View from Ventura beach about 300 meters from studio. Photo courtesy Rhonda Hill.

For those wishing to arrange a visit to Erik ReeL’s studio, please use the contact page on this website to request a studio visit with the requested date or possible dates. We will get back with you to arrange a studio appointment, answer any questions, and get you directions.

The studio is located on the edge of old downtown Ventura, California, about 60 miles north of Hollywood, just off the highway 101 which is the main coastal highway along California’s central coast.  This is about 35 miles south of Santa Barbara; 440 miles south of San Francisco.

Erik lives and works here in Ventura, near the ocean that is a major source of inspiration, in a small town with its old, walkable, downtown still intact, particularly free of distraction.

Old downtown Ventura, or officially San BuenaVentura, is an old, sleepy surf town, now an almost unique destination on the entire West Coast of the Western Hemisphere which still retains its old, walkable, downtown.  One of the best-kept secrets in the Americas. It has a Mediterranean climate with average temperatures ranging between 66 and 69 degrees year-around with little precipitation, but lots of mist and fog. If humans didn’t live here and drain the local rivers for their needs, this part of the coast would be a coastal desert, much like those on the North African coast.  Ventura is noted for the consistency and quality of its surf.

International Flights

For those taking international flights, the nearest international airport is LAX in Los Angeles. From LAX you can take automobile or train north to Ventura.

Private Flights

Private jets can use Santa Barbara Airport to the north or Camarillo airport just south of the studio. Smaller private craft can also use Camarillo airport which is about 2o minutes from the studio via the 101 freeway.

Rail and Road

Old Downtwon Ventura is also accessible via Amtrack and the 101 freeway from both north [Santa Barbara, San Francisco] and south [Los Angeles].

Front Street Studio

Front Street studio side door, photo courtesy Skye Bennike

The studio is located in the Front Street zone, a short street on a ridge above the downtown Ventura beach with a concentration of small clothing businesses, design studios, artist studios, woodworkers, cafes, salons, and surfing supply businesses.

Eating When Visiting the Studio

There are several places to eat near the studio. For breakfast or lunch there is the Cafe Nouveau, a Barcelona/Ventura fusion cafe; the Traveler Cafe in the same complex as the studio; and  an authentic Mexican restaurant two blocks down the street. For dinner there is one of Ventura’s best restaurants, Zak’s, featuring French and continental cuisine.  All featuring reasonable prices and within walking distance of the studio.


As Old Downtown Ventura is still a bit under-developed, it does not yet have a top-flight hotel in town. On option for those who want to stay awhile when visiting the studio there is the:

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa

The Ojai Valley Inn is located inland in the mountains on the edge of the small town of Ojai about 20 minutes away on convenient route 33 . The Inn features some of the best dining in the region, a golf course, and a full spa.   It is a short drive from downtown Ojai, where the Porch Gallery is located, which represents Erik ReeL’s art locally and always has samples of his work for viewing upon request.   The 33 runs directly into old downtown Ventura and is a convenient drive to the studio and the beaches.  If you really want a relaxing getaway while you visit the studio, this is an option.

International Contemporary Music Festival

Ojai also has its own international music festival for New and Contemporary Music.   Rhonda and Erik like to listen to World and 20th | 21st century music and ReeL has often discussed his art in terms of the music of Lutoslawski, Glass, Hovhaness, Vasks, Ince, Ayer,  jazz and other improvisational traditions.  So if you really desire an in-depth cultural experience that relates to Erik ReeL’s art, come to the festival, visit the studio while you are here.

For schedule and more information on the music festival visit its site here.