THE NEW YEAR BEGINS… around California with some snow (fingers crossed, in the mountains) and some parades (right around Pasadena, on the first day of the month) and a lot of sublime, challenging, think-bigger art, in the form of ongoing museum and gallery exhibits and major art shows like the Los Angeles Art Contemporary. Why does the year begin with so much art? Put this last fantastic fact down to a number of reasons, including that those who love creative expression find it inspirational and moving, qualities we’re looking for when we launch another fresh set of 365 days. If your resolution is to see more art in 2018, and also to reach out, help others, and do what you can for those who’d appreciate your support and kindness, you can find both hopes met in one spot: the Porch Gallery Ojai. That’s going to be the place for the multi-week Thomas Fires Artists’ Recovery Exhibition, which opened on Thursday, Feb. 1 and runs through to Sunday, March 11.