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Out of the Mud and Ashes We Rise for Ventura’s 2018 ArtWalk

October 4, 2018

There’s plenty of inspiring art to go around this weekend in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties!

“It’s all about the descent into the shadow, and coming back out,” “Out of the Mud and Ashes Artistic Director John Lengsfelder said recently in an interview with the SB Independent. “It’s shattering; it’s raw; it’s the earth; it’s dark; it’s perilous — and yet we have to see our way out. That is what we are trying to do.”

In Santa Barbara at the Lobero Theater on Saturday night, I am excited to be joining these artists  with my spoken word performance “What Does Thomas Teach Us?”

  • Robin Bisio (Santa Barbara) – Turning Shadow
  • Deanna California (Goleta) – Cold Springs Trail
  • Dane Edmondson (Ojai) – Transformation Through Tragedy
  • Luther Gerlach (Ventura) – Thomas Fire Burn
  • Amy Katz (Santa Barbara) – “Look! the Goddess Is Speaking!”
  • Christine Kravetz (Santa Barbara) – Poetry
  • RT Livingston (Santa Barbara) – Oh We Mourn
  • Marco Pinter (Santa Barbara) – Gravity
  • Ray Powers (Ojai) – Tears of the Sun
  • Ethan Turpin (Santa Barbara) – Through the Burning Trees
  • Emily Vizzo (Santa Barbara) – No Streamline That You Can Hitch Onto
  • Rob Write (Oxnard) – Music

Additional artists performing alongside my fellow Opus Archives New Mythos Grant awardees include: Marsha de la O (Ventura), Rasika Mathur (Fillmore), Enid Osborn (Santa Barbara), Christine Oster, Saraphina Oster, Nicole Powell, Forest Rain, Elizabeth Rose, Lauren Serrano, Aiste Vaiciunaite, Rosel Weedn (Ventura), and Robin Wilson with special appearance by Togen Daiko, Buddhist Taiko drummers of Oxnard.

By chance I caught artistic Director John Lengsfelder and two of the artists being interviewed on KCRW this morning. In the Santa Barbara Independent, Lengsfelder says,

“These pieces all could be transformational,” said artistic director John Lengsfelder of the “very powerful mix” of performers, photographers, videographers, and storytellers slated for the event. “I want to take people on a journey about the mud and ashes, about what’s happened to our psyche.”

On Friday at 645pm between Vita Arts and Paddy’s behind 25 Ventura Ave, Rasika, Rosel, and I will be doing a preview of our performance on the Mighty Zenith, a 24′ mutant vehicle that looks like a 1974 TV set — that is a TV set for a Tv show with a live audience!

While the Mighty Zenith is a fixture at Burning Man (as the photos above attest, the Mighty Zenith won’t be making it to the Burning Man inspired event,  The Land of Light: Art, Science, and Play at the Santa Paula Art Museum.

Now in its second year, the Museum invites “visitors to see and experience art in a whole new way! The event is inspired by artists of all ages and is designed to engage the community through interactive art installations including lighting effects, visual film graphics, and displays of science and technology. At sunset, a special “lighting ceremony” will activate monumental light and video projections, illuminating the variety of exhibitions on display. Exhibits range from two-dimensional works to three-dimensional sculptures, “art cars,” and more. Indoor and outdoor spaces will feature maker stations where guests are encouraged to interact with and add to the various artworks and displays. The event will include music and performances by circus artists and glow dancers. Guests can also grab a bite to eat at Game Over Catering‘s taco truck. Admission is free for everyone (tacos sold separately).”

The Land of Light features exhibitions and performances by The Aerial Studio, Altarbeast, Jodi Bogart’s Art, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, Fancy Pantz Face and Body Art, Kamyi Lee and R.S. Buck, cirque performer Erin Maxick, Lynne Okun of HeartSpace, Shan Wu, So Cal Sign Gal, and many more.

So why won’t the The Mighty Zenith be there? Come see us where it will be parked during Artwalk between Paddy’s and Vita Art Center near the corner of Main and Ventura Avenue, a half block from WAV, the Ventura Museum, and the heart of Ventura’s bustling arts district and scene.

The Museum of Ventura County will host a First Friday event, 6–8 p.m., October 5, celebrating the opening of The Night of the Nosferatu, an exhibit of George Stuart Historical Figures® not seen by the public in nearly forty years, that tells the fictional story about the bloodline of the original vampire, Count Dracula. Evening entertainment includes music by DJ Darko, refreshments by Desserts to Die For and a no-host bar. Admission is free for members, $5 non-members.
The Night of the Nosferatu exhibit features figures originally created for a staged performance by the artist in 1979. Internationally renowned for their exquisite detail and historical accuracy, George Stuart Historical Figures® have been exhibited at the Museum of Ventura County, the Smithsonian Institution, the Bill Clinton Presidential Library, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the Ojai Valley Museum, The Mini-Time Machine: A Museum of Miniatures and in private collections.
The Museum also reports it “will be open Saturday October 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday October 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in conjunction with the 2018 ArtWalk Ventura. The Joe Cardella and ARTLIFE Magazine exhibit in the Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Pavilion will be free and open to the public. The Musuem’s galleries will be open to the public for regular admission prices. Visitors can get a look at the installation process for a new installation artwork by artist Minga Opazo. The Chilean born LA based artist works with fiber to weave large installations and is currently installing a piece that incorporates the Museum’s gates and water fountain.

In addition to “Out of the Mud and Ashes” at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, First Fridays plus ArtWalk this weekend in Ventura, AND a traditional voyaging canoe Hikianalia has sailed more than 2,800 miles from the shores of Hawaiʻi across the North Pacific to the State of California and is in the Ventura Harbor on Saturday.

From 2-3pm, check out events to mark the arrival of the canoe which are designed to inspire action toward an environmentally and culturally thriving world and feature traditional Hawaiian performances by Hālau Hula O Pualanina‘auali‘ioha, Kumu Rona Koe (Camarillo) & Hula Hālau O Puananiha`aheo, Kumu Sylvia Puananiha`aheo Edgar (Ventura).

This event is free, open to the public and great for people of all ages interested in voyaging, traditional wayfinding, and Hawaiian culture.

On Sunday, Oct. 7, from 10-4pm, find out what it’s like to sail, navigate and live for weeks at sea aboard this Hawaiian voyaging canoe. During the Hikianalia’s visit, you can tour the canoe and meet the voyagers. Hikianalia crewmembers will be hosting dockside open-house canoe tours and welcomes families and people of all ages to visit this very unique canoe. More information at

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