Chantal Giddens

Apr 30, 2017

The first weekend in June brings the annual spring Open Studios Alta/Pasa/Dena Tour, which, impressively, has garnered Altadena’s 2016 Business of the Year Award.

In an effort to share it’s ever-changing and growing list of participating artists, this week Open Studios is highlighting the works of Chantal Giddens.

Chantal was born and educated in France. She has lived and studied art in Bordeaux, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, notably under the renowned artist Douglas Bond who received his MFA from Cal State LA and was a Professor of Fine Art at Pasadena City College in the 80s and 90s.

Studies of women, and the symbols of their emotions and dreams are a prominent feature of Chantal’s work. She is influenced by the many continents on which she has lived, especially her time in the orient. Asian design features strongly in many of her works. Chantal’s work is bold and striking. Most of her pieces are large format, often 6 feet x 4 feet in size. She works in mixed media, but predominately acrylic. Chantal works out of her studio in Altadena and spends several months a year in Bordeaux where her family of origin still live.

Chantal Giddens’ art may be viewed during the Open Studios tour at Giddens Studio (#17) at 2174 Midlothian Dr., Altadena 91001. For more of Chantal’s work, please visit


Chantal Giddens, Yin & Yang, acrylic on canvas, 3′ x 3′.


Chantal Giddens, Lilith, acrylic on canvas, 4′ x 4′.


Spring Open Studios Tour: 69 Artists at 31 locations
Opening Gala, Friday, June 2nd, 6-9 p.m.
Altadena Library, 600 E. Mariposa St., Altadena 91001
Free event

Open Studios self-tour Tour
Saturday & Sunday, June 3-4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Locations throughout Altadena and parts of Pasadena

For complete details, visit


Chantal Giddens with her painting The Date, acrylic on canvas, 6′ x 4′.


Open Studios, the history:

It all started small in 2004:  Mary Gothard, a local textile artist and photographer, and her husband Patrick, a prolific painter, opened up their Altadena home studio to public tour as a way to promote their art.  Pleased with the result, they continued to open up their studio twice a year, and invited other artists to show.

Mary Gothard says the current version of Open Studios was born in discussions with co-founder Ginkgo Lee, a local ceramicist and graphic designer.  They wanted to make the event bigger, to attract more people and more participating artists.

“When we first started it, it was to introduce artists to the community where we all work and play,” Gothard said.  “That way neighbors can know neighbors, friends can know friends, and artists can get together with like-minded folks.”

“The whole project came out at the inspiration of Patrick’s studio, to make it a party,” Ginko Lee said.  “You have food, conversation, something delicious on the stovetop. The visitor doesn’t feel like they’re in a strict environment — it’s not about ‘hush, hush,’ they’re not afraid to ask questions.”

On an Open Studios weekend, dozens of artists open their workplaces to visitors of all ages.  Most studios are joined by guest artists, who also show their work. Visitors can pick up a guidebook and map that with the studio locations.  And of course you can purchase the art.

As it has grown, Mary Gothard said, “Before, everyone was doing everything, but now we have an admin team, promotion team, development, artist liaison … and it’s all volunteer, nobody’s paid.”

“We love Open Studios and have a great partnership,” said Mindy Kittay, Altadena Library director. The Library has held opening receptions for the weekend and displays art from Open Studios artists. “The library itself is about the experiences and opportunities,” Kittay said.  “We provide the community with access to art that they might not normally see.”

Mary Gothard said that several local businesses also needed to be thanked for offering early support and showing Open Studios’ artwork: Sidewalk Cafe HTS, Hoopla!, Perry’s Joint, Merge Frames, and Pizza of Venice.

Promoting creative work with friendly, down-home, everybody-welcome attitude—Open Studios represents the best of Altadena.  The Open Studios experience lives up to its motto: “Come curious, leave inspired.”

(Text courtesy of Open Studios.)


Chantal Giddens, Coeur Brisé, acrylic on canvas, 6′ x 4′.





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