Hundreds visit Fine Arts Festival

San Fernando Road got a beauty makeover this weekend as dozens of artists shared their work at the Downtown Burbank Fine Arts Festival.

The artists and hundreds of art lovers took over San Fernando Road between Olive Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard, which was closed to traffic Saturday and Sunday.

Burbank resident Lisa Burks strolled among the booths, finding some one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts and a little inspiration to boot.

“It makes me want to go home and be crafty,” she said.


Works ranged from statuary and inlaid wood furniture to photographs, watercolor paintings and more.

Street painters, using chalk as their medium and San Fernando Road as their canvas, sketched out works to be started and completed during the fair.

Susanne Ma said she has worked at fairs from Santa Clarita, where she lives, to the Saratoga Chalk Festival held last month in Florida. She said she enjoys the Burbank fair, where artists are not asked to draw on a designated theme or create a piece of a certain size.

“It’s pretty relaxed,” Ma said. “They give you the freedom to do what you want.”


Ma said onlookers often ask if she is saddened because her work is so ephemeral. Rain, traffic or zealous cleaning crews usually wipe way her paintings shortly after the fair.

Ma said she takes it in stride.

“You do what you can do within two days, then just release it,” she said.

Andy Anh Ha, a former Burbank resident, showed his abstract pieces and silhouettes of flowers painted on large pieces of wood or sheet metal and coated with a transparent polymer glaze. His work was drawing steady attention.

“I did this show about three years ago,” Ha said. “It seems like it’s getting bigger.”

Newly minted Burbank Cultural Arts commissioners were also at the event, asking artists and supporters to register at www., as the city seeks to support and cross-promote arts activities.

“This, finally, is a vehicle to get to all of the people of Burbank,” said Cindy Pease, a member of the commission and executive director of the Media City Ballet.

Photographer Mindy Martinsen put together several series of photos capturing letters on freeway and business signs, as well as letters she spots in the environment, such as a palm tree by the beach that forms an “I,” or wooden slats at a construction project that make an “E.”


Martinsen, of Monrovia, said she has collected about 5,000 letters as she cruises around the Southland.

“I’ve learned not to take my camera everywhere I go,” she said, “because it has made me a bad driver.”

The Downtown Burbank Fine Arts Festival is held twice a year, in November and June.