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Art Fiesta to Exhibit Local Artists at the Art Fiesta to Exhibit Local Artists at the Historic Padua Hills Theatre

The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 15th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 4, 2018  with an outdoor art show, exhibition and film, craft demonstrations, music and festive foods.  Visitors can shop for unique original artwork as they stroll through the beautiful olive groves of the Padua Hills Theatre. The exhibition will examine the history of the Padua Hills Artist Colony.

Sunday, November 4, 11am to 4pm at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for Claremont Museum of Art members. Children under 18 are free. A free shuttle is available from Padua Park.

  • Thirty area artists will display and sell their original artwork. New artwork this year will include paintings by David Guerrero and Joe A. Oakes; jewelry by Elizabeth Carr, Michael Cheatham, Ellen Dinerman and Heather Meier; ceramics by Christy Johnson and Damien Ross; photography by Paul Faulstich and woodwork by David Wade. And you will find many favorite returning Claremont artists: Paul Brayton, Sumi Foley, Rebecca Hamm, Kathryn Herrman, Mike Hill, Patricia Hinds, Aleta Jacobson, Paul Kittlaus, Annie Marquis, Kathleen McCall, Hal Metlizky, Jerry Owens, T and Jon Pacini, Lynda Pazstor, Jeremy Sullivan, Gaby Tepper, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft and Maureen Wheeler.
  • Area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations and art books will be for sale.
  • This year’s exhibition Padua Hills Artist Colony 1945-75, produced by Claremont Heritage, will feature artists who lived and worked in Padua Hills during the heyday of the Claremont Art Scene including Jean and Arthur Ames, Betty Davenport Ford, Sam Maloof, Harrison McIntosh, Millard Sheets and Milford Zornes. The film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community will be shown.
  • ARTstART students will lead families in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch.

Special thanks to Art Fiesta sponsors Jeffrey K. Stark & Associates, Investment Services; Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty; and Ryan Zimmerman, Broker Associate, WSSIR.

The Padua Hills Art Fiesta originated in 1953 for local artists to bring art into the community. The studio art movement that flourished here in the 1950s centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities. Visitors came from miles around to meet the artists and watch “art in action” at the popular festival. In 2011, the Claremont Museum of Art revived this tradition with a new generation of artists sharing their talents.

Jean Goodwin Ames and Arthur Ames in their home studio in Padua Hills from the Scripps College Archives

THE EXHIBITION 

The exhibition Padua Hills Artist Colony: 1945-75, produced by Claremont Heritage, will feature the small planned community nestled in hills above Claremont and the artists who lived and worked there during the heyday of the Claremont Art Scene.

In the mid-1920s, a group of twenty Claremont Citizens banded together to purchase over 2,000 acres in the foothills above Claremont to keep the area safe from undesirable real estate developments that threatened to encroach on the community. A local businessman, Herman Garner, was charged with heading up the development of the land. A corporation was created and the vision for a community that embraced art, culture and education was formed. The plans included residential homes, a cultural arts center, artist’s studios and shops.

The Padua Hills Theatre itself opened in 1930 and was the dream project of Bess and Herman Garner. Longtime home to the famous “Mexican Players” performance group, the Padua Hills Theatre became an immensely popular dinner theater destination for tourists across all of Southern California. In addition to the theater and dining room, Padua Hills also included several art studios, kilns, and the Arts and Crafts Shop that carried artwork by local artists. Ceramicist, William Maker famously operated out of a studio at Padua in the 1940s where he created his renowned “Mankerware” ceramics. Later Betty Davenport Ford taught ceramics classes here for several decades.

Padua Hills attracted a number of artists (some were given land and/or labor to build their homes and studios) and faculty from the Claremont Colleges over the years.  They built their homes and the community began to grow.  A number of significant architects, including Richard Neutra, Theodore Criley Jr. and Fred McDowell, were hired to design the homes.  An “art jury” consisting of Millard Sheets and Foster Rhodes Jackson had to sign off on the plans.  The intersection of art, design and culture created a unique and desirable community.

The lynchpin of the Claremont arts movement was Pomona native and world-renowned artist Millard Sheets. After graduating from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Sheets came to Scripps College in 1930 to help develop the fledgling art department. Through his influence, Sheets was able to invigorate the art faculty by bringing in notable artists like Albert Stewart, Henry Lee McFee, Jean Ames, and William Manker to serve as art professors. He encouraged all of these artists to build their homes in Padua Hills and others followed.

Artists Betty Davenport Ford, Harrison McIntosh, Hildred Reents and Milford Zornes built their homes in Padua Hills in the 1950s. Sam Maloof lived and worked in the Sheets guest house for several years and Rupert Deese shared the McIntosh studio for six decades. Lindley Mixon built a home and studio on Mt. Baldy Road designed by Foster Rhodes Jackson which passed on to artists Diane Divelbess and Norma Tanega in 1972.Sheets no doubt helped influence a generation of Claremont artists at mid-century, spurring on the city to become an “art mecca” for local artists and craftsmen.

HISTORY OF THE PADUA HILLS ART FIESTA

As Claremont’s art community grew and many artists either worked at the Padua Hills Theater or resided in the Padua Hills artist colony just south of the theater on Via Padova, the theatre became the obvious location to host an annual Art Fiesta. The First Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta took place from July 25 to August 2, 1953 and as Padua Hills Theatre founder, Herman Garner proclaimed, “is destined to become one of the outstanding annual events of the art world.” The stature of artists taking part in this initial event immediately propelled the fiesta to a high standard, with participating artists reading like a who’s who of the Claremont art community in the 1950s. The theater’s arcaded walkways and shady olive groves provided a natural and beautiful backdrop for the art event and was a great success. The art fiestas showcased a variety of artwork including painting, sculpture, prints, pottery, enamels, jewelry, glass, weaving, ironwork, and furniture. Not only were these pieces for sale, but demonstrations were also carried out allowing for an interactive experience for the public and a look into the artist’s creative process. The initial Art Fiesta featured a panel of 32 Claremont artists including Jean and Arthur Ames, Millard Sheets, Albert and Marion Stewart, Phil and Betty Dike, Richard Petterson, Betty Davenport Ford, Hildred Reents, Harrison McIntosh, and William Manker. Other artists featured at the Fiesta throughout the years include Karl Benjamin, Paul Coates, Paul Darrow, Diane Divelbess, Robert Fleck, Carl and Sue Hertel, James Heuter, Anthony Ivins, Sheldon Kaganoff, Roger Kuntz, Sam Maloof, Douglas McClellan, Walter Mix, Lindley Mixon, David Scott, Paul Soldner, James Strombotne, John Svenson, Sylvia Pauloo-Taylor, Ed Traynor, Melvin Wood, Robert E. Wood, Jack Zajac, and Milford Zornes. While these artists all worked in different mediums, the goal of the Padua Hills Art Fiesta was to bring art into the community and showcase art that centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities.

“Art in Action” was the motto of the first Padua Hills Art Fiesta and the event was a groundbreaking gathering that sought to showcase Claremont’s talented artists and their methods and crafts. The Art Fiesta broke down barriers between the Claremont artists and the public, allowing for interaction, education, and championing of Claremont’s burgeoning art community. 65 years later, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta continues to live up to its original theme, allowing local artists to showcase their craft and share their creations with the Claremont community.

While the original Padua Hills Art Fiesta only lasted 7 years, from 1953 to 1959, the current incarnation of the Fiesta seeks to replicate the educational and entertaining feel of the original events, all the while continuing to practice and showcase the “Art in Action” theme of the original fiestas. The arts movement in Claremont continues to flourish in and the Padua Hills Art Fiesta seeks to showcase a new generation of Claremont artists. By following the principles of the original fiestas, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta will continue to advocate its local artists and keep Claremont truly an art mecca.

Growing with the Program: ARTstART Veterans Take a Bow

ArtStart

Project ARTstART, CMA’s students-teaching-students arts education program, is in its eighth year of operation serving Claremont’s students. Many students have participated for more than one year, building their presentation, teaching and leadership skills. With graduation 2018, we said goodbye to two longtime participants, Madeline Helland, one of the original ARTstARTers from 2011-2012, and Xiucoatl Mejia, one of the original ARToon middle-school students who served with distinction in Project ARTstART for four years. Melissa Lach, a graduate of our program is a member of the Project ARTstART team now that she has completed her teaching degree.

Madeline Helland in 2013

Madeline Helland, who graduated from Scripps College in May, is an ARTstART veteran, holding multiples roles in the program over the years. She started as a sophomore at CHS and finished as a paid intern mentoring students: “During ARTstART’s inaugural year, I participated in it as one of the first high school student members. Eight years later, I am concluding my final year as a Project Assistant Lincoln Scholar, interning for the program. What initially drew me to ARTstART was the emphasis it placed on learning about local artists and the local arts community and its mission to offer arts education to schools where it had been weakened or eliminated by budget cuts. The program has continued to evolve over the years, serving its students in new ways. While I have loved developing creative art-making projects, visiting museums, and working with students each week, the program’s ongoing impact in the community and its ability to adapt to change is what has kept me involved for so long.”

Xiucoatl Mejia in 2018

Xiucoatl Mejia, who graduated from Claremont High School in June 2018, shared that “ARTstART has been an overall beautiful opportunity that I was blessed to experience here in Claremont. It showed me many fundamental and creative ways to actively participate and make change in my community.  I am thankful for the many ways ARTstART allowed us to connect to Claremont youth, as well as our own peers. I had experienced ARTstART lessons first-hand when I participated in the ARToon program at El Roble Middle School and was personally inspired. Being an ARTstARTer at CHS for all 4 years has been a huge part of my decision to continue my art career and teaching in college, and I am forever thankful for that. I hope to be involved with ARTstART in the future as a college student and be able to have a part in the team once again.”

Melissa Lach: “I started working with ARTstART in 2011 during my sophomore year at CHS. I loved having the opportunity to work with friends, peers, mentors, and children. After graduating high school, I attended the University of La Verne to study education and fine arts. Now that I have my B.A., I am so excited to return to work with ARTstART this upcoming school year as a Project Associate, mentoring high school students and leading our AfterARTs and ARTStation workshop series!”

Melissa Lach in 2018

As in the past, ARTstART trained high school students, working with college mentors, provided exhibit-based art lessons and field trip experiences to 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools. In addition, ARTstARTers led students enrolled in all seven CUSD elementary BLAST or ACES after-school programs in art-making activities that produced more than 900 student art projects as part of the AfterARTs series. Hundreds more were served with drop-in art-making at Village Venture, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta, and the CicLaVia Earth Day celebrations, in addition to the monthly ARTStation series at CMA’s Depot location.

CMA wishes to thank its dedicated ARTstART volunteers, stakeholders, and supporters for another noteworthy year. Project ARTstART is produced solely by the Claremont Museum of Art in partnership with the Claremont Unified School District (CUSD). The program is funded by generous donations from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Claremont Lincoln University; the Spearman Charitable Foundation; the Claremont Educational Foundation Partnership Grant (CEF); the City of Claremont Community-Based Organization (CBO) grant; Kiwanis Club of Claremont; Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation; as well as Board members and many dedicated community donors.

–Rich Deely, Project ARTstART Director

Primal Nature: Animalia by Women in Post-War Claremont

September 21 – January 6, 2019
Claremont Museum of Art
200 W. 1st St, Claremont

Animals, both real and fantastic, occupied an important place in artistic expression in mid- twentieth-century Claremont, appearing in the work of ceramists, painters, enamelists, and sculptors. Primal Nature: Animalia by Women in Post-War Claremont, curated by Susan M. Anderson, focuses on this phenomenon, particularly in the work of women artists who played a vital role in the development of the arts in Claremont.

The exhibition, sponsored by Gould Asset Management LLC, will be on view September 21, 2018 through January 6, 2019 at the Claremont Museum of Art, located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4:00 PM, and during Art Walk, the first Saturday of every month from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

The exhibition is generously sponsored by Gould Asset Management LLC.

Gould Asset Management

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Mid-century modern art, architecture, and design in Claremont were influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement that developed in 19th-century Great Britain and flourished in the United States through the 1920s. Although the movement was multi-centered in America, the fullest expression of its ideals was to be found in Southern California. Here, with a focus on traditional craftsmanship and a lifestyle that promoted immersion in nature, artists drew sustenance from local flora and fauna, and vernacular design.

In Claremont, the ethos of the Arts and Crafts Movement lingered during the Depression era and experienced an extraordinary resurgence in the post-war period. This was due in large part to the influence of Millard Sheets and to the artists, designers, craftspeople, and architects he drew to the growing Claremont art colony beginning in 1932.

In the post-war period, Sheets’s exhibition programs at the Los Angeles County Fair included almost yearly arts and crafts shows, including the regionally important “The Arts of Daily Living” and “The Arts of Western Living.” These helped foster Claremont’s creative community, as did the Millard Sheets Studio on Foothill Boulevard where dozens of artists, craftspeople, and architects worked on landmarks, in Claremont and beyond, such as the Home Savings and Loan buildings with their signature mosaics.

Themes drawn from nature, especially animal forms, were common. Since classical antiquity, artists have assigned meaning to animals real and imagined. At the same time. animals—wild, domesticated and fantastic—often functioned for artists as creative muses or effective design solutions.

Primal Nature explores the significance of this shared theme and the context for its emergence in the work of pivotal figures in Claremont such as Jean Goodwin Ames, Betty Davenport Ford, Barbara Beretich, and Susan Hertel. The exhibition also includes works by Marjorie Burgeson, Dora de Larios, Ingrid Petersen, Hildred Reents, Martha Underwood, Nina de Creeft Ward, and Ellamarie Wooley.

Susan M. Anderson is an independent curator and art historian with a focus on the art of California. She is a former chief curator of Laguna Art Museum. Assisting the guest curator in her research, Scripps College undergraduate Linnea Rosenberg participated in the organization of this exhibition as this year’s Millard Sheets Art Intern.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Jean Ames, Untitled, detail, c.1962, enamel and bronze. Claremont Museum of Art, promised gift from Kathleen Wicker and Lois Langland.

Jean Goodwin Ames’ (1903-1986) preferred medium was enamel, but she was also a painter. Ames, who taught at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School from 1940 to 1962, described her oeuvre as being filled with “enchanted birds and beasts.” Her commitment to enamel contributed to the recognition of the medium as an art form in the years following World War II.

Barbara Beretich’s (1936-2018) ceramic sculptures of cats, which she often finished in bronze, also recall archaic sculpture while being highly polished and stylized. From 1962 to 1965, Beretich attended Claremont Graduate School, receiving an MFA. From 1973 to 1978, she operated Gallery 8 on Harvard Avenue, and, from 1978, Galleria Beretich, located in her home. Both offered important exhibition venues for local and regional artists.

Betty Davenport Ford, Clouded Leopard, c.1976, Stoneware. Collection of the artist.

Archaic animal forms recalling Egyptian, Greek, and Romanesque styles were popular among sculptors. The ceramic anincmal sculpture of Betty Davenport Ford (b.1924) exhibits this historicizing approach. Ford aims to balae the capture of the animal’s essential spirit with sound design. She graduated from Scripps College in 1946 and remained a vital part of the community through her work with the Millard Sheets Studio.

Susan Hertel (1930-1993) mused in a poem that she was “not a person of the people tribe,” suggesting a closer kinship to the animals she often portrayed in her paintings of everyday life. Hertel received her BA from Scripps College in 1952. Working in the Millard Sheets Studio, she subsequently became chief designer and executor of murals throughout Southern California, Texas, and Arkansas, for Home Savings and Loan.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt 

Karl Benjamin, #8, 1972, oil on canvas.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt 
July 13 – September 16, 2018
Claremont Museum of Art at the Depot

The Claremont Museum of Art presents Intersecting at the Edge, an exhibition that juxtaposes recent works by Los Angeles artists Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt with paintings and sculptures by seminal Claremont artist, Karl Benjamin. Using bold colors and clean edges each artist expresses a distinct sensibility that may allude to the refinement of architectural structure, the mesmerizing dazzle of echoing shapes, or the vastness of atmospheric luminosity. The exhibition is curated by Los Angeles-based artist Dion Johnson and sponsored by Louis Stern Fine Arts, Beverly and Beth Benjamin.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt will be on view July 13 through September 16, 2018 at the Claremont Museum of Art, located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. and on Art Walk August 4 and September 1, 6-9:00 p.m

In 1959 Karl Benjamin was featured in the groundbreaking exhibition Four Abstract Classicists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art critic Jules Langsner, who wrote for the catalogue, is credited with coining the term “Hard-edge” painting. While New York based abstract painters were making expressive canvases with gestural brushstrokes, stains or drips, California artists like Benjamin were synthesizing geometry and color by painting sharp edges, smooth surfaces and solid hues.

Like the California hard-edge painters, contemporary works by Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt embrace lyrical forms and chromatic sensations. The spatial explorations in Martin’s oil on linen paintings employ vivid colors and crisp graphic elements to produce lively activity and unexpected situations. Comprised of precisely assembled bands of colored plexiglas, Zammitt’s pristine surfaces shimmer and glow.

About the Artists

A dazzling practitioner of hard-edge painting, Karl Benjamin fills each canvas with meticulously orchestrated color. His intuitive sensitivity to the peculiar union of form and color produces works that defy reason and return the viewer to the purely sensual delight of seeing.

Karl Benjamin (1925 – 2012)
Born in Chicago, Benjamin graduated in 1949 from Southern California’s University of Redlands with a B.A. degree in English literature, history and philosophy. He began his career as a teacher with no intention of becoming an artist. However, his relocation to Claremont, California in 1952, shortly after he began “playing” with paint in 1951, galvanized his sense of his career path. Benjamin was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Visual Arts in both 1983 and 1989. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions and is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, among others. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the estate of Karl Benjamin.

Heather Gwen Martin, Source Code, 2016, oil on linen

Dancing is too polite a term to describe the kinetic energy in Heather Gwen Martin’s oil paintings; it’s more like choreographed turbulence where weightless color formations blossom and flutter in crosswind currents. Her use of dramatic scale shifts amplifies the chromatic choreography and also allows for quiet moments where smaller slender shapes gently tip-toe around the vast swells of flowing space.

Born in 1977 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Martin studied at the University of California, San Diego and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been seen in museum and gallery exhibitions as far afield as Italy, New York, Detroit and Houston. Her work will also be featured in the forthcoming exhibition Chaos and Awe Painting for the 21st Century at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, and traveling to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA. Martin lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by L.A. Louver.

Eric Zammitt, Triangular Straight, 2015, Plexiglas

Eric Zammitt’s carefully placed color juxtapositions often produce curvilinear waveform compositions that appear to be the visual equivalent of a tremolo sound with progressively changing notes and volume. His work feels both natural with its radiant glow and digital with its planned structure. His sculptural pieces are towering stacks of horizontal color that fit perfectly together like a cross-section of an architectural prism.

Born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California, Zammitt creates paintings and sculptures in the medium of colored plexiglas. His intricately composed and assembled paintings and sculptures are often associated with light, music, mosaics, energy fields, and concepts of quantum theory. He has shown in the U.S. and internationally, and his work is part of many private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, California, and the Gerald E. Buck Collection.

More Information About the Artists

Karl Benjamin on Color Theory video – http://claremontmuseum.org/wordpress_1181796124/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/KB_colorTheory_Quick_high.mp4

Heather Gwen Martin video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFtORDXQPXc

Eric Zammitt video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25684zuxWNY

About the Exhibition

Curated by Dion Johnson, Intersecting at the Edge reveals the rich interplay between chromatic space and pictorial motion that unites these artists’ works. In Benjamin’s Black and Gray Curves with Purple (1960), a breeze seems to gently animate planes of color; similarly, the shapes and hues in Martin’s Cue (2017) appear airborne like sails and streamers. Benjamin’s #1 (1992) feels like a party where curvy shapes dance to color rather than music, and in Zammitt’s Grey Spectral Nocturne II (2014), the party confetti rhythmically forms colorful trajectories.

 

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt

For Immediate Release

May 17, 2018

Karl Benjamin, #8, 1972, oil on canvas.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt 
July 13 – September 16, 2018

The Claremont Museum of Art presents Intersecting at the Edge, an exhibition that juxtaposes recent works by Los Angeles artists Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt with paintings and sculptures by seminal Claremont artist, Karl Benjamin. Using bold colors and clean edges each artist expresses a distinct sensibility that may allude to the refinement of architectural structure, the mesmerizing dazzle of echoing shapes, or the vastness of atmospheric luminosity. The exhibition is curated by Los Angeles-based artist Dion Johnson and sponsored by Louis Stern Fine Arts.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt will be on view July 13 through September 16, 2018 at the Claremont Museum of Art, located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

In 1959 Karl Benjamin was featured in the groundbreaking exhibition Four Abstract Classicists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art critic Jules Langsner, who wrote for the catalogue, is credited with coining the term “Hard-edge” painting. While New York based abstract painters were making expressive canvases with gestural brushstrokes, stains or drips, California artists like Benjamin were synthesizing geometry and color by painting sharp edges, smooth surfaces and solid hues.

Like the California hard-edge painters, contemporary works by Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt embrace lyrical forms and chromatic sensations. The spatial explorations in Martin’s oil on linen paintings employ vivid colors and crisp graphic elements to produce lively activity and unexpected situations. Comprised of precisely assembled bands of colored plexiglas, Zammitt’s pristine surfaces shimmer and glow.

About the Artists

A dazzling practitioner of hard-edge painting, Karl Benjamin fills each canvas with meticulously orchestrated color. His intuitive sensitivity to the peculiar union of form and color produces works that defy reason and return the viewer to the purely sensual delight of seeing.

Karl Benjamin (1925 – 2012)
Born in Chicago, Benjamin graduated in 1949 from Southern California’s University of Redlands with a B.A. degree in English literature, history and philosophy. He began his career as a teacher with no intention of becoming an artist. However, his relocation to Claremont, California in 1952, shortly after he began “playing” with paint in 1951, galvanized his sense of his career path. Benjamin was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Visual Arts in both 1983 and 1989. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions and is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, among others. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the estate of Karl Benjamin.

Heather Gwen Martin, Source Code, 2016, oil on linen

Dancing is too polite a term to describe the kinetic energy in Heather Gwen Martin’s oil paintings; it’s more like choreographed turbulence where weightless color formations blossom and flutter in crosswind currents. Her use of dramatic scale shifts amplifies the chromatic choreography and also allows for quiet moments where smaller slender shapes gently tip-toe around the vast swells of flowing space.

Born in 1977 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Martin studied at the University of California, San Diego and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been seen in museum and gallery exhibitions as far afield as Italy, New York, Detroit and Houston. Her work will also be featured in the forthcoming exhibition Chaos and Awe Painting for the 21st Century at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, and traveling to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA. Martin lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by L.A. Louver.

Eric Zammitt, Triangular Straight, 2015, Plexiglas

Eric Zammitt’s carefully placed color juxtapositions often produce curvilinear waveform compositions that appear to be the visual equivalent of a tremolo sound with progressively changing notes and volume. His work feels both natural with its radiant glow and digital with its planned structure. His sculptural pieces are towering stacks of horizontal color that fit perfectly together like a cross-section of an architectural prism.

Born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California, Zammitt creates paintings and sculptures in the medium of colored plexiglas. His intricately composed and assembled paintings and sculptures are often associated with light, music, mosaics, energy fields, and concepts of quantum theory. He has shown in the U.S. and internationally, and his work is part of many private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, California, and the Gerald E. Buck Collection.

More Information About the Artists

Karl Benjamin on Color Theory video – http://claremontmuseum.org/wordpress_1181796124/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/KB_colorTheory_Quick_high.mp4

Heather Gwen Martin video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFtORDXQPXc

Eric Zammitt video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25684zuxWNY

About the Exhibition

Curated by Dion Johnson, Intersecting at the Edge reveals the rich interplay between chromatic space and pictorial motion that unites these artists’ works. In Benjamin’s Black and Gray Curves with Purple (1960), a breeze seems to gently animate planes of color; similarly, the shapes and hues in Martin’s Cue (2017) appear airborne like sails and streamers. Benjamin’s #1 (1992) feels like a party where curvy shapes dance to color rather than music, and in Zammitt’s Grey Spectral Nocturne II (2014), the party confetti rhythmically forms colorful trajectories.

About the Museum

The Claremont Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street in Claremont just steps away from the Metrolink Station. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for CMA members and children under 18. The museum is also open from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month for the Art Walk.The first Sunday of the every month is Free Family Day with free admission and ARTStation, a place for children to experience art and engage with local culture. High school students in CMA’s Project ARTstART lead visitors in an art activity related to the current exhibition. ARTStation is generously sponsored by Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty and Broadview Mortgage.

ARTstART Presents StART It Up with ART in the Park

Project ArtStart at Mountain View ElementaryFor the culmination of year seven, high school members of the Claremont Museum of Art’s Project ARTstART will plan, curate, and install ARTstART: StART It Up, an overview exhibition that includes works on paper, collage, sculptures, and paintings from each of the art units presented to 4-6th grade classes at Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools.

As part of this year’s exhibition, ARTstARTers will host art-making activities for visitors of all ages at ART in the Park on Friday afternoon 27 April from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Memorial Park at 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. The StART It Up exhibition will be on view in the nearby Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Center. The exhibition will also be open on Saturday, 28 April and Sunday, 29 April from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Project ARTstART, a Claremont Museum of Art education program, trains high school students, working with college mentors, to provide exhibit-based art lessons for elementary school students. The program brings high-quality, art appreciation classes and art marking activities to the Claremont school system to inspire, promote understanding of art and highlight Claremont’s rich artistic history.

ART in the Park

What: Project ARTstART high school students will lead art-making activities for all ages. The StART It Up exhibition, presented by the Claremont Museum of Art, will be on view in the nearby Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Center.

When: Friday April 27, from 3:30-5 p.m. The exhibition will also be open on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont

Project ARTstART is completing its seventh year under the direction of Rich Deely, who first conceived of the program and remains its Project Director. During this academic year, seven undergraduate members of The Claremont Colleges mentored 60 high school ARTstART students, who then presented multi visit exhibit-based art lessons to upper grade students from Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools. Activities to date have included exhibition visits, field trips and classroom art-making.

In addition, ARTstARTers served BLAST, ACES, and AVID aftercare students at all seven CUSD main elementary campuses each month with our AfterARTs Series of art-making workshops and hundreds more through its community festivals and the monthly ARTStation drop in workshops at its depot location.

Project ARTstART is produced solely by the Claremont Museum of Art (CMA) in partnership with the Claremont Unified School District (CUSD); and serves students from six participating schools — Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle Elementary Schools and Claremont High School; and is funded by generous donations from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Claremont Lincoln University; the Claremont Educational Foundation Partnership Grant (CEF); funds from the City of Claremont Community-Based Organization (CBO); Kiwanis Club Of Claremont; Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation; and two CMA member major donors.

More information on Project ARTstART.

Project ARTstART is produced solely by the Claremont Museum of Art (CMA) in partnership with the Claremont Unified School District (CUSD); and serves students from six participating schools — Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle Elementary Schools and Claremont High School; and is funded by generous donations from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Claremont Lincoln University; the Claremont Educational Foundation Partnership Grant (CEF); funds from the City of Claremont Community-Based Organization (CBO); Kiwanis Club Of Claremont; Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation; and two CMA member major donors.

Roland Reiss: Unapologetic Flowers and Small Stories

April 6 – July 8, 2018
Claremont Museum of Art
200 W. 1st St., Claremont

The Claremont Museum of Art’s exhibition Roland Reiss: Unapologetic Flowers and Small Stories will focus on the work of acclaimed Los Angeles artist Roland Reiss who devoted much of his teaching career to the Claremont community. On view will be selections from two of Reiss’s best-known bodies of work: the “miniatures,” sculptural tableaux suggesting human dramas in familiar settings (1970s-90s), and recent floral paintings that vastly expand the expressive potential of one of the most conventional subjects in the history of painting.

Roland Reiss, Fleur du Mal II, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 68 x 52 in.

Roland Reiss holds an honored role in Claremont. As Chair of the Claremont Graduate University Art Department from 1971 to 2001, he taught and mentored generations of students in an innovative program that he developed and that set a standard for graduate art education. An artist of international stature and wide acclaim, Reiss has maintained an extraordinarily successful career that has extended for more than 60 years. Long known for his warmth, generosity and professionalism, he has been characteristically helpful in the organization of this exhibition.

About the Exhibition

The exhibition, generously sponsored by Peggy Phelps, Jane Park Wells and Bill Wells, will include a selection of “miniatures” dating from the mid-1970s-90s. Among the artist’s best-known works, these boxed, sculptural tableaux are simultaneously familiar, mysterious, and provocative. Also on view will be a selection of Reiss’s floral paintings drawn from a series begun in 2007 that continues to this day. The decision to focus on flowers, a subject generally undervalued in the history of painting, reflects the artist’s ongoing determination to challenge himself, to push limits, to employ the breadth of his experience in compositions far more complicated than they first appear. Taken together, these examples of two of Reiss’s signature bodies of work convey a sense of the artistic and intellectual breadth of his remarkable career and, in so doing, honor an individual who has contributed profoundly to the development of the arts in Claremont.

Roland Reiss, The Dancing Lessons: Reconciliation, of Yes and No, 1977, mixed media, 14 x 24 x 24 in.

About the Artist

Born in Chicago in 1929, Roland Reiss has been making art continuously since 1956 and teaching for almost that long. After earning BA and MA degrees at UCLA (1952-56), he taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and, in 1971, was named Chair of the Art Department at Claremont Graduate University. At CGU he held the Benezet Chair in the Humanities; in 2010, an endowed chair in art was established in his name.

During his long tenure in Claremont, Reiss taught and mentored generations of students in the innovative, widely acclaimed program he developed, enabling them to enter the art world prepared to launch successful careers. When Reiss won the prestigious College Art Association Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009, the citation noted: “An exceptional teacher can connect with the current generation of students and lead them into the future. It is a rare educator who can do this generation after generation, deeply penetrating the pulse of the times. “Many of his student’s grace Claremont’s art community today.

In light of Reiss’s long commitment to teaching and administration, the extraordinary career he has maintained as an artist seems all the more remarkable. His work has been exhibited internationally, recognized by no fewer than four NEA Visual Arts Fellowships, among many other honors, and is to be found in major museums and private collections in this country and abroad.

Kindred Natures: Aldo Casanova and James Fuller

December 2, 2017 – March 31, 2018
Claremont Museum of Art, 200 W. 1st St, Claremont

This exhibition reintroduces two highly respected and revered local artists, Aldo Casanova and James Fuller. For over 30 years, each artist influenced generations of students while teaching at Scripps College, as well as maintaining active careers as exhibiting artists throughout the country. Sharing an affinity for the beauty of nature, this exhibition will highlight the kindred links between the sculptures of Aldo Casanova and the paintings of James Fuller.

Organized by Steve Comba in collaboration with Casanova and Fuller family members, the exhibition is generously sponsored by Jill Fulton, Joe and Georgette Unis, and Fritz and Mary Weis.

Aldo Casanova

Aldo Casanova, Torso I, 1963. Cast bronze on travertine base. Claremont Museum of Art collection. Gift of the artist in honor of Felice and Teresa Casanova

Aldo Casanova, Torso I, 1963. Cast bronze on travertine base. Claremont Museum of Art collection. Gift of the artist in honor of Felice and Teresa Casanova

Aldo Casanova was born in San Francisco in 1929, the son of Italian immigrant parents. He received both BA and MA degrees from San Francisco State University, and the PhD from Ohio State University. While still completing his doctorate, Aldo was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome, becoming artist in residence at the American Academy for eight full years. The experience remained a point of pride for him.

In 1992, Aldo was elected to the National Academy of Design, and in 1994, designated a fellow of the National Sculpture Society. His work can be found in numerous collections including the Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden, UCLA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The National Academy of Design; and Scripps College.

Inspired by nature, Aldo was acutely aware of its splendor and equally of our obligation to protect it. “I comment on the condition of the planet, political and environmentally, though my work,” he once said.  His oeuvre includes both naturalistic portrayals, of animals for example, and abstract organic forms that evoke the generative power of the earth. He also cited Picasso as a source, motivated particularly by the renowned artist’s intent to be “inquisitive, inventive, and productive to no end.”

Aldo was a model of the dedicated artist teacher—one committed equally to his students and his own work. Over the years, he taught at Antioch University, San Francisco State, Temple, SUNY Albany, the renowned Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and, from 1966-1999, Scripps College. To students he communicated his passion for sculpture, once commenting that, “The most wonderful medium in the world is the young person.”

Aldo passed away on September 10, 2014

James (Jim) Fuller

James Fuller, Untitled (from the Zion series), 1998, watercolor on paper. Collection of Steve Comba.

James Fuller, Untitled (from the Zion series), 1998, watercolor on paper. Collection of Steve Comba.

Born in Pierre, South Dakota in 1927, Jim Fuller exemplifies a generation of artists who, in the years following World War II, looked west for inspiration and education. He found California and ultimately Claremont, maturing here as an artist, educator, and enthusiastic advocate for the arts of this community.

He earned his A.A. degree at Chaffey College in 1949, and continued at U.C. Berkeley, where he earned both the B.A. and M.F.A. An accomplished printmaker, sculptor, and painter, he accepted a position at Cal State Los Angeles in 1955, teaching there until 1967.

In 1967, Jim joined the faculty at Scripps College where he would serve for nearly 30 years, retiring in 1996. His wise, always gentle, guidance would influence generations of artists, not only at Scripps and the other undergraduate Claremont colleges, but also at Claremont Graduate University. A devoted teacher, Jim also maintained an active career as an exhibiting artist, with numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the country to his credit. His works are to be found in prominent private and public collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Pasadena Art Museum (Norton Simon); Cal State Chico; U.C. Davis; Scripps College; and the City of Claremont.

Awards and honors span his career, from a Junior Art Council award from LACMA in 1957, to a six-month residency in Brittany under the auspices of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation in 1993. In 2008, Jim was honored by the Claremont Museum of Art for his many contributions to the arts in Claremont and, specifically, to the founding of the museum.

Jim passed away on November 28, 2017.

Milford Zornes: The Claremont Years

Milford Zornes painting at Claremont Colleges circa 1958. Photo: Collection of Maria (Zornes) Baker.

November 10 – February 25, 2018
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. Exhibition is open Daily 10am-4pm
Garden admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children and free for CMA and RSABG members.

Milford Zornes: The Claremont Years presents watercolor landscapes from the years the artist lived and worked in Claremont: as a young man in 1930s; 1948-66 when he served as the director of the Padua Hills Art Institute; and his final years 1998-2008. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Curtis Real Estate.

Milford Zornes, Mt San Antonio, 2003 Watercolor. Collection of Richard Martinez.Photo by Gene Sasse.

Milford Zornes, Mt San Antonio, 2003 Watercolor. Collection of Richard Martinez.Photo by Gene Sasse.

Born in the panhandle of Oklahoma, Milford Zornes was known early on as “the kid who could draw.” After moving to California, Zornes attended Pomona College and began his career in watercolor and during the Depression painted a large number of works for the WPA. Locally his most famous work is the mural in the Claremont Post Office produced in the 1930s. He became President of the California Watercolor Society and in 1943 was drafted into the Army/Air Force as a war artist in China, Burma and India until 1945. He became an art professor at Pomona College and then worked for the Air Force in Thule, Greenland where he produced a collection of paintings.

Back in Claremont, he became the Art Director of the Padua Hills Art Institute, where he arranged shows of regional art in the lobby of the Theatre. He had become a leader of the California watercolor movement and mentor to dozens of younger artists.

In 1963 Milford and his wife Pat bought artist Maynard Dixon’s estate in Southern Utah but maintained an apartment at an adobe in Pomona. Through these years he held workshops and led painting trips all over the world. During the 1980s he developed macular degeneration but continued to paint full time even with limited vision. In 1998 the couple moved back to Claremont where he died in 2008 at the age of 100. His work is in countless collections and museums and had a painting selected by Eleanor Roosevelt for the White House.

Curtis Real Estate - Claremont's longest established real estate firm

Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Feature Milford Zornes

Milford Zornes, Mt San Antonio, 2003 Watercolor. Collection of Richard Martinez.Photo by Gene Sasse.

Milford Zornes, Mt San Antonio, 2003 Watercolor. Collection of Richard Martinez.Photo by Gene Sasse.

Claremont, CA (June 14, 2017) – The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 14th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 5 with an outdoor art show, exhibition and film, craft demonstrations, music and festive foods.  Visitors can shop for unique original artwork as they stroll through the beautiful olive groves of the Padua Hills Theatre. The exhibition will feature artist Milford Zornes along with the premiere of a new film Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection.

  • Sunday, November 5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for Claremont Museum of Art members. Children under 18 are free. A free shuttle is available from Padua Park.
  • Twenty five area artists will display and sell their original artwork. New artwork this year will include paintings by Athena Hahn, Paul Kittlaus and Annie Marquis; jewelry by Meisha Barbee, Elizabeth Carr and Lynda Pasztor; fiber arts by Amber Calderilla and Cindy Rinne; ceramics by Kim Hau and woodworking by Jeremy Sullivan. And you will find many favorite returning Claremont artists: Paul Brayton, Sumi Foley, Rebecca Hamm, Kathryn Herrman, Patricia Hinds, Aleta Jacobson, Sherry Marger, Richard Martinez, Kathleen McCall, Jerry Owens, Gaby Tepper, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft and Maureen Wheeler. In addition, area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations.
  • This year’s exhibition will feature artist Milford Zornes, a longtime Claremont watercolor painter and the director of the Padua Hills Art Institute in the late 1950s. To compliment the exhibition, generously sponsored by Curtis Real Estate, a new documentary film Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection will be shown throughout the day.
  • ARTstART students will lead families in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

The Padua Hills Art Fiesta originated in 1953 for local artists to bring art into the community. The studio art movement that flourished here in the 1950s centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities. Visitors came from miles around to meet the artists and watch “art in action” at the popular festival. In 2011, the Claremont Museum of Art revived this tradition with a new generation of artists sharing their talents.

Go to www.claremontmuseum.org for information about the museum and current programs.

THE EXHIBITION + FILM

The Exhibition

Milford Zornes: The Claremont Years will present watercolor landscapes from the years the artist lived and worked in Claremont: as a young man in 1930s; 1948-66 when he served as the director of the Padua Hills Art Institute; and his final years 1998-2008. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Curtis Real Estate.

Born in the panhandle of Oklahoma, Milford Zornes was known early on as “the kid who could draw.”  After moving to California, Zornes attended Pomona College and began his career in watercolor and during the Depression painted a large number of works for the WPA.  Locally his most famous work is the mural in the Claremont Post Office produced in the 1930s.  He became President of the California Watercolor Society and in 1943 was drafted into the Army/Air Force as a war artist in China, Burma and India until 1945.  He became an art professor at Pomona College and then worked for the Air Force in Thule, Greenland where he produced a collection of paintings.  Back in Claremont, he became the Art Director of the Padua Hills Art Institute, where he arranged shows of regional art in the lobby of the Theatre. He had become a leader of the California watercolor movement and mentor to dozens of younger artists.

In 1963 Milford and his wife Pat bought artist Maynard Dixon’s estate in Southern Utah but maintained an apartment at an adobe in Pomona. Through these years he held workshops and led painting trips all over the world.  During the 1980s he developed macular degeneration but continued to paint full time even with limited vision. In 1998 the couple moved back to Claremont where he died in 2008 at the age of 100. His work is in countless collections and museums and had a painting selected by Eleanor Roosevelt for the White House.

The Film

A new documentary film Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection will premiere at the Art Fiesta. The 30-minute film will be shown throughout the day.

The iconic master of watercolor landscapes, Milford Zornes N.A., was known for his international scenes. From an early age he wanted to travel and his work is known around the world. However, throughout most of his 100 years of life and a career that spanned the 20th century from the Great Depression into the next, Zornes found inspiration, comfort and support in a little village east of Los Angeles. Claremont California, where he started his professional life studying with Millard Sheets, became an important touchstone for the itinerant artist. The Claremont area was the base from which he would travel and create for decades.  Besides his artwork, this new film explores the major events of the artist’s formation, early success as a member of the school California Scene Painting and struggles through different eras with his singular dedication to painting. His story is told by friends and colleagues from the Claremont art colony who knew him best and were the reason he returned to the area again and again.

Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection is produced by John Coleman, Grace McKay and Art Kirsch, who met and filmed the artist on the occasion of his 97th birthday in 2005. Subsequently they interviewed him many times, capturing Zornes at work in his studio, lecturing at museums and elsewhere. Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection will also touch on a few of his Claremont friends and contemporaries including fellow artists.

PDF of the Art Fiesta 2017 Press Release