Art that rocks

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Malibu resident Marjory Kron's "Rock" exhibit at the Carol Henry Studio/Gallery in Agoura includes detailed drawings of the rocks at the Channel Islands Harbor jetty.

Malibu resident Marjory Kron has been painting rocks for years. An exhibit of her work will open in Agoura on Friday.

By Olivia Damavandi / Special to The Malibu Times

From smooth, flat ones perfect for skipping at the beach to massive boulders in Malibu Canyon, rocks are perhaps one of the most ubiquitous objects on the planet. But Malibu artist Marjory Kron, 48, sees them as natural phenomena and draws them as such.

Her exhibition, “Rock,” features her detailed drawings of the set of rocks that comprise the Channel Islands Harbor jetty. The drawings reveal the effects timeless exposure has on rocks. Also featured in the exhibition are Ansel Adams’ photographs of rocks at Yosemite National Park. These high-quality, silver, gelatin prints made directly from his original negatives focus on the wide range of tonal qualities the rocks possess.

At first glance, rocks may appear humdrum. But to Kron, they are aesthetically pleasing and speak of the Earth’s process of change from volcanic eruptions and sedimentary layering to geologic uplifts.

“I’ve always painted and drawn rocks, [and have been] very interested in geology and in planet Earth, how we were formed,” Kron said. “Rocks are the bottom line, the planet’s material, what the planet is made of, what we are made of.”

She added, “They are a basic ingredient of life and I think on top of that, they are really interesting, beautiful to look at and there’s a huge variety of them. They tell long stories of billions of years. To me it’s very dramatic and I just love them. I climb and collect them.”

Born to artist parents in Boston, and raised in Pelham, a suburb of New York City, Kron attended UCLA, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. She then entered the art therapy program at Immaculate Heart College, where she earned a master’s degree and became a registered art therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist.

Kron used art therapy with cancer patients and their families through the American Cancer Society and the UCLA Medical Center. She supervised volunteers answering the Cancer Counseling hot line at UCLA’s Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center, facilitated art therapy groups at Pinegrove Psychiatric Hospital and used it in her private practice. Kron joined the Malibu Art Association, became a teacher in the adult education program of Santa Monica College, taught painting in the satellite program in Malibu and taught the drawing of horses as part of a unique program at Pepperdine University. She currently facilitates support groups for seniors who have lost a spouse at Hospice of the Conejo in Thousand Oaks.

“Rock” will take place at the Carol Henry Studio/Gallery in Agoura. Henry, an internationally selling artist and 25-year Malibu resident, set up the gallery after the Corral Fire last November. She hosted a benefit exhibition for Jackie Robbins, who owns Leather Waves, a Malibu shop.

“She [Robbins] lost everything in the fire; her home, her leather studio, sewing machines, patterns, samples, everything except her paintings,” Henry said. “She was impressed with how quickly I pulled it [the exhibit] together that she suggested I open up my own studio and host exhibits in addition to selling my own art.”

When asked how hers and Adams’ work will compliment each other, Kron said she is a huge fan of Adams and is very influenced by his photographs. “He sees the world as I see it,” Kron said. “He sees things in great detail and his photographs are beautifully focused and often very dramatic. We have a similar subject matter. Both he and I spend a great deal of attention to detail.”

Henry agreed, stating that Adams’ photographs are made on fiber-based photo paper as opposed to being digitally produced, which is rare these days. “They’ve never been sold outside Ansel Adams’ gallery before so we feel pretty lucky to have them,” Henry said.

“When you really look at these rocks, they’re extraordinary,” Kron said. “The simplest things can just be remarkable to him. I think the key is [Adams and I have] the same level of observation. My joy is in observations of rocks, how beautiful they are and the amazing inventiveness of nature.”

The Carol Henry Studio/Gallery is located upstairs in the Whizin Center at 28914 Roadside Drive, Suite B in Agoura. A two-day opening of the exhibit will take place Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit will continue Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. until Oct. 4. Kron will conduct a drawing exhibition Sept. 20, 3 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling 818.991.0009.