Ventura Breeze

The Heart of the Artist

By Emily Thiroux

A new column wafts in to the Ventura Breeze this week. The Heart of the Artist started as a web site created to introduce artists and their inspirations and showcase their art. Now in each issue of the Breeze, The Heart of the Artist will also introduce you to local artists and arts events.

The spectrum of art forms ranges from glass to music, from watercolors to fiber, from ceramics to silver. Artists can look at something, or hear a sound, or touch a substance and in their mind’s eye, that thing, sound, or substance transforms to an object of expression. The Heart of the Artist exists to provide a network to link artists and performers with the audience who seeks their inspirations.

The first Heart of the Artist Ventura/Ojai Art Tour will take place on June 4, 5, and 6. On Friday we will visit Sylvia White Gallery, Stoneworks Studio, Vita Art Center, the Bell Arts Factory, and the WAV, Working Artists in Ventura complex. Saturday we will meet and visit the studios of glass artist Teal Rowe, photographer painter Valerie Lewis, and ceramic sculptor Sandy Wolk. We will also visit the Ojai Center for the Arts, The Firehouse Gallery and Studio, and enjoy a lovely lunch. Sunday we will wrap up with a brunch at My Florist in Ventura. To sign up for all this, visit:

Michele Chapin, one of the artists featured in the tour, will amaze you with what she can do with a rock. Michele can discover the beauty and smooth contours buried within the craggy surface or an ordinary stone. Her outdoor studio is filled with piles of rocks she has quarried from California deserts. But Michele has more than rocks to amaze you. She is an advocate for the arts voicing that “Art saves lives.”

Emily Thiroux

She works with youth recognizing and nurturing their talent while understanding their challenges. While her studio generally appears closed, she is open by appointment, she is there for First Fridays and Art Walks, and she is there Monday afternoons to teach classes in stone sculpting. Michele and her art is a gift to our community. It’s worth the effort to seek her out at Stoneworks Studios, 300 N. Ventura Ave.

Don’t miss The Sylvia White Gallery’s opening reception and book signing for their new show What’s it All Mean: William T. Wiley Prints on Friday May 28 from 6 to 8 PM. The show runs May 19 to June 19 at 1783 E. Main St. -

Artists rely on community to support their passion, and I rely on community to network with me so that I can share stories and opportunities. You can be part of that community by contacting me with news about artists, arts related events and opportunities.

You can contact me by becoming a Fan of The Heart of the Artist on Facebook, by emailing me at, or by signing up for my blog on I look forward to hearing from you and creating more networking opportunities for us all.