ArtWalk Ventura announces Michele Chapin as 2015 Artist of Distinction

ArtWalk Ventura, an annual two-day tradition of Ventura’s thriving arts community, which returns for its 22nd year the weekend of July 18-19, has announced renowned sculptor and artist, Michele Chapin, as this year’s Artist of Distinction.

Chapin is a working California artist and outspoken arts advocate of more than 30 years. She works as a community arts activist, teacher and stone sculptor creating public and private commissions at Stoneworks Studio on “The Avenue” in the heart of Ventura’s Westside Cultural District.

In 1989, she founded Stoneworks Studios where she sculpts and teaches, and frequently showcases hundreds of established and up-and-coming artists and musicians.
Over the past six years, Chapin’s commitment to helping the community through art includes teaching stone sculpture to Brighton Academy’s youth-at-risk, and has worked as Artist in the Classroom with youth-at-risk at the California Youth Authority and Colston Youth Facility, as well as clients from the Turning Point Foundation. In addition, she hosts carving field trips and workshops for various schools and art centers across Ventura County, and regularly offers her sculptures at fundraising auctions for local nonprofits and museums. In 2009, she received the City of Ventura Mayors Art Star Award, and in 2011 the Ventura County Arts Council Salvador Bravo Award for her art and community achievements.
“It’s truly an honor to be named ArtWalk’s Artist of Distinction,” said Chapin. “I’m an avid supporter of ArtWalk, and never imagined how much Stoneworks Studio would evolve the way it has over the past 25 years. The mission, ongoing activities, and history of this studio serves to provide a platform for artists, musicians and members of the community to share what they value and create as their careers have evolved both locally and worldwide.”

This is the fifth consecutive year ArtWalk Ventura’s panel of volunteer organizers has selected an Artist of Distinction Award. The honor recognizes an established individual artist for artistic excellence, leadership and commitment to service to Ventura’s thriving art community.

“Michele is a true pioneer, whose diverse contributions and long commitment to Ventura’s arts community goes far beyond her sizable artistic talents,” said Kevin Clerici, a co-chair of the all-volunteer ArtWalk Steering Committee. “She’s a doer. She’s fearless. Michele has a big personality, which is only outweighed by the size of her heart and her willingness to help others.”

Michele Chapin at Stoneworks Studio. Photo credit John T. Rose

Michele Chapin at Stoneworks Studio. Photo credit John T. Rose

artwalkAbout ArtWalk Ventura
ArtWalk Ventura is a free, self-guided tour of dozens of galleries, studios and pop-up venues in Ventura’s historic Downtown and Westside Cultural District that features the work of the finest regional artists, drawing cultural tourists from all over. The event is now run by an all-volunteer group which has added new life to the event. For more information about ArtWalk Ventura, visit, or email ArtWalk Ventura event organizer and owner of Vita Art Center Mary Perez at [email protected]. Find us on Facebook at

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