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The work of Ann Wolken depicts the childhood she never had. Her work has been shaped by the death of her mother at twenty-nine of Hodgkin’s disease and the ambitions of her father, Jerry Wolken, a scientist who had wanted to be an artist.

She bought her small studio in Venice, once a neighborhood grocery store, in the early ’70s, post Watts riots, and she was a resident of Venice during the Rodney King riots. She supported herself doing grants for the California Arts Council at community sites: The Olive Stone Senior Center, The Downtown Women’s Center and The Boys and Girls Club of Venice. These grants were the “brain child” of Jerry Brown, during his first administration as governor.

Other than her public art, her work has been autobiographical, as she has worked issues and emotions involving pregnancy, motherhood, as well as her spirituality and meditation; quests to understand her life have led her on spiritual travels. On one of these trips to Maine, she discovered a boat that her late mother had painted in 1944 called The Reliance that had once been harbored in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Ann Wolken was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Smith College, BA and the University of Oregon, MFA. She has shown her work at Barnsdale Art Park, Loyola Marymount University, the Women’s Building, and many other venues.

Ann Wolken

12 by 80 foot mural at the Downtown Women's Center, by Ann Wolken

12 by 80 foot mural at the Downtown Women’s Center, by Ann Wolken

Ann has received seven “Artist in Communities Grants” from the California Arts Council and completed two murals for The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles. She has been a resident of Dorland Mountain Arts Colony and at Cummington Community Arts Colony.

For all inquiries about her work and for sales please contact her directly at

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