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Life and Arts

Close-knit art

The Art Center gallery is stuffed with knitted scarves and hats, ceramics, jewelry and beautiful hand-crafted ornaments.

Students, instructors and members of the Fine Arts Federation have been working all year, honing their techniques and producing their crafts to exhibit and sell at this year’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Boutique. It is a wonderfully festive way for the burgeoning art students, and their professional tutors, to show off their progress and experience the ultimate cycle for an artist — from creation to selling.

Known for its ceramics studio, the boutique is replete with bowls, platters, cups and sculptures. Some are quite professional, having been made using difficult clay-cutting techniques that result in a lacy, fragile look, while others are sweet and simple hand-formed vessels that are more elementary.

Lisa Saxton’s blue bowl was assembled from hand-cut shapes and finished with a pretty blue glaze. All would be wonderful and unique containers for holiday baked gifts.


Colorful, chunky hand-knitted scarves, hats, handbags and mittens are expertly made and exhibited in the back room of the gallery. I am so impressed with the blending of textured yarns and transitioning colors.

Alisa Mirkhanian’s tightly knitted handbag with variegated pinks and rusts was finished with a rhinestone button. The shaping of the knitted material looks impossible, but it turned out flawless and very lovely.

Artist Teri Suarez cleverly adorned journal covers with interesting collage, giving each book a unique character. Each journal was carefully designed and crafted as a one-of-a-kind with both holiday and year-round themes.

Pete Graziano reproduced his original paintings in reduced scale, and applied them to a device that both opens letters and removes staples. He packaged them in small tin boxes and repeated the image with a magnetized back that adheres to the container.


Dynamic colors energized the artist’s image of a resting lion, a photo reel technique depicts a young girl on a merry-go-round, and a bird’s-eye perspective of small children drawing with sidewalk chalk was thematically consistent for this event.

Graziano’s paintings are remarkable, and I would like to have seen titles for the images he chose to reproduce, and perhaps, signing the miniature painting on the magnetized version of the gift kit would have amplified its importance.

There is so much to see at the show and what a wonderful way to support the community’s budding artists, as well as the art center that provides them with a means to create.

Terri Martin is an artist, art historian and art critic.



What: Creative Arts Center 2010 Holiday Arts and Crafts Boutique

When: Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.; Mondays to Thursdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Dec. 16


Where: Burbank Creative Arts Center, 1100 W. Clark Ave., Burbank

Contact: (818) 238-5397