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In The Spotlight:

Playing to the gallery

May 24, 2010|By Michael J. Arvizu

Silvana Art Gallery, at 1731 W. Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale, is the culmination of a longtime dream of gallery owner and curator Silva Ambar, who along with her sister Hasik Sarkisian celebrated its grand opening reception on May 1. Previously, the gallery existed solely as an online operation.

Ambar’s gallery has a variety of art, from the paintings of traditional Texas artist Tod Williams, to Los Angeles native, oil painter and en plein air artist Jennifer McChristian, to the miniature sculptures of Ricky Maldonado and the etchings of Tigran Sahakyan, with his piece “Old Yerevan.”

“A lot of the clients that we have really need to come see the originals,” Ambar said. “This is a great location to open a gallery. In Glendale, we don’t have this type of gallery.”

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Ambar started the online gallery, www.silvanagallery.com, about five years ago. The new gallery, at 2,050 square feet, is made up of work from artists around the world, including local artists, who specialize in traditional art, contemporary art and fine crafts, such as sculpture.

Artists from around the world have already submitted their work through Ambar’s website, with most of the original works coming from award-winning, established fine artists, Ambar said.

Some of Ambar’s artists include Armenian artist Tsolak Shahinyan, who works with clay and mixed media; oil painter Armen Vahramyan; Haik Grigoryan, whose etching on paper artwork features a drawing of Don Quixote; and well-known Russian artist Andrey Aranyshev.

When considering which artists to accept, the gallery considers the artists’ background, which galleries they have been affiliated with, and their mission statement, if applicable.

“We are taking the art, and we are representing,” Ambar said. “We are very careful. Art is an investment.”

The gallery’s opening comes at a time when the economy has forced some art buyers to minimize the amount of art that they buy. However, Ambar has seen an improvement in the art business lately, with her core clientele made up of buyers interested in collecting art rather than reselling it later.

“It’s a very hard business,” Sarkisian said. “It’s really hard to survive because art is a luxury. It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the gift shop. People don’t come in every day and buy art.”


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