Artist brings color to walls of Civic Arts Plaza garage

Ventura County Star, CA
Oct 6 2004

Artist brings color to walls of Civic Arts Plaza garage

By Grace Lee, [email protected]
October 6, 2004

In the corner of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza parking
structure, world renowned artist Hakob “Jack” Jambazian studied a
wall awash in colors Tuesday.

For about a week, Jambazian has been transforming an interior wall of
the parking structure with a mural of reds, blues and yellows. In the
center of the wall, the figure of composer raises his arms in fluid
lines above a score. Ballet dancers hold their poses; musical notes
scroll across the wall.

“When you come from the theater, in the corner you can see two
figures, a composer and ballerina,” Jambazian said.

The Armenian-born artist has a body of work that includes
restorations of oil paintings, stained glass and engravings all over
the world.

He designed and executed the engraving of the angels on the glass
doors of the donor wall at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in
Los Angeles. He also restored all of the antique European stained
glass panels brought from the original cathedral.

Surrounded by ladders beside the stairwell, Jambazian was making
progress on a mural aimed at both adding beauty near the city’s
cultural and civic center and raising money as well.

Harry Selvin, a board member of the Civic Arts Plaza Foundation,
worked for about eight years on a plan to create murals throughout
the structure. It was his hope that patrons of the arts would finance
individual pieces of artwork and make a donation to the foundation.
In return, the donors would receive recognition for their
contribution.

“I came up with the idea of putting murals on the walls when I saw
the freeways and their gorgeous murals. And it gave me the
inspiration to suggest we do it at our theater,” Selvin said.

Getting to this point was a major challenge, Selvin said.

“I don’t think anybody could visualize what this would be or how to
do it. Many of them looked at the idea and said it was really nice.
But that’s as far as it went,” he said.

Finally, with the 10th anniversary of the Civic Arts Plaza to be
celebrated later this month, Selvin decided to tackle one of the
biggest challenges.

“I found a sponsor to pay for it. That was me,” he said. He declined
to say how much it cost him to hire an internationally known artist,
but he said he hoped the mural would inspire others to commission
portions of the structure.

His plan is to invite local artists to submit renderings to the
Alliance for the Arts, the financial arm of the foundation. The
foundation would then offer potential patrons to sponsor works.

The mural will likely be completed in about six weeks.

“It’s just starting to go up and I think it’s absolutely phenomenal,
just incredible,” Selvin said. “When the theater clients and the city
hall clients park their cars and to in and out, they will be
absolutely thrilled and inspired and motivated.”

Tom Mitze, director of the city’s theaters department, said the
unfinished mural has already drawn attention.

“It’s amazing. Everyone’s stopping and looking at it and commenting,”
he said. “It was just a concrete wall.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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