by Michele Foster
Find a listing of Ventura arts and culture stops that you can add to your itinerary. Let us know if we missed anything!
Galleries and Studios
Many of the studios and exhibit spaces are by appointment only. Please call to verify hours before planning your visits.
West Ventura – Ventura Avenue
643 Project Space
An alternative exhibition space designed to give artists early career opportunities to exhibit their work. By appointment only.
www.643projectspace.com, 643 N. Ventura Ave., 805-218-2267
Art City Studios & Gallery
Art City is the creative home of Paul Lindhard’s monumental stone sculpture, as well as host to over 20 professional sculptors. Paul started Art City over 20 years ago, and continues to assist and inspire the sculptors and students who work there. Art City showcases both in-house and guest artists who use a wide variety of stones and sizes. While stone sculpture and stone sales are the main focus at Art City, the on-site, Micro Gallery showcases all art disciplines. Art City is a haven for the artist and art lover. Enthusiasts often come to relax and enjoy exceptional art in the friendly, funky, outdoor garden environment. Collectors make it a point to frequent Art City because of its unique, fresh and innovative works of art.
www.artcitystudios.com, 197 Dubbers St., 805-648-1690
Bell Arts Factory
Established in 2006 on the site of an old mattress factory, Bell Arts Factory is a non-profit, community-based organization that utilizes the arts as a means to deliver messages and encourage acts of greater good within the community. The mission of Bell Arts is to introduce, promote and benefit the arts as a vital element of life in Ventura. The 20,000 square foot art center houses studio space for artists of all mediums, as well as gallery, performance and meeting areas. Art, dance and yoga classes are offered regularly.
www.bellartsfactory.org, 432 N. Ventura Ave., Studio 101, 805-643-1960
Merlich Art Glass
Fine glass art by acclaimed artists Beglar and Jennifer Merlich. Stained glass and glass fusing classes are also offered, as well as supplies for your own projects.
www.merlichartglass.com, Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave., Studio 50, 805-766-221
Gallery/studio featuring the sculpture of Michele Chapin. Often inspired by the human figure, Ms. Chapin creates works for both interiors and exteriors as well as large functional pieces
incorporating unusual tones, exotic colors and natural textures.
Gallery visits and stone sculpture classes by appointment.
www.stoneworkstudios.com, 300 N. Ventura Ave., 805-643-5431
Gallery space devoted to ceramics, sculpture and community.
www.studio1317.com, 1317 N. Ventura Ave., 818-554-9819
Ventura Hot Glass
Working studio of John Gerletti and Suzi Perret, contemporary hand-blown glass artists.
www.venturahotglass.com, 777 N. Olive St., 805-643-1848
Vita Art Center
Opened in 2007, the Vita Art Center is committed to engaging the public in the arts through education, monthly exhibits, and events. Open 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.
www.vitaartcenter.com., 28 W Main St, Ventura, CA 93001, 805-644-9214
Historic Downtown/Downtown Cultural District
Buenaventura Art Association (BAA) is a foundational arts organization in Ventura – a 60-year-old institution devoted to sustaining Ventura County’s cultural character and artistic resources by developing visual artists in all stages of their careers. The downtown gallery showcases an exciting array of artwork created by local artists.
www.buenaventuragallery.org, 700 E. Santa Clara St., 805-648-1235
City of Ventura Municipal Gallery
Exhibited throughout Ventura’s city hall, the municipal art collection features inspired works of art created by area artists, across diverse mediums.. The collection provides increased access to artwork of high artistic merit and aesthetic quality through its display in the public areas of the historic building.
www.cityofventura.net/publicart, City Hall, 501 Poli St., 805-658-4793
Crowne Plaza Hotel Art Exhibit
Rotating collection of works by local artists, on display throughout the hotel’s reception areas.
www.cpventura.com, 450 E. Harbor Blvd., 805-795-6076
Fox Fine Jewelry Art Gallery
Fox Fine Jewelry’s Art Gallery exhibits the work of local artists, including painters, sculptors and photographers from Ventura County and Carpinteria. Art shows change about every two months.
www.foxfinejewelry.com/art-gallery, 560 E. Main St., 805-652-1800
Latitudes Fine Art Gallery
Featuring photography by Steve Munch and Stephanie Hogue, Latitudes Gallery offers an array of striking images, from cards and smaller prints to striking large works, with emphasis on local scenery, landmarks and sealife.
www.latitudesfineart.com, 401 E. Main St., 805-642-5257
Museum of Ventura County
Regional museum celebrating the art, history and culture of Ventura County and the Channel Islands through its collections, exhibits, educational programs and publications.
Exhibited at the Museum since 1979, is an ever-rotating collection of George Stuart Historical Figures, sculptural portraits internationally renowned for their exquisite detail and historical accuracy. Along with American founders and patriots, other important personalities illustrate European or Asian history, as well as the conquest of the Americas.
www.venturamuseum.org, 100 E. Main St., 805-653-0323
Titus Paul Gallery
Framing and artwork by appointment, specializing in original American and European art.
1093 Poli St., 805-652-0667
Very Ventura Giftshop and Gallery
Go local! Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery celebrates the best of Ventura by hosting local art exhibits in its in-store gallery, as well as featuring one-of-a-kind hand crafted gifts, local specialty foods and Ventura souvenirs in the giftshop.
www.very-ventura.com, 540 E. Main St., 805-628-3540
WAV – Working Artists Ventura
A state-of-the-art community designed for artists and creative businesses. WAV offers affordable living and work space for painters, photographers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers, and more. A community room space regularly hosts performances, films, art exhibitions, concerts, workshops and classes.
www.waveartists.com, 175 S. Ventura Ave., 805-641-0400
Ventura Harbor Village
Harbor Village Gallery & Artisan Store
An art space affiliated with the Buenaventura Art Association, the Harbor Village Gallery features rotating exhibits of local artists and smaller original works, cards, jewelry and crafts at affordable prices for casual and experienced collectors.
www.buenaventuragallery.com, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ste. 106, 805-644-2750
Mermaid Gallery Art Studio
Gallery featuring paintings of mermaids, as well as island views, natural beach and local scenes in a “poetic realism” style by local artist Tina O’Brian.
www.tiaobrianfineart.com, 1575 Spinnaker Dr., Suite 107B, 805-644-6088
Ventura County Potters’ Guild Gallery
Unique sculptural and functional artistry and gifts by local Potters’ Guild members. VCPG is a non-profit organization formed to promote the art and craft of ceramics in the community and to provide a forum for local potters to share their experiences and knowledge of clay.
www.vcpottersguild.com, 1567 Spinnaker Dr., Ste. 105, 805-644-6800
Mid-Town (Galleries and Studios, cont.)
HUD Gallery & Studios
Located in Midtown Ventura, H Gallery + Studios is a 10,000 square foot vintage building completely dedicated to the arts. Included is a large Main Gallery on the first floor, a secondary exhibit room called SPACE140 (upstairs), and a 2700 cubic foot suspended installation area all of which is focused on contemporary artists, while promoting a wide spectrum of genres and mediums in solo, group and juried exhibitions. Studios provide resident artists with working space for a wide range of mediums from photography, mixed media, abstract to realism, oil paintings to pencil drawings. Come for the art. Stay & meet the artists.
www.thehud.gallery.com, 1793 E. Main St., 805-293-1616
Ventura College Gallery
Gallery 2 and The New Media Gallery, created in the 1970’s, show artwork by Ventura College students and faculty, and by other influential artists.
www.venturacollege.edu, 4667 Telegraph Rd., 805-648-8974
Cory Tile Art
Gallery of photo tiles, murals, backsplashes and unique local-themed gifts. State of the art green screen photos and complete customer services also available.
www.corytileart.com, 1594 Saratoga Ave., Ste. D., 805-644-8453
Red Brick Gallery
Ventura’s unique art experience with a variety of local artists and ever-changing exhibits. Arty Painting Parties and classes in all mediums offered weekly.
www.redbrickart.com, 4601 Telephone Rd., #112, 805-643-6400
Murals, Street and City Art
Avenue Library Murals
Created by artist Cathy Day, the eight panel mural adorning the upper walls of the Avenue Library in historic Casa de Anza building, tells the history of west Ventura. The colorful work depicts the Chumash people, mission influence, agriculture, oil, and the diverse business and cultural influences that have contributed to the area. 606 N. Ventura Avenue at Simpson.
China Alley Mural
Artists Qi Pang Guo and Song Yun created this mural featuring scenes from the early 1880’s, when a Chinese settlement of merchants, laborers, and families flourished in the area between Main and Santa Clara Streets. Figueroa Plaza between Main and Santa Clara Streets.
Tortilla Flats Mural
Artists MB Hanrahan and Moses Mora created this mural commemorating – through an arcade of images of Chumash, Latino, Asian, African-American, Midwest and Dust Bowl families – the historic importance of our city’s first and most culturally diverse neighborhood, razed in the 1950’s during freeway construction. Figueroa St, 101 Underpass.
US Post Office Murals
Painted by Gordon Grant between 1936 and 1937 as part of the Works Progress Administration, these beautifully restored murals depict the “Agriculture and Industries of Ventura”. Featured are cattle, horses, fields and laborers of many different types including men milking cows and women packing citrus. Stylistically considered modern realist or American Regionalist, the murals were intended to celebrate the virtues of small town or rural life and advance a narrative favoring labor and the nationalist, pro-labor politics of the era. Post Office, 675 E. Santa Clara St.
Ventura Harbor Murals
Artist Michel Petersen created 29 tile murals depicting local history and the marine environment.
Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Dr.
Ventura Art in Transit: Bus Shelter Murals and Bike Racks
The City of Ventura Public Art Program has commissioned over 50 artworks “in the open air” throughout the community. These works by locally and nationally recognized professional artists – from the world-famous “Bus Home” bus transfer center, to art sculptures and murals for the Art-in-Transit “Bike Racks” and Bus Shelter “Streetscape Mural Project – really move residents and visitors, whether they travel by car, bicycle, bus or on foot. A map of Art in Transit project locations is available at the Visitor Center and City Hall, Room 226, or online at www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/203/Public-Art-Program.
Ventura Streetscape Mural Project – “Think Outside the Box”
The City of Ventura Public Art Program’s Streetscape Mural Project is a sidewalk and street corner showcase for talented local artists and community members to transform traffic signal utility boxes into new public artworks. Since 2007 artists have painted over 20 boxes with beautiful and unique designs in the Downtown, Westside, Midtown and Pierpont neighborhoods, turning Ventura streets into an art gallery while minimizing graffiti. A map of Streetscape Mural Project utility boxes is available at City Hall, Room 226, or online at www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/203/Public-Art-Program.
Held in early October, Artwalk Ventura is signature event for Ventura, a super fun, virtually free, self-guided tour of dozens of galleries, studios, pop-up venues and transformed PODS Containers in Ventura’s Westside Cultural District and Downtown.
The First Friday of every month from 6-9pm join in a fun night discovering Ventura’s art scene. First Friday’s goal is to promote the appreciation and sales of art in a relaxed, supportive and fun environment. Each month, visual fine art spaces in downtown and midtown Ventura offer a variety of special entertainment to compliment the collectible artworks on display. Demonstrations, lectures, music, and performance provide an opportunity for everyone to share in this unique Ventura cultural experience. At Bell Arts Factory and other Ventura art venues.
Arts and Eats, Downtown
Stroll Main Street and explore over a dozen galleries, restaurants and shops during this free event. Between the galleries stop for tasty bites at participating shops and restaurants.
This is a self-guided tour. Visit as many locations as you like! Look for the sign and balloons in front of each business. Downtown Ventura, 3rd Saturday of every other month, from January.
Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival
Held in September at the Ventura Harbor Village, this festival showcases 50 artists in a juried fine arts and crafts show, and 40 street painters creating vibrant works of art on the sidewalks along the docks.
www.venturaartfestival.com, Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Drive.
VC Art Market
An urban outdoor art gallery, conveniently located in Downtown Ventura’s Mini Park on Main Street, next to 374 E. Main St. Every 2nd Saturday of the month, 10am-3pm.
Theater, Music and Film
Rubicon Theater Company
Rubicon is regarded as Ventura county’s premier stage company and is the largest arts organization in the City of Ventura. In keeping with its mission ‘to entertain, enrich and educate’, it has served over 42,000 students through its education outreach arm and has provided area residents and visitors with more than 100 main-stage productions of classic and contemporary dramas, comedies and musicals as well as new works. Rubicon has won numerous regional and national awards including a prestigious Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Revue”, the L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence”, 15 Ovation Awards and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce’s Poinsettia Award for Non-Profit of the Year.
www.rubicontheater.org, 1006 E. Main St., Box Office – 805-667-8900
Music Under the Stars
Get ready to dance summer Saturday nights away on the majestic outdoor ballroom floor at the historic Olivas Adobe. Listen to great bands performing irresistible sets of Rock, Swing,Salsa and Zydeco. Food and beverages are available for purchase or bring your own picnic.
www.cityofventura.ca.gov/957/Music-Under-the-Stars, 4200 Olivas Park Dr., 805-658-4728
Ventura Community College Performing Arts
An accredited two-year institution of higher education, Ventura Community College offers a diverse performing arts program featuring music, dance, and other performance arts, as well as an annual film festival.
Ventura Music Festival
Two July weekends of superb classical, jazz and genre-defying music, the Music Festival brings world-class music to the community, builds audience-Festival and audience-artist relationships, and enhances the joy of music through diverse education offerings for all ages.
www.venturamusicfestival.org, VMF offices are at 472 E. Santa Clara St., 805-648-3146.