For novelist Melina Sempill Watts and artist Jeff Sojka, falling in love with a landscape means interconnecting the lives of the plants and animals that make it alive. Watts’ first novel Tree is an exploration of 229 years in the life of a California live oak from the point of view of … the tree. Sojka dove into the book and painted his vision of the tree’s reality, each painting honoring the aliveness and richness of California’s landscapes. This multimedia experiment, with the exhibit being available both on-site and virtually, will offer the audience the opportunity to expand their imagination, stepping into the life of a tree from multiple vantage points. Consider the world from the plants’ perspective: begin going wild.
From childhood in Topanga, California, Melina Sempill Watts interconnected with the outdoors. After UCLA, (B.A., history,) Watts worked in Hollywood for Peter Horton, Ed Zwick, Kathleen Kennedy and Dreamworks before moving into conservation. Published in Sierra Magazine, Earth Island Journal and the New York Times, Tree is her first novel.
Jeff Sojka grew up in the Bay Area, sailing, hiking and painting. Earning an art scholarship after high school, Sojka toured the great museums of Europe, studying and painting. After UCSB, then SDSU, he joined an ad agency, leaving to paint iconic California landscapes that glow with an internal luminosity.
The show starts on Friday, August 26, 2022 and runs through October 2, 2022.
The exhibit is held in tandem with an event series.
Made possible in part by Arts Ventura