In past years, original art has been commissioned from local artists who created pieces to specifically support the festival theme. This year, 12 handcrafted art pieces, known as “Art in the Garden,” have been included in support and celebration of the Ventura Music Festival’s 17th Season, Caravana Muzica–Folk Inspirations in Classical Music.

This showing and participation of local artists from Ojai, Somis, Moorpark and Ventura solidifies the relationship between art and music in varying forms, each an expressive interpretation of passion.

The Ventura Music Festival hosted its Annual Fundraising Dinner and Auction of Art in the Garden on April 2, 2011. Proceeds benefit the Ventura Music Festival and assist its efforts of promoting Educational Outreach programs in Ventura County schools and youth organizations.

2011 Festival Artists

Art by Christina Beirne

Christina Beirne, Ojai

Christine Beirne is a multi-media artist who paints in oil and sculpts in metal and stone. Her study of music, piano, percussion and composition provides the subtext that runs through all her art from percussive brushstrokes to the forms of her sculpture.

Christine currently paints on location and at her studio in Ojai. She is an associate member of the California Art Club and a member of the Topa Group.

About the art - “A Short History of Music”
Christina’s art was inspired in part by a music theory professor and her passion for contemporary and classical music. This piece illustrates abbreviated key points in music history - some abstracted and some literal.

Art by Duane Dammeyer

Duane Dammeyer, Ojai

Duane Dammeyer worked in the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office. Retiring after 34 years, he is now a full-time sculptor.

Duane is interested and involved in stone masonry and construction, designing and building. His work is shaped by a combination of education, life events and artistic influences. Nature often lends inspiration to his creations.

About the art - “Ode to the Rainforests”
Duane was inspired to create this piece by the serpentine stone he used. This piece is influenced by nature and lends itself to the color of the stone. The angles and shapes in this sculpture evolved from his background in engineering.

Art by JoAnne Duby

JoAnne Duby, Ventura

JoAnne Duby began her art career as a ceramicist while studying at the Seaward Ceramic School in her hometown of Seattle.

While teaching ceramics at Santa Barbara City College, Duby discovered a love for sculpting. In addition to her own work, Duby assisted Donald Davis, a world renowned Italian marble sculptor, on a variety of projects. She has worked in every sculpting medium and with artists from all over the world.

She is a continuing participant in international shows as well and is included in collections throughout Europe and the U.S. JoAnne is a member of the International Sculpture Center, Northwest Stone Carvers Association, Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild and the Ojai Art League.

About the art - “Desert Lily”
This piece is crafted of Italian alabaster with a Mexican basalt base, a very rare stone. With a great passion for her work, Duby pulls her influence for this piece from her insatiable appreciation for the natural environment.

Art by David Elder

David Elder, Ventura

For 29 years David Elder he taught at California State University, Northridge until his retirement in 2000. He has participated and received awards for his work at a number of exhibits throughout Southern California including the Long Beach Museum Exhibit, Southern California Expo Art Show and the Pasadena Museum Society Art Show.

About the art - “Spring Wear 2009”
In the tradition of Greek classical carving of the fashion of their day, David Elder’s work reflects the fashion of our day. “Spring Wear 2009” is a series of carved wood sculptures reflecting the sensuality found in young women’s fashion.

Art by Linda Elder

Linda Elder, Ventura

Linda Elder’s has participated in a number of exhibits including The Upstairs Gallery, Los Angeles Art Expo, Sculpture House in New York and California State University, Channel Islands where she has exhibited her work since 2005.

A highly regarded artist in the community, she has lectured throughout California and in Ventura County at the Santa Barbara Sculptors Guild and Focus on the Masters.

Linda teaches sculpture at her art studio in Ventura and to students in the Rio School District.

About the art - “Orchid”
The art piece is from a series of sculptures with women emerging from different flowers. Each flower is a soft representation of each woman’s own personal identity and heritage.

Art by Frances Elson

Frances Elson, Somis

Frances Elson opened a design studio in 1975 and is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, followed by the founding of Gold Coast Design Center, a resource for other designers. Elson left the interior design industry to follow her passion of art and learned how to become a glass artist. She melds pieces of glass to create jewelry, tableware, home décor and fine art.

About the art - “Capriccio”
The musical term, capriccio, is translated as “a lively piece composed freely and without adhering to rules of any specific style,” a fitting description of Elson’s fused glass orchestra arranged on an armature suggestive of an imaginary score.

Art by John Gerletti

John Gerletti, Ventura

John Gerletti earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1972 from USC. After watching a USC professor build a glass studio in the ceramics department, his curiosity for art grew.

After graduation from college, his passion for art and glass-blowing led him to open LA Hot Glass and Ventura Hot Glass.

About the art - “Flowing with the Universe”
Gerletti’s work, “Flowing with the Universe,” is pure inspiration with glass colors originating from Germany and New Zealand. The glass slab is a natural evolution of his abstract art, maintaining the high energy in which it was created.

Art by Suzi Perret

Suzi Perret, Ventura

Suzi Perret’s intricate creations of blown glass begin with a bubble of pure glass color, gathering clear glass over them and rolling them into a design. The glass vessels are shaped by hand and wet newspaper in 2,000 degrees of heat. The glass is then annealed in an oven and then ground and polished.

Perret received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her artistic creations are represented in galleries and shops across the nation. Patrons of her work include former President Bill Clinton.

About the art - “California Downunder”
The inspiration for this piece is a conceptual, wind-blown view of nature which transpires into little worlds that flow visually throughout her art. Made of blown glass and fusion, this piece is a combination of two beautiful art types.

Art by Chris Provenzano

Chris Provenzano, Ventura

Chris Provenzano worked as a commercial sculptor for Universal Studios, Disney, major amusement parks, and a novelty manufacturer creating clay figures, props and mass-produced masks sold in stores throughout the U.S.

Provenzano is a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association, Santa Barbara Sculptor’s Guild, San Buenaventura Artist’s Union and a board member on the California Sculptors’ Symposium.

About the art - “Bohemian Mist”
Provenzano’s work as a commercial sculptor inspired her piece, “Bohemian Mist,” made of a slab of Utah wedgewood marble.

Art by Tesi Sanchez-Halpert

Tesi Sanchez-Halpert, Moorpark

Tesi Sanchez-Halpert is physical education teacher, talented metal sculptor and an active mother and wife. She has a unique style of art that formed due to a life-changing experience as a stroke victim, using her gift to create critters that come to life out of items others thought had lost their usefulness.

About the art - “Satisfying A Sweet Tooth”
Tesi’s piece is from her Alien Flora collection of metal sculptures. It is a large flower that resembles a sunflower with a hummingbird feeding. The flower is made with nine reclaimed shovels, a wok, a farmer’s disk for a base, nuts and other found steel parts. The hummingbird is made with a worn rocker arm from a boat motor, forks, nuts, a tablespoon and a nail.

Art by Fred Whitman

Fred Whitman, Ojai

Fred Whitman was very hands-on as a child and aspired to be a surgeon until he became intrigued in dentistry and he discovered he was skilled at carving wax teeth. Upon returning to Ojai to practice dentistry, he realized the groundwork had been laid to become a sculptor.

In 2003, Whitman connected with a group of stone carvers at Art City in Ventura and took 14 months carving a large block of white Italian marble. Whitman carves almost exclusively using soft Kansas fencepost limestone using only hand tools.

About the art - “Rachel #4”
Whitman studies each stone until something reveals itself from within. This piece, “Rachel,” is the Greek goddess of the garden. The A Flora series is named after the Roman goddess. “Rachel #4” is a little wilder, more natural, than others in Whitman’s series as he envisioned her as a tom-boy in Robin Hood’s merry men.

Art by Sandy Wolk

Sandy Wolk

Sandy Wolk considers her clay creations to be therapeutic vehicles for prayer and communion.

One of Sandy’s true gifts is bringing out the feminine spirit through sculpture which inspires many of her pieces. Her art is a representation of where she is in life’s journey, capturing the sacredness of cycles of life and portraying the emotions of grief, bliss, vulnerability and empowerment.

She predominately uses clay for sculpting.

About the art - “Held in the Wings of Love”
This piece is made of earthware clay with a bronze patina. Through symbols, images and moods, Wolk constructs her sculptures to take the viewer on a sacred journey.