Whitman Family celebrated at art show reception July 31

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Photos submitted


Nancy Whitman, right, with Gayel Childress, left, and Beatrice Wood in the 1990s, and a painting by Nancy Whitman.


Ojai’s multi-talented Whitman Family will hold an artists’ reception on Saturday, July 31, from 5 to 9 p.m., at the Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. The Whitmans have been prominent members of the Ojai community since 1969, and Nancy Whitman, who is now 92 years old, is recognized as one of Ojai’s Living Legends.


Nancy studied at the famed Chicago Institute of Art after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. She was greatly influenced by Matisse, Cézanne and other artists of the Fauvist movement. Her abstract landscapes in oil, acrylic and pastel are full of fantastic colors applied to the canvas in a unique style that is well recognized by hundreds of patrons and fans. Nancy has had several one-woman exhibits in art galleries around California and was the first artist to have a solo show at the Ojai Museum. Nancy is also one of the original members of the Ojai Studio Artist Tour and one of their biggest draws.

The Ojai Art Center show features works by Nancy and the late John Whitman’s sons and grandchildren. Nancy promoted and encouraged art to her children at a very young age.

Nancy’s sons, Fred Whitman and Marc Whitman, have followed in her footsteps by making careers in their own art forms.


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Sculpture by Fred Whitman


Fred Whitman began his carving career as a dentist. Utilizing those same skills, he has become an accomplished sculptor, specializing in handcarved marble and limestone figures. He is well-known locally for the Limestone Fenceposts from Kansas that he adorns with fanciful fi gures and decorations. He carves on stone in his Upper Ojai studio, and his sculpture is visible throughout the Ojai Valley. Fred’s portraits in marble pay tribute to iconic rock stars such as Madonna, Jackson Brown and, most recently, Janis Joplin.







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Painting by Marc Whitman



Marc Whitman is an accomplished architect with a passion for oil painting. He began painting seriously 12 years ago. He has received instruction from artists Jeremy Lipkin and Dan Pinkham, to name a few, and studied at the Florence Academy of Art.

Marc works in oil and has recently been focused on plein-air landscapes of places he loves. Marc uses light and atmosphere, but also pushes his colors to an abstract level, reminiscent of early California impressionists such as Edgar Payne and William Wendt.







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Jaide Whitman will sing American Folk and Mexican Ranchero music at the reception.

Nancy’s grandchildren have also followed in her footsteps as well. Nathan Whitman and Ry Johnson will be featured in the Art Center show, along with a singing performance by Jaide Whitman at the reception.


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