International Recognition

René Corado, Collections Manager of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, recently received two great honors from his home country of Guatemala. On Nov. 11, Corado received the title “Officer of the Order of the Quetzal,” the nation’s highest honor, equivalent to a knighthood. He was also named an Ambassador of Peace in a special ceremony that took place on Sept. 17 in Guatemala City, where Corado changed the symbolic white rose of peace on the bronze Monumento a la Paz (Peace Monument). The biologist and author is the founder of the El Lustrador foundation, which awards scholarships to poor Guatemalan students so that they may continue their elementary and middle school education.

Ojai artist Stanley Boydston was one of two American artists invited to participate in the Biennale of Contemporary Sacred Art in Monte Carlo, which took place Sept. 30-Oct. 31 and featured the work of several renowned artists, including Christo, Zeng Fanzhi, Damien Hirst and Banksy. Boydston, born in Muskogee, Okla., and a member of the Cherokee Nation, exhibited paintings from his series “Rincon Low Tide.” @stanleyboydston

Mayor’s Arts Awards

Juan Manuel Cisneros, building one of his stone sculptures near Surfers Point, Ventura.

The city of Ventura’s 15th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards took place on Friday, Nov 15, at the Museum of Ventura County. Honored in 2019 were Cabrillo Middle School Musical Director Mario Boccali (Arts Educator), Museum of Ventura County Program Director Denise Sindelar (Arts Leader), mosaic artist Larissa Strauss (Artist in the Community), stone artist Juan Manuel Cisneros (Emerging Artist) and photographer and Latitudes Gallery owner Stephanie Hogue (Creative Entrepreneur). Congratulations to all the winners!

Academic Competition Logos Selected

Three artists from La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks were honored by the Ventura County Office of Education with winning designs for three 2020 academic competitions. Morgan Conway had the winning design for the Ventura County Academic Decathlon logo, while art by June Liu was selected for the Mock Trial. The logo selected for the Science Fair was created by Nyrie Krumian. The winners were chosen by a committee of VCOE staff, and identities of the students and schools that submitted each entry were kept secret during the judging process. The logos will be prominently displayed on promotional and informational materials for each competition and featured on commemorative pins for each event.

Namba Executive Director Sought

The Namba Performing Arts Space in Downtown Ventura is looking for an executive director to take over the reins in 2020. Qualified candidates should possess experience and skills in the management of a corporate entity involved in the performing arts, theater, music and entertainment. For consideration, please send resume and cover letter to

5-Star Theatricals Director Resigns

Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy has resigned from 5-Star Theatricals, the regional theater company of the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks (formerly the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza). His resignation was announced on Nov. 13. “I have nothing but respect and admiration for the board and staff and everyone at 5-Star Theatricals,” Cassidy said in a press release. “This experience has been a gift that I will never forget.” Cassidy began his tenure with 5-Star Theatricals in May2018, overseeing musical productions that included <em>Beauty and the Beast, Shrek</em> and <em>The Music Man</em>, which closed on Oct. 27. Cassidy is the son of actress Shirley Jones (<em>The Partridge Family</em>) and the late Jack Cassidy. According to the Williamson Source, Cassidy has joined Studio Tenn, a professional theater company in Franklin, Tenn., as artistic director. A new artistic director for 5-Star Theatricals has not yet been announced.

 In Memoriam

“Roxie Ray in Her Studio” by Donna Granata, Focus on the Masters Portrait Series 2012.

Roxie Ray (1950-2019): Many in Ventura County and beyond will mourn the death of contemporary artist Roxie Ray, who passed away at her home on Oct. 4. The expressionist painter, who studied with James Jarvaise at Oxnard College and Hiroko Yoshimoto at Ventura College (among others), was known for her colorful and sensitive works, often featuring farmworkers. Ray was also a notable philanthropist: In addition to co-founding Studio Channel Islands in 1998 (where she also did stints as artist in residence and board member), Ray participated in fundraisers for California State University, Channel Islands, and served on the boards of Focus on the Masters, the Meadowlark Service League and Camarillo Hospice. Her life and work will be celebrated at a public potluck on Dec. 14, 5 p.m., at Studio Channel Islands, 2222 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Roxie Ray Artist Endowment Fund care of Ventura County Community Foundation.

Katherine McGuire (1958-2019): Katherine McGuire, best known locally for her watercolor paintings depicting the hillsides, beaches and architecture of Ventura, passed away on Nov. 8 from kidney cancer. The esteemed artist also  served on the Historic Committee for the Midtown Ventura Community Council and was a member of the Buenaventura Art Association. Born in Chicago and raised in Iowa, McGuire was primarily active in Ventura County from the 1980s through the 2000s, moving to the Bay Area in 2005.

The Gift of Art

The Focus on the Masters Annual Gift Shop will take place Nov. 23-24 at the Museum of Ventura County in Downtown Ventura. Fine art, crafts and more will be available for purchase on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. in the museum’s pavilion. Artist demonstrations will take place at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on both days.

Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo is hosting its own art market, featuring arts, crafts, live music and more, Dec. 7-8. The market takes place the same weekend as the Winter Walk and Tree Lighting in Old Town Camarillo and the opening reception for Illuminated, an exhibition of art made with light at the Blackboard Gallery, both of which take place on Friday, Dec. 6.