Jane Friend (1918 – 2011)

janefriendArts activist, watercolorist, and Brand Associate extraordinaire.

Jane Friend, who resided in Glendale, California most of her adult life, was actively involved in the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center from its beginnings in 1969. She was the originator of the Brand National Art Exhibition, an annual juried show at the Brand Library & Art Center that is, to this day, the only one of its kind in Glendale. This exhibition has over the years grown in size and prestige and is now one of the most popular national juried art shows in the United States. For 35 of the Brand National’s forty consecutive years, Jane organized and supervised the exhibition and retained the services of nationally prominent jurors.

Friend attended Chouinard Art Institute. She was an active member of Water Color West, a national organization of artists working exclusively in the transparent watercolor medium. She was also active in Women Painters/West, serving as that organization’s exhibition chair during the late 1970s and early 1980s as well as supervising their national tours of the members’ works. She was a member of the Pasadena Society of Artists and participated in many of their exhibitions mainly  working in watercolor. She excelled in both traditional and experimental uses of her medium. Her work is found in both private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Jane also taught watercolor and monotype classes at the Burbank Creative Arts Center for over 30 years. She traveled extensively and her artwork was inspired by many drawings and sketches executed during her travels.  Jane’s home on Irving Avenue was filled with her artwork and her own collections during her travels.  The prominent California artist Millard Sheets (1907 – 1989) was one of her mentors.

Upon her passing, the Associates named the Annual Purchase Award in her honor. The Jane Friend Purchase Award is granted to an outstanding work of art selected during the Brand National Juried Exhibition and it becomes part of the Associates’ permanent collection. Download printable version of Jane Friend Purchase Award information.