ACCV Board

2013-14 Arts Council Board Members

Pat Johnson, President

Pat is a life long supporter of the arts. She is a 20-year member of the Village Voices Chorale and served 4 years as its President. She initiated the inclusion of elementary chorales in the Voices’ concerts and developed a financial grant program for elementary school choral programs in the Conejo Valley.

She currently is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Civic Arts Plaza and serves on the ad-hoc marketing committee.

Geri Schonberg, Vice President

In the real world and the universe of my imagination, I see colors and shapes, nature’s splendors and shadows, order and chaos. In essence, I am a colorist. When I begin to paint, my color selection often dictates the direction my work will follow: The abstract paintings are a process of finding harmony from free-spirited and sometimes chaotic beginnings; in the realistic compositions, I try to impart my impression and interpretation of the subject matter, using strong contrasts and an arbitrarily chosen palette. I believe that my art reflects the passion with which I approach it

Dorothy Hage, Corresponding Secretary

Melanie Roschko, Recording Secretary

I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, though my life led me in other directions until eight years ago when I started to paint again. I studied fine art and then landscape architecture at UCLA. I was born in Los Angeles and lived in southern California until 1990. I then moved to Colorado where I taught skiing and had a landscape design and construction business.

Living in the Colorado mountains for more than 20 years was a profound influence and brought me back to painting. The colors, textures, shapes, movement, and atmosphere of the rugged landscape are all part of my paintings.

Although I now live in California most of the year, my work responds to my memory of the Rockies and the sounds of its music festivals.   Music inspires the rhythmic and flowing movements within my work. The layered interaction of pigment, textures, and lines creates a depth of color reminiscent of mountain ranges.

Since moving to Westlake Village, I have become involved with ACCV, Women Painters West, TOAA, and WVAG.

John Pillsbury, Treasurer

By Committee, Director Of Finance

Margaret Travers, Director Of Publications

Margaret and her husband have lived in the Conejo for 25 years. She has served on the ACCV board since 1993.

Though a trained visual artist, Margaret, who is Executive Director of the Ventura County Arts Council, finds great satisfaction in the role of arts administrator.

To quote Irving Stone, “Art’s a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Man’s spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food…”

Kitty Dill, Director Of Public Relations & Marketing

Kitty Dill finds art everywhere, including in building relationships by phone or in person, via videos, in print and online. The award-winning Journalist, Editor and Author is an experienced Public Information Specialist for cities and special districts; Marketing Manager for businesses; PR Specialist for companies public, private and nonprofit; Teacher and Administrator.

In addition to savoring arts from performing to literary, her sustained volunteer service has netted recognition such as the inaugural Spirit of Networking Award from the Ventura County Professional Women’s Network, which she co-founded; and an Excellence in the Arts Award from the City of Thousand Oaks’ Arts Commission.

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from CSUN.

Janet Amiri, Galleria Co-Curator

Janet Amiri moved with her young family from Boston to Thousand Oaks in 1990 and has been involved with the visual arts in the Conejo since 1992. Award winning bronze sculptor, Janet has taught sculpting to adults at the Conejo Valley Adult School and the Hillcrest Center for the Arts. She continues to teach clay sculpting summer classes at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center.  She also offers semi-private studio classes to both teens and adults. Since 2003 Janet has been an active member of the Thousand Oaks Art Association, having served on the board as Annual Juried Art show co-chair and workshop coordinator for sculpting seminars in the Thousand Oaks Community Art Gallery.  She also served as President for The Westlake Village Art Guild.

In 2004, Janet co-owned and operated Gallery At The Landing with seven women, including ACCV board members Theodora Ilowitz and Juliette Chayet Cole.  In 2012 Janet’s bronze football player “Third and Goal” was exhibited at the National Art Museum of Sport during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis. This past year, her bronze torso “Aphrodite” was awarded a blue ribbon in the Thousand Oaks Art Association ‘s Membership show.  Janet has served on the ACCV board as co-curator for The Galleria since 2006.  This past year she and her husband John sold their Lynn Ranch family home of 17 years, and moved into a 4-level townhome on the lake in Westlake Village.  Lots of lifestyle changes have occurred recently, including adding a part time job at the Westlake Village Inn Tennis Club to the list, but Janet still makes time to sculpt.  She loves the feelings working in clay evoke — of living in the moment, connecting to earth’s elements and reflecting on the limitless possibilities of the creative process.  Her attitude towards art was best said by Auguste Rodin “The main thing is to be moved, to hope, to tremble, to live.” And she also agrees with Twyla Tharp who stated, “Art is the only way to run away without ever leaving home.”

Annee Hahn, Historian

Juliette Chayet Cole, Director Of Hospitality

Theodora Ilowitz, Member-At-Large


Theodora Ilowitz’s piece recently on display at the Galleria at the Hillrest Center for the Arts

Connie Tunick, Member-At-Large

Prolific mixed media print maker and Galleria co-curator, Connie’s work ranges from posters to prints, combining painting with print making. Her many commissions include the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

In addition to her work as an artist, Connie is a member of Women Painters of the West.

This creative and commercial artist has been featured in publications including CSQ magazine; has works at Cost Plus and Target; aboard Princess cruises; and at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village.

L. Carl Volpe, Member at Large and Galleria Coordinator

Elaine Williams, Member at Large

A California native, Elaine has been resident of the Conejo Valley since 1966. Introduced to the arts at age 9 in Idyllwild, CA, Elaine spent summers 1951 through 1959 at the Idyllwild Arts Festival. At the Arts Foundation, music, theatre arts, visual arts, literary arts, and dance were available and accessible –  formative experiences making her a lifelong devotee to the arts for everyone.

Volunteering at her children’s school, Elaine brought experience and enthusiasm from her own childhood to arts projects, working with teachers. The arts’ calming, engaging, and even restorative effect were demonstrated repeatedly, in the classroom.

From 2004 through 2008, Elaine and husband Richard Wiliams chaired the annual Thousand Oaks Arts Festival each September in the Civic Arts Plaza park.

Recently, Elaine wrote about the history of the people who have lived in the Conejo Valley, “Our Towns On The Conejo,” a play to be presented this summer at the Stagecoach Inn Museum, Newbury Park.