4 reasons to love Ventura’s art scene


and the art culture here is one of them. Wall murals adorn exteriors, old and new, whispering a commonality among the creators here. In swashes of vibrant hues depicting powerful women, bold abstract patterns, and glimpses of vintage signage, they send one simple message: “you belong here.”

1.  The art culture in some towns can be intimidating, but in the seaside oasis of Ventura, there is a deep desire to connect.

It is evident by the number of galleries with direct access to the artists. Over half of the galleries, such as H Gallery and Art City, are also working spaces where you can meet and greet the creators, learn what inspires them, and hear the stories behind the art. Some provide this access on a daily basis, and others by the special event. First Fridays each month are particularly alive on the West end, with special events stretching from Bell Arts to Stoneworks, to Vita Art Center and beyond. The vibe is laid back, no pretentious small talk. Here, you instantly belong. “I never miss the First Friday,” Says Marie Lakin, creator of the ArtsVentura.org website. Also, check out mingaopazo.com and venturamuseum.org, a virtual database of local artists and events. She provides this service for free to the art community. Her passion for the arts is evident in her voice, and desire to connect, artist to a viewer, creator to the connoisseur.

2.   In Ventura, artists not only want to connect, but they also want to inspire.

The competitive undertone falls away like waves hitting the shore, as many of the art galleries also teach classes and hold workshops. From the Focus on the Masters Series to Vita Art Center’s frequent workshops for youth and adults, there is something for everyone. The Buenaventura Art Association is a co-op space which also holds workshops by their members. Ventura’s artists focus on sharing and collaborating to create a vibrant community and know the tools they use to create their work are simply that- tools. So the more they share, the more we all can grow together.

3.   Ventura loves emerging artists.

Galleries like 643 Project Space, are dedicated to fostering and showcasing new talent. The VC Art Market is every second Saturday of the month at Mission Park. Here you can find a myriad of experience and medium in the city’s only outdoor urban pop-up art gallery. Passion is what is revered in this little slice of paradise.

4.  Everyone loves Ventura.

Akin to rooting for your favorite team, hometown and travel pride is fierce here. Maybe it is because there are so many beautiful landmarks and places to visit. Maybe it’s the perpetual springtime weather making every day exquisite, or maybe it is just the way you feel when you come here, like you can finally breathe again. One thing is certain, the celebration of Ventura itself exudes everywhere. The Visitors Center and Very Ventura gift shop offer one of a kind local items with favorite themes, such as the beloved Two Trees and iconic Pier, or locally sourced sea glass and driftwood creations. There is even a gallery dedicated to the sights of the city. At Latitudes Gallery, you can take home a piece of your vacation or hometown pride in any shape or size, often meeting the photographer in the process.

The love in this city runs as deep as the ocean.

No matter how you choose to experience Ventura’s art and culture, Ventura is calling you.