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    CAMARILLO, CAStudio Channel Islands Arts Center (SCIART), a non-profit dedicated to bringing together art, artists and community, is excited to offer emerging artists access to subsidized studio space through support from the Roxie Ray Endowment Fund. A founding member of Studio Channel Islands, Ray was an artist, philanthropist and political activist. She served on the SCIART board, as well as several committees, advancing the artistic ambition and community impact of the organization. She established the Roxie Ray Endowment in 2019 to support Studio Channel Islands in delivering its mission.

    The application period is open through July 24, 2020. Successful applicants will be offered a subsidized studio space for two years. Artists have 24/7 access to their space and opportunities to show work in the Members Gallery as well as to hold special events within the site. Successful applicants will be offered mentorship and access to critique group support.

    As a founding member of SCIART, Ray worked with then president of California State University Channel Islands Handel Evans, to establish a colony of artists on the campus of the emerging University and helped to develop the SCIART galleries that enabled world class art exhibitions to be presented within the Camarillo community. Ray also served on the boards of Focus on the Masters, Camarillo Hospice and the Meadowlark Service League. She received her bachelor’s in clinical psychology and her master’s in social work from Washburn University in conjunction with the University of Kansas. Her professional career began as a psychiatric aide at the Topeka State Hospital working with mentally ill adolescents and middle-aged women. She went on to work for Head Start, a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families.

    It wasn’t until the age of 41 that Ray took her first art class, enrolling in a painting course at Oxnard College taught by James Jarvaise. She went on to Ventura College to continue her studies with a variety of instructors, including artists Richard Phelps, Hiroko Yoshimoto, Ellis Jump, Carlisle Cooper, Mary Michel and Gerd Koch.

    Ray developed an affection for the Hispanic culture through the employees who worked in her father’s building company during her youth. Growing up with these individuals instilled in her a deep respect for their work ethic and joyous family life. Her paintings captured field workers laboring in rising heat and bathers languidly floating, rendered with deep respect and dignity, explaining that she was “tired of field workers being seen as simply part of the landscape.” The paintings are at once realistic depictions of everyday life and socio-political statements. She wanted to convey a keen awareness of the laborious aspects of what it takes to produce food for the community. The viewer is caught in ambiguous situations, observing faceless yet very human figures, anonymous, marginalized and yet essential to daily life.

    “Studio Channel Islands was always meant to be a place of learning and inspiration. Roxie’s vision was an essential part of the very start of Studio Channel Islands, and it is fitting that her support will secure its continued success and growth,” said SCIART Board Member Handel Evans.

    Applications for the 2020 Roxie Ray Endowment Fund are available at For more information, visit or call (805) 383-1368.

    Artist Roxie Ray

    Studio Channel Islands Art Center (SCIART) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to a bringing together artists and community for extraordinary artistic encounters that enrich, educate, and entertain. Located at 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010, SCIART’s campus features two art galleries, 40 artist studios, and an outdoor exhibition and event space. Our ongoing programs include free admission to the art galleries, open studios on the First Saturday of each month, art education classes for children and adults, school tours program and special events and festivals. SCIART believes in the transforming power of the arts and provides health-focused outreach programs including Memory Cafes in the Gallery and Stroke Survivor Art workshops in the community. Gallery hours are Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.­­–5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Ample free parking.

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