Ventura Inspiration Guide 2018 - 61


It is the most fetching of combinations. At the Rubicon, you
sit in a cozy 185-seat theatre, never more than ten rows from
the stage, so that you can almost reach out and touch the likes
of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and daughter Stephanie (the only time
they appeared together on stage), Jack Lemmon (who gave
his final stage performance at the Rubicon), and Davis Gaines
(the longest-running Phantom), or maybe see the opening of a
world premiere (the Rubicon does its share of cutting-edge work,
too). At H Gallery you can sit closer still to some of art's most
talented envelope pushers, listening as they explain the motivation
and the meaning behind their art. It's a bit like talking face to
face with Picasso. And here's what may be the best part: Both
establishments are wholly without airs. Enter small-town hospitality.
"It's important that people viewing art are comfortable," says H
Gallery co-founder and curator Yessica Torres. "An unpretentious
atmosphere creates an environment where visitors can really
explore the work on display. We want you to ask questions and
better understand the art without an indignant authority looming
over your visit."

Having eschewed the snooty, H Gallery makes the learning
experience even more intimate. The gallery itself - with its high,
vaulted ceiling and sunshine slanting through skylights - is a
tidy, minimalist place, the exhibits displayed on plain white walls
and unadorned tables. Not so the 16 working artist's studios that
ring the gallery, and the smaller display of art upstairs. Here are
the cubicles of working artists, and you are quite welcome to
poke your head in. It is great fun, and inspiring, to see the chaos
of creation: jumbles of brushes in jars, scrap metal arranged
purposefully on a plywood table, hot plates and kettles waiting to
fuel another all-nighter. The studios, they hum. It's what Torres calls
"the constant evolution of ideas and revolutionary applications."
At both the Rubicon and H Gallery, the air of collaboration is
palpable. Here you have people who care deeply about the art,
and the artists who make the alchemy happen.
Emmy-award winning actor Joe Spano came to the Rubicon
for a reading (it doesn't hurt to have Los Angeles just to the
south), and that was that.
"I was entranced with the theatre, its leaders, and its ethos,"


Since 1913, The Museum of Ventura County
continues to celebrate the history and culture
of the area and the Channel Islands. More than
30,000 pieces of fine art and artifacts tell the region's story. Don't miss the 200 historical figures
by local artist and historian George Stuart, plus
the interactive Chumash Gallery.


Opposite page: Catch a musical at the intimate Rubicon Theatre.
This page: The minimalist feel of H Gallery puts the full focus on the art.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ventura Inspiration Guide 2018