Welcome to Ojai’s Virtual Public Art Tours
Both residents and visitors alike are surprised when they discover that the little City of Ojai has well over 40 works of Public Art on display within its less than five square miles! In 2013, the City enacted a Public Art Ordinance that requires qualifying private and public development to contribute what is sometimes called 2% for the Arts. This gave birth to Ojai’s Public Art Program. While many artworks featured in the tours were installed before the Public Art Program was in place, many others—from a whimsical interpretation of an eagle by Ojai artist, Sylvia Raz, (Early Bird Shopper) to the conversation-starter artwork (Fortune Cookies) by notable public artist, Jeff Sanders—are a direct the result of the program. We love that we can share this unique feature of Ojai’s art bounty with you. We created four tours featuring public artworks found within Ojai City limits; the Downtown Tour, Along the Way, the East City Tour, and the West City Tour. A short overview of each tour is given below. Links to the tours follow.
THE DOWNTOWN TOUR: The Downtown Public Art Tour will take you on a roughly hour-and-a-half walk through the Ojai Business District starting at Cluff Vista Park and ending across the street from the Arcade Plaza on Matilija Street. You can easily follow the path of this tour right here on our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can pick up an easy to use brochure at the Ojai Visitor’s Center, the Library, the Museum, the Ojai Center for the Arts, and at many Ojai shops and restaurants. We also offer Decent Led Tours. In addition to the Downtown Tour, three other tours can be found here.
ALONG THE WAY: Along the Way features artworks in close proximity to the Downtown Tour. If you include these “along the way” on your Downtown Tour, expect that the total time of the tour will increase accordingly, and may require some driving.
THE EAST CITY TOUR: This is a driving tour that starts at the Ojai Skate Park, winds around Bryant Circle and over to the Weil Tennis Academy, heads up to Montgomery, and ends at the Ojai Center for the Arts.
THE WEST CITY TOUR: The West City Tour starts at Rotary Community Park (at the “Y”) and ends at the Ojai Valley Inn, where an abundance of public art can be found throughout the grounds.
DOCENT LED TOURS: Docent led tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays on an as available basis beginning the last weekend of October through June 30. Tours begin at 9:00 am and end at approximately 10:30 am. Cost is $10.00 per person. Proceeds support the Public Art Program of Ojai. To schedule a Docent Led Tour, call City Administrative Assistant, Luis Gomez, 72 hours in advance (805-646-5581, ext. 103), Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
BROCHURE QR CODES: If you have picked up a copy of the Public Art Downtown Tour brochure, inside you will find three QR Codes (Quick Response Codes). You can access these tours from your cell phone by pointing your camera at the QR Square. Your phone will open to the specific tour!
Ready to select your first tour?
The Arts Commission wants to thank and acknowledge the following people who worked to make the Public Art Tour brochure a reality:
-First and foremost, Elyse DePudyt, for permission to us to capitalize on the well-researched information she provides in her fabulous little book, Fountains and Sculptures of Ojai.
-Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend and Roger Conrad for the high-quality photos used here and throughout the Downtown Tour Brochure.
-Brochure art and map design: Colleen McDougal.
-Brochure printing design and layout artist: Carlos Grasso.
-Members of the Public Art Brochure Ad Hoc: Connie Campbell, Jackie Clark, Christine Golden, Dale Hanson, and Sami Zahringer.
-Website/Publicity: Andy Gilman, Sami Zahringer, and Jamie Fleming.
-City Staff Liaison: Luis Gomez