The Glendale Area Temporary Exhibitions Project (GATE), along with the city of Glendale and local property owners, has contrived a symbiotic relationship that promotes local emerging and established artists and brings beauty and culture to downtown Glendale by replacing “for lease” signs in temporarily vacant business spaces with thought-provoking, smile-inspiring artworks.
These exhibitions began in December with GATE’s premier exhibition, “Increments,” located at 101 N. Brand Blvd., which livened up several empty suites with an exhibition of sculptures by Cynthia Minet — oversize animals formed by recycled plastics accented with LED lights, titled “Unsustainable Creatures;” Dillon Markey’s exploded scale copper wire self-portrait sculpture; and half a dozen more artists’ presentations.
The next suite of exhibits has been installed in three different locations downtown, spreading the innovative idea of “public art space” into new corners. Three seasoned artists enhance drive-by views.
Architectural designer and artist Jeremy J. Quinn’s street-level multimedia billboard installation piece, titled “Tomorrow”, is at 116 E. Wilson Ave., and energizes the block with an intent to stimulate a consciousness about the future. Bright yellow letters spelling out “TOMORROW” fill street-front windows to inspire diligent caution in passers-by.
Srboohie Abajian’s thoughtfulness about the responsibility of an artist to thread great stylized technique, together with an expression of the essence of the subject matter, is apparent in the presentation in suite 180 on the Broadway side of the building at 101 N. Brand Blvd. Abajian’s drawings and paintings, installed in between and behind fabric panels, speak clearly about their substance, just as the words of a good poet relay their own drama and emotion. Diaphanous fabric panels are hung at various depths. Paper hands hang randomly between veils, creating a mystical fog that shrouds Abajian’s line drawings on the furthest panels. The exhibit is appropriately titled, “Getting It.”
Across the street at 50 W. Broadway, P. Williams displays a graphics sculpture in the window, drawing attention to his creative ability to give dimension to the graphics medium, which relates to viewers who recognize the elements used by the artist. The artist fuses together cardboard storage and file boxes of various sizes and caricaturizes them in black and white. The animation brings to mind a monopoly board. Titled “Anti-Monumental,” the exhibit binds the utility of tools used by businesses to the GATE concept of transforming public spaces into points of artistic expression, creating a visual connection to the business community, and adding value and purpose to currently unleased space. It is good communication.
The GATE Project is “glass-half-full” proactivity that offsets what might otherwise be disheartening voids in downtown Glendale. I love this project. It is a paradigm of opportunity for Glendale residents and works like community glue that speaks to the unity of the city.
Terri Martin is an artist, art historian and art critic.
What: Glendale Area Temporary Exhibitions Project featuring artists Jeremy J. Quinn, Srboohie Abajian, and P. Williams.
When: Through April 1
Where: Quinn—116 E. Wilson Ave.; Abajian—101 N. Brand Blvd., Suite 180, Williams—50 W. Broadway, all in Glendale.