Gift received for Ojai Studio Artists Scholarship fund in honor of Founding Member Gayel Childress

The Ojai Studio Artist’s Scholarship Committee has received a $2,500 gift in honor of OSA co-founder Gayel Childress, who turns 80 on May 11, from her niece and nephew-in-law Natalie Levin and Dr. Jim Levin of Tucson, AZ.

The gift is given in honor and appreciation of the artist’s vibrant spirit and her dedication to sharing the joy of art. Self-taught, Childress paints with a characteristic touch of whimsey. She uses bold and vivid colors and an expressive, sensitive line. Her locally inspired landscapes and figurative paintings have received many awards and are part of the permanent art collections of the cities of Ojai and Ventura.

Along with co-creating the annual Ojai Studio Artists Tour, Childress is co-founder of the Gold Coast Watercolor Society. She was honored for “Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Ventura” by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in 1997, awarded the “Ojai Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1999, and the People’s Choice Award of “Best Artist” in the Ojai Valley in 2014.

Gayel Childress has taught art for decades in local schools.  She has travelled the world with the Rotary and other organizations, inspiring children in under-developed countries to paint murals, offering opportunities for self-expression while transforming faceless public buildings into sources of community pride.

Each year Ojai Studio Artists awards as much as $10,000 in scholarships to support local students in their pursuit of a career in the visual arts. OSA is incredibly grateful to the Levin’s for this generous gift.