Magazine article Sunset

Finding the Valley's Art

Magazine article Sunset

Finding the Valley's Art

Article excerpt

The Ojai Valley is a classic rural enclave, exactly the sort of place you'd expect to find artists looking for either inspiration or retreat. There are, in fact, plenty of artists in the valley. But there is no art scene here, no streets crowded with galleries, nothing that critics could describe as an Ojai School.

Instead, the Ojai arts community consists of a loose affiliation of artists working in out-of-the-way studios scattered throughout the valley-from the citrus groves in its verdant east end to residential areas in Meiners Oaks.

For a couple of days each fall, Ojai artists open their doors to the world during the Ojai Studio Artists Tour, held this year on October 12 and 13.

On the tour, you'll meet a wide range of artists, a few of whom use the valley's agricultural output in their work. Stilllife painter Sherry Loehr's subjects, for example, are often fruits and vegetables. "When it's in season, I paint it," she says. Photographer Cindy Pitou Burton, who previously worked as a photojournalist in New York, now captures the lovely gardens outside her studio in her Polaroid-transfer photographs, which have a muted, antique quality. …

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