Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts Ojai Event
By Robert Bernstein
Beatrice Wood was a well known Ojai artist and notable character. She was partial inspiration for the character Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron's 1997 film "Titanic". Cameron hand delivered a VHS copy of the film to her in Ojai on her 105th birthday! She died just nine days later on 12 March 1998.
Beatrice Wood, also known as "Beato", was involved in the Avant Garde art movement and hung out with artists Marcel Duchamp and his friend Henri-Pierre Roché. As artists and in a love triangle. An artist friend had told me in the 1990s that she liked young men and I should go out and visit her. Sorry that I passed up the chance to meet her!
On November 7 the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts hosted its annual "BeatoFest" and went to check it out. Here are my photos.
The Center is beautifully landscaped with low water use plants:Here is the view from the front entrance area:The Center is a museum and an active workshop with regular classes in creating art. The building itself is a work of art. This group posed with the inlaid tile work of the back of the building.Maryann Cord gave us a tour of the workshop. Filled with a variety of materials for painting and sculpting.
And a bust of Beatrice Wood herself.The current featured exhibit is "BeatoWare" of Wood's many outfits from around the world. She made a point of wearing saris from India. We watched a video of her in her ever-changing outfits.Out in back were artists selling and creating art. This woman was spinning dyed wool into yarn.One of the attractions of the Center is Wood's collection of art books. By chance I met up with an old friend Anita who lives in Ojai. Here Anita posed with me in the Library.
Wood also hung out with other illustrious Ojai characters. Notably, Krishnamurti and Annie Besant. Here was an exhibit of some of these connections.
The Center is filled with Wood's often whimsical art. I noticed that when writing was involved she often misspelled words! Note how "bureaucracy" is (mis)spelled here.
Wood also collected folk art from around the world, such as these pieces.
The little festival also included live music, of course!
Merlie and I enjoyed the late afternoon drive back with spectacular views of the Ojai Valley. Here we stopped to pose for a photo.
We stopped in Ojai to eat and to have excellent gelato at Ojai Ice Cream. It was dark as we headed back on Highway 150 and we were treated to this beautiful cosmic conjugation.
For more information about the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts and upcoming classes and events, you can go to their web site: https://www.beatricewood.com/