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On the Town: College’s ceramics sale raises funds for equipment

On the Town: College’s ceramics sale raises funds for equipment
Glendale resident and customer Susan Jones admires a pitcher at the Spring Ceramics Sale at Glendale Community College. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Ceramic pots, pitchers and plates flew off the tables as hundreds of customers almost bought out the store at the spring ceramics sale at Glendale Community College’s student center.

This past Saturday, college ceramics students priced their works of art at bargain-basement prices, and customers took full advantage.

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Glendale resident Susan Jones already had 30 pieces bought and paid for when she went back for one more look on the chance she had left behind a goodie she couldn’t live without.

Jones, who took pottery class in the ’80s at the college, said, “The ceramics department here is amazing.”

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On Saturday, she was shopping for Christmas presents and home-warming gifts. Although most of Jones’ bounty was priced between $6 to $25, she had her eye on a large, burnished brown pitcher for $55. Accompanying Jones was good friend Jim Lucero, ready to help her carry the loot home.

Ceramic student and Glendale resident Anette Shafrazian had her works sprinkled throughout the tables.

Many of her pieces were intricately carved hearts that could be used as soap dishes, trivets or small catchalls for jewelry. Now a proud college alum, Shafrazian has gone pro. She teaches ceramics at the La Cañada Community Center.

Richard McColl, chair of the college’s ceramics department, was on hand to support his students.

An artist for 40 years, McColl has taught at the college since 2006 and thinks the school has one of the “strongest ceramics departments on the West Coast, if not the country.”

His students range from high school students to retired folks. People of all ages, skill levels and countries are welcome. Besides teaching his students how to throw pots, McColl also teaches the history and chemistry of ceramics. His department offers an associate’s degree and a certificate in ceramics.

McColl’s students often go on to four-year colleges and art careers.

Proceeds will go toward needed ceramic equipment for the college.

Another venue for the recognition of talented students was Glendale’s Acapulco restaurant as four middle school students were honored for their community service.

On May 22, the Altrusa Club of Glendale recognized this year’s “Altrusa Salutes Youth” recipients with plaques, a $200 scholarship each and certificates from local politicos.

Altrusa scholarship winners posing in front of an Acapulco backdrop are, from left, Dalita Sahakian (Wilson Middle School), Marjan Navidpour (Roosevelt Middle School), Ashot Muradyan (Roosevelt Middle School) and Grace Ortega (Toll Middle School).
Altrusa scholarship winners posing in front of an Acapulco backdrop are, from left, Dalita Sahakian (Wilson Middle School), Marjan Navidpour (Roosevelt Middle School), Ashot Muradyan (Roosevelt Middle School) and Grace Ortega (Toll Middle School). (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Donnalee Monninger, Altrusa president, welcomed members, honorees, their parents and assistant principals. Monninger also recognized “El Trouser” Ed Zayas, husband of event chair Pat Zayas.

Pat Zayas presented the awards to each student honored.

First up was Ashot Muradyan from Roosevelt Middle School. Assistant principal Cay Ledesma introduced him.

Muradyan donates his time as a lifeguard at the Pacific Community Center. He also coaches basketball for elementary students and volunteers at basketball tournaments. Muradyan is a contributing member of the Unified Young Armenian organization.

Another Roosevelt Middle School student awardee was Marjan Navidpour. She was introduced by assistant principal Narineh Hakopian. Navidpour is multilingual, speaking English, Portuguese and Farsi. She offers her translation abilities at community events.

Toll Middle School student Grace Ortega was introduced by school counselor Melinda Piche, who is retiring after 30 years at Toll. Ortega has distinguished herself by volunteering at the Glendale Community Center and collecting used books for the Assistance League of Glendale.

Last up was Wilson Middle School student Dalita Sahakian. She was introduced by Chris Coulter, assistant principal at her school. Sahakian is student mentor who helps ensure that new students adjust to their school environment.

Given to the honorees were certificates of recognition from the offices of state Sen. Anthony Portantino, state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Altrusa International is the oldest professional women’s service organization in the world. It unites more than 400 clubs in a common goal of community service. Past members have included Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Bush.

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