Artwork Inspired by Study Trip to Florence on Display at Gallery

Michael Konigsberg
El Vaquero Staff Writer

ã®´Due Ragazzi: Chris Filian and Bart Flores ã®´ Drawing in Florence with Friendsã®´ opened to a full house of spectators in the Library Art Gallery Feb. 7.

The show is a collection of work the artists started while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, in the spring of 2001, and is based on studies of works by old masters.

The show was conceived by Professor Emeritus of Art Leonard De Grassi, who taught in the Florence program and has served as a mentor to the artists on campus.

After observing what he felt to be their exceptional progress in Florence, he conceived the showcase with art professor and gallery director with Annabelle Aylmer, who agreed that Filian and Flores are ã®´two excellent students.ã®´

Flores was instrumental in organizing the exhibit, which meant selecting pieces that particularly highlighted the experience of studying in Florence.

Many of the works of ã®´Due Ragazziã®´ (Two Guys) either copy or take off from works by Michelangelo, da Vinci, and other Renaissance masters.

Well-wishers and art lovers included students; Professor of History Dr. Levon Marashlian; and Seta Kvrian, a television host from the Armenian National network, who taped the opening.
Aylmer greeted familiar Glendale art department alums like Greg Fujita.

ã®´I like the classical stuff ã®´ good texture and value,ã®´ said Fujita, in response to Floresã®´ ã®´Drapery Studyã®´ by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the only French artist represented.

Kvrian, who has known Filian for many years, said she had noticed ã®´immense growth beyond his yearsã®´ since his return from Florence.

The idealized masculine strength in the warriors of his original ã®´Battle of Valtaã®´ series and the anger in his self-portrait, she said, reveal a true artistã®´s high standards and frustrations. She has high hopes for him and for Flores.

Flores, who plans to research, publish, curate, and teach at a doctoral level after transferring to UCLA, credits De Grassi for his inspiration. ã®´You get so much more from him than from any other, more rigid professors. He makes you feel smarter around him ã®´ ã®´intellectual generosity,ã®´ I call it.ã®´
Filian, who plans to become an illustrator, said his mentor encouraged him to commit to art at Glendale before transferring to Art Center in Pasadena.

ã®´Due Ragazziã®´ will be display through Feb. 22.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. For more information, call (818) 240-1000, Ext. 5663.