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Donna Granata in Leslie Thompson's Studio by Susie Guhm

Faces of the Ojai Studio Artists
Ojai City Hall Invitational Gallery
401 S. Ventura Street, Ojai
September 12 through November 11
Artist Reception: Thursday, September 15, 2011
5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Ojai City Hall Invitational Gallery, located at 401 S. Ventura Street, Ojai presents Faces of the Ojai Studio Artists, an exhibition by renowned photographer Donna Granata, September 12 through November 11. A public reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, September 15 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

The exhibition features 16 photographic portraits of influential and accomplished members of Ojai Studio Artists (OSA), many of whom will have their studios open for the annual OSA tour October 8 and 9. All of the artists presented within the exhibit have been documented through Focus on the Masters extensive archive.

Granata encourages the community to both visit her exhibit at the City Gallery and to experience the artists and their work firsthand by participating in the actual tour. “Each October, OSA provides an opportunity for the public to visit with our community’s world-class artists. Having a personal connection with these extraordinary artists and finding treasures within their studios to take home will create a memory to last a lifetime.” Granata believes that her photo portraits have the potential to expand and deepen the studio tour experience. Vignettes are included with each photo and provide insights into such notable Ojai artists as OSA founders Gayel Childress, Bert Collins, and Marta Nelson.

Also included in the City Gallery exhibit are portraits of the late Beatrice Wood, Horace Bristol, Alberta Fins, Otto Heino, and Nancy Rupp. These artists are memorialized with a scholarship given in their name by funds raised during the annual OSA tour. In addition to raising scholarships, the OSA Tour stimulates Ojai’s local economy by bringing revenue to local businesses.

Granata is an honorary member of the Ojai Studio Artists and is the founder and executive director of Focus on the Masters (FOTM), a highly respected non-profit educational program documenting many of the contemporary artists of our time. “I consider the FOTM Archive and Portrait Series to be my life’s work,” says Granata, adding that only 8 to 10 artists are chosen each year from six times that many nominations for inclusion in the public archives.

Ojai City Hall, located at 401 S. Ventura Street, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ojai Valley artists interested in showing at the City Gallery may send their name, e-mail, phone number, short biography and jpg. samples of their work to Christine Golden or Mimi Moore