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Obituary: Jane Friend, arts activist and water colorist

March 29, 2011

Jane Friend, arts activist and former president of the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center, passed away on March 18. She was 93.

Born and raised in Pasadena, she lived in Glendale for 47 years. She attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She worked primarily in watercolor in both traditional and experimental uses. Her work is found in both private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Friend was involved in the Associates of Brand Library since its inception in the late 1960s. She was the originator of the Brand National Art Exhibition, an annual juried show at the Brand Library & Art Center.


For many of the exhibition’s 39 years, Friend organized the exhibition and retained the services of nationally prominent jurors.

She was also a longtime member and served as a director of Watercolor West, an international organization of artists working exclusively in the transparent watercolor medium. She was an active longtime member of Women Painters/West, serving as that organization’s exhibition chair during the late-1970s and early 1980s as well as supervising its national tours of the members’ works.

Friend also was a member of the Pasadena Society of Artists and participated in many of their exhibitions. Friend became active with the Associates of Brand Library, and especially with the library’s art gallery at the organization’s inception in 1969. She also taught watercolor and monotype classes at the Burbank Creative Arts Center for more than 30 years.

Friend traveled extensively and her artwork was inspired by many drawings and sketches executed during her travels. She had an extended visit to Taiwan with her husband and expanded her body of watercolor work while there.

Jane is survived by her four children, Maurie, Nancy, Sally and John, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her husband, Carl Friend, preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. April 16 in the Church of the Hills at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.

Charitable donations in her memory can be made to the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center or the Burbank Creative Arts Center.

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