New Art Exhibit at Glendale Library

Shiny silver and gold paper structures hang from the ceiling of the Glendale Library on Harvard Avenue. The art exhibit “15,000 & More: A Plethora of Light and Darkness” by artist Connie D.K. Lane commemorates the thousands of lives lost due to COVID-19.


On Friday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger was among the dignitaries who attended the Glendale Library, Arts and Culture unveiling of “15,000 & More: A Plethora of Light and Darkness,” an art exhibit that memorializes the lives lost to COVID-19 thus far in Los Angeles County.

Due to the pandemic, the exhibit can only be viewed by the public by looking through the library windows (preferably at night).

The art installation features thousands of silver and gold ingot-shaped, folded paper structures that hang from the ceiling of the Glendale Central Library. Each ingot represents a life lost. The sad reality for artist Connie D.K. Lane was that she had to keep adding ingot pieces to the display because the death toll in LA County continued to rise at such a rapid rate. When the art exhibit was unveiled there were 20,000 ingots.

Lane will not keep adding ingots even though the number of deaths due to COVID-19 continues to rise. As of March 2, there were 21,554 deaths reported in LA County.

“It’s a beautiful and poignant reminder of the last year and what we’ve experienced as a community and as individuals,” said Dr. Gary Shaffer, director of Glendale Library, Arts and Culture.

Ingots were used in Chinese ancestral worship of deceased relatives. Lane wanted to share this part of her cultural heritage.

“Often these ingots are burned in a special ceremony as an offering to one’s deceased ancestors in the afterlife,” according to a statement from the Glendale Library.

“I have always been a visual artist,” Lane said.

That is evident when one walks into the library. The number of silver and gold ingots at first is simply a beautiful exhibit that seems to float down from the ceiling; however, once the reality of what they represent is realized the emotion is overwhelming. Each one represents a life lost, each one represents a family in mourning.

In addition to Supervisor Barger, Glendale Mayor Vrej Agajanian, Caroline Tufenkian of the Glendale gallery Tufenkian Fine Arts, artist Lane and Shaffer were present.

LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger attended the unveiling of the exhibit.

“I can’t believe it has been a year that, as chair, I announced the Safer at Home [order],” Barger said, “and today we have come full circle.”

She thanked all who were involved in putting together the exhibit and for their continued efforts in supporting the community throughout the pandemic.

        “Although this past year has forced us to stay distant, our community is connected and committed, and today you are seeing the fruits of that labor,” Barger said.

Lane said she uses art to share and to teach others of her heritage and her outreach to share her heritage was included in “15,000 & More: A Plethora of Light and Darkness.” She had invited several community members to help craft the symbols.

        “We had the community [help make] the ingots,” she said.

People were given an artist-pickup-kit and Lane made an instruction video on how to make the ingots. She added it was a community-based art exhibit.

Even though there is a downward trend in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths, Agajanian reminded people to remain vigilant.

        “I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines. While we have made progress in fighting COVID-19 it is imperative to continue washing our hands and staying six feet apart from others when out in public to ensure our safety and that of our community,” he said.

The library remains closed due to mandates issued by LA County Public Health.

The art exhibit was sponsored by the City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission as part of the program Art Happens Anywhere – COVID-19 relief initiative.