When it comes to the Ventura arts community, one of the flagship events is ArtWalk, talking place this July 18th and 19th 2015. Now in it's 22nd year, ArtWalk is a 100% free event that allows attendees to take self-guided tour through the galleries and studios in the Downtown and Westside Cultural District of Ventura. And let's not forget the all pop-up galleries housed in converted PODS containers, connecting the gap between the more permanent structures and each featuring local artists displaying a variety of mediums.
This year, ArtWalk Ventura will also feature some special highlights you definitely want to explore further. These are just seven of the many:
1. From Havana To Ventura
Definitely this year's main event, Havana To Ventura is a collection of special events and exhibits from celebrated Cuban sculptor Pedro Pulido and Cuban historian Victor Pina Tabio. At the forefront of these events will be a collaborative street mural project between Pulido and Ventura artist MB Hanahran. Check back soon and often for more related events to be announced!
2. Conversations On Cuba
Taking place Saturday July 18th from 10 AM to 12 PM, Conversations on Cuba will feature lectures titled "Mr. Way and Cuba", "The Cuban Evolution" and "Los Zafiros: Music From The Edge Of Time". Led by Dr. Victor Pina Tabio, William Hendricks and Lorenzo DeStefano, the multimedia talks will focus on cultural elements of literature, photography and music, all respectively. This all will take place at the Museum of Ventura County and will feature a traditional Cuban breakfast. For more information and tickets, visit VenturaMuseum.org.
3. 2015 ArtWalk Ventura Collector's Reception
Unofficially dubbed "pre-party" for ArtWalk, the Collector's reception is a ticketed event held at Ventura's City Hall. In addition to live music, hors d'oeuvres, a Bowl Hop preview sale, and a special performance from the ALOFT Dance Theatre, this event will allow art patrons and artists the chance to reserve works for sale in advance of the two day event. The event kicks off at 6:30 PM, with Ventura's Mayor, Cheryl Heitmann, honoring ArtWalk Ventura's 2015 Artist of Distinction, Michele Chapin. You can purchase tickets here.
4. ArtWalk Ventura 2015 Artist Of Distinction - Michele Chapin
This year, ArtWalk Ventura is excited to award sculptor Michele Chapin as our 2015 Artist of Distinction. This award recognizes an established individual artist (in any discipline) for artistic excellence and efforts in contributing to Ventura's art community, and Michele exemplifies both. In addition to being honored by the Mayor at the Collector's Reception, her work will be on display during ArtWalk at her home studio inside Stoneworks on Ventura Ave, as well as other select locations.
5. Project Understanding's Bowl Hop
The concept behind the Project Understanding's Bowl Hop During ArtWalk is simple- local artists create and donate handmade ceramic bowls which will go on sale in July. Every bowl purchase includes a punch card that features several local eateries, each highlighting a particular menu item. During ArtWalk, purchasers can bring in their punch card to receive the designated item. All proceeds from the sale of the donated bowls go to Project Understanding's food pantry and homeless outreach services.
6. Public & Local Artists Creating Environments - P.L.A.C.E.
The PLACE Program is designed to create "new ways to appreciate shared environments, inspire creativity within a community and encourage conversation about the arts. For ArtWalk Ventura 2015, the Public Art Commission has selected four works to create temporary public art projects at four sites. The works selected come from a sculptor, a graphic designer, a professional dance performance troupe and a special artist team.
7. Art Of The Masters Inside Vita Art Center
Chagall. Dali. Goya. No, this is not a special exhibit at the Guggenheim; this is an exclusive exhibit at Vita Art Center for ArtWalk surveying select pieces direct from the collection of Ventura College. The artwork will be available for sale and auction during the entire month of July. Please visit Vita Art Center's website for more information and early showings.
Remember, these are just a few of the highlights of ArtWalk Ventura 2015. Every participating venue will be having special events, exhibits and performances throughout the weekend, so check back often. See you at ArtWalk!