Auditions in California
The small town of Ojai is located in the Ojai valley in Ventura County, California. With fewer than 8,000 residents, this small town is home to many artists, musicians, and craftsmen who collaborate in creating a dynamic economy based on celebration of the visual and performing arts. Events such as the Summer Art Stroll, the Ojai Studio Artists Tour, and Art in the Park attract a multitude of tourists, art buyers, and area residents. The Ojai Art Center, founded in 1939, is the oldest non-profit art center in California and offers classes, in addition to live performances. A review of their web site provides information about current events. It also provides information about the core values of this unique community. The topic of the latest photographic exhibit is "What Does Peace Look Like?" and features photographs intended to evoke comforting responses, such as a sense of serenity and wonder. Auditions for their next theatrical production are open to the public, including both adults, and youths age 14 and younger. In Ojai, art is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive.
However, Ojai is not simply an artists' utopia, a community that downplays economic realities. Early in its history, the developers of this town created a lovely Arcade, intended to house the shops of artists and craftsmen, as well as fine dining establishments. In centuries past, artists depended upon economic support from patrons, including wealthy aristocrats, local churches, and civic organizations such as town councils, national governments, and guilds. In centuries past, the rich and powerful people were the only ones who could afford fine art in their homes. However, poorer people could also enjoy fine art, in the form of magnificent paintings, evocative sculptures, and towering stained glass windows that graced the churches. With the advent of Gothic architecture, fine art expanded from interiors to exteriors. The arches, spires, and statuary of the great European cathedrals brought fine art out into the open air, to be enjoyed by any casual passerby. Of couse, the Parthenon of Greece also did that. But the Parthenon was unique, while Gothic cathedrals were far more numerous, bringing fine art into the lives of many more people. Today the members of the general public also provide economic support to artists and performers. In Ojai, public support for the arts is thoroughly promoted.
The name "Ojai" is drawn from the Chumash Indian word for moon, which is "Awhai." And what is the most obvious feature of the moon? The way in which it reflects light from the sun, just as the faceted gemstones and precious metals of fine jewelry reflect light. So jewelry stores figure prominently in the economy of Ojai. Even the names of the stores reflect the community values, including such words as "love, infinity, healing." At first glance, it might seem that a very large and extensive store such as Jewelry Couture might not fit into the boutique-and-studio world of Ojai. However, the proprietors of Jewelry Couture share many values with the residents, allowing them to create their Jewelry Store in Ojai They believe in the importance of integrity, trust, and high professional standards. They also understand the the importance of enduring relationsips. Like the residents of Ojai, they believe in offering the work of many different designers, from Dior to Swarowski. These designers specialize in "wearable art" that is as elegant and beautiful as any painting or sculpture. Earrings, necklaces, and rings delight the eye, and enable the wearers to express their individual tastes and share their aesthetic sensibilities with people around them. Jewelry incorporates textures, patterns, gemstones, crystals, and shining metals that are all pleasing to the human eye. Just like the moon, jewelry brings light to everday existence.