THE RADFORD ART WALK
Nestled in the backyard of my neighborhood on Radford street is my new favorite spot: The Radford Art Walk. What is the Radford Art walk? It’s an experience. The artwork is a quarter-mile strip of beautiful landscaping and intricate sculptures outside of the CBS studio lot. We parked on Radford, stepped out of the car and into crisp air, a peaceful neighborhood, and a sense of community.
The first thing we spotted was a bench and a trash can. That seems relatively normal for a landscaped area. But looking closely, recycled products compose the bench and trash can! And I knew we were just scratching the surface of the imagination used on this block.
Next we saw a sculpture called “Reinvention.” The sign read, “The past you chip away fights to drop you back.” Each sculpture has a title and statement by artist, Karl Johnson, but he made sure to leave each piece open for interpretation. Every part of the artwork is a beautiful work of craftsmanship. The landscape was designed by Francesca Corra. The decomposing granite pathway and retaining wall are made from locally excavated stones and old studio lights from the neighboring CBS lot. Each sculpture has detail, depth, and personality. We stumbled upon a sign that said “ArtWalk Continues.” Oops! We had started at the end.
But part of the magic of the Art Walk is that it doesn’t matter where you start or finish. The sculptures are all named. We saw, “Worlds Beyond,” “Door to Enlightenment,” “Baggage,” “Out of Balance,” “Debt,” “Knowledge,” “Untitled,” “Silent Spring,” “Alpha Male,” “Ticking Clock,” “Heroic Mortality,” “Earth Dining,” “Reinvention,” “Last Stop,” and "The Welcoming Lamp." Drew’s favorite sculpture was “Knowledge”. My favorite was “Door to Enlightenment.”
So how did all of this start? According to the Radford Artwork website, Karl Johnson kept bursting with creativity and eventually ran out of room for his sculptures. CBS President, Michael Klausman, was a fan of the work and suggested that Karl use the lot for storage. Mr. Klausman approached the SCBA board (Studio City Beautification) and after selecting thirteen sculptures, and installing a retaining wall, the Radford Art Walk opened in 2012. I must give a shout out to the SCBA. It is an all-volunteer organization that continues to look for new ways to beautify and improve the city.
Outside the hustle and bustle of storytellers working hard at their craft in CBS studios is a stretch of land that offers rest, reflection and realization. So next time you’re in Studio City, come take a little stroll. You may even see us sitting on the "recycled products" bench. :)