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Topanga Canyon Gallery Loses Its Home
Photo courtesy of Topanga Canyon Gallery

Topanga Canyon Gallery Loses Its Home 

Photo courtesy of Topanga Canyon Gallery

Topanga Canyon Gallery will be vacating their location at the end of February, and currently does not have a location to open elsewhere. The building in the village at 137 S Topanga Canyon Blvd has been sold and the new owner is not interested in renting out the space. 

There will be a final gallery reception on February 25 from 1PM – 4PM, with two solo shows. John Couch’s new show is titled Mushin a term derived from Zen which describes a state when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego. June Kim’s Divine Vision of Redthread features a winter and autumn collection of Redthread AI Vision. 

Topanga Canyon Gallery has had a gallery space in the village since 1989, first at Topanga Center and later at Pine Tree Circle. They moved to 137 S (the old Abuelita’s restaurant) in the fall of 2021 after completely remodeling the first floor to create a two-gallery, contemporary fine art experience. The former owners of the building, Leslie and Stephen Carlson, have been long-time supporters of the Gallery and the arts in Topanga and the region. After the challenging months due to Covid 19 the Gallery could no longer maintain their Pine Tree location and the Carlsons came to the rescue in September of 2021 with the space at 137 S. 

The move to the new location in 2021 was the start of the Gallery’s most successful year. The community appreciated the new open look and space; receptions have been well attended and sales have been good throughout this time. The 2022 Studio Tour, which the Gallery puts on, was the most successful to date, with over 700 attendees. This enabled the Gallery to repay the SBA disaster loan that kept it functioning through 2020-2022 before closing the doors this year due to the loss of the lease. 

The Gallery is an artist-owned organization, with a 5-member Board of Directors managing the group, with the inside knowledge of being artists themselves. The organization will remain open to finding an affordable and appropriate space and some new leadership over the next year. Ending this canyon institution after 30+ years would be a devastating loss for Topanga artists,  but it may be reality due to  the sudden absence of location. 

“Our contribution to Topanga Canyon comes in many layers,” states member artist Idelle Okman Tyzbir. “Providing a beautiful gallery for artists to display and sell their works has been our constant priority. We’ve also encouraged an artists’ community within the beautifully natural Topanga Canyon. The Topanga Artists’ Studio Tour is a much-anticipated event in Topanga and all of the surrounding communities.” 

There is no plan in place for a 2023 Studio Tour as it centers on a gallery location and requires the effort of a highly functioning group of volunteers. The remaining artists involved in the Gallery are interested in keeping the organization going and would like to bring on new artist leaders and find a location. 

For the time being, the Topanga Canyon Gallery organization will stay in force, and interested parties can contact [email protected] or reach out to long-time, volunteer, gallery administrator, Kate Kinkade directly at [email protected]. The Gallery website will continue to be accessible with links to the various artist works.

Come join the group for the final Gallery reception at 137 S Topanga Canyon on February 25 from 1PM to 4PM.

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