Celebrating Coastal Creative Culture With Indoek

White and ocean blue hero photo of dolphins up close swimming in a group under water in the ocean.

New ventures in Ventura

There’s something pretty special about seeing a community come together in the name of art and creativity. Even more so when the art and creativity flows from the community itself. It’s a notion that’s been marinating in the back of our good pal Matt Titone’s mind for a while now. As a passion project aficionado with a flair for all things surf and coastal, it’s only natural that Matt took this idea and ran with it all the way to the West Coast. More specifically, to the new Indoek gallery in Ventura, CA—the brand’s first-ever physical space and a hub for creatives of coastal communities near and far to gather, inspire and showcase their musings. We could all take a page or two out of Matt’s book when it comes to making dreams a reality. Let us know if you find the secret in this interview.

A light gray event flyer with all capital indigo blue lettering circling around the edges. There is a small vertical photo with a light indigo blue filter on it in the center of the page of a person diving into a wave with their foot sticking out of the water as the wave crests. A small paragraph is below the photo.
A light gray event flyer with an image on the top half of the page of a piece of abstract indigo blue artwork being featured in the event. The artwork is of zig-zagged blocks. The lower half of the page has a vertical list of names to the left in all capital letters, a large title in all capital letters below the image as well as a small paragraph in all capital letters at the bottom.

What’s the new space all about?

On Friday, Jan. 27 we will open our first physical space for Indoek located in Ventura, California. Over the past decade or so, our mantra has always been to “celebrate coastal creative culture.” Historically we have done this through the books and content we’ve created like Surf Shacks, On Surfing and our coastal town guides. With community being one of our biggest values as a brand, our new space will serve as an art gallery, a shared studio, a place to gather, inspire and host events with like-minded creative folks.

Our opening show “In Residence” at the new Indoek gallery space will feature 26 local artists who reside in the Ventura County area. It will be on view from Jan. 27 to Feb. 25. A portion of the show proceeds will benefit Mesa Farm in Ojai. The opening night will feature music by Xocoyotzin Moraza, free beer from Topa Topa Brewing Co.

Photo of a wooden display shelf with canvas bags hanging to the left, boxed candles lined up on the bottom right, a hat resting on a small shelf in the middle and some books, a box and a plate resting on the top shelf. There are lines of drilled holes covering the back shelf board.
Photo of a khaki hat with navy blue lettering sitting on a light brown wooden display shelf.

How long have you been thinking of this and why?

Matt: Well, I’ve always wondered what the Indoek brand would look like if it were a physical space. Since celebrating artists and inspiring creatives has always been our main goal, an art gallery/creative hub just seemed to make perfect sense.

When my design studio ITAL/C had its office location down in Venice, we always wished we had more room for something consumer facing—a little shop of curated goods, or a small gallery. Since we were a storefront on a busy street in LA and had a lot of art on our walls, folks walking down the street would always try to poke their heads in thinking we were a gallery of some sort.

Anyway, I hadn’t really been thinking of this gallery concept in Ventura for very long, but the opportunity really just fell into my lap out of nowhere from my friend and neighbor, Andrew Rodriguez, who is a local artist in Ventura. I realized that it was sort of now or never to act on it, so I signed the lease and here we go—on to the next exciting Indoek chapter!

Indoek has been a pleasure to watch come along. What else are you up to or have you done in the last 13+ years besides opening this space?

Matt: Oh man, the brand has been a constant parade of passion projects over the years. Here are a few highlights:

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What’s a way someone could get involved, support or celebrate the idea of Indoek if they’re not in the Ventura, CA area?

Matt: If you want to show love for the Indoek gallery from elsewhere in the world, the best way would be to order some of our new organic hemp hats and tees we made in collaboration with Jungmaven to celebrate the opening. These are super high quality, 100% organic products that are made here in the USA. Super comfy, stylish and sustainable. There are a few different styles available now on our website.

Photo with a light indigo blue filter of a seal lounging on its side on a sandy beach, looking at the camera with its flippers by its side.

What’s the importance of supporting the arts and creatives in your hometown?

Matt: Art is life. Sounds corny and maybe it is, but we are lost as a people without art in our lives. When lockdown first happened at the beginning of the pandemic, it really broke my heart to see all the museums, galleries, concert venues and cultural institutions close their doors. People need to experience art beyond our screens to stimulate joy, inspire change—and to stay sane. I personally found myself creating a lot more artworks during the pandemic for that very reason. It’s great therapy.

Anyway, I love Ventura County. I feel more at home here than anywhere I’ve ever lived and it’s a truly wonderful, supportive, tight knit community. There are actually a ton of local, internationally recognized artists and creative folks who live here, but there doesn’t seem to be a specific venue or hub that is dedicated to uniting or celebrating the creative class here in my opinion.

People already seem super jazzed about the gallery and we’re not even open yet. I want it to be a place that both champions local artists and inspires people by introducing the community to new artists from other places as well. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to make Indoek the best space it can possibly be to adequately give this community a creative hub it deserves.

Best Bloody Mary you’ve ever had?

Matt: Ha! I’ve basically been California sober (weed only) for a while now, so it’s been years since my last bloody! I will say though, the best Bloody Mary I can imagine right now is a nice thick, spicy one being enjoyed on the ski slopes. Preferably with some sort of meat garnish in it.

Something you want to see happen for your kids?

Matt: Well, my youngest son wants to be a dinosaur hunter when he grows up, so I hope that his dream comes true somehow.

If you’re interested in viewing the incredible works of 26 local Ventura County artists at Indoek gallery’s opening show, grab a few tickets to “In Residence” here. See you there.