GLENDALE — Making art is by nature a lonely act. Yet many creative people have the desire to get together to show and talk about their work.
Local art associations provide a con genial forum for those activities. Along the eastern edge of the San Fernando Valley, several art clubs have been doing just that for decades.
The Glendale Art Assn. was organized more than 70 years ago to "create and preserve beauty and to promote the appreciation of art," says a written statement from the group on its history.
Born out of art classes that were held in the late 1940s in the back room of Pomeroy's Art Store on Magnolia Boulevard, the Burbank Art Assn. was established in 1950. It will celebrate its 45th anniversary in September.
Just three years before that, the Verdugo Hills Art Assn. came into being. And in 1947, 50 artists founded the Highland Art Guild. Members voted to change the group's name to the Eagle Rock Art Assn. in 1987.
Recent work by members of these four art associations has been brought together at the Brand Library Art Galleries in the juried show "Local Four." These associations have exhibited together at the Brand once before, in 1987.
For the current show, each association held its own competition. Jurors were hired from outside the groups to choose works for consideration for the Brand show.
More than 220 pieces combined from the four clubs were then displayed at a Glendale church gymnasium. From among them, Dottie McKnight, a painter and member of the California Art Club and the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, chose 60 works for the Brand show.
"It was a tough competition and I thought she was very fair about putting the show together," said Bill Donaldson, the Glendale Art Assn. president, who helped coordinate the exhibit. "It's quite a prestige to show at Brand."
On view are paintings, watercolors, pastels, a few mixed media pieces and one photograph. McKnight used the criteria of "good composition and color" to make her selections, she said.
Her criteria is evident in Donald Collins' photograph, "Reflections/Lake Vesper," a pleasant image of a landscape's reflections upon a lake. Collins belongs to the Eagle Rock, Glendale and Verdugo Hills associations.
Dolores Dundas, of the Glendale and Verdugo Hills groups, cast her eye on a local landscape in "Silver Lake Trees." The watercolor collage conveys a certain strength in these trees, and the suggestion that such hardiness is needed to survive in our urban atmosphere.
In contrast, several of the watercolors reflect solely the innate beauty of their subjects, without contextual reference. Gentility and peacefulness permeate Eagle Rock member Pat C. Tom's refined image of "Blushing Callas." The cool, dreamy vision of "Grapes" by Verdugo Hills member Yoko Cohen makes one recall the fruit's sweet taste on a hot day. Eagle Rock and Verdugo Hills member Maurine Hixson's abstract "Bottlescape" captures the beautiful lines of bottle shapes.
In "Witch's Landing," watercolorist Rosa Odow of the Burbank association evokes the joyous, goofy nature of an unusual Hansel and Gretel-type house in Beverly Hills. Burbank colleague Carole Buss depicts an underwater milieu in "Lion Fish" and takes note of the hierarchical nature of the ocean world.
Paintings on view also present appealing environments. Glendale association member Rolf Zillmer transports us to the wide open spaces in his otherworldly oil, "Garden of the Gods." Caryl M. Christian Levy, of the Eagle Rock group, ferries us to a somewhat sinister "Cadmium Island," and to her completely abstract, colorfully inviting "Deavon Meadow."
Along with "Local Four" and various member exhibits, these art associations hold monthly meetings at which an artist presents his or her work "so that members get a flavor of what others are doing," McKnight said. "It brings them together, and makes them lifelong friends. I think that's great."
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WHERE AND WHEN
What: "Local Four: Burbank, Eagle Rock, Glendale, Verdugo Hills Art Associations." Location: Brand Library Art Galleries, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale. Hours: 1 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Ends March 7. Call: (818) 548-2050.
Also: To contact the "Local Four": Burbank Art Assn., P.O. Box 1013, Burbank, 91507-1013, (818) 767-1857; Eagle Rock Art Assn., 1518 Linda Rosa, Los Angeles 90041, (213) 254-8778; Glendale Art Assn., 500 N. Central Ave. Glendale, 91209, (213) 660-4204; Verdugo Hills Art Assn., P.O. Box 8059, La Crescenta, 91224, (818) 248-6551.