Ojai artist Lorraine Serena explores the peace and power of nature in CSUCI exhibition

CSU Chanel Islands News

Jan. 29, 2018 — An artistic exploration of Mother Nature untouched was nearly consumed by Mother Nature unleashed when the Thomas fire threatened the works of Ojai artist Lorraine Serena.Serena, whose work will appear in an upcoming exhibition at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI), was evacuated from her Ojai home four times as she and CSUCI Art Lecturer Anette Kubitza put together the show.  The studio where Serena works as well as her art pieces were at her home.“Each time Lorraine was evacuated, we didn’t know if the work would survive,” Kubitza said.Titled “Sanctuaries,” the exhibition will run from Feb. 19 to April 7 with a Feb. 22 opening in the John Spoor Broome Gallery. The reception will last from 5 to 7 p.m. with a talk from Serena about her work. Visit the John Spoor Broome Library for library hours.“For me, ‘Sanctuaries’ is about places of peace and solitude and comfort,” Serena said. “Landscapes, churches, temples. I was doing it as a contemplative thing.”Serena’s charcoal drawings are large, about 49 by 60 inches. The shrines are examples of Serena’s collage work.To Kubitza, “Sanctuaries” is a study of the multilayered relationship between human beings and their environment, which can be a source of peace and power.“Nature can evoke feelings of soul-nurturing retreat from social woes, yet recently, those gave way to feelings of awe and powerlessness as riverbeds flooded and fires roared,” Kubitza said.Serena received her bachelor’s and Master of Fine Arts at UC Santa Barbara and lived in Montecito for a time before moving to Ojai, so watching the fire sweep through the two counties she called home was heartbreaking for her.“I just got chills through my whole body at the mention of it,” Serena said. “It’s just horrifying.”Serena hopes “Sanctuaries” reminds guests of the softer side of nature.Serena began her career with …

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