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NEIGHBORS : Turning Point Art : Foundation clients are painting a mural on Ventura's Livery building depicting literary, performing and visual arts.


Last week we told you about the "Voices" exhibit at Art City II. It combines drawings by artist Kim Loucks with vocal recordings of clients at Ventura's Turning Point Foundation.

Well, now it's time for the folks at Turning Point to do some visual work of their own.

Six clients from the foundation, which serves adults with mental disabilities, are painting a mural on the outside of the Livery building on Ventura's Palm Street. They're being assisted by local artists MB Hanrahan and Michele Chapin.

The 1,800-square-foot mural, titled "The Arts Are in Reach of All," will include images of the literary, performing and visual art worlds. "There's dancers, some painters, sculptors, there's an audience," said Betsy Sweeney of Turning Point. "All those three arts are happening at the Livery."

An unveiling is scheduled for Sept. 11.


Notes from the County Fair:

* The real competition of the carnival games is not trying to knock down milk bottles with softballs. The true action goes on inside the game booths, where operators--even those sharing a booth--compete for customers.

* Narcissa Dakin of the Bank-A-Ball game said she has an advantage over the male operators. "The dudes have to compete for attention, I don't have to," she said. "If you're good looking and have a nice voice . . . " Of course, even with that edge, Dakin shouts for customers. How does she deal with the sore throat potential? "Mouth spray," she said. "Just like the opera singers."

* We checked out the Star Darts booth, where customers throw darts to win celebrity pictures. The most popular personalities: The Grateful Dead, Wayne and Garth (of "Wayne's World") and Garth (not of Wayne's World) Brooks.

* Food. There's plenty at the fair. We couldn't resist visiting the Texas Donuts stand. Of course, they're called Texas Donuts because they're larger than the standard version. We inquired as to how much larger, but the vendors couldn't give us the diameter. They did guess, however, that it was four times the normal size.

* There's a lot of activity in the Commercial Building, where salespeople hawk their items--ranging from fudge to water beds. The Absorb 'N' Dry sponge caught our eye. And next to that was the Siroflex water-saving faucet system exhibit with the demonstration toilet bearing the sign: "Flush Me."

* How do you distinguish a quality potbelly pig from the runts? Pig raiser Kathy Morrell of Quartz Hill, Calif., had some advice: "Look for a potbelly, short ears, a short face," she said, "an attractive-looking face." Morrell wasn't taking any chances. She strapped some bow ties on a couple of her pigs to attract potential buyers.


Have you always wanted to be spontaneous but never quite had the time to prepare yourself?

Here's your chance. The Learning Tree University, which has a campus in Thousand Oaks, has come out with its fall schedule of classes. One course we found particularly interesting is called "Karaoke! A Performance Workshop."

The one-day, three-hour, $39 training session will be led by a professional vocalist who will teach students the basics of singing, how to listen for musical cues, and techniques for "controlling nerves and enhancing the entertainment value" of the performance. The class is listed under the "Performing Arts" category.


Another Learning Tree course that's kind of hard to pass up is "Bar-B-Q'ing For Year Round Enjoyment." You'll find it in the "Culinary Arts" section of the new schedule. (In fact, it's the only culinary arts class being offered at the Thousand Oaks facility.)

Barbecue training will be led by Jim Lyons, the captain of "Capt. Barbeque's Catering," based in Camarillo. It's broken into two sessions--a lecture and discussion on campus, and a "lab" at the captain's home.

For those thinking of signing up, beware: There will be a class final.

"We eat and we just party," said Lyons. "That is the final exam. That's where they get their M.B.Q. (Master of Bar-B-Que). When I finish with them they can cook better than anybody that has a restaurant in this area. I'm not lying."

Note: Lyons expects to open a new restaurant on South Seaward Avenue in Ventura in early September. It will be called the Seaward Bar-B-Que Galley.

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