Category Archives: Event

ARBORETUM Comes to the Botanic Garden

The Claremont Museum of Art presents Steve Comba ARBORETUM in the gallery at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 N. College Ave., Claremont daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 through July 13. Garden admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children and free for CMA and RSABG members.

Steve Comba, detail from Arboretum

Steve Comba, detail from Arboretum

The Claremont Museum of Art exhibition features Steve Comba’s drawings, sketches, photographs and paintings that relate to and culminated in the eight-foot painting, Arboretum. In 2011, the artist devoted eight months to create the painting using photos, sketches and studies from 1984 to the present day. It is both an autobiographical journey through his own work in landscape as well as a treatise on the artificial nature of painting and the objective beauty of Nature.

“My journey as a painter ranged from abstracted minimalist explorations of the object as primary structure, with only those essential elements such as color and scale as the key communicator of meaning, to a decidedly Romantic impulse to tell “stories” through recognizable images. Though I’m still a strong advocate of the power and effectiveness of the theoretical and cerebral, I’m strongly drawn to the representational and visual. All along this journey, my guiding influence has been Nature, or more accurately, natural forms. I’m still interested in the “plastic” realm that is the made object (pigment, support, scale), yet I’m compelled toward reflecting the source: the light, shape, and timelessness of landscape and the innate, uniquely human, desire to read meaning and narratives into pictures.”


Steve Comba is a Claremont-based artist and museum professional. He received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University and his paintings and drawings have been shown in exhibitions throughout the southland. In addition to being a practicing studio artist, he has also worked in the museum field for the past 28 years on numerous projects in the greater Los Angeles area. As the Associate Director/Registrar at the Pomona College Museum of Art, he recently designed and opened the Native American Collection Study Center. He was founding Vice President of the Claremont Museum of Art and curated five of that museum’s inaugural exhibitions. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Museums Association.

Related Link:

Pomona College Museum of Art Assistant Director Steve Comba Showcases Arboretum with Claremont Museum of Art (The Student Life, newspaper of the Claremont Colleges Associated Students)

Fall 2013 Salute to Phil Dike

Saturday, September 21, 5-10 p.m.
Fall Gala: A Wondrous Evening: Celebrating the Watercolor World of Phil Dike

Phil Dike, c. 1960

Phil Dike, c.1960. Courtesy of the Scripps College Archive

We are delighted to announce our fall gala, A Wondrous Evening: Celebrating the Watercolor World of Phil Dike, on Saturday, September 21, 2013.  Scripps College has graciously allowed us to hold our event in conjunction with their exhibition, Chasing Daylight: Philip Latimer Dike, 1927-1943, in the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery.

We will begin our evening with a reception and tour of the exhibition, followed by dinner in Bixby Court, adjacent to the gallery.  Our special guest speaker will be Phil and Betty’s son Woody Dike.  We will also offer a chance drawing for a Phil Dike serigraph and a silent auction of unique art objects donated by some of Claremont’s most well-known collectors and artists, as well as art-related activities.

This will truly be a wonderful event, thanks to our many supporters including Premier Sponsor Marguerite McIntosh, Claremont Museum of Art Founding President; Patron Sponsors Bradford and Mary Anne Blaine, Barbara Brown and Mathematical Analysis Research Corporation. Table Sponsors include Sandra Baldonado, Attorney at Law; Peggy Carlson of Wealthcare Capital Management, Inc.; Suzanne H. Christian, CFP; City of Claremont; Gould Asset Management LLC; Lewis Operating Corporation and Marilyn Ray. Gala invitations will be mailed in a few weeks.

About Phil Dike

Phil Dike was a key member of the early California Watercolor Society and worked on many classic animated Disney films 1935-45. He came to Claremont in 1950 to join the art faculty of Scripps College and also taught at the Claremont Graduate School for several decades. He was an inspiration to many well-known artists and his work is included in numerous prestigious collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.