By Pat KRAMER
Sunland resident Becky Mate founded Art Day in Glendale in 1998 as a way of creating appreciation for artists, photographers, poets and other creative people. Like most projects, the motivation came from an experience she had trying to sell photographs of beautiful flowers but she wasn’t getting any buyers. Believing that art deserved more recognition and appreciation, she decided to create a local holiday dedicated to the arts. Her first event was held in the courtyard outside her Glendale apartment where she invited local artists to join her to share their creations. There was a kid’s table where she gave art supplies to kids to create their vision in what she called a “magic picture frame.”
“My vision was that the whole town should celebrate this holiday by decorating their houses as well as their stores to support the arts,” said Mate.
From her repeated campaigns, Mate was able to get the mayors of Glendale to proclaim Art Day from 2006-11 and, in 2012, after Mate and her husband Randy moved to Sunland, Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes issued a proclamation to honor Mate’s Art Day Games, which were modeled after the Olympics, awarding prizes for different categories of art and poetry.
Held every year on the second Friday of Aug. (this year on Aug. 12) from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 7862 Apperson St. in Sunland, Art Day is a true celebration of creativity of all kinds.
“The idea is that people should give gifts of art, such as theater, play or concert tickets, and that families should get together and share gifts of art,” said Mate. “Art Day this year includes an open mic poetry competition where poets create on the spot using suggested topics. There will be a kids’ art table with free art supplies for children to create artwork, sponsored by Laurie’s Naturals, and a potluck food event with free barbecue provided by Randy Mate of New Castle Remodeling. Everyone is welcome to bring their paintings, short stories, sculptures, handmade jewelry or clothing art, poetry or a song. Past years’ submissions have included sculptures in sugar as well as lampshade art.”
People enjoy having a place where they are free to be an artist and can safely showcase their artwork without criticism, added Mate.
“Something magical happens when you gather a group of artists together. It’s a day for expressing your artistic voice. The idea is that artists have value to our society and that it is more than a frivolous or extraneous expense. In some countries,” said Mate, “I’ve heard that if people have two loaves of bread, they will sell one to buy art. That’s the kind of value I am trying to create.”
Art Day is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Look for the white picket fence with the piano keys painted on it.
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