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Continuing Dialog: Chronicling the Lives of Artists
Focus on the Masters Portrait Series and Lecture by Donna Granata

Oxnard College Literature, Arts & Lecture Series
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Oxnard College Performing Arts Center
4000 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA

Concurrent Exhibitions:
Oxnard College Library Learning Resource Center October 14 through December 17, 2013
Oxnard College McNish Gallery October 30 through December 17, 2013
McNish Gallery Reception - November 6, 2013 from 4 to 6 p.m.



Portrait of Beverly Decker by Donna Granata 2011


Focus on the Masters (FOTM) founder and photographer Donna Granata will present Continuing Dialog: Chronicling the Lives of Artists as part of the Oxnard College Literature & Arts Program on Wednesday, October 16th, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the newly opened Oxnard College Performing Arts Center.  The lecture will share the history of the Focus on the Masters Archive - from its humble beginnings almost 20 years ago - to one of Ventura County’s most unique community assets.  Donna will share the importance of the Focus on the Masters Archive and how the archive is utilized to preserve and teach about the artistic heritage of Ventura County. After the lecture, attendees are welcome to a reception and exhibition preview at the Oxnard College Library Learning Resource Center where a selection of the Focus on the Masters Portrait Series will be on display from October 14 through December 17.  A concurrent exhibition will be hosted at Oxnard College’s McNish Gallery October 30 through December 17 with an artist reception Wednesday, November 6th from 4 to 6 p.m.  All events are free.

Featured in both exhibitions will be portraits of artists who have had a profound impact in Ventura County and beyond.  Images include respected and influential teachers spanning the 20 year history of the FOTM archive including:  Mary Michel, Roland Reiss, Carlisle Cooper, Michael Pearce, Matt Furmanski, Hiroko Yoshimoto and Gerd Koch to name only a few - each influencing several generations of artists.  As Donna explained, “I consider each Focus on the Masters portrait artist an ambassador from our cultural community offering insight into the world of creativity.” She and her small staff of volunteers have been chronicling the development of Ventura's artistic community for the past 20 years.  “The desire to create is such a powerful force,” she said. “Why artists produce work has been an intriguing topic since antiquity.” Donna feels it’s important to document the work of artists in this region and provide the community a permanent record of their historical development. “The Focus on the Masters Archive and Library is literally a depository allowing historians to study primary source material collected directly from the great artists in this area.  We are recording history every day.”

In additional to exhibitions and ongoing lectures, Focus on the Masters presents its award winning research to the public through their Artist Spotlight interview series video-taped in front of a live audience, their Learning To See Youth Outreach providing arts education in schools and youth centers and an extensive resource library.