There was much agita leading up to this year’s Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood (AEHK) Studio Tour. Early in the week, Mother Nature was threatening a washout as the forecast showed heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday. Many of the artists had to come up with an alternate plan for displaying their pieces, inside or under cover in case of inclement weather, always keeping in mind the old adage – plan for the worst; hope for the best.
But the artists were blessed with dry, breezy days, perfect for tour goers to wander this charming neighborhood and peruse the art. The AEHK was formed in 2014 to support our visual, performing, and cultural artists, while maintaining the residential character of this historic neighborhood.
The studio tour, now in its 6th year, has grown steadily in the number of artists showing their creations, and in the number of attendees; people from far away states like Idaho and Massachusetts enjoyed the tour, as well as folks from Ontario, Canada. A steady stream of art lovers viewed a variety of mediums, such as: painting, photography, glass art, mosaics, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, textiles, jewelry, music, and literary art.
A few of my favorites were on the tour again, including Janna Kennedy. I am a huge fan of her wonderfully weird creations. In addition to her “Gourdgeous” figurines and the art she makes from vintage doorknobs, doll parts, and shells, she now has a series titled “The Real Housewives of Victorian Lane”. Using old photographs and found objects, she creates bizarre tales about these characters.
Another favorite of mine was Luci Westphal. She is a very talented photographer and has created a new series of wood transfer pieces that I could easily see hanging in my house (but which ones?).
It was great to see some of my favorite artists, but I was excited to also see some newcomers to the tour: Letisia Cruz (pen/ink illustrations and literary art), Mack Merrick (mixed media and sculpture), Megan Garrison (pastels and oil painting), and Randee Baum (ceramics).
Each year, I am amazed and touched by the scope of the creativity and talent we have in this neighborhood, and the studio tour highlights this more than a gallery show ever could. As art lovers, we can stroll through a gallery and look at the fabulous art on the walls, but being able to walk through an artist’s studio, where their creations are born, is very special. It becomes an intimate experience, getting in touch with the heart and soul of the artist. If you didn’t make it to the Art in the ‘Wood tour this year, please mark your calendar for next year’s tour on March 16-17, 2024.
Another layer to this “Neighborhood of the Arts” is the finial art that has been installed at various intersections throughout Historic Kenwood. This is the third phase of finials (there are a total of 39 now) with new creations from Mike Toth, Luci Westphal, Nick Ribera, David McCauley, Janna Kennedy, and Aimen Amen. The tour map, which can be found in the link below, includes the finial locations.
Thanks to all the incredible artists of Historic Kenwood, for allowing us into your studios to share your art with us! For more information on the tour and the artists that participated, please go to https://kenwoodartistenclave.org/artist-studio-tour/
This article by Carolyn Gambuti first appeared in print in the 2023 Spring edition of the new quarterly Historic Kenwood Magazine.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2023 HISTORIC KENWOOD ARTIST ENCLAVE STUDIO TOUR
Photo at the top of the article shows artist Maurice Bartikofsky in his studio.