Remnants burn brightly on Brand

DOWNTOWN GLENDALE — A vacant building across from the Americana at Brand has once again been transformed into a gallery, the second event curated by a local arts nonprofitusing remnants from past fires.

Several hundred community leaders and arts patrons last weekend gathered at 216. S. Brand Blvd. to celebrate the opening of "Inspire" — an exhibition featuring more than 150 pieces by 45 different artists.

It is the second exhibition Glendale-based nonprofit Art from the Ashes has produced at the city-owned building, the future home of the Museum of Neon Art.

"This is a good use for the space and keeps interest alive in the meantime," said City Councilman John Drayman, who helped orchestrate MONA's move to Glendale.

In July, Art from the Ashes partnered with the Glendale Parks & Open Space Foundation for their exhibit, which featured art made out of ash and other remnants left behind by the Station fire.

The month-long run attracted more than 2,000 patrons and raised more than $40,000 — a portion of which went to support rehabilitation efforts at Glendale's Deukmejian Wilderness Park, which saw nearly all of its 709 acres scorched during the Station fire.

This time, "Inspire," which runs through Dec.18, will raise money to benefit artists who have donated work to previous Arts from the Ashes exhibits.

"This is our way of saying we are going to give you something back now," said Glendale resident and artist Joy Feuer, who founded the nonprofit in 2007.

For the exhibit, each artist has created at least one piece that incorporates reclaimed fire site materials consistent with the nonprofit's mission. The gallery design itself also relies on reclaimed materials.

Artwork spans a variety of mediums, including sculpture, paintings, photography and other forms.

Feuer said the event could not have taken place without support from Glendale officials, who once again donated the city-owned space that will eventually host the Museum of Neon Art.

Phil Lanzafame, director of the city's Redevelopment & Housing Department, said the event also benefits Brand Boulevard merchants by attracting people to the downtown area.

"We are using a different tool to attract people that may be a different niche than we are currently attracting to our retail and restaurants," he said. "We want to activate Brand Boulevard and doing it with art is helping us."

As a longtime Glendale resident, Feur said she has been thrilled to see the recent civic focus on arts.

"I'm elated, to put it lightly," she said. "It's a positive thing to be able to tell people that…there is a platform and a desire to foster an active arts community for the public."

The gallery will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The suggested donation is $5. To schedule a private event, call (818) 406-7434.

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