Art day brings out the community

Becky Mate is a one-woman band. In 1998, this Glendale resident founded International Art Day in the backyard and lobby of her modest Lexington Drive apartment. This year, Mayor Laura Friedman drafted a proclamation recognizing Art Day as the second Friday in August (Aug. 12). Mate, who is an artist, writer and organizer extraordinaire presided over the collection of artists, children and members of the community who dropped by for the annual “Community Art and Chocolate Party” in honor of Art Day in Glendale. Mate’s mantra — ”Hug an Artist.”

Glendale artist Richard Heimbold was the featured artist at the party. His painting of the Alex Theatre was recently selected by California Senator Carol Liu to take to Sacramento to represent her district in the California State Senate Contemporary Art Collection. At Mate’s party, Heimbold displayed two of his impressionism-inspired paintings. “Nicole’s French Deli” in South Pasadena and “Venice Boardwalk,” both on sale for $500.

Members from the community were invited to bring a potluck dish and encouraged to create art projects together in Mate’s backyard. A kids’ hunt did not turn up Easter eggs, but art supplies each child could take home.

Heimbold’s work can be seen at the Glendale Art Association’s art scholarship fundraiser Fall Salon at White’s Art Framing and Restoration Gallery in Montrose from Oct. 4-30.

A garden party at the Kenneth Avenue home of Kathy and Kent Lee may be considered the kick-off to Glendale’s social season. On Aug. 11 close to 50 members and guests of the second ward Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gathered under starry skies and twinkling tree lights to sup, socialize and temporarily put down their sewing machines and irons. This group is known for having donated hundreds of hand-sewn pillow cases to young patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. But tonight was strictly fun. Glendale residents on hand included, Letha Christiansen, daughter-in-law Mariko Christiansen, Tish Mayer and just-married daughter Megan Johnson, on her way to live in Rexburg, Idaho.

More Glendale residents included Jane McVay, Jerry Shanklin, Sharon Chadsey, Carolyn Crane, Nancy Kochi, Micei Ige, Hanna Alita, Dana Turpin, Mallory Brown, Holly Gardiner, Angela Prieto, Melissa Madsen, Shirley Muir, Rebecca Dahl, Amanda Leavitt, Cheryl Hudock, Heather Pond and Sheila Anderson. Party crashers were Brian Corrigan and John Rogers.

The Relief Society’s monthly Humanitarian Aid Days produce the pillow cases from colorful characters fabric donated by Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank.

It was the garage sale to end all garage sales. On Aug. 13, A Noise Within classical theatre company had for sale scenery, props, costumes, wigs, furniture, lighting, seating and photographs to prepare for its move from Glendale to Pasadena. Even before the 9:00 a.m. opening, some 150 collectors were lined up on Brand Blvd. to be among the first to put their hands on the merchandise. Only an hour and a half into the sale, the number of customers climbed to 300. Thousands more were expected by the 2:00 p.m. closing.

Theatre-minded Glendale residents looking for treasures included David Fein, goddaughter Sara Pierce, 15, and recent resident Joseph Dammann. Christine Jordan collected a pile of costumes for the childrens’ drama class she teaches at the Pacific Park Community Center. Janice Ogata from La Crescenta squirreled away a pink, feathered headdress. “I saw the sale on the news, and I was curious,” said Ogata, “I was trying to be an actress a long time ago.”

Tujunga resident 9-year-old Jack Elliott was there to help out his parents, Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott, 1992 founders of A Noise Within. When asked whether the sale was bittersweet, Rodriguez-Elliott answered, “Bittersweet? No. It’s fun to see costumes and props and remember the plays they came from.” Rodriguez expected the sale’s proceeds to be anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000. The funds will go toward the company’s $13.5 million fundraising goal and its move to a 33,000-square-foot playhouse in Pasadena at the end of August.

A Noise Within will be up and running with the October 29 gala opening of its first show, Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” The play marks the start of the company’s 20th anniversary season.

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