Topanga Canyon Gallery Moves Across the Street

Sari ScheerBy Sari Scheer      September 3, 2021

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Topanga Canyon Gallery Moves Across the Street
Lisa Baldwin, Creative Director, TCG Board of Directors
Things are about to change for art lovers in Topanga and neighboring communities. Topanga Canyon Gallery (TCG), which has resided at Pine Tree Circle for many years is moving to the beautifully remodeled former location of Abuelita’s, previously Willows restaurant, and currently the home of Pritchett-Rapf Realtors. With a focus on current contemporary art, the artist members are welcoming a number of contemporary artists new to the gallery at a new location with a new format and environment. TCG has a new leadership team, including Creative Director Lisa Baldwin, whose vision is driving the gallery forward. “The Gallery environment will be more immersive both physically and in terms of the art experience,” Baldwin says. “We will be increasing the focus on each artist. Now, with two gallery spaces we will be able to showcase two individual artists at the same time in different spaces. This provides each artist with the creative space to express their vision with a cohesive body of work.” “It’s more than time for this next step in our development,” noted Patrick Ramsey, outgoing Gallery president. “Those who have followed us for years know we went through a significant evolution four years ago, when we remodeled the Pine Tree space and began to use the entire space differently, with more focus on fine art. Now we are ready to go the next step, and ‘up our game’ in what we create and who we ask to join us. “Giving the artists a regular opportunity to do a solo show with one body of work will help us attract great artists and also give our continuing artists a chance to shine. We couldn’t make this change without new leadership, like Lisa, a professional artist of many years with her own vision and standards,” Ramsey said. “In order to accomplish this artistic development we need to have our work curated independently and vigorously,” adds Delbar Azari, a member of the new leadership team. “Every artist who is continuing with the Gallery is in agreement and interested in growth and change.” The creative space at the new location will allow the gallery to support more emerging and mid-career artists, each with a clear and unique voice. The intent is to double the number of artists represented over the next 8-12 months with this criteria in mind. That process is already underway, with one or two new artists exhibiting at the opening show in October. The Gallery is moving to 137 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd., across from the south entrance to Pine Tree Circle. The building was strikingly remodeled by Leslie and Steve Carlson, the Gallery’s new landlords, when the restaurant moved out. The Gallery will occupy one half of the first floor of the building. The outside deck offers an additional and beautiful space for Gallery receptions and other art events throughout the year. The Carlsons have long been patrons of the arts and supportive of the gallery. “We are very happy that the Gallery will remain in the Canyon,” Leslie said. “We look forward to seeing it flourish and grow.” Lisa Baldwin, heading the new leadership team, is an international artist with representation in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa Canada, as well as multiple galleries in the greater Los Angeles Area. Don Holtz is the third artist on the leadership team. He is well known in the Canyon both for his photography and his commitment to the Canyon itself. “I haven’t taken a leadership role at the gallery before now, but I am excited about bringing in more first-rate artists and presenting high quality art in an environment dedicated to viewing the art,” Holtz said. “Focusing on solo exhibitions and being able to have two shows simultaneously will give all of us the opportunity to fully express our own vision.” Holtz had his first solo show, “TREE: a 14 year love affair,” at the Gallery a few months ago. The response to that show and other recent solo artist shows has been an impetus for the move. The Gallery will also have two non-artist Executive Directors, Kate Kinkade and Josh O’Hara, tasked with the components of promotion and management. Save the Dates! The first show, “When Pigs Fly,” opens with a reception on October 23, and includes most or all of the participating artists using both galleries. This is a thematically whimsical concept, because, as we all know, anything can happen in Topanga. Opening November 12, will be two simultaneous solo shows, Kate Browning in the North gallery, and Lisa Baldwin in the South gallery. Closing out 2021 will be the annual shopping opportunity, The Gallery’s Holiday Event in December (date TBA), presenting an array of one-of-a-kind artful gifts. Solo exhibitions will continue every three weeks beginning in January 2022.
Delbar Azari, member TCG Board of Directors
Sari Scheer

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