When I first arrived in Los Angeles from New York City
in the late 90s, a friend suggested we do some hiking in Topanga Canyon. I
remember, as we drove through winding roads passing lush shrubbery and blooming
wild flowers, the feeling of amazement amongst the rolling hills and
After a 30-minute drive, we were transported into
country living; there was no sign of city life. It was a welcome respite.
Last year, I attended the popular Topanga Canyon Gallery
Studio tour – a self-guided tour offering access to at least 20 art studios and
featuring more than 40 artists. An artist run collective, Topanga Canyon
Gallery was created in the 1950s. The annual tour attracts hundreds of visitors
It was thrilling to see local studios in such a
beautiful setting. It felt as if we were given a backstage pass. We were
allowed entry into private studios, charming homes, and picturesque gardens.
The two-day annual event featured not only members of
the Topanga Canyon Gallery, but also guest artists. Several of the larger
studios and venues showcased multiple artists.
Artist Rebecca Catterall demonstrated her technique of
transferring photo images to clay. Catterall has lived in Topanga for the past
30 years and has been participating in the tour since its inception.
“Topanga is LA’s backyard with its mountains, hiking
trails, interesting cafes, and colorful history,” Catterall said. “The artists’
studio tour gives a rare glimpse into not just the art, but also the varied
lifestyles of the artists who call Topanga home.”
The panoramic views of Topanga Inn highlight the work of
landscape artist Elena Roche, while Robyn Feeley’s home/studio showcases
artists in a casual setting.
Feeley’s furry friends were there to greet us. Her
watercolor pet portraits were on display as well as her ceramic tiles.
Feeley has participated in the studio tour for eight
She started out as a guest artist and later moved to
This year she will be showing mini birdhouses and new
“I find the tour is a great opportunity to clean my
studio,” Feeley said. “Each year I find old art, slightly distressed art that I
offer for really, really low prices!”
The silent auction and reception was another truly
enjoyable part of the tour.
Here, artists gathered as well as art patrons. You could
feel the camaraderie and support of the community.
The celebratory tone of the evening sent us home with a
sense of awe and perhaps inspired many of us to start our own collection.
I am looking forward to getting an early start on this
year’s tour as well as attending the silent auction and reception, which takes
place this Saturday, June 8 from 5 pm to 8 pm.
Tickets (two days) are $15 in advance or $20 at the
door. Children under 16 are free.
The tour starts at Topanga Canyon Gallery, located in
Pine Tree Circle, 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., #109, Topanga, CA 90290.
For more information, visit www.topangacanyongallery.com
or call 310.455.7909.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.