For Immediate Release

Date: December 8, 2021

For information, please contact:

City of Ojai Recreation Department

Attention: Luis Gomez

(805) 646-5581 x301 or

(OJAI, Calif.) – The City of Ojai Arts Commission is proud to announce the 2021 Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award will be presented to Joseph Sohm by the Ojai City Council at its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

The award was founded by the Arts Advisory Committee (now the Arts Commission) in 1987 as an important tribute to honor Ojai artists who have enhanced the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Local resident, Joseph Sohm is an American history teacher turned photo historian. For more than 30 years he has photographed subjects in all 50 states. His images have been published in print in National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, as well as featured on CNN, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, The History Channel and others.

In 2009, Sohm debuted a book of his work, Visions of America: Photographing Democracy. It includes images, essays and a foreword by travel writer Paul Theroux. The book won the Independent Publisher Book Award’s 2009 “Gold” prize under the category of Coffee Table Books. The U.S. Department of State displays his work in more than 10 embassies around the world. Closer to home, two of Sohm’s art pieces were recently acquired by the City’s Arts Commission and may be seen in the City Gallery at Ojai City Hall, 401 S. Ventura Street.

The presentation will be held at the beginning of the City Council meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Libbey Bowl, 210 S. Signal Street. The public is invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed live virtually on the City’s website at; on YouTube at, or on Spectrum Channel 10.