Renée A. Fox enacts paintings, drawings, murals, and public art installations with imagery derived from nature, activating both architecture and the imagination — and often, community as well. Finding inspiration in the sensual patterns and organic majesty of the natural world — from wilderness vistas, to fanciful creatures, botanical confections, and female anatomy — Fox creates stylized motifs at both miniature and macro scale. A glimmering summer palette and a taste for ornate flourishes amid more untamed imagery support Fox’s schemes of memory, meaning, and the lightly touched magic of her story. Fox has lived and worked in Inglewood since 2006, the same year she co-founded Inglewood Open Studios, a non-profit that supports local arts, and whose 13th edition takes place this weekend.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
RENEE A. FOX: Drawing has been my favorite solo thing to do since I can remember. I made the decision to pursue fine art as a career after I began studying architecture and realized I was making sculpture first and habitable buildings second!
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
While I make work for an audience, the act of drawing is something I do for myself, it’s what I love. My paintings are also drawings, small or mural sized. Many myths, fables, and stories I first read or heard as a child are narratives in my work. The mood is mainly dreamy or fanciful, and the narratives often have to do with a female character’s story, at times my own, but always stories that resonate with my own experience as a woman and an artist.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
I chose art school to join a community and learn from professors who were also established artists how to navigate the professional art world. OTIS College of Art and Design satisfied those goals and continues to be an important part of my community. Last year I began teaching Drawing & Painting to Illustration Sophomores at OTIS which is so satisfying because I can share what I’ve learned professionally with my students.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
My art career began in LA, and I’ve lived and worked in Inglewood since graduating from OTIS, so my community and support systems are here. In 2006, I co-founded Inglewood Open Studios where we host an annual Art Walk event that invites all to Inglewood to tour artists’ studios, which has only further deepened ties with the city and created friendships that I’m grateful for to this day. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Art Walk, and it’s our first year as an official nonprofit, so we can continue to serve the needs of the LA art community in a more impactful way. I absolutely love this work, and it may be the biggest reason I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
My most recent project has been two years in the making. Sunrise Over the San Gabriels is a permanent site-specific mural of hummingbirds and the San Gabriel foothills located at the newly built Restorative Care Village at the UCLA Medical Center in Selma. It was commissioned by Los Angeles County Arts and Culture. I’m preparing new work to be completed by our Art Walk event this weekend — Saturday & Sunday, November 12 & 13, 12-5pm both days. My studio will be open for visitors all weekend.
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