Art on Palm, Altadena

9:30 a.m.−5 p.m.

1419 E. Palm Ave.


One of the great things about a community with personality, namely Altadena, is the incredibly creative people who live here. Two such people, Catherine Cowles and Mary Jane Elgin, started what has become a regular event, Art on Palm.


Catherine says, “about five years ago Mary Jane and I were talking about selling our artwork. I mentioned that since she had a fabulous home on 1439 E. Palm Street—which she recently sold—she had the perfect setting to sell her work. She said she wasn’t interested in doing a solo show. My heart sank. But she said she would do one to include other artists if I helped her. Joy!


“We began with about 11 artists; friends from our clay class and a jeweler. The show was a hit. It had a nice vibe, fabulous location and supportive and interested community. Since then we’ve slowly added artists whose work we admire.”


The show took on a deeper cause after the war began in Iraq. “We decided to ask our fellow artists to contribute five percent of their sales to the West L.A. Fisher House Foundation.” (The West Los Angeles Fisher House provides housing for family members of veterans while they are undergoing long term care at the VA hospital.)


“When Mary Jane sold her large home, we were concerned about the future of our little venture. But she approached neighbors Maryrose Smyth and Mark Pickett and they graciously invited us to use their lovely canyon garden. The coming show is our 11th and we’ll have about 31 artists.”


Maryrose and her husband Mark Pickett are holding the show in their secluded enclave, called Wildwood Park, designed by Henry Green in 1920. I stumbled on this area a couple of years ago when out shooting photos of local gardens. I felt like I was in a national park with its rustic homes, outdoor fireplace, and trails. In fact, it was designed as a hunting lodge. Maryrose and her husband bought the house at 1419 E. Palm about six years ago, and didn’t stop there.


 “Mark and I had one house, and we bought the house next door when the owners moved. We never thought we’d get the chance.” Maryrose and Mark didn’t want to take the chance of someone moving in who didn’t have artistic sensibilities.


“We’re raising two boys here. It’s the perfect, wonderfully childhood dream environment. And we have lots of neighborhood children.”


She says most of the artists have known each other a long time, and have ties to Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre. “I come from a tradition of realism, and now I’m more out on a limb, painting more personal interior landscapes.” No doubt her environment is having an influence on her work. “It’s quiet, green, lush. Feels like you’re not in an urban environment.”


The show features a wide array of artists in tents and at tables. “There will be works on paper in all media, photography, a whittler, two or three are potters, and jewelry. Last time we were in the field and it was hot, now everybody will be under the trees, and circle the properties.”

Refreshments provided by Jones Coffee Roasters of Pasadena.  

You can check our Maryrose’s work at

Other participating artists:

Stephani  Anderson 
Jane Asari

Erica Batchelder

Janet Chico

Catherine M. S. Cowles

Ellen Dinerman

Mary Jane Elgin

Bill Haske

Lynn Hendricks

Jim Heuston

Stephen  Johnstone

Beverly Jones

Susan Kromka

Elizabeth Manak

Betsy Miller

Dana Sue Miller

Katherine Nakazono

Detra Prete

Cathy Reichel-Clark

Di Yamamoto Skowron

Anne Sears

Susan Spinks

Kathleen Swaydan

Anna Vosburg

Lys Wilcox

Bruce Wilson

Kaylie James Wilson

Stephen Woodruff

Hitomi Yamamuro

Lucia Yang