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Now it's easier to find the Ojai artists.

"Where's the art?" people often ask when they drive to Ojai. Though regarded as an art colony, the town-nestled among citrus and avocado groves in northwest Ventura County--gives few hints on how to locate the fine artists who live here.

To show visitors where to look, a group called Artists of the Ojai has organized its second annual open house. Some 30 artists will open their studios from 11 to 4 on November 9 and 10. You're invited to browse and buy. Prices range from $35 for small ceramics all the way up to $22,000 for sophisticated sculpture.

Your guide is a new pamphlet that maps studio locations, describes the artists' work, and gives phone numbers. The open house events cost $7.50 per person (free for children under 12); funds benefit the Ojai Art Center. You can pick up the pamphlet and studio tour ticket at the center, 113 S. Montgomery Street, or around the corner at Village Art Gallery and Frame Ltd., 219 E. Matilija Street. Or mail a check in advance to Artists of the Ojai, Box 45, Ojai, Calif. 93023.

If you visit at another time, you can get the same pamphlet free at the chamber of commerce, 338 E. Ojai Avenue (9:30 to 4:30 weekdays, 10 to 3 weekends) or Village Art Gallery and Frame Ltd. (9:30 to 5 Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 to 4 Sundays). Except on open house days, the artists request a call before you visit.

On the open house tour. When you start at the art center (turn south off State 150--Ojai Avenue in town), don't miss the exhibition of works by 35 artists.

From here, follow the brochure--and pink roadside banners--to find in-home studios like Nancy Whitman's rambling old place in the hills; wander at will among hr expressionistic landscapes.

At Bert Collins' studio, watch as she creates detailed canvases, painting on the left side of her canvas with her left hand, on the right with her right hand.

Step back in time at the Gallery of Historical Figures while George Stuart discusses the lives of the people he portrays in historically accurate 1/4-life-size figures. On a hillside in the upper Ojai Valley, you'll find Beatrice Wood's studio-home. In her private gallery, open 11 to 5 daily, stand whimsical clay figures and thrown pieces decorated in her famous luminous glazes. Other examples of her work are owned by the Smithsonian Institution and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, but in Ojai you can talk with the artist herself and peruse her personal collection of folk art, acquired during her diplomatic missions to India in the 1960s. Due to the delicate state of unfinished molds and the danger of molten metal, few foundries allow visitors. The Ojai Artist Foundry is a rare exception. Sculptors from around the West send work here for casting; you may get to see a pouring.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1985
Words:484
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