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A Conversation with John Robertson
Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 - 4:30 PM
Sponsored by Richard & Yvette Franklin
AfterGlow Host: Christine & Kevin Beirne

 Dennis Mitchell at I Capelli SalonPassion Flowers,
 Pulse One,  
Peterson Graphics, Levity Live and Copper Blue at the Collection

John Robertson is a self-taught, primitive, impressionistic painter, whose paintings are much more than a visual, realistic copy of the subject.  Full of movement and depth, the works are created with a variety of techniques, using cement trowels, brushes, wood scrapers, cans and plastic cups to apply acrylic paint to canvas.  The paintings are then hung without a structure, similar to a tapestry.  John says, I don’t feel a desire or need to reproduce a subject exactly as it may look to a casual viewer.  I want to create a colorful interpretation of the subject, something that will draw the viewer deeper into the painting.  John is renowned for his paintings of athletic figures for major sports arenas across the US, most recently for the Atlanta Braves stadium and the Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field.  In addition to an impressive list of commercial projects, including movies and television, he also creates images for private clients. 

John Robertson will be presenting his new group of large-scale painting, Fields, at the Vita Art Center Gallery, 432 N Ventura Ave, Ventura.  All are invited to the opening artist’s reception, November 3 at 6:00 pm.  For more information about John, visit his website at

To Our Fellow Educators:  The Artist Spotlight is open to students attending as a class assignment free of charge.  Faculty and students are requested to make a reservation at or call 805.653.2501.
You won’t want to miss this event at our new state-of-the-art venue:  Oxnard’s Levity Live at The Collection.

RSVP HERE for talk and AFterGlow

This marvelous venue is contingent on the purchase of food and drink that cover their staff costs.  We are grateful to Levity Live for this partnership and we know your enjoyment will be increased with delicious food and refreshing drink.

Admission is $10 for general public, $5 for students and seniors, and free to Focus on the Masters Members. Guests with military ID attend free of charge. 

AfterGlow: Immediately following the program join us for an AfterGLOW, a celebratory dinner at the Ojai home of Christine & Kevin Beirne immediately following the program. The AfterGLOW is $25 for FOTM members, $35 for non-members.  Paid reservations are required prior to September 19. 
 For RSVP & tickets purchase ONLINE or call 805-653-2501. We expect this AfterGLOW to sell out.


RSVP - call 805.653.2501

Levity Live
at the
Collection in Oxnard
591 Collection Blvd, Oxnard
(adjacent to the 101 Freeway)

SUNDAY, from 3-4:30pm

The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard is a wonderful place to spend the day. Music, art and great food can be found within steps of Levity Live. Copper Blues is right next door with live music and local sourced food and beer. Please support those business that support FOTM and our creative community. Tell them Focus on the Masters sent you!
 2017 Artist Spotlight Artists
If you are interested in sponsoring an artist, or hosting an AfterGLOW, click here for more information.

 Past 2017 Interviews
Regrets by Jane Mulfinger Feb. 19 - Jane Mulfinger,
Technology/Installation Artist.  

Using site-specific installations, performance and sculpture, Jane Mulfinger offers commentary on the human condition.  Of her work Jane says:  I act as archivist and archaeologist, an analyst of object hood, transforming clothing, tools, household goods, texts …into closely observed installations, public interactions and discrete objects.  She calls herself an interloper whose work at times may actually hinder our understanding but compels us to search further for truth.  Jane graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Studio Art with Honors, and earned her MA in Sculpture with Distinction, from the Royal College of Art in London.  She is a Professor of Spatial Studies/Sculpture at UCSB.  Her work has been critically acclaimed and widely exhibited both in the United States and Europe.  In 2000, Wish You Were Here, (Perimeter Exam) was installed in the former women’s jail located on the top floor of Ventura’s City Hall.
MORE information.

Sponsored by:  James & Mary Galbraith
AfterGLOW:  Copper Blues at Levity Live

March 26 - Don Bachardy, Painter.
Santa Monica-based portrait artist Don Bachardy studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Slade School of Art in London. Bachardy’s decades-long relationship with writer Christopher Isherwood inspired the creation of The Christopher Isherwood Foundation which was established to promote the enjoyment and study of their work. His portraits reveal a sensitive treatment of and sensitivity to the emotions of his subjects. “[People have] never seen what they look like when they’ve been sitting still for three hours,” Bachardy once said. “Something deep comes out, something very different and shocking.” For more information: 

Sponsored by: Patricia and Dave Herman
AfterGLOW Host: Joanne Julian 

 Don Bachardy - Self Portrait
photo by Austin Nelson  April 30 - Mikael Erik Jorgensen, Musician.

Mikael Jorgensen is a keyboard player in the Grammy Award winning rock group Wilco. Mikael's father, an esteemed recording engineer, introduced him to the world of music and music production. The intersection of technology and music is of paramount interest to Jorgensen. In 1998 he relocated to Chicago from New Jersey and helped build SOMA Electronic Music Studios where he honed advanced production techniques utilizing modular synthesizers and specialized music software in the recording and mixing process. While recording Wilco's A Ghost Is Born there in 2002, he was invited to employ some of these unconventional techniques for the live Wilco show in addition to playing keyboard parts and has been there since. Jorgensen's newest project Quindar is an electronic music & video duo where he and art historian James Merle Thomas remix the NASA audio and film archive. Jorgensen has performed on six albums and in concerts around the world. Mikael and his wife Cassandra C. Jones (an extensively documented FOTM artist) live with their two children in Oak View, CA. To find out more, about Mikael, visit his website.
Photo of Jorgensen by Austin Nelson.
Sponsored by: Paula Spellman
AfterGLOW Host: Olga and Trent Jones

May 26 - Kent Twitchell, Muralist

In today’s vernacular, you might say that Kent Twitchell’s public art projects have gotten millions of hits.  For decades, people have driven by, walked by or simply sat and stared at huge murals that have dominated LA’s freeways and cityscapes.  The murals are there to be seen and, unfortunately, to be affected by the ravages of time and the unintended consequences of progress.  Steve McQueen.  Ed Ruscha.  The Freeway Lady.  Marathoners.  In a recent article for Cal State Los Angeles’ magazine Los Angeles, Twitchell states: “I wanted [my art] to be outside where real people are, and to be a part of real life.”  To find out why he feels so strongly about the importance of public art, to understand his motivations, you’ll want to be part of the Artist Spotlight audience when Donna Granata and Kent Twitchell talk about his education at CSULA, his co-opting of buildings as canvasses, and his deeply-held belief that art should be egalitarian.  Please join us. For more information about Kent, visit his website at
Sponsored by: Meg & Jim Easton
AfterGLOW Host: Roxie Ray and Christine Beirne

Khaled Alawar  June 25 - Khaled Al Awar, Galleriest
Focus on the Masters has highlighted where art begins -- with an artist. June brings us an opportunity to visit with an integral part of the business of art. Gallerist Khaled Al Awar, a 1970 emigrant from Lebanon, moved to Ojai in 1982 from Chicago with his wife, Sheryl. He established the Primavera Gallery which features international and local artists, both individually and in group shows. He focuses on emerging and established artists working in a variety of mediums including, paint, glass, wood and ceramics. Says Al Awar: "There is an amazing transformation that happens to people when they walk in and see the art." In addition to the gallery, Al Awar owns the Ojai Playhouse Theater, long a cultural landmark in Ojai, screening first run films and becoming home to the Ojai Film Society. The theater is currently closed for renovations, with an expected re-opening in 2018. Khaled's dedication to the arts and devotion to community has earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts from the City of Ojai. Please join us as Donna Granata and Khaled Al Awar discuss the importance of galleries in furthering an artist's career.
For more information about Primavera Gallery, visit
Sponsored by: Paula Spellman
AfterGLOW Host: Paula Spellman

July 30 - Porfirio Gutierrez, weaver
Focus on the Masters is pleased to shine the Artist Spotlight on Porfirio Gutierrez, an extraordinary weaver who combines ancient Zapotec traditions
with a modern sensibility.
Growing up in Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, he was immersed in the ancient art of weaving.  Using natural dyes and employing traditional designs, he and his family, it can be said, are making certain that the artistic and spiritual values of his ancestors continue to be known and admired around the world.  Porfirio was selected by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian to participate in a program documenting the role of indigenous culture in the arts.  Porfirio came to the U.S. at the age of 18.  He now divides his time between Ventura and his family’s home in Mexico where they are deeply involved in all aspects of Porfirio’s weaving.   From June 15 through August, Porfirio is featured as a Guest Studio Artist at the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard.  He will offer classes to the local Mixteco community, ensuring that Oaxacan cultural traditions may continue. For more information about Profirio, visit his website.

 August 27 - Margaret Nielsen, painter

The canoe, encased in golden vines, floats in darkness, illuminated by stars, anchored by vein-like roots.  Is the canoe waiting to take you on a journey through the unknown?  Through memories?  Will it navigate a passage that is comforting but just a little scary?  Why is the canoe empty?  Are you willing to get in?  You won’t want to miss Donna Granata’s Artist Spotlight interview with Margaret Nielsen.  Born in Canada, transplanted to the San Fernando Valley at the age of 13, Margaret’s work reflects imagery from nature combined with a dream-like atmosphere, creating a compelling narrative that speaks of dislocation and invites the viewer to join in a journey of personal discovery.  Symbols are at once intensely personal and universal.  Her work has evolved over the years, yet is always concerned with psychological and emotional realities.  Margaret earned her BFA at CalArts and MA in Art Therapy at Loyola Marymount University. Says Margaret:  A fascination with my own and other artists’ approach to technique, materials, imagery and content led me to study art therapy.  Having the opportunity to work with people through art has been a rewarding gift.”   Her work is both widely collected and exhibited. For more information about Margaret, visit her website.
Sponsored by Joyce & Ted Lombard

AfterGlow Host: Karen Hoffberg

September 27 - Lynn Hanson, Mixed Media

Lynn Hanson’s work stems from a rapt attention and visceral connection to the natural world: from a childhood stalking garter snakes at Whiskey Ditch in rural Minnesota to a daily ritual of exploring beaches and canyons along the California coast. Hanson’s studio, a long time in the wild garden of her Venice cottage, is now a WW II Quonset hut in Ventura along the railroad tracks, just above the Pacific Ocean. Amidst her cache of skulls, crow’s nests, black widows in mason jars, mermaid’s purses, and other finds, she transcribes her field notes. The work carries an undercurrent of longing: drawings of native wildlife on vintage maps, paintings: the gray sea, heaps of rope, and shelters of wrack and bramble, in addition, pinhole and chlorophyll photography from the wanderings.  Lynn Hanson has exhibited internationally and is represented in many prestigious and diverse collections including LACMA, Ed Ruscha and San Francisco 49ers to name just a few.  Please join us! To learn more about Lynn, visit her 
Sponsored by John & Cherie Brant
AfterGlow Host: Martin & Virginia Furmanski