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Working Artists in Ventura

Friday evening we had the opportunity to explore the WAV project in Ventura, California,  as part of the First Fridays celebration of the arts held in the community each month.  The WAV, which stands for Working Artists in Ventura, is a fifty-nine million dollar project which just opened in December of 2009.  Located in the heart of Ventura’s cultural district, he space provides affordable housing available for over 100 artists of every kind. There is also high income housing incorporated into the design, though not open yet, there is also space included for commercial business related to the arts. The building is LEED certified as a green project using environmentally friendly recycled building materials, energy from the sun, and water and energy conservation.

Touring the project, we met painters, ceramicists, print makers, musicians, and jewelry makers.  Many of the artists had their studio/homes open for the public to visit.  On the ground floor, many of the studios had roll-up garage type door, opening their spaces wide to the outside, and all the other units had tall, wide sliding glass doors. Located only blocks from the beach, and with year round lovely weather, this provides the perfect design for the open, artistic community being developed.

Talking to the artists, the overwhelming sentiment was gratitude.  The spaces with high ceilings, concrete floors and modern, small kitchens are a blessing to those who frequently struggle to live by means of their art and have need a space to be creative.

The WAV project is a great model for other communities.  The creative energy there brings culture and beauty to the visitors and residents of the community while providing support to such an essential element of our society.

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7 Responses to “Working Artists in Ventura”

  • This is a true blessing to the artists living in Ventura County. These living spaces are absolutely beautiful, and I am sure that artists now living there truly appreciate the opportunity to be recognized and given a space-filled place to live. The building themselves are artistic and beautiful, and I am sure this helps spark the “artistic soul” in each artist every morning when they wake up and see their surroundings. I wish I was an artist!

  • Virginia Loza:

    Wow, the housing looks amazing. What a great project for the artists. This is also a great opportunity for them to met other artist and possibly combine their works.

  • Steven whaley:

    This is such a great project. The architecture is most definitely conducive to creativity. Helping low-income artists acquire living spaces that will help spark creativity, will be a great asset to both the artist and the community. The artist, because it will aid them in living comfortable lives that they can make creations that will further their careers, and it benefits the community because it places buildings with such beautiful architecture in the community.

  • nancy navarrete:

    This is such a great project! The architecture is beautiful, and the best thing about it is that materials used for this project are environmentally friendly.

  • Monica Heredia:

    I am impressed about art it is amazing how people have talent to make something out of the ordinary. The building looks really nice it makes me want to move there especially because of the location. It is nice that the artist get to live together and be able to relate to each other. The WAV project is interesting especially knowing that the material that was use is environmental friendly. Great project!

  • Ishia Williams:

    All I can say is “WOW”. The art is awesome. This is a great opportunity for local artists to show their work and receive appreciation.

  • Ishia Williams:

    Great work!

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