There is much to see in the Angeles Crest Art Guild's third annual art show at Towns Burr Gallery in Burbank. But the works fit well in the space available.
The gallery has added central pillars to accommodate the many paintings, animation illustrations, sculptures and mixed media works produced by the 16 artists represented. All but one piece are in scale with the intimate Burbank gallery—dozens of small scale still life, portrait, landscape and architectural paintings are complemented by hand scale cast bronze, chiseled rock and polished marble sculptures. The gallery is energized by the volume of art, which works well because of the diminutive scale of the individual pieces.
Some of the most eye-catching pieces are created by guild President Elizabeth Tucker. Her still life paintings are lit after the style of the Flemish masters and composed well with classical still life subject matter. The artist's piece titled "Copper Pots" (oil on linen) depicts an assemblage of kitchen items, glowing copper pots, shiny black pitcher, pomegranates and onions, on an invisible shelf, against an incredible green mottled background. Green is a difficult color to balance, yet Tucker has found exactly the right under-painting and blended colors to execute her organic base.
Guild artist Karen Cope displays her work "Torque," a figure chiseled from soapstone, which is vestigial of the work of Renaissance sculptors. No larger than a conch shell, it is reminiscent of the small scale studies worked by 16th century guildsmen. The writhing figure emerges from stone, still half concealed, leaving much to the imagination. The figure is classical yet so much a part of the stone, that it requires scrutiny to see it. It is masterful and of a sculptural genre not attempted often enough. It is a small treasure.
Nice variations to the classical pieces in the exhibition are Judy Taussig's animated illustrations. Her piece titled "Bring a Friend — Elephant" (watercolor, pen and ink) triggers one's imagination to conjure the story behind the unlikely friendship. A woman with an umbrella picks flowers with an elephant. It is the stuff of a child's story rendered expertly. It would be wonderful to see Taussig share the thoughts behind her imaginings in prose!
A highlight of the show is Karla Bartholomew's oil painting titled "Vacationers." Three subjects, two men and a woman, dressed from an era past, rest against a rail fence with a bucolic mountain scene beyond. It is familiar, not unlike the photos from any album that recall family vacations. The technique is difficult with confetti-like blending of colors, the eyes do the interpreting, and the details are left to the imagination, or perhaps the memory, of the viewer. It is an engaging painting leaving one with warm feelings delivered with expert technique.
The Angeles Crest Art Guild members have produced professional, high-quality artwork. What is particularly inviting about this exhibition is the affordability and practical scale of the pieces. They are small enough to accommodate many types of spaces. It is always appealing to buy original artwork. Just buy what you love!
TERRI MARTIN is an art historian, an artist and art critic.
WHAT: Angeles Crest Art Guild exhibition
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday through Sept. 25
WHERE: The Towns Burr Gallery, 3609 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank
CONTACT: (818) 378-4591 or visit http://www.townsburrgallery.com