Art Review:

Depicting slices of life

Burbank gallery hosts ‘Fiesta of Art’ showcasing a variety of media through March 25.

March 10, 2010|By Melonie Magruder

Burbank’s Creative Arts Center Gallery is hosting its annual Fine Arts Federation Membership Exhibit, the “Fiesta of Art,” and the 60 artists represented are showing such a mixed bag of media that there is sure to be something for everyone.

Incorporated in 1976, the federation has long been a supporter of the Creative Arts Center and the exhibit, designed to showcase the members’ eclectic talents, runs the gamut from oil painting to watercolor to sculpture to ceramics to artisan jewelry.

The gallery, always an excellent space for uncluttered viewing, generously accommodates the five dozen artists whose themes run largely to slice-of-life images.


Betty Karp’s acrylic “Into the Sun” draws focus with an explosion of red, black and yellow vibrancy, hung directly opposite Edgar Tonoyan’s carved mahogany relief of the U.S. Seal. His intricate craftsmanship works beautifully with the rich wood grain and apparently is a family virtue — Andranik Tonoyan showed a similarly carved relief out of walnut depicting the facades of five churches.

Betty Bairamian’s mixed-media piece “Meditation” is a glowing representation of a seated nude, the splashes and drips of color on the canvas rendering the subject mysterious and elegant.

Bob Belshay’s mixed-media piece says it all in the title: “The Wedding Party — The Triumph of Hope Over Experience.” His whimsical sculptures depicting the bride and groom before a preacher are a sly commentary on the disparate characters that sometimes make up that dream day of every young girl. His work brought to mind the naive perspective and colorful humor that are native to Haitian art and make you think, Belshay must be a fun guy.

Barbara Thorn-Otto’s watercolor “Mardi Gras Madness,” with its bright depiction of a less-than-festive costumed reveler is an entirely different mood from Deike Brandt’s watercolor, “Summer,” which captures a scene of languorous children, fishing on a lazy summer’s day.

Jane Conger’s “Untitled,” a graceful clay-fired vase in muted turquoise hues, is every bit as lovely and as functional as Stephen Horn’s “Bamboo Motif Tea Set” or Debbie Clark’s “When Life Gives You Lemons” bowl. The Creative Arts Center’s potter’s wheel and kiln are obviously put to beautiful and practical use.

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