Over the years, numerous artists have been inspired by the sun rising or setting over the mountains that surround Burbank.
Artist Lynda A. N. Reyes has been so moved, although, along with the beauty, that her captured sunsets include congested freeway on-ramps and overpasses.
Reyes, who is unable to speak clearly, relayed what she wanted to say through her husband during an interview at the Betsy Leuke Creative Arts Center in Burbank. “My landscape paintings bring drama to an otherwise ordinary setting,” she said.
“My painting, ‘Rush Hour Jam,’ is done in classic European 17th-century style, but the subject is a contemporary urban setting, one that is very typical and a part of everyone’s everyday experience,” she said.
Along with “Rush Hour Jam” and “A Sunset in Burbank” — which depicts a location where her son, Roy, waited to be picked up for school — more than 60 of Reyes’ works are currently on display at the center.
The solo exhibition of Reyes’ creations, which will run through July 26, debuted this past Friday evening as the artist was joined by family members, friends and longtime supporters for an opening-night reception.
Originally from the Philippines, Reyes is an art historian, author, educator and master water-colorist who paints representational subjects. A Glendale resident, she has taught at Glendale Community College as well as Santa Monica, Rio Hondo, East L.A. and Pasadena city colleges.
As a California Arts Council grant artist, she also served as a resource person for the visual arts with the Glendale Unified School District.
Reyes, who was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rare head, neck and throat cancer, 20 years ago, has bravely battled her disease.
Unable to swallow or speak, her husband Albert Natian, who is a professor of mathematics at L.A. Valley College, serves as her translator.
“When I create a painting, I want to present things that are not just pretty, but that have meaning and significance to me,” Natian relayed on her behalf.
“I’m not removed from my community and typical life when I paint. I want to actively interact with my community and my surroundings, and for my paintings to relate to the people who view them. My interest is in capturing real people and the landscapes they occupy,” she added.
Among the special guests in attendance at the opening Friday were officials from the Philippine Consulate General’s Office — consul Rea Oreta and cultural office representatives Wilma Bautista and Ed Lim.
Other notables included the artist’s sons, Allen and Roy Natian, and family members Michael and Julie Dopheide.
The next exhibition slated at the Lueke Creative Arts Center will be the Surface Art Assn.’s “Fiber Stories,” which will open Aug. 3.
The association is a collective of fiber artists who encourage the creative use, alteration and embellishment of textiles.
The exhibit will present pictorial stories and artistic interpretations of issues pertaining to nature, the environment and personal growth, utilizing all types of fiber, cloth, paper, plastic, metals and repurposed materials to create weavings, quilts, tapestries, prints, multimedia collage and sculpture, according to exhibit organizers.
The Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center is located at 1100 W. Clark Ave. in George Izay Park.