All photos courtesy of the Museum of Ventura County
The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum was closed for a good chunk of the fall, while it prepared a new exhibit. The institution reopened on Saturday, Oct. 21, unveiling Ventura County, The Place We Call Home — a collection of photographs, installations and interactive displays that capture the diversity of the county. Historical and contemporary images both, curated from the museum’s own archives as well as those of local historical societies, highlighted, in the words of the museum’s website, “a tapestry of shared experiences and individual stories while exploring the meaning of ‘home’ through the lens of our diverse communities.”
Artists whose work is featured in the exhibit include Jorge Corralejo, MB Hanrahan, Cris Mejia, George Sandoval and Amadeo Sumano. There are also innovative and interactive works, such as a towering digital display created by Oliver Kirsch, an automated motorized yarn wheel by Porfirio Gutierrez and a piece by Trinh Mai that allows guests to contribute their portraits to a community mural. Another interactive display gives people the ability to mark their city and the length of time that they’ve lived in Ventura County.
The Oct. 21 event was more than just an opening reception, however. The Ag Museum hosted a very special Mountains to the Sea Jubilee and Music Festival to celebrate the community and its long, rich history. A sell-out crowd of some 3,500 guests enjoyed a Family Fair with activities, a pumpkin patch and historical walking tours of Downtown Santa Paula. The Ventura County Fire Department, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, and other emergency responders presented a showcase of emergency vehicles.
In the evening, festivities moved to nearby Veterans Park for live music by headliner Big Bad Voodoo Daddy accompanied by Rey Fresco and other local bands.
“Our goal was to create a day of celebration and joy, and the thousands of people who were there really lived up to that,” said Elena Brokaw, the Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director. “This was our gift to the community, and it took a village to pull this celebration together and we are grateful for our many collaborators, volunteers, vendors, and sponsors.”
Ventura County, The Place We Call Home will remain on display through October 2024 at the Agriculture Museum. In addition, it will be on view at Oxnard College (Condor Hall) on Nov. 27 and the Rancho Simi Activity Center on Dec. 9.