August 14, 2009 – Glendale, CA: In honor of International Art Day, the holiday that honors the arts and artists of all disciplines, the founder, Becky Mate, held her annual Art and Chocolate Celebration. Around 75 artists from the local community attended.
One comment that Mate kept getting at the party was appreciation for that she had set the Art Day holiday in motion.
The children’s Art Hunt was a success. Children searched for art supplies, CDs and little objects of art which were hidden for them in the back garden.
When she asked what kind of art they liked to do, they were all bursting to tell her.
Mate told them that long ago the Magic Picture frame was beautifully made by an expert carpenter, but he felt lonely because he was empty. Then he found out how much creativity and imagination is in the heart of children. Because of the children, his frame was always full of wonderful art, so each year he gives children gifts of art in appreciation of their artistic inventiveness.
One of the moms listening was nodding approvingly. When they ran enthusiastically to the back garden to look for the hidden art, their exuberance surprised the mother of two of them, as they nearly bowled her over. Once they got their treasures, they were showing each other, trading amongst themselves and showing the adults what they had gotten.
The networking aspect made the celebration a matchmaker between artist and venue.
One artist, Marina Rehrmann, gathered artists for a show in an empty building in Pasadena that will be the Church of Scientology Pasadena.
Rehrmann also knew a person that would be interested in Christina Tashjian’s large paintings (8 feet tall) and facilitated further meetings.
Rehrmann said that a couple of the artists who came were inspired by the response to their work to create a larger body of work so they could go from hobby to professional status.
Leslee McDermott showed her silk flower arrangements. She began doing them because she saw so many people being down about all the bad news in life. With little flower arrangements, she brightens their day. Because they are silk, they last, and can perk someone up on into the future.
Young Vardui and her sisters, longtime yearly attendees, brought drawings about Art Day.
The youngest artist bringing a canvas of his painting was 6-year-old Sarkis Tashjian, son of artist Christina. He had gathered up his stuffed animals and painted a picture of them on canvas, and one could distinctly make out two pigs, a teddy bear, etc.
A thirteen year old showed her illustrations.
At the open mic (without the mic) artists shared poetry, music, visual art, etc. People are thrilled to show their work, although one adult was a bit shy and Mate had to show her work for her.
A Glendale News-Press reporter, Mary O’Keefe, came while Mate was setting up and she talked to her for a long time. She liked the fact it was a homegrown holiday. Her photographer came and took photos.
Also during the party, Ruth Sowby, who Mate has known for years through the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission and through Alameda Writers Group (which meets at the Glendale Library,) columnist for the Glendale News-Press came and took notes for her Weds column. Prior to Art Day was yet another article in the Glendale News-Press featuring Alice Asmar, whose work was displayed prominently at the party and Marina Rehrmann.
Shery Miljoner showed her handmade artistic jewelry. She had been instrumental in placing notices about the party in local papers, such as the Pasadena Weekly, and even co-wrote and article about Art Day which appeared the Tujunga Foothill paper.
Elissa Glickman, who runs www.GlendaleArts.org and who is the marketing director of the Alex Theatre, has supported Art Day for many years by putting a poster in the frames at the Alex and she invited Mate to the Downtown Glendale Merchants Assn and asked her to bring posters for attendees to post, and took some for businesses who weren’t there.
Mate had designer Paul Huth in San Diego design a poster. Then Mate went along the main street in Glendale and asked store owners for permission to hang the posters that said, “Celebrate Artists; we wish you and your family a Happy Art Day.”
One of the posters was also hung in a restaurant in Hollywood, where the owner was so impressed with the idea that he called the editor of the Asian Journal and asked her to cover the story. Mate sent her a press release about Art Day, which was published without changes.
The garden of a 20-apartment building was where the celebration took place. Three of the tenants put their art in the lobby.
One of the people who attended used to own a gallery and is an art rep, Carol Williams.
The new President of the Glendale Art Assn (GAA), Art Ranklin came to the party. Mate did a presentation to him of the 4th annual Mayor’s Proclamation of Art Day for taking responsibility for the artists in Glendale. He said that the GAA artists will be having more venues, and he wants to let more people know about the GAA.
One of the Commissioners on the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission, Aramazd Stepanian, an actor and theatre owner, volunteered to be on the Glendale Art Day Committee for the next year.
Click the following link to see the top four selections of art for the AFABW 2009 Art Day Mail Art project.