Burbank art center steps up for 'Brand 41'

Ongoing renovation at the historic Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale forced organizers to secure a new location for this year's annual art exhibition, but they found a willing and generous venue in the Burbank Creative Arts Center.

Juror Bonese Collins Turner culled carefully through hundreds of entries from across the United States to choose various award winners for “Brand 41: Works on Paper: Memories,” which remains open through Wednesday.

The Burbank Creative Arts Center is much smaller than the Brand Gallery, but there is plenty of room to display the winners and a reasonable representation of the entries, all of which are de facto honorable mentions.

Winner of the Robert Brown Award was Shelley Powsner for her mixed-media collage “Migration.” Its horizontal format reads like a book with green, taupe and tan pages layered to recede out and pop in, giving the illusion of depth and texture.

The Jane Friend Purchase Award went to Judy Faulkner for her photograph “Salt Marsh House,” which depicts a haunting night scene, with diffuse moonlight reflections off the marsh and rooftop of a waterside house. The contrast is brilliant. Faulkner's photograph will be added to the resident collection at the Brand Gallery.

Bridget Klappert won the Brand Associates Award for “Zigzags,” an engaging pen, ink and marker piece that is right out of Andy Warhol's Pop Art scene, both energized and dizzying, jerking the viewer's eyes across this brightly colored piece. Klappert's hand-drawn work is a meticulous original.

Other award winners include Knarik Gevorkyan (the Craig Turner Award) for his “Unknown Artist” (ink); the Pat Zeider Award went to Ruth Gregory for “Forgotten Season” (colored pencil/graphite); Gregory Radionov received the Ripsime Marashian Award for his watercolor, “Home Alone: Social Networking”; and the Gerald and Georgia Brommer Award went to Kay B. Snodgrass for the etching, “Royal Flock.”

Honorable mentions include Bruce Burr's surreal photo, “Future Getty Villa,” offering a perspective from beneath a Greek Doric colonnade and out across an ocean under clouded skies, with floating geometric planes. Its crisp, dreamlike quality is reminiscent of Salvador Dali's playful perspectives and limp clocks. A regular contributor, Burr's work always reaches high standards.

Another nod must go to Sean Barnett's watercolor, “Stories of 31,” which captures an earlier era with a sepia palette of three lunch-breaking laborers, their skin and clothing reflecting rust from the corrugated steel building where they are perched. Barnett sets a mood and masters a difficult medium. It is one of the most striking pieces in the exhibition.

There are never enough awards, and juror Turner must have faced an arduous task in making her choices for this exhibition, presented by the Associates of Brand Library & Arts Center. “Brand 41” is a wonderful and inspiring show.

TERRI MARTIN is an art historian and contributor to Marquee.

What: Brand 41, Works on Paper: Memories.

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

When: Open through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sunday.

More info: (818) 238-5397, www.brandlibrary.org

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