Ventura is a town on the coast of California about sixty miles north of Los Angeles and thirty miles south of Santa Barbara. It remained an isolated place until 1959 when the 101 freeway extended over the Conejo Grade to connect it with LA. Before that, people would have to come by train or be adventurous and use the Rincon Sea Level Road, which connected the coastline from Santa Barbara. They say Ventura got its name from the railroad. The official name, San Buenaventura, just wouldn’t fit on a ticket.
When I moved here 3 years ago, I began documenting the strong sense of individuality I saw in Ventura’s independent businesses and their owners, a beautiful but somber mood that comes from overcast skies in the summer, amazing old cars, trains whose whistles I can tell the time by when I’m surfing, and a sense of time moving a bit more slowly.
A big thank you to all the business owners and other individuals who allowed me to include them in this project.
The 30 pieces in this series were shown at Ventura College in January 2015.