On the Town

Winners in the kindergarten through grade five category were, from left, Precious Romero, Melissa Orozco, Isabella Hedman and Kristian Solano. (April 10, 2012)

Few cities on the planet rely as heavily on the arts to fuel their economic engine as the city of Burbank. From the major studios to myriad businesses that provide ancillary support for the creative process, Burbank has rightfully earned its place as one of the world's most important and influential creative municipalities.

With the arts playing such an important role in the makeup of Burbank, it is comforting to know that the up-and-coming generation is rife with talent that is already proving to be a creative force to be reckoned with. That fact is clearly evident and on display for all to see as the Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery is showcasing works that have been submitted by local students through the city-sponsored Youth Art Expo 2012.

This year's expo was kicked off with a two-night opening celebration that included the presentation of 17 awards that included two best-of-show honors. Serving as hostess for both evenings, Recreation Supervisor Erin Barrows was joined by the gallery's director, Frances Santistevan, Recreation Program Specialist Barbara Rog and Senior Recreation Leader David Mudgett to honor the winners and all who participated in the juried competition.

“This year we had 1,610 submissions from students in Burbank's public and private elementary, middle and high schools — from kindergarten to 12th grade,” Barrows said. “Of those submissions, 205 pieces were selected to be featured in the gallery.”

With best-of-show honors bestowed upon Kimberly Lopez, a 10th-grader, and Dylan Howie-Richardson, an 11th-grader, both from Burbank High School, awards were also presented to Precious Romero, Melissa Orozco, Isabella Hedman, Kristian Solano, John Paul Alberto, Max Ostrow, Rouya Faizi, Allison Menendez, Reilly Edwards and Adam Cashman.

Among the hundreds of parents, family members and friends who came out to support the young artists was Burbank glass artist Andy Gersh, who in July 2010 was featured in a one-man show at the Creative Arts Center Gallery. His show, “Glass: Contemporary Fusion,” offered a fresh look at modern design as told through kiln-formed, fused glass. A rabbi and graduate of CalArts who studied under some of the glass-design community's most preeminent artists, Gersh took a back seat to his son, Owen, a fifth-grader at Providencia Elementary. Owen's drawing, which depicted exotic creatures of the sea, is one of the selected pieces on display.

Also supporting Owen were his mother, Sharyn, and younger brother, Leo.

Staged by the Creative Arts Center Gallery, the Fine Arts Federation and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, the Youth Art Expo exhibit will be on display at the gallery, located at 1100 W. Clark Ave. in Izay Park, through April 19.

Along with the annual Youth Art Expo, the Fine Arts Federation also presents a seven-week summer art camp and regular art classes and workshops held at the Creative Arts Center. Federation membership includes invitations for monthly gallery shows, the opportunity to participate in the annual March membership show and the annual holiday boutique.

Annual membership dues are $25 for individuals and $20 for seniors (60-plus).

For more information, call the gallery at (818) 238-5397.

DAVID LAURELL can be reached at dlaurell@aol.com.