Twenty-nine years ago, three nationally recognized Ojai artists, Bert Collins, Marta Nelson, and Gayel Childress, were inspired to invite art lovers and collectors into the studios of Ojai's many fine artists, sharing a weekend in celebration of art and creativity. The first year, 24 artists opened their studios and 20 more held a joint exhibition at the Ojai Art Center. From this core group, the Ojai Studio Artists group formed. OSA today has doubled in size from its beginnings – each new member juried in only after demonstrating the highest standards of professional excellence and achievement.
Since then, the prestige of OSA's annual tour has grown. The second weekend in October has become a premier art experience as thousands tour the studios of the renowned Ojai Studio Artists, traveling at their own pace studios and visiting with Ojai's finest artists. For visitors, it's a unique opportunity to meet artists, develop relationships and expand collections.
In 1993, OSA initiated its youth scholarships program with proceeds from Tour ticket and raffle/ auction sales, sponsorships, and private donations. To date, OSA has given more than $125,000 in art scholarships. It also purchases art books for local libraries, partners with schools in teaching classes and mentoring students, supports public art projects and other community programs...
In 2006, Ojai Studio Artists incorporated as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit community education organization working year- round, to promote art awareness. With the decline in public money for arts education, OSA has taken up the cause of preparing the next generation of artists, and celebrating the importance of the arts within the region.