Museums are often dedicated to the works of artists who are long-deceased. The Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard is making sure that artists who are very much alive get their due.

The museum’s new Artist in Residence on the Harbor program is designed to support local artists and broaden the community’s appreciation of contemporary art. Launched last October, the A.I.R. program includes two month-long residencies per year, in October and May. (CIMM hopes to offer three a year in the near future.) It includes a stipend as well as an exhibition of the artist’s work and an onsite work space.

The museum’s first artist in residence was Shannon Celia, known for her oil paintings of seascapes, ships and wildlife. While in residence, Celia worked onsite to the enjoyment of onlookers and offered art classes for kids and adults. 

The current (and second) artist in residence is Dave Candiliere, a ship model builder who is often trusted to restore and repair models from the museum’s collection. A member of the Ship Model Guild, Candiliere will be working onsite every Saturday in May, beginning on May 12. Visitors can watch and interact with him as he works. 

“It’s an up-close and personal experience,” says Heather Behrens, collections manager and curator. Candiliere’s residence dovetails with the museum’s exhibition of Ron L. Clarke’s ship collection, running through June 25.

For the residency spot in October, Behrens hopes to find a woman tattoo or henna artist whose work can coincide with Tattoos and Tenacious Women, featuring original tattoo art, photographs and stories. Any local woman tattoo or henna artist interested in applying can email Behrens at for more information.

The museum is also sending out a call to local artists to submit their work for the summer art show, which, Behrens says, will focus on “all things sea.” She invites artists who work in almost any medium, from paintings and drawings to photography, jewelry or sculpture, to send an inquiry to the email above. 

Enjoying the spotlight is a great opportunity for local artists and it’s an even better chance for the community to see art in the making.  

Artist Dave Candiliere will be in residence throughout May at Channel Islands Maritime Museum, 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard. For more information, call 984-6260 or visit