Sofia Lacin
Hennessy Christophel
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Meet the Makers: LC Studio Tutto

California Muralists Bring The Piccolo to Life with the Flora of Paso

Adorning one of The Piccolo’s courtyard walls is a beautiful 76-foot custom mural designed and hand-painted by California artists Hennessy Christophel and Sofia Lacin, co-owners of LC Studio Tutto. The talented duo focuses on fostering connections between people and their environments by infusing spaces with life and identity through their site-specific art. Their most recent work of art reflects how Paso Robles’ newest hotel merges regional culture, history, and nature with a fresh modern perspective to celebrate local roots.

  

Founded with the commitment to provide guests with an authentic Paso Robles experience, it only made sense for The Piccolo to enlist artists who, like us, find inspiration in the very communities that their projects are based in.

This World is But a Canvas

Having known each other since childhood, Hennessy and Sofia officially started working together in 2009 and founded their business, LC Studio Tutto. Translated from Italian, tutto means “all” and “everything” which refers to the duo’s expansive, multi-media definition of canvas. Hennessy and Sofia rarely limit themselves to only paint and a brush, frequently playing with other materials like metal, fabric, shadow, and light.

“The curriculum at the UC Santa Cruz art department was very heavy on exposing you to different types of art and understanding art as a very expansive form, so I think that set me up to be able to see more of what you can do with art out in the world,” said Hennessy, who studied Illustration and Bookmaking there.

Since starting their company, Hennessy and Sofia have become most interested in designing site-specific architectural pieces that double as public art installations—like The Piccolo’s mural. Driven by curiosity, the two describe their artistic process as contextual and exploratory. Before establishing their vision for a given space, LC Studio Tutto seek to know the space they’re working on from the inside out—examining the geography, history, function, and physical attributes of every individual site they take on.

“Every single mural is 100% different than the last, every single sculpture is 100% different than the last. Everything we make is always completely unique and I really think the through-line that we find in all of our work are references to native, natural stories,” said Sofia, who focused on large scale, gestural abstract paintings during her time at UC Davis.

Weaving Together the Flora of Paso

For The Piccolo’s courtyard mural, LC Studio Tutto wanted to go beyond the local wine and olive oil culture of Paso Robles that everybody is already so familiar with and instead explore the native flora and fauna of the lush landscape we call home.

“I just get really excited about native plants,” Hennessy laughed. “I find the more I work on projects like this, the more I learn and am able to appreciate the natural world around me. We hope that we pass along some element of that experience to the people who view the artwork because nature is always and forever our most major source of inspiration, so celebrating that is something we love to do.”

  

The Piccolo’s mural, which the artists have dubbed “Native Tapestry: Flora of Paso” offers a closer look at the chaparral and oak woodland species of Paso Robles. Delicate illustrations of bush poppies, scarlet buglers, irises, and more are interwoven to create a lush and vibrant aesthetic that works harmoniously with the surrounding landscape and architecture. Earthy, natural tones, soft shades of green, and vivid pops of color bring the courtyard to life.

“This piece has felt a lot more like we’re arranging this grand beautiful bouquet which has been really cool. This piece has had a little bit more of a free form aspect to the painting where oftentimes our pieces are very highly designed in advance—and this one was too—but once we got into space we needed to make some adaptations and work a little more freely with it. So as we add different little fragments of foliage, it really feels like we’re composing a bouquet in this space,” said Hennessy.  

Painstaking Painting

A delicate piece such as this takes a delicate touch—and hours of meticulous hand work. The “Native Tapestry” mural has taken Sofia and Hennessy approximately two weeks of around-the-clock work. A typical work day for the artists is 11-12 hours long, with breaks determined by the sun and how the light hits the wall throughout the day.

  

Despite the challenges, Sofia admits that it can be hard to break out of her “painting world” once she’s in the zone. “There’s a 3-day period where it feels like you’re climbing a mountain and then you see the top of it and it’s very energizing. Part of the fun is watching it develop before your very eyes. It’s a kind of magic,” she said.  

LC Studio Tutto hope that the “Native Tapestry” mural teaches visitors to look at the little details and appreciate what’s surrounding them during their time in beautiful Paso Robles. While the area is well known for its cultivated plant life, Sofia and Hennessy’s work of art reminds us that there’s always more than meets the eye in an area as bountiful as ours.

To learn more about Hennessy, Sofia, LC Studio Tutto, and their beautiful works of art, click here