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The following artists are all people who inhabit individual artistic spaces that may or may not overlap. We are including their biographies and statements to give context for the places in which each artist comes from and what ideas their lamp work embodies as individual objects within this collective presentation.

Artists are listed in alphabetical order by first name:

Ali Williams / @aliwilliamsceramics

Ali Williams is a storyteller, researcher, and creative practitioner engaging across textual and visual mediums to create work that considers aspects of the current condition of human beings, our relationships to our environments, and to each other. Ali is a lecturer in the Writing Program at UC Santa Barbara focusing on composition and communications in media, culture, and the arts. Her work has been published and exhibited in mainstream and academic spaces, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in creative practice.

Originally I intended to make a traditional wall niche to hold my eternal flame, which I wanted to serve as a representation and a call to recall the divine spark alight within all beings.

However, standing outside in the spring sun under the oaks, as I began working with the clay that I had foraged on hikes throughout the year, something more fundamental took its own shape. Each of the clays from the three locations that make up this altar had their own story to tell - and it was fun to just let the dirt do what it wanted to do. Then I built a fire, and baked the clay and rocks. And I added little bones that I’d collected. Ultimately, this finished product is a more earthy, heavy, and yet far more fragile version of the tidy little alcove I had first envisioned. Somehow, it feels more true to the journey I think we’ve all been on for a while - digging down deep to keep the flame lit.

Andra Belknap / @andrabelknap

Andra Belknap is an Ojai writer and storyteller who operates in journalism, political campaigns and, occasionally, theater. She began her career as a press secretary in the Obama Administration, and continues to hop in and out of the campaign world. She’s interested in storytelling for social change. Andra’s current writing work includes “OUSD, Wtf” an ongoing reported series about Ojai Unified School District's financial crisis and subsequent reorganization for the VORTEX magazine. Learn more about Andra’s work at

I’m interested in questioning reality.

Ava Frisina

Ava is a 21 year old artist living in Ojai and going to school at Columbia University in NYC. She will enter her final year of undergrad this fall as an architecture major. She loves to work in multiple mediums, and is passionate about creating engaging and thought-provoking environments & installations.

I love to draw, craft furniture out of wood, sculpt with clay, and I have recently begun rug tufting! I am a big fan of surrealism, especially surrealist objects. I am currently thinking a lot about themes of queer intimism paintings as well as linguistic sculptural work. At school, I work with the Columbia Musical Theatre Society as their set designer and have made sets for Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cinderella, and In The Heights. I’m also skilled in Rhino 3D modeling software and most programs within the Adobe suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. I would love to expand my creative circle this summer, and this project seems very up my alley of space creation.

Cara Bonewitz / @carabonewitz

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, I moved with my family to Southern California when I was fourteen. I completed my B.A. in Studio Art and History at Yale University in 2008 and my MFA at The Glasgow School of Art in 2018. Much of my twenties was spent in New York City, balancing my studio practice with work in gallery and exhibition design. After graduate school I returned to California, which I’ve made my home over the past four years, working as a textile designer while maintaining an active art practice. My first solo show, Current in the Shadows, opened at Ventura College in March 2020 and in the summer of 2020 I organized and curated Joyride: Ojai, a weekend-long public art experience. My most recent solo exhibition — A BOD E, at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara — was featured in the Summer/Fall 2022 issue of LUM Art Magazine. My group shows include Under Construction at SOHO 20 in New York City, Atelier Monday at 16 Nicholson Street Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland, Collusion– Friends of EMS at the Yucca Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center, and Sanctuary at GraySpace Gallery in Santa Barbara. I have participated in residencies at The Studios of Key West and La Napoule Art Foundation in La Napoule, France.

I am an artist working predominantly in sculpture and drawing. I take my inspiration from everyday surroundings, using commonplace materials to create pieces that, despite their rudimentary origins, are a bit mysterious and difficult to categorize. Whether through material or subject matter, I am interested in exploring the often discarded, ignored elements of our world and representing them in such a way as to illuminate their bizarre beauty.

For a little while now I've been working between toilet paper-mâché forms and woven seaweed hangings (affectionately called "seaweavings"), but I've yet to combine the two mediums. For this piece I would like to make an irregular spherical lamp shade (think of the traditional rice paper globes that had a design renaissance in Europe in the 1980s, and then gently melt-twist-distort that spherical form). It will be made of extremely smooth papier-mâché with pieces of seaweed placed within it. Each element of the lamp decomposes at different rates.

Dave’s Clubhouse / @davesclubhouse

Dave's Clubhouse is located in a small town in the big and beautiful Mojave Desert.

Dave’s Clubhouse uses a simple, colorful approach to bring a lil fun into home goods. This piece was carved and painted then turned into a lamp.

Elise Arnold

Elise Arnold often takes a step away from the traditional with her sculptures as wall art. The theme of the horse as a persona that can be adorned as a mask conjure elemental rituals where the animal spirit is embraced for the qualities that we recognize in ourselves or aspire to. There is something wild in its expression. Elise studied at Goddard College in the era when students studying architecture were building three story tree houses. Her love of painting and sculpture were nurtured there. Elise continued her studies and gained incomparable experience in Paris, London, and Goa India. Her international journeys, both artistic and spiritual shape a subject matter rooted in the world of animal and nature, infused with an ethereal, joyful presence.

I am an artist, recognizing the artist in others. I am an observer and maker of creativity both visually, sound and movement with plants, animals and humans and all the elements of the earth, the water and the sky. Six decades of learning and loving and discovery., Open to sharing and happy in recluse, excited by flow of energy, real and potential. This is a time when all action and thought are witnessed to having degrees of influence upon our space. My intentions are to connect in the community with meaning and truth, veiled with peace and love.

Elizabeth Herring / @elizabethpostingstuff

Elizabeth Herring’s practice is centered around investigating how image culture impacts our individual identities. Herring works primarily by inspecting material and objects, whether the work may manifest as a still-life photo of curious items collected from forgotten dollar store corners, or as the transformation of a photographic print into a sculpture, constructed to draw attention to the materiality of the image itself. Investigating material, image, and identity has led her to make work about narrative, and the relationship between place and people. Throughout Herring’s work she emphasizes the absurd, humorous, and sometimes dark nature of the distance between representation and represented.

I made this material girl for an installation at Plummer Park in West Hollywood about California’s changing social and geographical landscape in order to unpack Californian material culture. My concrete assimilation embodies whimsy and beauty in a world full of trash.

Emma Bailey

Emma Bailey is a multimedia artist living in Ojai working with text, textiles, and video.

A recurring palette in Emma’s work, chartreuse is the color of bright sun through fresh growth fed by dark loam. In small green-gold stitches growing out of the dank, dark forest floor, this piece is a retelling of Grimms’ All-Kinds-of-Fur, the daughter of a lustful, tyrannical king who puts on a cloak made of the pelts of each of the forest’s creatures as she flees into the dark woods. The figure in All-Kinds-Of-Fur, opting for a choose-your-own-degradation, sheds her social position and aligns herself with the forest as she takes on the protective covering of nature. There, she finds herself rescued/revived/resurrected and aflame.

Within the pioneering scholarship of Off With Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood (Princeton University Press, 1992), Maria Tatar maintains that stories such as Cinderella and Snow White that feature an absent father are sanitized versions of earlier narratives like All-Kinds-of-Fur where incest or domination threaten to devour the fledgling feminine. Claude Lévi-Strauss describes the incest taboo as the beginning of social organization, “a passage from nature to culture, from animal to human life” and goes further to describe the taboo as “a rule obliging the sister or daughter to be given to others. It is the supreme rule of the gift.” Control of marriage or control of eroticism, life-giving energy, is a regulation of social market value.

Fairy tales do not often have narrative arcs that end with sovereignty for they are technologies that carry cultural threats. Cautionary tales tell us of the harm we can expect if we are too curious, too exuberant, too frivolous, too sensuous, too sensitive, too bright. Who does she think she is? Often when the fugitive feminine takes off into the woods the only thing she holds is a lamp, a lantern, a torch. A practical reading of that symbol would point towards the value of discernment and clarity for the feminine who is not strong enough to win any physical fights. A spiritual reading of her lantern gives us a sense of that which cannot be extinguished in her.

This unfinished piece is part of a larger series of text-based works in the matrilineal tradition of handwork.

Emma Sher / @emmma.sher

Emma Sher is an Los Angeles-based ceramic artist with a B.A. from UCLA in World Arts & Cultures, with focuses in ceramics and curatorial studies. Emma teaches ceramics at community studios in LA and at Otis College. She is a recent resident artist of High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, and works with A-B Projects and artist Ben Medansky.

The current objective in my work comes from a curiosity about the meditative process of creating and how that can be translated into a viewer’s experience of an object. My work chases feeling as an end result – when the sun catches a pane of glass at the perfect angle and it takes you out of the dialogue in your head for just a moment. Creating work that emits light, moves with the breeze, and possibly alters the energy in the room has been a framework to materialize these ideas.


Moth Song is an improvised noise performance interpreting and dramatizing the relationship of moths to light, which we see as a symbol of ultimate, even terminal, compulsion, and a study in extreme contrasts: light and dark, stillness and movement, attractor and attracted. These tensions are embodied in a synthesizer and sampler duet employing textured drones and granular processing that pay homage to the gentle hum of an electric lamp and the flittering wings of its attendant moths. We will perform outside of the exhibition space looking in, assuming the roles of moths dancing at the light of the gallery window.

Joe Manfredi
A soulful janitor, former pujari. Current hobbies are walking around at night past my bedtime and listening to music too loud.

Seeking and describing inner experiences and perception through ritual, visual media, dance, and making instruments. Inspired by attempts to touch the eternal inspired ancient textual sources, meditation, collage, and primitive/self made instruments like mouth bow and jaw harp.

Lorien Stern and Dave’s Clubhouse in collaboration / @lorienstern

Lorien Stern is a full time artist living in Inyokern, California, a small town in the Western Mojave Desert. She makes ceramic art and runs a small brand consisting of clothing, home goods, and accessories. Her goal as an artist is to make people feel happy when they see her work with subjects related to nature, celebration, and death. She received her BFA from California College of the Arts in 2013 as an Individualized Major.

This is a collaborative piece by Dave’s Clubhouse and Lorien Stern. Lorien made the tulip design and Dave turned it into one of his classic wall-hanging, wooden lamps.

Marina Weiner / @weensworld_

I am a Los Angeles based artist working in clay. I have an MFA from CSULB and a BA from UC Davis. In 2023 I opened my first solo exhibition, A Direct Line, at Central Server Works, Los Angeles.

Inspired by the language and lives of functional objects, I make ceramic sculptures that allude to tools and devices but that elude legibility or definitive use value. Starting with a ceramic coil, a dimensional line of clay, I use the ceramic medium to draw and build shapes and spaces of varying tenor and complexity, incorporating notches, hooks, and latches as recurrent formal motifs. The resulting objects often resemble inscrutable tools hanging on a garage wall, suggesting possibilities for use and relationships to the human body while remaining abstract. Open-ended and mutable by design, they embody a hybrid functionality, operating at once as artworks and as their own methods of display.

Miles Matis-Uzzo

Miles Matis-Uzzo is a Queens-based artist and superorganism that communicates through sculpture, poetry, video, performance, and installation. With these mediums, they excavate the products of gendered power structures, queer ecology, and the ritualistic distancing of our diminishing ecosystem. Matis-Uzzo has presented work at ICA/Boston, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Anderson, Larrie, and Distillery Gallery among others. They have participated in residencies at Oxbow School of Art, NARS Foundation, and Otis College of Art and Design and were published in Studio Visit Magazine.

When I create art, I consider the state of our ecology and the subversion of binary structures of gender as they pertain to commerce, value, and performed labor. Through collaboration, performance, and sculpture, I address how the body and mind are shaped and mediated by cultural products and embodied knowledge. My process includes research, intuitive practices, and material experimentation. I use visual language as a subversive tool and actively layer salvaged organic and inorganic materials to create bodily forms. The multimedia objects sit in the room like aging relics covered in a gooey film of contemporary desires. The current focus of my work is how we mimic and incorporate natural environments into our diet and life to achieve optimization of self and ego. I challenge these relationships and explore how we use fundamental organic materials, like honey, clay, and plant fibers, alongside ritual practices to achieve self-optimization and self-preservation. Some embodiments of escapism and self-preservation that exist within our gloomy Anthropocene take a form that is both humorous and terrifying. This feeling is incorporated into the work to demonstrate our ritualistic distancing from our diminishing ecosystem.

Rosemary Hall / @rosemaryhhall

Rosemary Hall is an interdisciplinary artist whose evolving projects explore humans’ relationships with nature and culture. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA with a minor in Environmental Horticulture from UC Davis. Her work has recently been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at AB Projects, Tufenkian Gallery, Paris London Hong Kong, Glass Curtain Gallery, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Sound Scene Fest DC Listening Lounge+ Smithsonian, and the Center for Humans and Nature. She is the recipient of awards, residencies, and fellowships which include: Artist Researcher in Residence at Taft Gardens, Ex.Change: Artist and Scientist on Climate in Chicago, Art Science & Culture Initiative Collaboration with the University of Chicago, the Oxbow LeRoy Neiman Fellowship,  and the Maria and Jan Manetti Shrem UC Davis Royal Drawing School Fellowship.

Through metaphor-making and close sensing of the world, my practice focuses attention on moments of intimate entanglement between nature and culture to create portrayals that serve to re-engage a person with the physical and more than human world.

They came inside at night and got trapped by the light.

Illuminated portraits of nine casualties that I found inside lampshades and windowsills.

Steph James

Steph James, Ojai CA. I enjoy making ceramics in my free time along with gardening and running Topa Talk, a local podcast. I enjoy creating with my hands and making things. It feels like the only thing that really makes sense. It’s so fun and satisfying.

Making functional pieces is the cornerstone of my creative process. It starts with taking an everyday object and saying “how could this be made with clay? Would it work well? Look good? And can I build it to last?” Function means everything to me.

Tom Pazderka / @tompazderka

In 2016 I began photographing and collecting ash of local California wildfires. Combining the ash with white oil paint on wood panels that I charred with torches, I painted the ash clouds produced by the fires. Applied in thin layers, the images emerge out of the ashy abyss. Following the fire portraits, I began to paint old family photos, coinciding with my mother’s sudden return to the Czech Republic to care for her aging parents and leaving her husband behind. A quarter of a century of her life in America went up in smoke in a matter of hours. Here in the US, I am thousands of miles and feel several lifetimes away. Building these images in ash became an investigation - into my family, belonging, memory, nostalgia and painting itself.