Art in the Funk-town
Hood Tour 2005
Story + Photos by J R Compton with Comments by Anna Palmer
Anna Palmer photo
More exploration wound us through an enticing, "Garland Road and Peavy-like" neighborhood that got noticeably nicer, thrilling us with high hill landscapes lush with trees, big houses, huge yards, great green lawns and a real gulch.
Anna was in love with the area, despite clogged parking along the narrow, winding road at the bottom of the long driveways. Our tape has us raving. "What a gem. When I win the lottery, now I know where I want to be."
Robin Hawke - Danger - $350
A short trudge up the hill and inside the studios of Robin Hawke and Valery Guignon, where we looked at art and lusted after the landscape and the views out the studio windows and off landings.
Valery Guignon - Voodoo doll
No doubt about it, artists and craftspersons lived and worked here. Evidence abounded. Nice digs, nice work. Hard art — wood and steel downstairs, and soft, fabric pieces up.
When we got back in the car and the taper running, Anna worried the horse she liked — "especially the form — the way the body was so chunky and wonderful," was too expensive, but I bet somebody pays the price.
She described two "voodoo dolls," one with a strainer for a fencing-mask face and nails in its head, and the other with softer materials. So taken with the pair, she suggested I go back to photograph them, but I was ready to go again and didn't even think to connect her description with the figure above, although it now seems obvious.
Robin Hawke's studio downstairs
We both liked the busy sculpture studio downstairs with its big picture window overlooking an old Ford truck. "It's just so nice — almost magical. It's got a great feeling." We were both smit by the real estate.
"It's almost shocking. I was really taken aback when we turned the corner. Like in the Wizard of Oz, when it turns from black & white to color."
Coming back down the hill, J R
found The Amazing Wrinkle Car.
Next stop was Nancy Thompson and Elizabeth Beck, in an area we found a little more mundane, and not nearly as funky. More Middle Classy, but still nice.
The house was "very homey-cozy," but most of the art — er, craft was less than original. We weren't inspired, though Anna liked the multilevel condo birdhouses and there was this one bright, spring-loaded flower.
Down the street a ways we found several
magical stairways and bridges gapping the
winding gulch in a wildly terraced, big-tree,
green, funky-scape area that enchanted us.
Driving down Urban Avenue, we were again wowed but by a very different sort of architecture in a funky sort of downtown storefront area where every building seemed to be a different color — with bright purples, reds, yellow, pink, lime green and beiges.
So charmed we were by the visual excitement of that jumble of essentially similar, stone block structures, we drove right by the Urban Art Studio with Laura Abrams, Monique Jennette and Rasoul "The Sunshine Man" Khaliq and all the way to the end of the avenue. Which, luckily, wasn't far. We circled back to funky town, for the tour's biggest art treat.
Continued on Hood page 3 >
counter installed February 5 2006