A Special Exhibition from the Focus on the Masters Arts Archive & Library

Michael Todd, Sculptor, by Donna Granata, FOTM Portrait Series, 2012.

Focus on the Masters Arts Archive & Library (FOTM) is proud to announce their participation in the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the incorporation of the County of Ventura.  FOTM will present History Is Now, 2023 an extensive selection of photographic portraits, by FOTM Founder Donna Granata, featuring artists from the organization’s extensive archives over the summer and fall of 2023.

History Is Now, 2023 will celebrate 150 artists who have made an impact in Ventura County over the past 150 years. From the cutting-edge work of Ojai artist Cassandra C. Jones to the emotionally charged abstracts of Gerd Koch.  Each image was created after in-depth documentation and study of the artist and their work as part of the Focus on the Masters Arts Archive & Library’s mission and educational programming.

Opening on July 10, 2023, 150 artists portraits will be on display at the Ventura County Government Center, along with a select number of artworks by FOTM documented master artists.  The exhibition will travel to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in September 2023 and remain through the fall. Both shows will include an extensive program of artist talks, gallery walks and school visits.

History Is Now, 2023 will include a comprehensive look behind the scenes of the FOTM Arts Archive & Library’s 30-year history.  A selection of unique objects from the FOTM archive will be on display offering the public a rare look at items collected and preserved for posterity.  Additionally, artwork from the FOTM’s Learning to See award-winning, in-school, cross-curricular program will be included in the exhibition allowing the public to see first-hand how FOTM integrates its research into lesson plans that emphasize critical thinking, innovation, and diversity.

The FOTM Portrait Series is part of a much larger collection of cultural artifacts relating to each artist on display.  Established in 1994, Focus on the Masters (FOTM) Arts Archive & Library is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), art appreciation program that documents, preserves, and presents the works and lives of accomplished contemporary artists. The archive includes oral histories, videotaped interviews, photographic portraits, and examples of the artists’ work.

Much admired for her penetrating interviews of artists, Donna Granata will give a special talk and discuss her development as an artist and historian, as well as address the growth and future of Focus on the Masters with her successor Chelsea Cody.

Guided tours of the exhibition are available by appointment, with priority given to youth groups. For exhibition dates and other information go to https://focusonthemasters.com.


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