Artist in her late 60s will exhibit for the first time Sunday

48 HOURS

Art has always been a part of Phyllis Pearson's life. Inspired, she

said, by an artistic family, she was winning art contests and

receiving excellent marks on work she did in class from elementary

through her high school years.

But life's interruptions prevented her from getting professional

training. The Burbank resident did find ways to keep it close to her

heart, and finally is getting the chance to show her work for the

first time.

During the 1960s, she was chairwoman of the art department for her

woman's club.

She promoted child artists by visiting schools and submitting

their works in local and state competitions and they won prizes.

When she became president of the club, she created a partnership

in which artists would donate their work to be placed in schools.

Today, she's exploring her own ability. She paints landscapes and

still life in ink or ink and watercolor. The self-taught painter

gained her expertise, she said, by reading books and watching videos.

"I took one lesson in oil a long time ago, but I have never had a

lesson in watercolor," she said.

Living in the Golden Palms senior apartments in the Burbank

Village, she met a neighbor, writer and artist Rae Wilder. They soon

discovered a mutual interest in art, and Pearson invited her to see

her paintings.

"I've been an artist for many years," Wilder said. "Her work took

my breath away."

What made even more of an impression on Wilder was that Pearson

created such beautiful paintings despite her fingers being crippled

with arthritis. The painful disease hit Pearson hard in her early

30s, and, she continues to battle it in her late 60s, especially the

three fingers of her right hand, which hold the brush.

"I get to painting and I forget about everything," Pearson said.

"It takes you off to another world and it's nice to have something to

do like that."

Painting also helps keep her fingers limber.

"I don't want my hands to completely close up on me."

Thinking many seniors have artistic talents never seen, Wilder

decided to promote them. She is sponsoring the first semi-annual

Senior Art Show. It will be Pearson's first.

Seven other artists are in the show, scheduled from noon to 4

p.m. Sunday at the Golden Palms, 240 E. Palm Ave. Groups will be let

into the building every half-hour. Free parking is available across

the street. There is curb-side drop off and the building is

accessible by wheelchair.

Wilder is already planning a second show in August, and has sent a

letter to the American Assoc. of Retired Persons, hoping to inspire

them to create greetings cards featuring seniors' artwork for

fund-raising programs.

SPECIAL EVENTS

FRITZ COLEMAN APPEARS AT RED CROSS BENEFIT

The Burbank United Methodist Players will feature Fritz Coleman

during a variety show benefiting the Glendale-Crescenta Valley

Chapter of the American Red Cross at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Burbank

First United Methodist Church.

"One Night Only! An Evening With Fritz Coleman" will showcase a

stand-up comedy routine by KNBC-TV Channel 4's weekday weather

forecaster. Also on the program are musical performances by talented

church members Steve Hall, Ann and Brooks Gardner, Catherine

Davis-Cox, Bobbie Norman, Wendy Lashbrook, Philip McNiven, Russ Harr,

Marilyn Strong, Steve Kirwan and Sue Stamper. Brad Steed is musical

director.

The evening marks the 10th anniversary of BUMPs, which performs

plays regularly for the congregation. The group is also paying

tribute to the Rev. Larry L. Stamper for his support over the years.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Larry Stamper Scholarship

Fund.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door, or for

reservations, call 848-2091. Burbank First United Methodist Church is

at 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank.

In conjunction with this event, BUMPs is sponsoring a blood drive

for the American Red Cross from noon to 6 p.m. Monday at Burbank

First United Methodist Church. To sign up to donate blood, call

845-1531.

'NATIONAL VELVET' SCREENED AT ALEX THEATRE

"National Velvet," starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney,

will be screened at 2 p.m. today at The Alex Theatre in Glendale.

It is the third movie in the Alex's Family Film Series, which

features classic movies based on classic children's novels with the

goal of promoting literacy to young moviegoers. As part of the

festivities, there will be a drawing for books on horses, as well as

a first edition (1935) copy of "National Velvet."

Additionally, there will be a book drive. Moviegoers bringing a

gently used book will receive $1 off the ticket price.

The pre-show activities, beginning at 1 p.m., will include games

of horseshoes, arts-and-crafts projects, balloons, horse racing

videos and photo opportunities with a fiberglass horse.

The last film in the series is "The Secret Garden" on May 3.

Tickets are $7.50, $5 for children.

The Alex Theatre is at 216 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale.

ROAD'ERS GEAR UP FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY SHOW

The Road'ers Car Club will have its St. Patrick's Cruise In

classic vehicle show from 6 to 9 tonight at Bob's Big Boy, 1407 W.

Glenoaks, Glendale.

The first 50 entrants wearing something green will receive three

free raffle tickets. There will be raffles, a 50/50 drawing and disc

jockey Jim playing oldies but goodies. Eight trophies will also be

awarded to the best cars in their categories.

February's Best of Show trophy went to Steve Alexander for his

1966 Pontiac GTO. For more information, call Rick Fox at 240-9461.

This month, the club is donating $250 to sponsor a hole for the

Glendale Police Department's Cops For Kids golf tournament.

The club is also donating $300 to the Glendale Police Department

for its Easter program to help less-fortunate children.

ACTRESS ANGELA CARTWRIGHT EHIXIBITING

Actress Angela Cartwright, former owner of Rubber Boots gifts in

Toluca Lake, is exhibiting her hand-painted mono-print photographs at

A Studio Gallery, which has just opened in Studio City.

An artist reception is from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is at

4260 Lankershim Blvd., Studio City. The show continues through May 2.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon

Friday.

For more information, call 980-9100.

KNITTING GUILD OF AMERICA HAS CONVENTION

The Knitting Guild of America is having its national convention

and knitting market this weekend and continuing through Tuesday at

the Burbank Airport Hilton.

There will be seminars and classes given by nationally known

knitting teachers and vendors from around the country will be selling

yarns and supplies. Market entry is $5 a day. Class and seminar

prices vary.

The Hilton is at 2500 Holly- wood Way.

For more information, go to the Web site at www.TKGA.com.

VIOLINIST LEADS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AT ALEX

Acclaimed violinist Margaret Batjer will lead the Los Angeles

Chamber Orchestra on a musical journey through the ages at 8 tonight

at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. This is the first time Batjer will

direct the orchestra from her position as first chair.

It is appropriate that Batjer leads the orchestra for the first

time during National Women's History Month, whose theme for 2003 is

"Women Pioneering the Future," incorporating pioneering women from

U.S. history and innovative women of today.

Batjer made her first solo appearance at 15 with the Chicago

Symphony in Gian Carlo Menotti's violin concerto. Since then, she has

been reengaged by the Chicago Symphony and has appeared with the

Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and others around the

country.

The program is Handel's Concerto Grosso in A major, Op. 6, No.

11, Mendelssohn's Capriccio and Fugue, Bartok's Rumanian Folk Dances,

Corigliano's Voyage for string orchestra and Beethoven/ Mahler's

String Quartet in F minor, Op. 95 (Serioso).

Tickets range from $15 to $63, with discounts for students,

seniors and groups of 12 or more. Tickets can be purchased at the

door.

The Alex Theatre is at 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.

GCC JAZZ GROUP PERFORMS BIG-BAND CONCERT

The Glendale Community College Jazz Band will perform big-band

music at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium. Vocalist Diane Wallace

will be featured in the performance. Raymond Burkhart is director of

the band.

Tickets are $5, $3 for students and seniors, and children 12 and

younger get in free.

They may be purchased at the auditorium box office 30 minutes

before showtime.

For more information, call 240-1000, ext. 5621.

CRESCENTA VALLEY HIGH PRODUCES 'KISS ME KATE'

Crescenta Valley High School's performing arts students bring

"Kiss Me Kate" to the school auditorium stage. Combining theater

folk, gangsters and some of Cole Porter's great tunes, this

play-within-a-play details the relationship between an egotistical

actor and his temperamental ex-wife as they co-star in a production

of "Taming of the Shrew."

Show time is 7:30 tonight. The school is at 2900 Commu- nity Ave.

in La Crescenta. Tickets are $8, $5 for students. For more

information, call 249-5871.

* If you have press releases for the 48 Hours column, please

call JOYCE RUDOLPH at 637-3241 or e-mail joyce.rudolph@ latimes.com

or fax them to 241-1975.

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