Burbank Creative Arts Center

Artist Joyce Kaminski, left, with Claude and Ann Hulce enjoying the evening at the Burbank Creative Arts Center. (Courtesy photo)

During a weak economic environment, purchasing a piece of fine art is perhaps not high on most folks’ priority list. While that is understandable, it should also be acknowledged that this is, in fact, a great time to purchase, own and enjoy a beautiful artistic creation at a fraction of the cost one would usually have to pay. That is especially the case this month as the Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery presents a silent-auction fundraiser to benefit the Burbank Fine Arts Federation.

“This is an opportunity for people to own a piece of original art at a very reasonable price,” said one of the center’s founders, Claude Hulce. ‘There are things here that sell for well over $1,000 that people will be able to get for a couple hundred dollars.”

Offering an eclectic mix of more than 100 oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, ceramics, photos and various two and three-dimensional creations donated by artists whose work has been showcased at the gallery, the fundraiser kicked off this past Friday evening with an opening-night reception.

“This is an opportunity for our students and supporters to buy beautiful works of art at reasonable prices while making proceeds available for us to continue our work and buy needed equipment and supplies,” said Gallery Director Frances Santistevan.

Among the artists, instructors and gallery patrons in attendance on opening night were Marilyn and Ken Stein, Ben Goldman, Lois Ramirez, Joyce Kaminski, Ann Hulce, Barbara Rog and Michael Hirsh.

Others who made the evening a success by their presence, bidding or donation of work included Antonio Pelayo, Peter Ko, Bruce Burr, Barbara Close, Michael Bradley, Fritz Suter, Jenik Cook, Wendy Polish, Spike Dolomite, John Hopkins, Charles Borman, Angela Hernandez, Catherine Money, Andrea Raft, Charlie Morey, Martin Mondrus, Jeanne Townsend, Fred Branson, Lynn Gadal, Jeanne Hyland, Laura Long, Dori Marier, Carole Gillin, Diane Dubin, Barbara Tabachwick, Elizabeth Patterson, Jonathan Gallagher, Shari Beaubien, Mary Guzman, Leo Monahan, Peter Graziano, Ellen Rundie and Helen Lee Kim.

The exhibit of items included in the silent auction will be on display through the final day and hour of bidding — August 24 at 7 p.m. — and bids may be checked on and increased by visiting the gallery located at 1100 West Clark Avenue in George Izay Park or by calling (818) 238-5397.

When the silent auction exhibit concludes, the gallery will be showcasing the work of Claude Hulce. The exhibit, on display throughout the month of September, will be presented as a tribute to Betsy Lueke, who died last year. During Lueke’s long career with the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services Department, she established a quality visual and performing arts program for the city and co-founded the Creative Arts Center and the establishment of programs provided by the facility. The tribute show will included an array of painting and clay works from 1972, the year the center was established, through 2011, the year of Lueke’s passing.

DAVID LAURELL can be reached by e-mail dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.