Where They Create: Ojai Studio Artists Tour

It's the 30th anniversary for the easy-breezy, behind-the-scenes-y tour.

THE SHOE FITS: Pick up any travel book that includes a section on a town or village or locale that happens to have a reputation for making art. The descriptive words get butterier -- "nestled" and "nook" and "romance" are very often trotted out -- and the pictures have an added glow. But there are only a few art towns that can create that inner butter and glow, rather than having to have it applied at a later date. Ojai is not only one, it is practically a leader in the butter-and-glow field. It creates its own inner light daily -- look to its famous Pink Moment, the time of day when the sky and mountains grow rosy -- and look to its funky denizens, its film scene, the hiking trails, and its robust art community for the butter. Those things just come naturally to the town that sits a pinch north of Ventura, give or take, and always have; John Lennon was drawn to the place, as are a number of actors, screenwriters, and, yep, the great comic master Sergio Aragones. Thus the annual art tour is a solid affair, as it should be; it has now been around for over three decades, and features dozens of local artists.

ARTISTS LIKE... painter Carolyn Fox, jewelry maker Elaine Unzicker, and Martha Moran, who works in stone stacking and sculptural forms. They'll all be inviting visitors into their studios on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13 during the Ojai Studio Artists Tour, a tour that wends all through the valley. That it will be the middle of October, and a fine fall weekend to boot, is a plus. That it is the 30th anniversary of a venerable happening is another. And, as with any fun arts tour, there shall be pluses yet to discover. Want to go on your own? A self-guided tour ticket is twenty bucks, but there are guided options, too.

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