Summer ends, fall begins, and routines are in full swing, but if your schedule still has a little wiggle room spend some time exploring on the art tours of Ojai, October 9-10. Two separate tours, the Ojai Studio Artists Tour and the Ojai Art Detour, will plaster the town with signs marking the venues of over 100 artists, painters, sculptors, printmakers, and photographers, opening their doors from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Originally the art tour weekend was begun in 1984 by the nonprofit Ojai Studio Artists. The OSA annual tour greets visitors at over 50 member artist’s studio, charging a tax deductible fee that goes towards OSA scholarships, library art books, and donations to the Ojai Center for the Arts. You can purchase tickets at the Center, 113 S. Montgomery St.

If your funds are a little tighter this year than you’d like, or you simply want to see alternative work, Ojai’s Detour may be for you.

The Ojai Art Detour, originally started over decade ago by local painter and assemblage artist Carmen Abelleira-White, is an alternative to the Ojai Studio Artists Tour. It offers free entrance to artist’s studios around the valley; all you need to do is pick up the free map at one of several participating businesses in town.

Both tours offer you the time to get inside studios, meeting with the artists and discussing their projects, perspectives, and maybe even life in general.

“Our map has 28 locations this year, some with multiple artists,’ said artist Dennis Wood, who is organizing the Detour. “We have over 50 artists this year, including about nine new to the tour.”

Art featured on the Detour runs the gambit. Theda De Ramus will show her pastel landscapes, Diane Bennett her mixed-media & found art work, Mike McCarthy his whimsical figures in mysterious landscapes, and newcomer Robert Carreiro, recently settling in Ojai from Italy, will show bronze sculptures and paintings.

“I think the new brochure came out nice,” said Woods, holding the tri-fold brochure. “It’s a way to show our work. We’ll also have an open artist’s reception at Studio 201 from six until nine on Saturday which is always fun.”

Ojai’s bucolic rural setting has been an artistic and philosophical magnet for decades. Art tour weekend offers the perfect time to take advantage of those creative undercurrents, sampling local artist’s wares, as well as fine local restaurants and tasting rooms.

You can pick up the Detour map at the Visitors Center in the Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave., and these business locations Studio 201, 214 W. Ojai Ave., Janis’ Art Workshop, 410 W. Ojai Ave., Made in Ojai, 323 Matilija St., or Ojai House, 304 N. Montgomery St.


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