The Ojai Studio Artists are proud to welcome eight new, diverse artists into their ranks, including painters, sculptors, photographers and a printmaker. Juried in by the OSA membership, the new members are Leslie Clark, Uta Culemann-Ritke, Eric Dubnicka, Bruce Grabin, Leslie Plimpton, Sparkle Taylor, Lindsay Thomson and Lucinda Yates.
Leslie Clark is a 4th generation Ojai resident. Her work has historically been based on travel, painting people doing what they do, especially nomads in Africa, where she continues to have a part time home in Niger. Since the Thomas fire she has brought the focus of her paintings home, painting native plants and her family’s cowboy lifestyle.
Uta Culemann-Ritke has an international career as a graphic designer and painter. She uses abstract expression as a language defined by the concept of connection and disconnection that reflect the moment of human interactions. The fragility of love and life are filtered through sensory perceptions culminating in color and form.
Eric Dubnicka came to Ojai from 18 years in Duluth, Minnesota and was heavily involved in the art community there. He creates intuitively, being conscientious of materials, tactility and form. The biomorphic and otherworldliness of his most current series of sculptures, created in the short time he’s lived in Ojai, uses his interpretation of humanity’s awakening and the ascension of human consciousness as the catalyst. Eric says, “Deep down I believe we are collectively growing beyond the worn and tired trappings of the way things were and ascending into our next phase of development. This notion, or hope, is my starting point.”
Bruce Grabin is an artist who began painting in the early 90’s while living in California’s rural central coast. Over the years his oil paintings have been displayed in art galleries and art shows throughout California, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington. He currently creates original works of art from his Ojai, Ca studio.
“Ojai’s surroundings provide inspiration for much of my new work and reflects the diversity of California’s beautiful landscape,” Bruce says. He enjoys painting impressionistic landscapes and contemporary rural scenes, people, and anything that captures his interest.
Leslie Plimpton‘s explores how fashion reflects humanity’s values throughout time and geographical location. Fashion becomes a part of our social identity by identifying our career, social status, as well as how we feel about ourselves. Her current series of work uses printmaking to depict portraits of influential fashion designers who contribute to the social identity of their time.
Sparkle Taylor‘s goal is to share her love of this world that provide us such abundance and sensory pleasure. She paints en plein air, or alla prima landscapes, interiors, and figures. She incorporates the space and color of the subject and creates an envelope of atmosphere and light. Sparkle’s keen eye in discerning color and value relationships enriches all her paintings with life and joy.
Lindsay Thomson is a photographer who specializes in a variety of landscape images. She enjoys night photography, specifically Milky Way and star trails combined with unique foreground elements.
Living in Southern California near local beaches, Lindsay has opportunities to photograph sunsets and long exposure images over the ocean. The national forests offer many opportunities for photography as well.
She is fascinated by the geometry and beauty of plants and flowers. Macro photography gives her the opportunity to share these close-up views of nature with others.
Lucinda Yates has been making art professionally for 40 years. In 2015, her love of color and artistic expression inspired her to create on canvas. her current work is focused on people. This work invites the viewer to ask the question: who am I and who are you? We all make up stories about who we think we are AND who we think others are.
“I believe the ultimate responsibility we have as human beings is to discover who we are,” says Lucinda. And so, the question: who am I and who are you?
These eight new OSA artists will be part of OSA’s Second Saturday tours which begin February 8 and continue through July as well as “Mending the Divide” at The Museum of Ventura County’s Community Room in March. They will also participate in the annual three-day Ojai Studio Artists tour October 10, 11 and 12.