First published in the Aug. 27 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Over the past century, Burbank has had no shortage of artists who have lived and worked within the city.
From Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” who created with ink pens and brushes, to those who now work in front of computer screens at Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, rare is the Burbanker who doesn’t have a friend or acquaintance who toils in some discipline of the visual arts.
Burbank has also been, and is, the home of many fine artists including Nan Rae, Mina Ho Ferrante, Randall Williams and the late Kendall O’Connor.
While the walls of Burbank homes are adorned with original works, prints and celluloids of many of the aforementioned, the chances are better than good that the most-widely owned and displayed art of Burbankers are the creations of the late Alice Asmar, who died in 2021.
Born in Flint, Michigan, in 1929, Asmar displayed a prodigious talent for drawing and painting as a young child. That talent blossomed during her teens and after earning a bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, she matriculated to the University of Washington in Seattle.
Upon graduation, with a Master of Fine Arts degree, Asmar worked for Boeing Aircraft on classified drawings of military aircraft and then returned to Lewis and Clark University as a teacher before finally settling in Burbank where she established a successful career as an artist.
Along with her prolific fine art creations, predominately employing the media of oils, acrylics, pastels and ink, which have been exhibited in numerous prestigious galleries, institutions and private collections, Asmar also worked as an illustrator for the Los Angeles Times and as a private teacher.
Actively involved in the local arts community, she played an instrumental role with the Burbank Art in Public Places Committee and as a two-decade member of the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission.