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On The Town:

Reception launches local artists’ showcase

July 15, 2009|By David Laurell

The lights of Izay Park glowed over Burbankers enjoying the simple summer pleasures of picnicking, watching children challenge the colorful playground equipment and catching a few innings of a softball game Friday night. If the artist Norman Rockwell were still alive, he would have found inspiration for one of his classic slice-of-American- life paintings at every turn.

Just steps away from the park’s playground area, another group of folks were crossing the threshold of the Creative Arts Center to celebrate the opening of the gallery’s newest exhibit “Media Mix.” The reception, which showcased the work of local artists Peter Graziano, Ron Kriss and Antonio Pelayo, proved to be an interesting journey for family, friends, professional colleagues and supporters. Via the trio’s oils, acrylics and pencils, guests left the Rockwellian world of Izay Park and journeyed through a rural Mexican village reflected in the faces of its inhabitants, the majestic serenity of opalescent seascapes and the exotic world of Japanese geishas and colorful koi.

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Graziano, a Burbank resident who works as a computer effects artist and designer in the television and film industry, recently returned to his roots as a fine artist. His 23 presented works that include trips to the seaside are in the media of prisma pencil and acrylics.

Ron Kriss of Glendale is an illustrator and teacher who works in traditional media as well as digitally. Among his 25 works on display are a series of digital fine art paintings that feature the stunning drama and grace of Japan.

Also from our neighbor to the east, Glendale-born Antonio Pelayo works primarily in pencil. Having spent much of his childhood in the Mexican countryside, a 9-year-old Antonio would sneak into a local village church where he would hide in the dark corners and sketch the artwork along the walls. Among his 18 pencil-on-paper creations are portraits of people who have played a significant role in his formative years.

“I’ve tried landscapes and fantasy scenes,” Antonio said. “But it’s the portrait that fascinates me. That intimacy between the subject and the artist, the vulnerability that the subject must have to my interpretation — that is trust at its most divine.”

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