The Studio Tour is back after a two-year forced hiatus! This is the second of four articles in honor of the Tour’s 20th anniversary, each featuring 3 of the 38 artists participating on the tour.
Adkins works as a mixed media artist, both figurative and abstract, investigating identity, symbology, heritage, and decolonization through painting with acrylic on canvas, linen, and reclaimed wood. With a focus on Black portraiture, Adkins creates an other-worldly juxtaposition between the figure and their surroundings. Her work also expresses an intention to preserve the sacredness of Black innocence while celebrating identity through representation. She employs areas of bright color layered on earthy, tonal elements and celebrates the fluidity of gender.
More recently, Adkins has been working with wool roving embroidery on linen, surrounding her painted portraiture with textured plants and flowers, drawing the viewer closer to experience it more intimately.
Adkins lives and works in Topanga Canyon. In 2013 she received a bachelor’s degree in Art and Design from Columbia College, Chicago.
She will be showing at the home studio of Megan Geer-Alsop, whose stained glass, ceramics, and sculpture is well known to art lovers around Topanga and the region.
Kim and Ron Bolanowski
Kim and Ron Bolanowski have lived in Topanga since 1997. They have a combined total of over 65 years of experience in the Motion Picture Industry, Kim as a Prop Master and Ron as a Special Effects Coordinator.
The couple took up glass blowing 12 years ago and built a studio on their property to accommodate their craft. While much of Kim’s glasswork is inspired by nature, her experimentation with new techniques have allowed her works’ colors to expand and unabashedly explode across the entire color spectrum. As an example, her series of pumpkins clearly represent the gourd while the almost psychedelic vividness of the reflective hues and tints work as a visual counterpoint, elevating the object into something more: an artwork.
They will be showing at their studio, in the Fernwood area; at 2000 feet elevation in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Conry has lived in Topanga for the past 26 years and considers the land to be magical and sacred. Her landscape work reflects her deep connection and gratitude to the canyon, with its dun-colored mountains covered with the deep green of the California Native Oaks.
Conry works in multiple mediums and often refers to stills taken by her husband as source material but will also go outside to work en plein air. She initially sketches out her paintings with oil pigment sticks and proceeds to layer oil paint, moving from dark hue to bright and allowing the image to reveal itself on the canvas.
Conry will be showing at her home studio off Viewridge on the north end of the canyon, with Don Holtz, well-known Topanga photographer. This location will also be selling tickets and distributing maps and wristbands during the Tour so visitors can start at either end of the canyon.
Make sure you save the date: June 11 and 12. A ticket is for the entire weekend, so visitors can see as many of the 18 locations as desired. Each guest will receive a full color graphic map of the tour with an image and information about each artist. Tickets are available at www.topangacanyongallery.com/studiotour. The Gallery will host an exhibition of one work by each participating artists two weekends prior to the tour, as well as a silent auction of small works May 27 – June 12.
John S. Couch is the author of The Art of Creative Rebellion, a product design leader and fine artist. He is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Galvanize Studios.