“Mom is always doodling in a notebook, and if she’s sitting at the table and you hand her a napkin, out comes the pen and she is creating,” said Paula Tubert-Golden of her 92-year-old mother Myriam Tubert.
“We all have to be careful when she is at one of our homes eating,” added Myriam’s son, Marcelo Tubert. “We are always quickly grabbing a napkin she has drawn on and having her sign it before she or someone else uses it to wipe their mouth,” he added with a laugh.
While you won’t find any of Myriam’s napkin creations on exhibit in her one woman show currently on exhibit in the gallery of the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center, you will find an eclectic array of her works including oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures, drawings, sketches and written expression produced from 1972 to present.
The exhibit, presented as “Myriam Tubert – Lifetime of Art,” debuted this past week at an opening night reception which saw the gallery filled with members of the nonagenarian artist’s family, friends and colleagues from the fine arts, theater, television, film, and writing communities.
“This is not just an August event, it’s an august event,” said the artist’s son C. Phillip Tubert who curated the show. “This exhibit is a tribute to our mother who has been such an inspiration to me, my brother, and my sister for our entire lives,” he added during his welcome to the assemblage.
Born in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1931 to Jewish parents who had fled Eastern Europe, Myriam displayed an extraordinary natural talent for writing, acting and creating art from the time she was very young.
In spite of a nearly fatal illness that thwarted her formal education when she was just 11, Myriam embraced her autodidact inclinations and focused on all she could learn about numerous disciplines of the arts.
Immigrating to the United States in 1959, she and her husband raised their three children while Myriam continued her self-study of art history and techniques. She did this by reading, visiting art museums, gallery exhibits, and auditing art classes at the Otis College of Art and Design and the University of Judaism.
Proving to be a talented and prolific artist throughout the 1970s, the following decade saw her turn to acting and theatrical directing. She attended theater workshops and won roles in television, film and theater, appearing and directing with productions staged by numerous prestigious companies.
As for her half-century of painting, drawing and sculpting, Myriam’s works, which reside in private family collections, have never been publicly exhibited.
“We are so thrilled that with this exhibit she can share her magnificent works publicly for the first time,” said C. Philip. “Her creative pursuits have always been personal, emanating from a rich inner world driven by her curiosity and passion for intellectual exploration and creativity. Her art is untethered, occurring organically through an idiosyncratic lens, and originating from her inquisitive and expansive spirit.”
Last week’s reception was attended by award-winning actress Juliana Sloan best-known for her portrayals of Miss Wendy in Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” Rebecca in Lifetime’s “Every Other Holiday,” and as the voice of Mary Poppins in “Mary Poppins: The Legacy Collection” and Cinderella in “Cinderella: The Lost Chords,” for Walt Disney Records. She was accompanied by her husband John Sloan who has served as the co-artistic director of the Antaeus Theater Company and has appeared in numerous stage and television productions.
Other notables in attendance included renowned artist Kevin McCants who serves as Myriam’s current art instructor at the arts center, and Janel Bishop, a model who has been a longtime friend of Myriam and her family. Bishop, who also works as a fashion and real estate entrepreneur won the title of Miss New Hampshire Teen USA, and went on to take the crown as the 1991 Miss Teen USA, the first African-American woman to win the title.
Among the artist’s many family members who were on hand for the reception was her daughter-in-law, longtime Burbank resident Lori Tubert, and her granddaughter, Sarah Tubert, who serves as the captain of the USA National Deaf Women’s Volleyball Team. An actress, motivational speaker, and co-host of the podcast “What the Deaf,” Sarah lost her hearing when she was 3 years old after a surgical misadventure resulted in the severance of a facial nerve which paralyzed the right side of her face.
For more information on the current exhibit, which will run through Aug. 27 at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center located at 1100 West Clark Ave., gallery hours, art class opportunities and next month’s show, “Her World, Her Muse, Her Voice” which will feature the works of seven women artists, visit burbankca.gov and search Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.
First published in the August 12 print issue of the Burbank Leader.