The Ventura Gem & Lapidary Arts Show
The 55th Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Lapidary Arts Show of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society (VGMS) takes place March 4-5, 2017, at the Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 AM – 5 PM, Saturday; 10 AM – 4 PM, Sunday). The show is open to the public, and admission is free. (Note though, that the Fairgrounds charges a $5.00 parking fee if using the Fairgrounds parking lot.)
With a focus on kids and education, lapidary arts and jewelry-making, and California rocks and fossils, the Ventura Gem & Lapidary Arts Show has been a fun family event for 55 years. During our pre-show dinner on Friday, March 3, we will present a $1,000 Scholarship Award to geology student Anna Hilliard of Santa Barbara City College. The next day on entering the show, kids will be given a free polished stone at our Welcome Booth, where we’ll have free rock samples and educational packets for teachers with teacher ID cards. At the Kids Booth, children will enjoy a “Spinning Wheel” with rock prizes, grab bags of rocks, and activities offering an assortment of prizes. Overlooking the Kids Booth will be a fierce dinosaur skull cast, along with information about the society’s two-room museum in Ojai, where teachers, home-schoolers, and Scouts can arrange tours by appointment.
This free show will feature 60 displays of gems, minerals, fossils, and award-winning handcrafted jewelry. Among these will be educational exhibits of fossils collected locally in and around Ventura County, as well as a display of our State Rock, Mineral, Fossil, and Gemstone (which includes a gold nugget and the Ice Age saber-tooth cat). Still other displays will show how stones collected locally have been crafted into jewelry. Demonstrations throughout the show will give visitors up-close looks at lapidary artists pursuing their skills in-person, including gemstone cutting and polishing, silver work and jewelry making, beading, colorful glass bead forging, sphere-making, precious metal clay work, and other arts. Raffle prizes include fine jewelry, a one hundred dollar bill, silver coins, mineral and fossil specimens, and more. Silent auctions for jewelry, minerals, and fossils, as well as a white elephant sale, plant sale, and over 15 dealers selling beads, American opals, jade, gemstones, crystals, fossils, jewelry and jewelry-making supplies, and gift items are part of the festivities. It’s a 55-year Ventura tradition the whole family can enjoy!
VGMS was founded in 1944 to encourage interest in rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry-making, and related areas through education, activities, and exhibitions such as this annual show, which is open to the community. The society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization and welcomes new individual and family members. VGMS hosts monthly lectures on earth science topics and lapidary arts, makes presentations to area schools, and conducts field trips for members and guests that often involve collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils in southern California and neighboring states.
The show is the society’s major fund-raising event helping to underwrite educational activities, including their annual college scholarship. For further details, call VGMS President Diane Cook (805-312-8467), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our web site at www.vgms.org.
The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., is a nonprofit educational organization;
Federal Nonprofit Tax ID Number 95-6056075.