On the Town: For Fans of Car and Canvas

For aficionados of either art or autos, the Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery and the Road Kings respectively catered to both the canvas and car-loving crowds by offering enjoyable events this past weekend.

The Creative Arts Center kicked off its month-long exhibition with the work of artist and illustrator Ignacio Gomez at a reception last Friday.

Highlighting some of the most important works Gomez has created over the past 50 years, the exhibit, titled "Ignacio Gomez: A Retrospective", includes the artist's paintings, illustrations, drawings, giclées, sculptures, papier-mache and mixed-media creations.

Born in East L.A. and trained at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and the Art Center College of Design, Gomez's exhibit showcases works he was commissioned to do of actor Edward James Olmos as El Pachuco for the 1979 Broadway production of "Zoot Suit", and his numerous tributes to the late labor and civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez.

The artist's work has appeared on everything from motion-picture posters and advertising campaigns, to magazine layouts and even Cesar Chavez's headstone. Gomez's exhibit will be on display through June 27 at the gallery, located at1100 W. Clark Ave. in George Izay Park.

For those who are inclined to find artistic beauty in the design of a classic car, Johnny Carson Park was turned into a heaven for auto enthusiasts as the Road Kings roared into the park for their 24th annual Picnic in the Park and Charity Car Show this past Sunday.

Chaired by Don Baldaseroni, the day's events revved up following opening ceremonies that included welcoming remarks by Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy.

Beginning the day behind the wheel of a prim and proper 1951 Georgia peach-colored Ford convertible, the smell and deafening sound of burning nitro clearly steeped into the mayor's blood.

Before the day was out, her honor had moved from the comfortable convertible to the cockpit of Dwight Salisbury and Rocky Childs' famous top fuel dragster, "The Addict".

Among the notables in attendance at Sunday's car show were Road Kings President Rick Kalisz, vice presidents Matt Mortimer and "Fast Eddie" Salvatore, board members Frank Nay, Chuck Null and Brian Pucio, the legendary Bob Muravez, better known to race fans as Floyd Lippencott Jr., the alias he raced under after his father ordered him to give up the dangerous sport and who piloted the twin-engine "Freight Train" dragster during the 1960s and '70s.

Also in attendance was 19-year-old racing phenom Jessica Clark, the first female in United States Auto Club history to win two championships in one year.

Among the numerous local organizations that have benefited from funds raised at this event over the years are Burbank Priority in Education, the Burbank Police and Fire Museum, the Burbank Police mounted unit, the Parks, Recreation and Community Service Department's summer youth program, the Burbank Historical Society, the Boys & Girls Club, the Joslyn Adult Center and local high school auto programs.


DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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