Ojai to 'face' the photographers
by Chris Wilson
Calling all Ojai Valley photographers, start shooting.
A one-year artistic exposition, called "Faces of Ojai,"
is bringing Ojai's amateur and professional photographers together
and raising money for new programs at the Ojai Art Center.
Started in June, the show will feature the work of an estimated
22 professional and more than 55 amateur photographers. "A
Year in the Life of Ojai," is the theme for the exhibition.
"We believe this project is exceptional, because a show
of this magnitude has never been attempted in Ojai," coordinator
Shed Behar said.
A handful of Ojai-based volunteers have been organizing "Faces"
for the past six months. They include: Ojai photographer Richard
Billings who has taken the role as artistic director. Richard
Loy is providing legal counsel. Virginia Loy is the assignment
"Faces of Ojai" committee members include Cindy Frings,
Betsy Smith, Trent Jones, Galeen Graham and Velvet Heller.
Show entries must be the work of Ojai photographers, with an
Ojai face or faces captured in an Ojai setting. All entries must
be shot between June 2002 and June 2003.
The amateur photographs will be displayed throughout Ojai for
the entire year leading to a month-long invitational gallery
show of the professional photographers at the Art Center. Plans
also call for an exhibition of 30 to 40
enlarged photos, approximately 4 feet by 6 feet, to be displayed
at a variety of public locations pending city approval. The Ojai
Valley Community Hospital and Stir Crazy Coffee House have agreed
to host displays in May and June of 2003. In conjunction with
Faces, the Ojai Camera Club will put on "A Year in the Life
of the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company."
By showcasing the work of the professional photographers, and
encouraging amateur photographers to further their talents, Behar
said he hopes to drive young people to explore their creative
spirit and express their artistic nature with photography. By
building on Ojai's pride and community spirit, the show will
also provide a way for individual groups, churches, schools and
clubs to show their faces to the community. The Ojai Art Center
is the targeted benefactor of the show. Money raised from entry
fees and print sales and sponsors will be earmarked to fund continuing
photography classes through the Center for Creative Studies.
Committee member Trent Jones constructed a website, www.facesofojai.com,
that will provide updates and show information for the participants.
The Faces of Ojai committee is enlisting the support of financial
and active sponsors, Behar said.
"With the magical combination of Ojai photographer, subject
and setting, there is sure to be an enormous amount of community
involvement," he said.
For further information, or to become involved with "Faces
of Ojai," contact Shed Behar at 933-1897 or by e-mail email@example.com.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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