Postcard: Art Sunday in 1970’s Ojai

Art Sunday Parking Lot Display. In 1964 a group of local artists called The Ojai Artists began displaying and selling their paintings every Sunday on the back lawn of the Oaks Hotel. The called it “The Art Sunday Show”.  It soon outgrew its original location and moved to the parking lot of the Security First National Bank (now the Bank of America). On any given Sunday, 12-15 artists would display their work. Among them were such established local artists as Doris Gilbert, Lois Powers, Harry Lauter, and David Borgen.

The above is an excerpt from”Ojai: A Postcard History”, by Richard Hoye, Tom Moore, Craig Walker, and available at Ojai Valley Museum or at


27 Replies to “Postcard: Art Sunday in 1970’s Ojai”

  1. I added some new information to this post. I recently learned that “The Art Sunday Show” started in 1964 on the lawn of the Oaks Hotel. It later moved to the bank parking lot. The owner of the Oaks Hotel at the time was a Santa Barbara man named Vernon Johnson. He tried to make the Oaks a cultural center as well as a hotel. He promoted Ojai’s first Jazz Festival, also in 1964.

  2. I have a painting by Doris Gilbert that I bought in a La Jolla, CA gallery in the 1970s. I’d like to know more about her. Any thoughts?

  3. I also have a painting (a seascape) by Doris Gilbert and am wondering the same thing. I am not sure it is the same Doris Gilbert though. Any answers?

  4. Hi
    I am the Doris Gilbert that specializes in oil Seascapes. In La Jolla, they were at the Jones Gallery. I now live in Tennessee to be near my son. Quite a switch, after being born and raised in California, near the ocean. I was married to Harry Lauter, an actor and artist , and lived in Ojai until his death. My work is signed Doris Gilbert throughout the world, but I am…..
    Doris Lauter

  5. The oak trees in the background on the postcard is the lot where Bayless Market (now Starr Market) was built. This lot was located between S. Blanche and S. Ventura streets and was fronted by Ojai Avenue. When I was a boy (1950’s to 1960’s) the circus’s and carnivals would come to town and set up on this lot. The good ol’ days!

  6. Doris Gilbert: I have a seascape oil with your name signed to it. My husband and I found it while cleaning a storage room for a friend and were allowed to keep it. I would like to send a picture to you so that you might be able to identify it as your work. Thanks!

  7. To Dedra….
    I am sure that the painting you have is mine. I specialized in seascapes, starting in the 60’s . If you want to email a photo to me, I can identify it .
    Doris Gilbert Lauter

  8. Hello Ms. Lauter.

    I have a painting with your name. It is a seashore with the surf rolling in, scene is surrounded by fog. It is in shades of green. Would you have any info on the pic, maybe I could email a picture to you and you might have some info on the picture. Just interested in the history of the picture. Thanks in advance.

  9. Hi Ms. Lauter. I live up in Nova Scotia Canada and a few months ago I came into possession of a Harry Lauter painting. I’ve tried to find more information on this painting but everything I try brings me to the same place. I was hoping you could shed some light on this for me. the painting is 24 in.W x 36in. H., it is canvas stretched over a wood frame. On the back it says ” Mt. Moran and Lake Jenny, Grand Tetons, Jackson Wyoming 3/15/74. Below it says ” I certify that this painting of the Grand Tetons ( 24 x 36 ) is a true and original painting by myself. Then his signature. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  10. Mrs. Lauter,

    My husband’s mother recently passed and we found, in storage, an original oil painting. It is a beautiful winter landscape and is signed “LAUTER” all caps. Could this be your late husbands work? There are trees in the background and a three wire fence with one post on snowy ground in the forefront. As I said, it is beautiful.

  11. Mrs. Doris Gilbert Lauter,
    I have a painting of yours that I bought in the mid-70’s when I lived in the Washington, DC area. It is in shades of pale blue. I bought it because I fell in love with the romantic feel of the painting – it seemed to me to be a fairy castle there in the mist off the coast. This is the first time I’ve found anything about you. Thank you for your artistry.


  12. Dear Doris Gilbert Lauter, I am happy to find something about you.
    I bought your painting in Carpinteria. It is not a seascape but a landscape painting of a meadow or from a distance in our room — it looks like water or a dirt road with a path along side going through two trees. There is a fence on the left side of the picture….it looks like it could early fall or early spring. We have your painting hanging over my desk in our living room in Scottsdale. It is very peaceful and relaxing to view. Would like information about the painting. It is from Ojai? Roberta

  13. Hi to Jann Stiven, Dedra, and Lee Manley. If your seascape painting is signed Doris Gilbert, then it is mine. I specialize in Seascapes. The Jones Gallery in La Jolla handled my work. I was raised in La Jolla and the ocean surrounding La Jolla gave me the inspiration for my paintings, as well as the coastline in Northern California and Oregon. Most of my paintings were misty ocean scenes.
    For Carl Gird and Kathy,….Yes, the Teton paintings were Harrys work, and he did sign LAUTER in caps. Harry specialized in the Tetons, lakes and trees.
    Doris Gilbert Lauter

  14. I have one of your seascapes bought in san diego in the late 70’s, or maybe 80’s. I have so enjoyed it’s joy and serenity…many thanks to YOu. we lived in rye, N.Y. for 50 years, and have just moved to yarmouth maine, where the waves are crashing again. janice pierce

  15. I just purchased a seascape piece by Mrs. Doris Gilbert at a garage sale 2 weeks ago in Mission Viejo, CA. Love it. A very calming piece. so gklad to have foud this thread. Thank you.

  16. Hello all, I just purchased a Seascape by Doris Gilbert 2 weeks ago in Orange County, CA. Very beautiful indeed. Nice to have found this thread.

  17. Hello Doris:

    Glad to know that you moved. Miss seeing you. I’m Jewette Sawyer’s daughter.

    Susan Roland

  18. I’m hoping to find some information about Lois Powers. I found a beautiful watercolor of a wishing well signed Lois Powers behind another picture my mom had when she passed away. I know the other picture was at least 35 years old but curious about the watercolor and artist since much nicer. Not even sure if same artist mentioned in this artical since we lived in Massachusetts but thought I’d give this a shot. Appreciate any info 🙂

  19. Lois Powers had been in town, but I haven’t seen her recently. Used to see her at Vons all the time.

  20. Hi to all. Susan, glad to hear from you. I am happy that so many of you still appreciate my art. The landscape paintings were done by my husband, Harry.
    As for Lois Powers, she moved to Chicago in 2011 and passed away several months ago in 2013.
    Doris Gilbert Lauter

  21. Hello Everyone,

    Doris Gilbert now has her very own website: You can also find her on Facebook.

    We are looking for high resolution photographs of her past work to post. If you have any that you would like to contribute, please use the Contact page at the above website address. Thanks!

  22. Hi to Susan Roland,

    I have one of your Mother’s lovely paintings and enjoy it very much. I purchased it at the Ojai Sunday Art Show. I was sorry to hear of her passing. Are you in Ojai? Do you paint?

  23. To Susan Roland,
    I recently bought a painting by an artist Jewette Williams Sawyer. Is that your mother? It is an adorable Christmas folk scene. I would love to know if it is her work.
    Barbara Milazzo

  24. I recently bought a beautiful white porcelain vase Doris Gilbert created from an estate sale in Minocqua Wi. I would love to have more information on it such as the name, dated you created it and value. It is a very fine porcelain piece which reminds me of a ocean shell, full of texture and very fragile. I will cherish forever! Thank you, Carol Klamert

  25. I just found a watercolor signed by Lois Powers of a Red Bird sitting on an old hand pump. Does anyone know the age of this picture and how much it may be worth. I can only find one picture she has done online and unable to locate this one at all. Appreciate any assistance you may be. Thanks so much in advance.

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