Vol. 16, No. 15 – Apr 19 – May 2, 2023 – Ojai News & Events

Award winning artist, teacher and mentor, Bert Collins, will be honored at the Ventura County Creative Artist’s (VCCA) upcoming show. The show will take place on May 6 and 7 from 11 am to 4 pm at her West Hills Gallery located at 1545 Cuyama Road in Ojai. Collins, who will celebrate her 95th birthday in June, continues to paint daily and give classes out of her Ojai home-studio despite challenging physical limitations.

Collins began her long career as an artist painting with oils. Once she and her husband moved to Ojai in the 1980s she transitioned to pastels inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the area. She considers herself a tonalist “with a hard line of realism.” Her work is influenced by the past and present, echoing the Romantic humanists of the 19th century. She has influenced hundreds of artists and her work is still widely collected throughout the country.

Local Oxnard author Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo will visit the Ojai Library at 2pm on Saturday, May 13, 2023, to talk about her new book, Threads of Awakening: An American Woman’s Journey into Tibet’s Sacred Textile Art.

What if you set out to travel the world and got sidetracked in a Himalayan art workshop? What if that sidetrack turned out to be your life’s path? For over 500 years, Tibetans have been creating sacred images from pieces of silk. Much rarer than paintings and sculptures, these stitched fabric thangkas are among Tibet’s finest artworks. In 1992, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo traveled to the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in India to manage an economic development fund, only to wind up sewing pictures of Buddha instead. Through her remarkable journey, she discovered that a path is made by walking it and some of the best paths are made by walking off course. In this talk, Leslie will reveal the unique stitches of an ancient needlework tradition, introduce the Buddhist deities it depicts, and share the extraordinary possibilities they embody.

Trained by two of the finest living Tibetan appliqué artists, Leslie learned to stitch bits of silk into elaborate figurative mosaics that bring the transformative images of Buddhist meditation to life. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally and featured in the documentary Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas. After two decades abroad, Leslie returned to southern California where she now lives with three cats and enough fabric to last several lifetimes. You can learn more about her work and book online at www.threadsofawakening.com.

This event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Ron Solórzano, Regional Librarian, at (805) 218-9146 or [email protected].

The Ojai Library is located at 111 East Ojai Avenue in Ojai, CA. Hours of service are 10am to 8pm Monday through Thursday and 12pm to 5pm Friday through Sunday.

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