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Ojai Quarterly Redesign Features Many Ojai Studio Artists

I recently had the honor of being named Creative Director of our beloved local magazine, Ojai Quarterly. After a just a couple of issues, editor Bret Bradigan bravely put me up to the challenge of a re-design. I want to share with you some highlights from the Spring 2019 issue that feature Ojai Studio Artists including a beautiful feature story on SUSAN STINSMUEHLEN-AMEND’s stained glass windows at the Jewish Community Center in Meiners Oaks.

I have done a lot of layout work — I made the book for last year’s Scorched Souls exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum (if you do not have a copy, you are missing an important piece of Ojai history, so… get on that) — but it never occurred to me to try working for a magazine. Meeting Bret was definitely beshert (I’ll tell you what that means in a minute) and I’ve been loving my new position and relishing getting better at design through it. I even get to sneak some of my own illustrations in from time-to-time, such as in the Winter 2018 edition’s Theater Preview and in the contents of this Spring’s edition to represent Sami Zahringer’s delightful fiction piece Babbittry.

SMÅBORGERSKAP is the Swedish translation of “babbittry” and to find out why it’s there, I guess you better read this hilarious piece.

The best part about working for a local magazine is knowing half the people featured in it. Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend popped up in Robin Gerber’s story, How Ojai Got Its Windows. The theme is beshert, which roughly means “fate” in Yiddish. Now, I love Susan and I love stained glass and I love Yiddish (my mother-in-law made me a bracelet that says “Basherte,” so there is officially too much destiny crammed into one blog post and for that I am sorry)… So, anyway, I put a little extra into this layout. Many thanks to Cindy Pitou Burton for clearing use of her wonderful portrait of Susan. It really made the piece. The story of how these windows made their way back to Ojai truly is remarkable and I was delighted to help visually tell the story. Go read it!

The OQ has a sweet little art spread that I was very excited to tszuj (since I’m stuck in dictionary mode, tszuj or “zhuzh” <ʒʊʒ> is a made-up word used in British gay subcultures which I picked up from new OSA member Fanny Penny that roughly means “to spice up”). The left page is artists and the right page is galleries. I’m not the ad sales department, but you should know that it is a VERY reasonable to get yourself on one of these pages. Call me!

BEFORE & AFTER: On the left are Richard Amend, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, Cindy Pitou Burton, Bert Collins, Jannene Behl, Duane Eells, Elaine Unzicker (who made the cover in Fall), Mary Neville, and Thomas Hardcastle. On the right, you’ll find Duane Eells’ beautiful nude representing OVA Arts (it is my personal goal to get as many nudes into these pages as possible — paging Vera Long) and information about James Petrucci’s solo show at Teddy Nava’s gallery, Basic Premise, opening in March.

Another page I’m in the process of re-doing is the "Ojai Gems" page. There is PLENTY of room here, so if you’re a jewelry maker, please come join Hallie Katz, another one of our new members, and help me fill this page!

BEFORE & AFTER: Can we talk about how awesome is Hallie’s piece (top-right)? I want her to drape me in jewels!

The number of names I just dropped — ELEVEN — is a testament to OSA’s importance to this pretty little valley we call home. I’m so proud to be a part of the group and look forward to visually telling its stories in the Ojai Quarterly Magazine. The Spring 2019 Edition is out and about — go pick one up today!

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