Jamie Butterworth
President, Burbank Art Association

Co-Chair, Community Working Group, Burbank Arts for All Foundation

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“I am an artist, mostly painting landscapes and abstracts in oil, but recently, I’ve been working on a series of birds. I just had a solo show of 30 of my paintings at the Geo Gallery during October. A selection of work will be on display at Basecamp Dinette (1221 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506) during November with a reception on Sunday, November 19 from 3-6 pm. I also teach art to elementary students after school at Edison Elementary and at Burbank Home School Campus. I’ve been teaching for 3 years but I organized and volunteered in a lot of the arts programs and classes at Edison when my kids were in school there. I do volunteer work now with the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, specifically with the Secret Art Show and Community Exchange. I’ve served for the past year and a half as the president of the Burbank Art Association and was the Programs Chair for several years before that. This is a 50+ year old non-profit group of over 100 local artists with the mission to encourage creativity and showcase members’ work. In addition to visual arts, I have a few different musical projects going on. I like to sing Americana and Jazz and play around town occasionally with my band. We are planning to do some songs at the November 19 reception at Basecamp.

How did you first become interested in your art?
“My kids were taking art lessons from Randall Williams when they were little and I thought it looked fun and I wanted to try my hand. I’d never tried art myself even though I had worked in creative careers. I took a few more classes and bought my first set of brushes and paints in 2010. For the next few years, I took all the drawing and painting classes I could at the Creative Arts Center, Burbank Adult School, and privately. I also volunteered in all the art classes during and after school at my daughters’ elementary and middle schools, learning art skills and also best teaching practices from the many teachers I observed.”

How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“Personally, I find almost all of my community through art. My social interactions are with the kids I teach and their parents, at Burbank Art Association events, with my fellow volunteers and staff of the Burbank Arts for All Foundation and people who attend their events, people I play music with, talking with the teachers and owner when I take my daughter to her guitar lessons at Burbank Music Academy, etc. So, I think the arts enrich our community by creating community. Of course, art itself, in public places, makes our community more beautiful, interesting, vibrant and desirable — a mural lights up a wall. A public performance brings life — excitement and vitality — to an area. (I just got back from New Orleans and the whole time I was there, my ears were preened for the next musical encounter that was waiting around each corner!) The two organizations I mentioned above are great to engage with. The Burbank Art Association is for visual artists of all levels and mediums. We meet the third Wednesday of each month for a different art demonstration or presentation, and we have at least two group shows per year, as well as other opportunities to share work in pop-up shows, fairs, and solo shows. Our Fall Member Show opens on November 3 at the Creative Arts Center with a reception from 7-9 pm. The Burbank Arts for All Foundation raises money to support arts programs in the Burbank public schools. We have regular (almost) monthly Community Exchanges that welcome everyone, two Creative Circles Forums per year focused on creative career paths in our community, and two fundraisers — the Party on the Plaza Gala in the spring and the Secret Art Show in the fall. The next Creative Circles Forum is Wednesday, November 8 at the Colony Theater at 7 pm with a one-hour panel discussion on Documentary Films. (or from Burbank Music Academy http://www.burbankartsforall.org/creative-circles-forum/) There is also quite a bit of live music around Burbank. Viva Cantina on Riverside has two stages with live music almost every day of the week, and just along Burbank Boulevard, The Park Bar and Grill has music every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night, D’Argenzio Wine Bar has live music every Thursday night from 7-9 pm, and the Moose Lodge has free Monday night Blues with Grammy-award winning Pete Anderson.”

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“Try it! Try something, anything! Go to one of the many paint nights offered around town, take a class at the Creative Arts Center, the Burbank Adult School, or Burbank Music Academy. Try different visual arts mediums, oil, watercolor, pottery, or music or dance or theater! Think about what you may have been interested in as a child or what you have admired others for doing, and do it! There’s an artist in everyone — it’s just a matter of finding your art form. Experiment, discover your inner artist, and enjoy the many benefits.”

To find out more about Jamie’s work, visit http://www.jamiebutterworthart.com/