Thursday, November 5, 2009


   Renee Fox Spearheaded the Inglewood Open Studios Tour Three years ago.

Photo-Journal and Artist Feature Story by Ginger Van Hook

            The doorway of one’s workspace in an artist’s life is the entrance to a very sacred space. The importance of the front door to most people also has a very personal and spiritual impact on the feel of the home or business, reflecting lifestyle, cultural attitudes and often, seasonal inspiration as well. Life in Inglewood, California sometimes affectionately referred to as the “Wood” has enormous culture, historic relevance as well as an artistic attitude of its own to share with its community and neighbors, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Marinal Del Rey, Hawthorne, Watts, Torrance, El Segundo, Westchester and the LAX Airport, just to name a few in the circle.
This sharing attitude has been cultivated over time and Inglewood’s strongest allies are its artists in residence, living and working as artists, painters, photographers, sculptors, architects of change and creators of style. Spearheading a movement of artistic influence, Renee Fox and Kenneth Ober, graduates of Otis College of Art and Design, began a small open studios tour three years ago with a handful of artists they had gone to school with and a few of their artistic neighbors. Today, INGLEWOOD OPEN STUDIOS stands to cast its net of influence far wider with the gathering of 16 talented and working artists living in Inglewood and participating in the tour this year with the support and recognition of the CITY OF INGLEWOOD. 
Thus, the doorways in Inglewood are open for the sharing on November 14th and 15th.The public is invited to walk through the doorways to each of the artist’s studios where they work and sometimes also where they live. The spaces are full of inspiration, artwork, joy and celebration of the privilege to make art in a tumultuous world. Please join the 16 artists featured on the tour on Saturday and Sunday Nov 14 & 15 from noon- 5pm as the FREE Inglewood Trolley takes you to each of their doorsteps and invites you to make art a centerpiece in your life. A Closing Reception will be hosted at the same place the tour begins: Closing Reception: Sunday November 15, 5-7pm 703 E. Hyde Park Blvd. Inglewood, CA 90302

Artists participating in the Third Annual Inglewood Open Studios Tour include: Edward Ewell, Renée A. Fox, Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook, Ulysses Jenkins, Michael Massenburg, Gale McCall, Chris Mercier, Kenneth Ober, Joan Robey, Dustin Shuler, Stanley Smith, Holly Tempo, MonaLisa Whitaker and John Wynne.

Each of these artists was asked what or who inspired them to be an artist and their refreshing answers are included with a view of their doorway and sometimes a photograph of one of their artpieces. One of the stops on the tour  (site #6) will take you to the dedicated sculpture and mural piece by Helen Lundeberg which names "Grevillea Art Park" and reveals the significant history of transportation with an enormous mural also by Helen Lundeberg reflecting a cultural landscape in Inglewood.

The tour begins exactly where it ends, at SITE #1, location, 703 E. Hyde Park Blvd. at a Gallery space in Inglewood. The first two artists on the tour #2 and #3 are Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook. Ginger Van Hook is a photographer who focuses on still life and landscapes and Luke Van Hook is a painter who's singular focus is on the circle and the evolution of its geometric abstraction. The married couple are both graduates of Otis College of Art and Design.

Site #2

Van Hook Fine Arts Studios, Inglewood, California, 2009

Blue Tomato, Digital Photography, 30" x 40", 
Artist, Ginger Van Hook, 2009

Photographer, Artist statement

I walked into the Pasadena Art Museum when I was a child flanked by my mother on one hand and my little sister Else on the other.  Mom enrolled us in a  ‘stained glass’ class at the time. It was the first real exposure to art that I can remember. From then on, my family encouraged my sisters and I to pursue a life full of culture, music, dance, literature, art, drawing, photography and education.
When I met then married, my husband Luke Van Hook, he inspired me to pursue the arts further and to focus my photography work more seriously by giving me a 35mm camera for my birthday one year. Thus through my love of gardening I often cultivate some of the flowers and vegetables I photograph. I often use still life and landscapes as the subject of a continued investigation into the realm of digital color photography, manipulating the variant color saturations through Photoshop, which, enable me to connect with my heritage. I was born in Argentina and raised in Los Angeles, California. My grandfather cultivated a nursery in Buenos Aires and I developed the love of art from the rich cultural heritage of art I inherited from my grandparents and parents from four corners of the world, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. I feel privileged to investigate the power of photography in the United States and my tiny microcosm of vegetables and flowers here in Inglewood, Los Angeles and Southern California.
Ginger Van Hook is a graduate of Otis College of art and Design, MFA in writing; photography. Currently Mrs. Ginger Van Hook is scheduled to teach color photography and the history of photography at Otis College of Art and Design in the spring. Anyone in the community interested in enrolling for her classes may contact Sandra Ramirez:

Sandra Ramirez, Associate Director
Phone. (310) 665-6852/ Fax. (310) 665-6854

Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone 310.665.6800  Website

Founded in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design prepares diverse
students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity,
their skill, and their vision. The College offers an interdisciplinary
education for 1170 full-time students, awarding BFA degrees in
advertising, architecture/landscape/interiors, digital media, fashion
design, graphic design, illustration, product design, painting,
photography, sculpture/new genres, and toy design; and MFA degrees in
fine arts, graphic design, public practice, and writing. Continuing
Education offers certificate programs as well as personal and
professional development courses.

Site #3

Van Hook Fine Arts Studios' Doorway, Inglewood, California, 2009


"May 2009" Oil and Oil Pastel on Raw Canvas, Hand painted circles
Artist, Luke Van Hook, 2009

Detail of "May 2009", Artist Luke Van Hook

Detail of "July 2009", Artist Luke Van Hook 

Fine Arts Painter

Who or what inspired U to become an artist?
Encouragement began with my father when he saw my
interest in drawing at the age of 4 and continued with my wife
encouraging my expression through paint which I kept hidden in a closet
and then her mother suggesting and pushing me to complete my B.F.A.
Intuition is the biggest inspiration to my practice which
 drives my spirit and my body to complete what my mind’s eye
 knows is true.

Luke Van Hook is a graduate of
Otis College of Art and Design, B.F.A. in Fine Arts Painting, class of 2004
VAN HOOK FINE ARTS: sales office; 1820 Evergreen Street, Duarte, Ca. 91010

Site #4

Dustin Shuler Studios
 1127 & 1129 N. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA

Sculpture Artist

Photo courtesy of Dustin Shuler and Inglewood Open Studio

Site #5
247 S. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, California

Joan Robey
Sculpture Artist 

"Who or What inspired you to become an artist?"
After collecting art for years and then owning an art gallery for 10 years, where else do you go?  How else besides making art can you justify spending hours on end in your own world, expressing your own thoughts, pursuing your inner fears and finding your exaltations?  What’s better than wandering around in the inner sanctum of self-expression, looking to bump into inspiration?  It’s the ultimate indulgence.  Others are in awe of my self-driven engine which, in truth, begs the need to create, all the while privately balancing my own brilliant self-awareness with devastating self-doubt.  Besides all of that, the world inspires me to create.  My studio is my haven in which I can react to the beauty and the sorrow out there in the world, while listening to my favorite tunes.  Perfection!

"Air Rated" Sculpture by Joan Robey

Site #6
HELEN LUNDEBERG Mural, Grevillea Art Park, Inglewood, California

Helen Lundeberg Mural: Manchester and Grevillea
Site of historic, cultural and artistic significance, Inglewood, California
Third Annual Inglewood Open Studios Tour, Inglewood, California, 2009

Site #7

MonaLisa Whitaker Artist Studio doorway
422 Warren Lane, Inglewood, California

Photographer, Artist Statement

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't an artist-artistic expression is an inherent part of my being-I do not feel truly alive unless I've created something and shared it with others!
Personally, I believe that each individual has the ability to make a difference in her/his own life and therefore a contribution to the larger community-we are all interconnected whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. The existence of visual art (photography in particular) is one of the most effective ways to communicate this potential and what motivates me to create images. In my work, I choose to focus on issues, which seem to be particularly immediate such as questions of identity, sensuality, sexuality and religion.
My art background is in photography and mixed media. I’m also the director of Inglewood Cultural Arts, a nonprofit arts organization based in Inglewood that provides multidisciplinary arts to residents of Inglewood and surrounding communities. I hold an Occupational Certificate in Photography, an A.A. in Studio Art and a B.A. in Art History.

The name of this image is Sacred Text IL, by Monalisa Whitaker

Plum Test by Monalisa Whitaker, Photographer

Site #8

Michael Massenburg Studio, 422 Warren Lane, Inglewood,CA

Artists who inspire me
Three artists: Romare Bearden’s process, Charles White’s draftsmanship, and Robert Rauschenberg’s multi-format approach to art making which have supplied me with continued inspiration have influenced me. My mode of expression stems from these influences. I exercise a mixed media approach with assemblage using both representation and abstraction using a variety of materials. Working this way keeps me inspired to look for different ways to create.  __Michael Massenburg.

"Sy by Sy"  Artist, Michael Massenburg, Lightbox

Site #9

Edward Ewell Studios
 422 Waren Lane, Inglewood, CA

Photographer, Artist Statement                                                                                                
My first camera was purchased in the military while on a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.
There I begin to photograph the people and the landscape.
Never thinking of myself as an artist but just someone who loved the challenge
of capturing on film the soul of what I’m seeing and feeling.
Some time after, being exposed to various books on photography,
I was inspired by the works of Ansal Adams and  Gorden Parks. Like Gorden Parks,
I’m involved with various forms of photography.

Edward Ewell, Flora

Edward Ewell, Grand Winter

Site #10

Holly Tempo Studio, 6755 West Blvd. #A, Inglewood, CA 


Holly Tempo, who received an MFA from the Claremont Graduate University, is known for her labor-intensive paintings and site-specific works. Tempo’s work is informed by an ongoing exploration of the semiotics of decoration and pattern and an engagement with both macro and micro systems in nature and society.  Ambitious in scope and execution and whimsical in tone, the work interrogates the state of being of the individual as well as the group and often presents the viewer with subtle interventions.  Recent monumental works by the artist include The Anti-war Macassar, a large floor piece crafted entirely of acrylic paint, and Chasing Arrows at Las Orchièdas, a site-specific work in the Panamanian rain forest.

With an active professional career, the artist has shown her work extensively at exhibition spaces in Southern California, including POST, Miller/Durazo Fine Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Leo S. Bing Center at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, At The Brewery Project, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Frumkin/Duval Gallery, Kohn Turner Gallery, the Huntington Beach Art Center, and the San Bernardino County Museum of Art.  Tempo has also exhibited internationally in India, Great Britain, France, Israel and Central America. 

Tempo joined the faculty of the School of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art & Design in 2001, where she serves as Associate Professor of Painting. The artist, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, maintains a studio in Inglewood, California.

"Indian Pink" by Holly Tempo

Artist, Holly Tempo
Site #11

Gale McCall Studio, 6529 1/2 West Blvd.,Inglewood, California


I always made things,
I didn’t know what I did could be a profession
Being an artist that is, then one day in college I realized you could be,
And that in choosing to be an artist it would be the biggest  challenge,
I see everything visually, and I let the world come through me visually...
I love all materials and use many, but steel has captured my heart for many years,
Materials are inspiring, from a found object, to clay, a piece of steel...

The piece I am sending is a recycled piece, corks and steel,
‘Petals’, making a flower out of something tossed away.


"Petals", by Artist Gale McCall

"Naked", by Artist Gale McCall

Gale McCall takes a peak from inside of her artist doorway!

Site #12

Chris Mercier Studio, 1159 East Hyde Park, Inglewood, California

Chris Mercier, Doorway protected by cactus leads to a sacred artist space.


  Christopher L. Mercier,  AIA
Design Principal/ Partner 
(fer) studio               Architecture  + interiors  +  sustainability
  1159 East Hyde Park Blvd. InglewoodCA 90302   
  310 672 4749 direct
 310 672 4733 fax 

"Who or What inspired you to become an artist?"

I am going to surmise that my mother was the one who first got me first
interested in the arts. She was an art teacher herself who quit teaching
once I was born and the person who initially introduced me to the world
of art and opened my eyes to the many diverse artists throughout
history.  Since that initial time I would say I get inspired on a daily
if not weekly basis still today as I am continually reaching out
earnestly looking for that positive affirming rush that goes along with
inspiration. I find it's a part of my personal drive to push further,
challenge myself and keep ensuing new ideas and experiences that can
help feed, humble & guide me in the ever changing creative quest.

"Indigenous" 54" x 48" x 1.5" Oil, Latex & Enamel on Wood Panel
by Artist, Chris Mercier

Site #12

Ulysses Jenkins Studio, 1155 East Hyde Park, Inglewood, California

Ulysses Jenkins, Artist at work, Inglewood, California
Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2009

Ulysses Jenkins, Artist at play with his best friend
Inglewood, California
Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2009

Inglewood Youth and Skateboard Artists gather inspiration and exercise in their community. Dedicated Skateboard Artists posed in front of Ulysses Jenkins' studio to demonstrate their skills, talents and artistic aspirations.
Inglewood, California
Photo by Ginger Van Hook, September 2009

Since the Council added more transportation for the Inglewood Open Studios Tour, 
(4 trolleys/buses a day) there will be 2 more park and ride locations. 
One of them is a community service location, the Youth Justice Center, 
which is described as a wonderful place for self expression and is covered with painting/ graffitti on the walls, ceilings and floors. 
Sounds like an amazing program for local youth, 
and since it is a park and ride location 
we want visitors to be able to see it as well.


  1)  703 Hyde Park Avenue
                            2)  Corner of West Avenue and Redondo
3)  231 Grevillea Avenue

Site #14

John Wynne Studio, 725 East Hyde Park, Inglewood, CA


In college, I made a few things.. Then 20 years later, I felt like making a few more - and now for almost 20 years, working a few months a year, I have done exactly that. Made a few things.

Inspiration comes from what I think and feel, subconscious forces, and all the stuff I've seen. I try to make art that I would like. I think I've been successful a few times.

Artist, John Wynne

Artist, John Wynne reveals his sense of humor
while hiding behind his artistic money car.
Inglewood, California
Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2009

John Wynne, Artist

Site #15

Kenneth Ober Studio, 715 East Hyde Park


Why be an Artist?

To make dreams real…To be an alchemist…To test your luck…To be a force of transformation…To be one that one tenth of one percent that makes it…To manifest the immaterial as material…To calm your mind…To gamble with something actually important…To feel the power of manipulating physical matter…To challenge our definitions of reality…To experience the freedom of unrestrained activity…To challenge yourself to grow…To share the experience of life…To inspire the transmutation of sight into insight…To make the world a more beautiful place…To meet hotties…To inspire others…To expand our definitions of reality…To be famous…To generate positivity…To express yourself…To succeed at one of the most difficult careers...To engage an unpredictable process…To turn trash into treasure…To make joy visable…To embrace chaos.

Kenneth Ober

"Horizon", by artist Kenneth Ober

Kenneth Ober attends opening reception of 
"Life is 360 Degrees" at the Loft at Liz's 
Los Angeles, Miracle Mile Art District, California
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Kenneth and Renee enjoy an alumni event 
in support of Otis College Alumni at 
Koplein Del Rio Gallery in Culver City, 2009
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Site #16

Renee Fox Studio, 713 East Hyde Park, Inglewood, California

Resident Artist, Renee Fox holds her pencils dear to her heart as she began her art career by doing sketches and doodling before she became a serious artist and graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Westchester, California. Renee Fox is the actual founder and driving force behind the Inglewood Open Studios Tour that is celebrating its third year of operation in Inglewood, California.

"Bad Grapeseeds", Drawings by Renee Fox
Renee Fox states she is the oldest daughter with three brothers and came from Washington DC before she selected Otis College of Art and Design in which to pursue a serious art education. She's been a resident of Inglewood for some years now and she states she feels this is the first community she has lived in where she finds she can make a valid contribution artistically and politically. Additionally she feels she still has the chance to make an important social impact. She has had meetings with the City Council and feels that Inglewood has an incredible opportunity to thrive as an artist community. Inspired by her husband and fellow artists at Otis College and while maintaining an active artist practice, Renee Fox curates exhibitions, manages a large modern art archive, runs her high-end decorative painting business, RAFKHO Studios with her husband Kenneth Ober and spends time with her stepdaughter, Isabelle Ober. Renee Fox has worked tirelessly and devoted her entire efforts for three years to the Inglewood Open Studios Tour and her blog,  Together with her husband and a handful of artists, Renee Fox has become an artistic force to bring about the well deserved recognition of artists and a special dedicated artist community in Inglewood.

Site #17
Stanley Smith

Stanley Smith Studio, 1105 Marlboro Avenue, Inglewood, California

Sculpture by Stanley Smith, Inglewood Artist

Stan Smith

Stan Smith was born on April 23, 1951 in Orange, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and attended Edison Jr. High and Auditbon Jr. High School, graduating in 1966. He went on to attend Manual Arts High School with 900 hours of mechanical drafting, also while attending High School he studied art design, photography as well as ceramics and art design at Dorsey High and Crenshaw High School. Later he went to L.A. Trade Tech to study architecture drafting for one year.  Life took Smith in a new direction as he began working to support his daughter. Smith worked with AirResearch as an aircraft inspector for 24 years then he was laid off, which Smith actually considered a blessing and the opportunity to pursue his art. All the while,  Smith had observed his brother carving African masks out of tree trunks and building tables; he also saw the work turned into stereo units of wood.

In 1973 Stan Smith went to work for Space Saver Bed Co where he learned millwork and assembly. In 1974 He left and went to work for a larger furniture company as an assembler where his artistic gifts came into play. He often worked on his lunch break. In 1976, always enjoying angles and shapes he experimented  with pieces of solid walnut in one hand and in the other hand on the handle of the chop saw poised at an angle,  he made the cut and the rest is history.  He began by creating several artistic pieces. To this day he does not know the where about of his first artistic labors. Stan Smith states he is blessed to pursue his God given gift with wood. All the years away from his dream while he worked to earn money to support his family he continued to think about his artistic goals. His goal was to reach the masses with his love and his style of art. His art consists of a combination of woods with shapes and angles. His thanks, he states, goes to God, his brother Kevin, his first wood employer, Mel, and his mentor George Cook. 

During the Inglewood Open Studios Tour,  Mr. Stan Smith wishes to extend his welcome to you into his world of art.