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A Conversation with Astrid Preston
Sunday, March 17, 2019 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main Street, Ventura

Sponsored by Pat Herman & Jordan Laby

Astrid Preston has been called “one of America’s most important contemporary landscape painters.” She joins a love for Renaissance and Chinese/Japanese art with the emotions and feelings she has for nature. The 
resulting landscape is ultimately a reflection of her internal expression. She received a B.A in English Literature from UCLA and received an NEA Fellowship Grant and an artist residency from Lux Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Asia, and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America and ArtForum. To find out more about Astrid, visit

Attention Educators:
The Artist Spotlight is open to students attending as a class assignment and federal government employees free of charge. FOTM is happy to assist with tracking attendance and sign-in sheets. Reservations required


Admission is $15 for general public, $10 for students and seniors, and free to Focus on the Masters Members. Guests with military ID attend free of charge. 

AfterGlow: The public is welcome to join the artist for a celebratory fundraising dinner at the Oxnard studio of Joanne Julian. Paid reservations are required prior to March 12. SOLD OUT!

RSVP - call 805.653.2501
New Location!!
We have moved our Spotlight Series to the Museum of Ventura County. 

2019 Artists  
April 28 - Erika Lizée

Erika Lizée is a perceptive artist whose work reflects, in her words, an ever-shifting and nebulous boundary between what is known and unknown. Her installations, using materials such as Duralar, a polyester film, is grounded in a life-long appreciation for nature in its myriad forms. These installations encourage us to question our own relationship not only to her work, but to the world beyond. With a B.F.A. from University of North Carolina and an M.F.A from Cal State Northridge, Erika now serves as a professor at Moorpark College and director of that campus’ art gallery.

Sponsored by Ventura County Community Foundation
AfterGlow Host: Delia Gorey & Larry Manson

Eternally Searching (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13...) 
by Erika Lizée, 2017, acrylic on duralar, 8' x 69' x 3'
May 19 - Peggy Pownall 

Peggy Pownall is a mixed media painter working as an Artist-In-Residence at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo since 2008. She received her B.A. from Pepperdine University and has undertaken further studies at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Her work is a visual expression of themes such as identity, longings, personal mythology and iconic memories. A lively pallete, combined with bits and pieces of old maps, journals, sewing patterns, blueprints, photos, notes and books may be stitched together, suggesting life’s pathways and spaces and search for life’s elusive equilibrium.

Sponsored by Martin & Virginia Furmanski
AfterGlow Host: Karen Hoffberg

Being Myself by Peggy Pownall 
oil, acrylic, map on panel 24”x 36”

June 16 - Carlos Grasso

Carlos Grasso studied both visual arts and music as a child while growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He worked as a professional flautist and graphic designer before moving to Southern California where he found his passion for painting. As an apprentice to FOTM documented master artist David Leffel, Carlos honed his skills in realism and life drawing. The freedom of abstraction has driven his later works, mixing “the outside world” and “the inside world”. His collage-based compositions juxtapose found objects with abstract paintings, creating a dialogue between the tangible and the intangible, the subjective and the material. Grasso will be featured in a two person show at the Museum of Ventura County June - August 2019. In addition, he is a member of the prestigious Ojai Studio Artists, who open their studios annually the second weekend in October.

Sponsored by Richard & Yvette Franklin
AfterGlow Host: Teri Willison

Canvas Deconstruction Series: SOLARIS 
by Carlos Grasso
(Burning Man 2017 art installation) 
acrylic on canvas - 14' x 26'
July 21 - Jeff Shelton

Architect, Jeff Shelton, brings a sense of whimsy and freshness to the traditional Mediterranean and Spanish structures of Southern California. It is not uncommon for his buildings to evoke MC Escher or Dr. Suess. He spent much of his childhood running in and out of homes where he grew up between Lotusland and the boho enclave of Mountain Drive in Santa Barbara, in what he describes as a “fantasy world.” This liveliness is evident in the details of plaster, tile, ceramics and ironwork that mark his signature style.

Sponsored by: Meg & Jim Easton
AfterGlow Host: Dennis Mitchell & Richard Sanders

Ablitt Tower by Jeff Shelton, Architect 
13 West Haley, Santa Barbara, CA

August 18 - Ichiro Irie

Ichiro Irie is a multidisciplinary artist, as well as curator, gallery owner and professor at Oxnard College. Born in Japan and reared in Westside LA, he originally studied film and communications at UCSB, earned an M.F.A. at Claremont Graduate University and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship where he studied in Mexico City. His meticulously detailed ink drawings explore themes of destruction and ruin of junkyards, crashed cars and other reflections of contemporary destruction.

Sponsored by Paula Spellman
AfterGlow Host: Thomas & Laura Cook

Impermanence 2 by Ichiro Irie, 2017
permanent marker and white acrylic on canvas,
80" x 48" 

September 15 - Mick Reinman

Mick Reinman has been described as a painter’s painter. His powerfully colored compositions build on the human figure and landscape in its most basic and architectonic form. He attended Chouinard Art Institute and has been a working artist all of his adult life using his drawing and painting skills to work in the entertainment industry on movies, advertising and commercials. He has shared his expertise by teaching at Otis Art Institute and California State University Channel Islands. Mick lives and works in Ojai, California where he is a member of the prestigious Ojai Studio Artists, who open their studios annually the second weekend in October.

Sponsored by Ojai Studio Artists & Jordan Laby
AfterGlow Host: Kevin & Christine Beirne

Meanwhile by Mick Reinman, 2016
oil on birch ply, 60"x 60" 

October 13 - Hilary Brace 

Hilary Brace creates other-worldly meteorological landscapes that envelop the viewer. The ethereal, expertly drafted work conjures all the senses. One might, at first, perceive them as photographs, when, in fact, they are charcoal on Mylar (polyester film) drawings. After studying at Western Washington State University, Hilary earned her Master of Fine Arts from UCSB. Brace is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1993), California Arts Fellowship, and two grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Sponsored by Debra McKillop
AfterGlow Host: Veronique’s Oaken Grove & Luther Tolo

Untitled #4, by Hilary Brace ©2018
Charcoal on polyester film 7.625" x 9.875"
 November 17 - Linda Ekstrom

Linda Ekstrom’s work is anchored in the book as a cultural and symbolic object. Through her altered books and other mixed media works, she seeks to uncover and articulate a profound sense of mystery. She explores the subjects of narrative, person, place or event through the perspective of larger religious thought, history and ritual. Ekstrom received both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from UCSB and is on the faculty for the College of Creative Studies at UCSB.

Sponsored by Michael Rohde
AfterGlow Host: Dane Goodman and Marie Schoeff
 Effusion by Linda Ekstrom, 2003
Altered Bible, 15"d x 18"w x 36"h
February 17 - Rafael Perea de la Cabada

Rafael Perea de la Cabada
is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is steeped in the artist’s rich cultural heritage.  The artist describes himself as a visual poet, offering a powerful dialog that resonates with the plight of humanity. His intuitive approach draws from his personal experience, incorporating deep narratives layered in symbolism. Concepts range the gamut of human experience, from humorous and playful to social and political discourse. Perea states, “Art for me has a transformative power, a delicate volatility that triggers our craving for a deeper perceptual level. I find art making an endless mystery, a choice and a calling.”  Perea received a degree from the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in his native Mexico City before earning his M.F.A. from UCSB.  His broad range of expression includes painting, printmaking, mixed media, installation, public art and sculpture. With a foundation in Mexican modernism, he pursues his work as “a seamless merging of the mental/emotional intent, [where] the physical process and craft converge.” He shares his vast knowledge as a professor of drawing and painting at Santa Barbara City College. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in numerous prestigious public and private collections. To learn more about Perea, visit his website at

Sponsored by Jim & Mary Galbraith
AfterGLOW hosted by: VITA Art Center, The Old Broad's Catering Company and Luther Tolo

 Birds on a Wire, Pajaros en el Alambre by Rafael Perea de la Cabada
Charcoal drawing, 30" x 22", 2018