The small and humble bust of the founder of our fair city, Dr. David Burbank, is located beside the Downtown Public Library, at 110 N. Glenoaks Blvd., facing Olive Avenue. It was created by artist, Rick Doray and has been on display since 1978. It sits atop 4 time capsules placed there on July 4th, 1977. Each to be opened on Independence day of 2001 (already opened), 2026, 2051, 2076.
Art with a Twist
A Walk in the Park
The piece, called "Requiem," was created by artist Erwin Binder in 1988 and resides in Johnny Carson Park on Riverside Drive between Buena Vista and Bob Hope Drive. The plaque states it is Burbank's tribute to great Americans, "The Defenders of the Constitution" Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, funded by a collection of proud patriots assembled by Mr. Bob Hope and Mayor Michael Hastings. There is a plaque on the other side naming all the donors.
This evening I was able to capture the piece in truly amazing circumstances. The sun was shining on it perfectly and fortunately for me a gentlemen named Mel who frequents the park with his dog talked with me for a few moments about his appreciation for the sculpture. He wondered if it was controversial because it is abstract. As someone who works in and appreciates abstraction easily, it was interesting to consider the courage it might have taken for Burbank to accept an abstract work.
I think the ambiguous identity of the piece causes it to be as Mel mentioned, a piece that sparks conversation, and also contemplation. It is evocative. I highly recommend walking all the way around three dimensional pieces because different angles provide fresh insights and opportunities for revelation. My first thought, especially after reading the plaque was that it looked like giant tear drops. On the other side I saw victorious arms and strength. As the sun shone through the center I thought of the hope of a new day. Later I considered it could be a perpetual flame of remembrance, or a beacon, like leaving the light on for loved ones to find their way home.
The art in public places website describes the bronze sculpture as an abstract expressionist flame. Yet all the thoughts and feelings that came to my mind and yours are equally valid. That is the glorious thing about art appreciation, each person's opinion is correct! Plus, we can all expand and grow through the conversations art inspires.
This whimsical brushed aluminum cut out sculpture of children and animals is found at the entrance to the Burbank City Animal Shelter, 1150 N. Victory Place.
After looking at the websites of the artist, Joe Fay, and Burbank Art in Pulblic Places, I realize that the individual pieces have been reconfigured since it's original placement in 1993. Nevertheless it is still a playful and bright piece. An especially nice greeting when one has come in hopes of finding "Best Friends."
The Art of Necessities
It is evident on what building this high relief sculpture is found! Located at 164 W. Magnolia Blvd.
"Burbank Evolves" is becoming the victim of evolution! It is being overgrown with plant life. Go see this amazing piece while you still can! This monument stands at the corner of Third Avenue and Angeleno Street by the Courthouse parking structure. It describes in a kind of timeline and by way of a variety of individual pictures an historical account of early California, the valley, and the development of Burbank.
The work was created by a technique called concrete form lining. John A. "Tony" Sheets is the artist who designed and executed the piece. You can just barely see his name in the bottom right photo underneath the figure with the clapperboard. Click the pictures to make them bigger.
There is a photo of the piece without the over growth at the City of Burbank's Art in Public Places page.
Udderly Unexpected Art
For the first time I've gone out of my way to look for an artwork. I had a local police officer tell me about a cow on top of a building near Lake and Verdugo, so I went in search of it today. I found it at 156 W. Verdugo Ave. on the business offices of Market City Caffe.
The cow has been around for quite some time, first on display at the Pasadena restaurant then several years ago mooved to this location. At this time I don't know the name of the artist.
The design on the cow is ornate and astronomical, and there are scientific math equations on the udder!
Figure of Caring
A saintly bronze character is found in front of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at 181 Buena Vista. She is the Blessed Emilie Tavernier Gamelin, the Foundress of the Sisters of Providence.
Raoul Hunter is the artist whose original cast piece is located in a metro station in Montreal where the shelter she founded once stood.
This replica and seven others, which are found in Providence institutions around the country, have loaves of bread added to the basket and in her extended hand as seen in the pictures. This represent her tireless efforts to feed and comfort the hungry and misfortunate.
Blessed Emilie is portrayed with a kind face and as a woman of obvious action. She looks as though she is ready to come right off the pedestal!
When I first approached this artwork at 201 Buena Vista in the medical center plaza, I thought it was one piece that spanned the walkway. However, after closer inspection they are two separate sculptures by the same artist placed near each other to create a grouping. The one closest to the building is entitled, "Surge," and the other is "Course." There is a definite sense of movement from one to the other and yet Guy Dill has created two large three dimensional sculptures that seem reduced to a thin line when looked at from one end.
I have driven by this sculpture at 1800 West Magnolia Blvd. so many times, and just yesterday exclaimed, "Hey, that's art!!"
From the street, the sculpture is somewhat hidden among the trees at the corner of Orchard St. However, It's design describes it so perfectly because I instantly thought to myself, "It looks like a totem pole with pictures of dead presidents" (in other words, money). "Money Totem" is exactly what artist, Ron Pekar, calls his sculpture built of graphically cut Corten steel and mesh.
Six portraits of presidents as seen on American money rise up one above the other overlooking the parking lot of the Burbank City Federal Credit Union.