RENEE ING AKANA, fine artist


Who's Out There?

I am a formally trained photographer and painter from Los Angeles, California. I lived in Los Angeles for 45 years and currently live in Central New York. 

We all have visions of where we are and where we wished we were.  We think.  We dream. 

As a  painter, my style focuses on juxtaposition and surrealism because I have always been drawn to mystery or things that didn’t make immediate sense.

When I was a kid, my aunt used to keep us up before bed and ask deep questions about life, religion and of all things, UFOs.  Being the good Catholic that she is and the superstitious Italian that she is, it was a fine way to mix it all up in our little minds. I’d go to bed wondering who was going to land in the back yard – Jesus or the little gray guy with big eyes.  Most importantly, I knew someone was going to land out there while I slept.

On the other side of my equally crazy and superstitious family, was my eccentric, pampered grandmother who surrounded herself with psychics and fortune tellers. I met some pretty interesting people, but it was definitely not the norm.  I’ve even lived in a haunted house later in life.

I love story telling. My starting point is "who's out there?" From there, it can go anywhere. We all have deep fears.  That's ageless.  That's mythology, fairy tale, superstition. 

I am not unique.  I just admit to the very dreams and fears we all have.

 Shows, Events & Awards:

  • 2015 (March) Featured Photographer, New Landscape Photography
  • 2013 MOPLA Pin Up Show, Robert Berman Gallery, Bergamont Station, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2011 & 2012 International Photography Awards

           * IPA 2011 - Honorable Mention - Editorial : Environmental Category
           * IPA 2011 - Honorable Mention - People : Lifestyle Category
           * IPA 2012 - Honorable Mention - Special : Digitally Enhanced Category
           * IPA 2012 - Honorable Mention - Fine Art : Other_FA Category

  • 2012 Pico Artist Coalition 
  • 2010 / 2009  5x7 shows, Blue 7 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2009 Water Show, Santa Monica College Exhibit, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2008 Exhibit for Pico Blvd / Pico Improvement Organization, Santa Monica, CA
  • 2008 National Geographic Bioblitz, Santa Monica Mountains, CA, contributing photographer
  • 2008 Sierra Club auction contributor


  • Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, California
  • Private mentoring with a professional photographer since 2007