adams district in Los Angele, California where he runs his glassblowing studio, KT Glassworks

Joe Cariati is an award winning artist, craftsman and educator, Joe Cariati has dedicated over 20 years to the practice of glassblowing. He is a designer, maker and mentor. Joe’s work is an incomparable synthesis of calculated pragmatism and essential beauty. While Joe thrives off of repeatable process and predictable results, it is the fact that during any given piece, he can experience elation, frustration, defeat or discovery that drives his creative spirit. In 2003, Joe established his eponymous studio in Los Angeles, California where he continues to refine his craft and push his boundaries as a glassblower and a designer. Ever evolving, Joe launched the Lighting Collection in the spring of 2015 and is looking forward to venturing even further into new territory with the introduction of the Joe Cariati Home Collection.

Katherine Gray received her associate degree from the Ontario College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.[4][5] Her works are in the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of American Glass, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass. Her works have also been exhibited internationally at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark and Galerie Handwerk in Munich, Germany. Gray has won several grants and awards, including the Award of Merit from the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington and the ARC Completion Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, California.[7][2][8] She created one of her most well-known pieces, Forest Glass, by collecting glass from thrift shops and stores, then assembling the glass into the shape of trees. Gray creates functional art, including chandeliers, as well as works that "defy functionality." She also makes use of transparency in her work. Gray is an associate professor at California State University, San Bernardino and teaches workshops elsewhere.  In addition to serving on the board of trustees for the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, Maine), Gray has contributed to Glass Magazine and Glass Gazette.

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, a past board member and Honorary Life Member of the Glass Art Society (1982-86), served as the first woman president from 1984-86. She has worked on the Ojai Arts Commission from 2001-2014. Her innovative work in glass, mixed media, and public art is included in private collections and public institutions including the LA County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, and the City of Los Angeles. “Stinsmuehlen-Amend’s work functions like a visual soundtrack, mapping the unpredictable rhythms of thought.” -Annie Buckley review for Glass Quarterly

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Glass Exhibit, Preview Champagne Reception
Apr
27
4:00 PM16:00

Glass Exhibit, Preview Champagne Reception

  • Glass Exhibit: Joe Cariati, Katherine Gray, Kazuki Takizawa, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend

  • Champagne Preview Reception: Saturday April 27 from 4-7 p.m

  • $10., Members Free

The Vita Art Center is proud to present the work of four glass artist from southern California.  The exhibition presents a diverse array of techniques and approaches to handmade glass including functional, sculptural, and wall mounted. 

Kazuki Takizawa is a Japanese glass artist currently based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with High Honors in 2010. He has since worked and taught at various glass educational facilities including Pilchuck Glass School and Public Glass. For the past decade, Takizawa has been making work in glass to speak about his personal experiences with mental illness. His most recent glass installation project, In Between Light and Shadow, was installed at STARworks Glass Lab in North Carolina to bring awareness on mental illness and suicide. He has traveled to numerous universities in the country such as Columbus College of Art and Design and University of Southern California to speak about his work and his experiences with mental illness. He currently lives and works in West Adams district in Los Angele, California where he runs his glassblowing studio, KT Glassworks

Joe Cariati is an award winning artist, craftsman and educator, Joe Cariati has dedicated over 20 years to the practice of glassblowing. He is a designer, maker and mentor. Joe’s work is an incomparable synthesis of calculated pragmatism and essential beauty. While Joe thrives off of repeatable process and predictable results, it is the fact that during any given piece, he can experience elation, frustration, defeat or discovery that drives his creative spirit. In 2003, Joe established his eponymous studio in Los Angeles, California where he continues to refine his craft and push his boundaries as a glassblower and a designer. Ever evolving, Joe launched the Lighting Collection in the spring of 2015 and is looking forward to venturing even further into new territory with the introduction of the Joe Cariati Home Collection.

Katherine Gray received her associate degree from the Ontario College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.[4][5] Her works are in the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of American Glass, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass. Her works have also been exhibited internationally at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark and Galerie Handwerk in Munich, Germany. Gray has won several grants and awards, including the Award of Merit from the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington and the ARC Completion Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, California.[7][2][8] She created one of her most well-known pieces, Forest Glass, by collecting glass from thrift shops and stores, then assembling the glass into the shape of trees. Gray creates functional art, including chandeliers, as well as works that "defy functionality." She also makes use of transparency in her work. Gray is an associate professor at California State University, San Bernardino and teaches workshops elsewhere.  In addition to serving on the board of trustees for the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, Maine), Gray has contributed to Glass Magazine and Glass Gazette.

Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, a past board member and Honorary Life Member of the Glass Art Society (1982-86), served as the first woman president from 1984-86. She has worked on the Ojai Arts Commission from 2001-2014. Her innovative work in glass, mixed media, and public art is included in private collections and public institutions including the LA County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, and the City of Los Angeles. “Stinsmuehlen-Amend’s work functions like a visual soundtrack, mapping the unpredictable rhythms of thought.” -Annie Buckley review for Glass Quarterly


Glass Exhibit, Champagne Preview Reception
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Artist Talk with Amy Elkins
Apr
14
4:00 PM16:00

Artist Talk with Amy Elkins

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.

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.

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Matisse Inspired Sun Painting
Apr
14
1:00 PM13:00

Matisse Inspired Sun Painting

  • Sunday, April 14 from 1-4pm

  • Instructor: Amy Schneider

  • Adult

Henri Matisse created some of his best-known art in the final decade of his life, and he made it from the simplest materials: shapes cut from colorful sheets of paper. He described these “cut-out” works as “drawing with scissors,” and he used this technique for works of various sizes and subjects. inspired by Matisse we will cut various shapes from simple paper and then learn techniques in sun painting a process using fabric paints, our paper shapes and the sun to print onto fabrics. We will be supplying fabrics and supplies needed, you are also welcome to bring your own 100% cotton pre-washed fabric.

Come join us us for a glass (or two) of wine in a relaxed, fun environment, with expert guidance. No experience necessary. You will be lead, step-by-step, through the creation of an original piece of art to take home! These are not a "paint by numbers" type of art class, we provide instructions, guidance and inspiration at the end of class each student will have their own unique creative interpretation of the project.

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Urban Sketchbook
Apr
14
1:00 PM13:00

Urban Sketchbook

  • Monthly, Second Sundays

  • Dates: Jun 9, Jul 14, Aug 11, Sep 8

  • Time: 1-4 pm

  • Fees: $40. per class $130. for all 4

  • Instructor: Lauren Volk

    The purpose of this course is to learn to sketch on location - people, landscapes, cityscapes, and more. Build the skills an artist needs to draw vibrant city sketches and urban landscapes full of people. Learn to see the world one drawing at a time. Connect with the energy of place and capture the decisive moment.In this course, students learn to see pictorially on location. They will also develop a good foundation in basic drawing. We cover 2D and 3D shapes, proportions, silhouette, contouring, value, shadow, texture, and perspective. 

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Fragments: An Interactive Exploration of mass incarceration through poetry and art
Apr
12
7:00 PM19:00

Fragments: An Interactive Exploration of mass incarceration through poetry and art

Fragments: An Interactive Exploration of mass incarceration through poetry and art
5.00
  • Friday, April 12, 7pm

  • $5., (Members Free)

  • lead by Marsha De la O and Phil Taggart

Join us for an evening of poetry and art as we use fragments from CD Wright’s poetry to discuss her work and make connections to our current exhibit “Black is the Day, Black is the Night” by Amy Elkins. Both thought provoking bodies of work give a deeper and unique look into incarceration.

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.

C. D. Wright has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature. One Big Self does to the contemporary prison-industrial complex what James Agee did to poverty — it reacts passionately and lyrically (and idiosyncratically) to a sociopolitical abomination. This book, while angry and sorrowful and bewildered, has humor, constant levity and candor, and countless moments of incredible beauty." —Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review

Marsha de la O was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her MFA from Vermont College and is the author of three books, Every Ravening Thing, just out from University of Pittsburgh Press and two collections of poetry: Black Hope (1997), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, and Antidote for Night (2015), winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize from BOA Editions. De la O is associated with the landscapes and cityscapes of Southern California, and her poetry is known for its nuanced observation and description of the region.

Phil Taggart is the current Poet Laureate of Ventura County. 

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First Fridays Ventura
Apr
5
6:00 PM18:00

First Fridays Ventura

Each month the Vita Art Center exhibits the art of outstanding contemporary artists. On the First Friday of each month the Vita Art Center along with other venues in Ventura hosts a free community reception open to the public,

AMY ELKINS

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.

"Every image, most pronouncedly the portraits of the men themselves, is marked by compromise — pixelation or blur or another form of indeterminacy. The amount of "image loss," as Elkins describes it, reflects the proportion of years the men have served to total years lived. Erosion of the self and suppression of spirit are utterly clear, just as the pictures are not." - Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times

"Through rendering their portraits and the images of places they told Elkins they would never see again into something vague and indecipherable (the portraits are digitally distorted based on the ratio of how much time the men had spent in prison, so the longer, the hazier), she somehow humanizes them. Seeing these elusive, immaterial images of real people living life in prison is powerful, the visual significators reminding us that just as memory cannot sustain itself when it is pulled from place and time, even a person’s self gradually evaporates when isolated for so long." - Joel Beers, OC WEEKLY

"As viewers, we are invited to puzzle over an assortment of clues, including reenactments, exhibits submitted for our considerations, partial evidence, and statements both leading and misleading. The work is elegiac and provocative, asking the viewer to engage above and beyond a simple, cursory viewing of these images." - Leslie A. Martin, Aperture Foundation

"Photographer Amy Elkins offers an unflinching contemplation of capital punishment and identity in a culture of mass incarceration." - Mass Appeal

"Elkins ponders the psychological impact incarceration has on inmates, using blurry and pixelated photos to imagine how life on the inside shapes and distorts an inmates’ perception of reality and awareness." Pete Brook, WIRED Magazine

"Rather than a documentary angle, Elkins has chosen artifacts and scenes that reveal both the preponderance of time on death row (enough time to become a poet, learn calligraphy, read voraciously) and it’s corrosive qualities as it ineffably moves these prisoners toward the end. It’s a tough project, but one that reveals Elkins’ profound sensitivity to the shades of gray in this potentially black-and-white issue." - Arts and Culture, TX

"Elkins’ imagery of the darkness in the lives and deaths of these men may be morose, but optimism is intrinsic to her determination to see the world from their perspective." - Artillery Magazine

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Meditation & Drawing
Apr
1
6:00 PM18:00

Meditation & Drawing

  • Monthly, first Mondays

  • Dates: Jun 3, Jul 1, Aug 5, Sep 2

  • Time: 6-8:30pm

  • Fees: $30. per class or $110. for 4 classes

  • Instructor: Lauren Volk

  • Category: Adult

“Drawing is the urge to illustrate what we see and feel.” -The Zen of Seeing

 Awareness is very important. We are here, nowhere else. Since we are here why not be here?

In this course students will learn meditative exercises to become more intuitively aware of enhancing their perception. The first step toward creation is to see everything as it really is. This approach to art can be seen as a form of meditation, a way of getting into intimate touch with the visual world around us and become fully awake. You cannot be an artist without relating to some practice of meditation. The key to drawing is to set conditions to cause a mental shift to an altered state of consciousness that enables you to see truly and well. In this drawing mode, you will be able to draw what you perceive even for those who have never studied drawing. Students develop the perceptual skills necessary for realistic drawing: contour line, positive/negative space, perspective and proportion, light and shadow, and seeing and drawing the whole.

View Event →
Black is Day, Black is Night, Amy Elkins
Mar
30
4:00 PM16:00

Black is Day, Black is Night, Amy Elkins

Black is Day, Black is Night, Amy Elkins, Champagne Reception
10.00

BLACK IS DAY, BLACK IS NIGHT

AMY ELKINS

Champagne Preview Reception

  • Saturday, MARCH 30, 2019

  • 4:00 PM  7:00 PM

  • $10., members free

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.

The champagne preview reception will offer complimentary champagne, wine, and refreshments. Admission is FREE for Members and $10 for Non-Members. 

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Geli Plate Workshop
Mar
24
1:00 PM13:00

Geli Plate Workshop

GELLI PLATE Workshop
  • One Day Workshop

  • Instructor: Kathleen Kaller

  • Dates: Sunday, March 24, 2019

  • Time: 1-4 p.m.

  • Adult

Gelli plate is a (table-top) printing surface that makes it easy to produce beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork with amazing colors and textures without having to use a printing press. This workshop will demonstrate how to create monoprints using gelatin printing to create stunning layered prints, pages for art journals, greeting cards, and much more. Gelli printing is the perfect medium for beginners and experts alike. Durable and reusable, Gelli plates are easy to clean with water, so you can quickly change paint colors and move on to your next project. Exciting results can be obtained quickly, and simple variations give each print its own unique personality. You will be inspired to create colorful backgrounds, textured pages, multiple layers. You’ll learn how to use stencils, stamps, found objects and work with different surfaces to create interesting and innovative textures and exciting works of art.

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Dadaism, Hannah Hoch & the Art of Collage
Mar
24
1:00 PM13:00

Dadaism, Hannah Hoch & the Art of Collage

  • Dates: Sunday, March 24, 2019

  • Time: 1-4 pm

  • Instructor: Lauren Volk

Fantastical or serious, personal or political, the art of collage is a popular art technique accessible to beginner and professional alike.

The Dadaists were the first serious artists to fully explore the technique of collage. Dada was an art movement that came into being after and as a response to the First World War in Europe. The techniques adopted by the collage artists gave expression to a new way of looking at and interpreting the world.

Hannah Hoch was a female Dada artist renowned for her collage art innovations. Her work was highly original, political, and intellectual, skillfully merging feminist ideas with the overall Dadaist aesthetic.

Students in this workshop will be given a foundation in the elements and principles of design (color, composition, perspective, etc.) They will also learn about the Dadaist art movement and its place in the social structure of the time. Students will be creating their own journals of collage art pieces.

40.00
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Look, Learn, & Create, YAYOI KUSAMA
Mar
16
2:00 PM14:00

Look, Learn, & Create, YAYOI KUSAMA

  • Featured Artist: Yayoi Kusama

  • $10. (members free)

  • Instructor: Mary Perez

  • Dates: Saturday, March. 16, 2019

  • Time: 2-4 p.m.

  • Ages 6 thru adult

LOOK, LEARN & CREATE is a  new monthly series by Vita Art Center that will combine a fun art project with a bit of Art History in a way for both kids and adults to enjoy. Each month’s featured artist will focus on making connections with our exhibitions or art related themes.

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who is sometimes called ‘the princess of polka dots'. Although she makes lots of different types of art – paintings, sculptures, performances and installations – they have one thing in common, DOTS!

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Hilma af Klint, Painting Workshop
Mar
10
1:00 PM13:00

Hilma af Klint, Painting Workshop

  • fee: 40.00

  • Instructor: Amy Schneider

  • Sunday, March 10 from 1-4 p.m.

  • Adults

This workshop’s inspiration will come from Hilma af Klint’s abstract paintings. In 1906 Hilma af Klint’s bold and colorful paintings were unlike anything seen before: bold, colorful, and without any recognizable references to the physical world. A considerable body of her abstract work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Kandinsky. Her work did not receive any recognition until 1986. Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas.

Come join us us for a glass (or two) of wine in a relaxed, fun environment, with expert guidance. No experience necessary. You will be lead, step-by-step, through the creation of an original piece of art to take home! These are not a "paint by numbers" type of art class, we provide instructions, guidance and inspiration at the end of class each student will have their own unique creative interpretation of the project.

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We Are Volcanoes, Poetry Reading
Mar
8
7:00 PM19:00

We Are Volcanoes, Poetry Reading

  • Friday, March 8, 7pm

  • Featuring poets- Georgia Schreiner, Madison Ortiz, Jennifer Kelley, Sharon Venezio, Nancy Jean Pement, Marsha de la O, Mary Kay Rummel, Judith Barnes

  • $5, (members free)

“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” - Ursula K. LeGuinn

In recognition of Women’s history month we have invited 8 women poets in various decades of their lives, the youngest still in her teens, to read poetry in response to the all women exhibit at Vita Art Center “Women On the Rise, 2019”. The exhibit features the work of Hilary Brace, Linda Ekstrom, Peggy Pownall, and Astrid Preston

5.00
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Mixed Media Workshop
Feb
24
1:00 PM13:00

Mixed Media Workshop

40.00
  • Dates: Sunday Feb. 24

  • Time: 1-4 p.m.

  • Instructor: Lauren Volk 

  • Adults

    In this Mixed Media workshop we’ll explore different ways to mix traditional painting with other drawing and art techniques. Students will explore combining acrylic painting with collage, using acrylics  on colored paper, mixing oils with pastels, and more.

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WOMEN ON THE RISE, Champagne Preview Reception
Feb
23
4:00 PM16:00

WOMEN ON THE RISE, Champagne Preview Reception

WOMEN ON THE RISE - 2019

Hilary Brace - Linda Ekstrom - Peggy Pownall - Astrid Preston

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.

Vita Art Center, Members Free

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POP ART WORKSHOP
Feb
17
1:00 PM13:00

POP ART WORKSHOP

POP ART WORKSHOP
40.00
  • Roy Lichtenstein Inspired POP Art Painting Workshop

  • Instructors: Amy Schneider and Mary Perez

  • Sunday, February 17 from 1-4 p.m.

This workshop’s inspiration will come from Roy Lichtenstein’s high-impact, iconic comic book, images that have become synonymous with Pop art. Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid- to late-1950s. The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects.

Come join us us for a glass (or two) of wine in a relaxed, fun environment, with expert guidance. No experience necessary. You will be lead, step-by-step, through the creation of an original piece of art to take home! These are not a "paint by numbers" type of art class, we provide instructions, guidance and inspiration at the end of class each student will have their own unique creative interpretation of the project.

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Look, Learn, & Create, POP ART
Feb
16
2:00 PM14:00

Look, Learn, & Create, POP ART

  • Featured Pop Artist: James Dine, hearts

  • $10. (members free)

  • Instructor: Mary Perez

  • Dates: Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019

  • Time: 2-4 p.m.

  • Ages 6 thru adult

LOOK, LEARN & CREATE is a  new monthly series by Vita Art Center that will combine a fun art project with a bit of Art History in a way for both kids and adults to enjoy. Each month’s featured artist will focus on making connections with our exhibitions or art related themes.

Jim Dine developed his distinct style of using popular symbols in his art. Inspired by Jim Dine we will use the simple shape of a heart as a foundation for an exploration of color and texture.

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MEMBERS FREE

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Film Viewing and Discussion with Derek Boshier
Feb
10
3:00 PM15:00

Film Viewing and Discussion with Derek Boshier

FREE

Join us for a special event with artist and filmmaker Derek Boshier. The screening program will include Boshier's award winning short film. "An Englishman in L.A., Mr. Boshier” . The second screening is from the BBC4 series by Zara Hayes, “What Do Artists Do All Day”  it offers intimate, observational portraits of leading artists, revealing unique insights into their working lives and creative process. The episode follows a day at the artist's studio as he works on a new painting and reflects on his life and career.

Boshier burst onto the British art scene in the sixties as one of the young artists who pioneered the British pop art movement. He studied at the Royal College of Art and starred in Pop Goes the Easel, Ken Russell's seminal BBC film about the pop art scene. Now in his eighties and living and working in LA, Derek remains as energetic and prolific as ever.

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Derek Boshier, Champagne Preview Reception
Jan
26
4:00 PM16:00

Derek Boshier, Champagne Preview Reception

The Vita Art Center is privileged to present the artwork of British artist Derek Boshier. The champagne preview reception will offer complimentary champagne, wine, and refreshments. Admission is FREE for Members and $10 for Non-Members.

Born in Portsmouth in 1937 Derek Boshier first came to prominence with his paintings as a student at the Royal College of Art in London where he studied alongside David Hockney, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, and others. Embracing the iconography of British and American mass culture, his paintings earned him recognition as one of the pioneers of British Pop Art. In 1962, he was featured with Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and Peter Phillips in Ken Russell's BBC documentary 'Pop Goes The Easel'.

Subsequently he has used other media:drawing, printmaking, film, books, three dimensional objects, installations and photography among them. His graphic work with popular music groups such as The Clash and with David Bowie have brought his work to a wider audience.

Works by Derek Boshier can be found in major museum collections including Tate, The British Museum and the V&A. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Members Free

Derek Boshier, Champagne Reception
10.00
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PAPER & CLAY
Dec
30
to Dec 31

PAPER & CLAY

PAPER & CLAY

Tanner Sawitz, Scott Gordon , Graham Moore,

Jean-Pierre Hébert, Jerry Sawitz, and Gail Pine

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 2018 from 6 - 9 pm

PAPER & CLAY- An exhibition featuring ceramic artists curated along with works on paper.

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