Category Archives: Exhibit

MILLARD SHEETS: Hills and Horses

Millard Sheets, Detail from Horses at Play, lithograph, c.1985Sunday, November 1 at the Padua Hills Art Fiesta
Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Art Fiesta tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for CMA members. Children under 18 are free.

November 4 – February 28, 2016 at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. Exhibition is open Daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Garden admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children and free for CMA and RSABG members.

Inspired by a lifelong love of horses and the landscape surrounding his Padua Hills home, artist Millard Sheets depicted a familiar way of life. The exhibition Millard Sheets: Hills and Horses, curated by his son Tony Sheets, will include paintings, drawings and lithographs from the years that he lived in Padua Hills in the 1940s-60s and beyond. The exhibition is sponsored by Claremont Eye Associates, Maria (Zornes) and Hal Baker, Tony and Flower Sheets, and by Tom & Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle.

Millard came to Claremont in 1930 to develop the fledgling art department at Scripps College and form the Graduate art program. Under his leadership, Claremont became a significant artistic center. Wanting to raise his children in the country, he purchased ten acres in the Padua Hills where so many of his artist friends lived.

As his daughter Carolyn Owen-Towle recalls in her book Damgorgeous, “Millard promptly built an enormous barn to house his thirteen horses. He built a small corral and a large paddock with an eighth mile track around it. In those days he was racing trotters at the County Fair. In 1941, just before the war began to escalate rapidly, Mary and Millard broke ground for their dream home on the hilltop of their property. Millard designed a rammed-earth dwelling with split levels, a fourteen foot flat-roofed ceiling, and floor to ceiling windows in the living room. The house had an intimate, commanding view of the San Gabriel Mountains.”

Throughout a long and prolific career, Millard Sheets was at once a painter, a muralist, an architectural designer, a teacher and art administrator, an entrepreneur, and an inspired cheerleader who tirelessly preached the importance of art in daily life. Handsome and energetic, daring and resourceful, he was a passionate ambassador for the arts.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in 1907 on a ranch in Pomona, Millard Sheets showed early promise as an artist and attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. There he became accomplished in many media – painting, printmaking, mural painting and architectural design. An early trip to Europe introduced him to German Expressionism and Turner’s watercolors. His interest in Regionalism produced paintings of rural California as well as scenes of Los Angeles in the Depression. In 1930 he arrived to develop the fledgling art department at Scripps College and form the Graduate art program. Under his leadership, Claremont became a significant artistic center. He built his house in the Padua Hills where so many of his artist friends lived.

The war years saw him designing flight-training schools and working as an artist-correspondent for Life magazine where he painted many scenes of India and Burma. After the war he returned to Scripps and the Claremont Graduate School to mentor returning GIs in their art careers. Many of these young men and women were drawn to the Abstract Expressionism and while it was not Sheet’s preferred style he encouraged them. Sheets was put in charge of the Fine Arts program at the L.A. County Fair in the early fifties and his students were put to work preparing the galleries and often being shown there. In 1953 Sheet’s became the director of the new Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles but he maintained his studio in Claremont. Here he designed many of the Home Federal Savings Banks with their stunning mosaic murals and worked with many architects on other projects. He retired to northern California where he died in 1989.

StART it Up with ART in the Park

Claremont, Calif. (May 12, 2015) – 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 activities to the Claremont school system to inspire, promote understanding of art and highlight Claremont’s rich artistic history.

ARTstART students install StART It Up, an exhibition featuring artwork by 4-6th grade classes from Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools in May 2014.

ARTstART students install StART It Up, an exhibition featuring artwork by 4-6th grade classes from Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools in May 2014.

For the fourth consecutive year, the high school students of Project ARTstART will curate ARTstART: StART It Up, an overview exhibition that includes highlights of each of the exhibition-based school art units ARTstARTers presented to 4-6th grade classes at Mountain View, Oakmont, 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 May 29 from 3:30-5 p.m. in Memorial Park at 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. 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. The exhibition will also be open on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 from noon to 5 p.m.

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 May 29, from 3:30-5 p.m. The exhibition will also be open on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont

Project ARTstART is completing its fourth year under the direction of Rich Deely, Project Director. During the 2014-15 school year, over 50 high school ARTstART students taught multi-visit exhibit-based art lessons to 646 upper grade students from Mountain View, Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools. Activities to date have included exhibition visits, field trips and classroom art-making. In addition, ARTstARTers have led monthly after-school art lessons at each of our current school sites. Project ARTstART will expand to include Sumner elementary school in the fall of 2015.

Project ARTstART is produced solely by the Claremont Museum of Art (CMA) in partnership with the Claremont Unified School District; participating schools — Mountain View, Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle Elementary Schools and Claremont High School; and funded by generous donations from the LA County Arts Commission; The Flourish Foundation; The Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation for the Arts; the Claremont Community Foundation (CCF); a City of Claremont Community Based Organization Grant; the Claremont Rotary Club; Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation; and two CMA member major donors.

For more information on Project ARTstART, go to
http://claremontmuseum.org/education-programs/artstart/
For more photos go to
https://www.flickr.com/photos/claremontmuseum/sets/72157649260135067/

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ARTstARTers lead Mountain View Elementary students on a field trip to see the work of Brenna Youngblood at the Pomona College Museum of Art on March 10, 2015.

ART If Up with Art in the Park PDF

John Svenson: For the Love of Wood

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John Svenson works on a redwood Condor sculpture in his Upland studio in 2007.

Claremont, CA (July 26, 2014) Over a lifetime of creating sculpture in many media, John Svenson’s work in wood stands out and expresses his love for this living material. The exhibition John Svenson: For the Love of Wood begins with a one-day display at the Padua Hills Art Fiesta on November 2, then moves to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

John Edward Svenson’s love of nature and mastery of his materials is evident throughout his large body of work, which ranges from small wood carvings to monumental public commissions. A native of the Pomona Valley, he studied art at Claremont Graduate School and worked for many years with sculptor Albert Stewart and artist/designer Millard Sheets. During his prolific career, Svenson produced over 23 sculptures for Home Savings and Loan banks and numerous public works in California and Alaska.

Sunday, November 2 at the Padua Hills Art Fiesta
Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Art Fiesta tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for CMA members. Children under 18 are free.

JS Madonna smNovember 8 – February 22, 2015 at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. Exhibition is open Daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Garden admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children and free for CMA and RSABG members.

About the Artist

JS Owl smOver a lifetime of creating sculpture in many sizes and medium, John Edward Svenson has had a love affair with wood. “There is a direct connection to the material, one can observe the grain and understand the life of the tree. If I am lucky, I can express this life and create something of beauty” says Svenson. Understanding natural form through flora and fauna is at the core of his creations.

John began working in wood as a child and never stopped. Unlike materials such as bronze, which require multiple processes, working in wood is time consuming but immediate. The act of carving wood is therapeutic and personal.

JS Nootka smJohn Svenson was born in Los Angeles in 1923 and grew up on a citrus grove in the Pomona Valley. After WWII, the GI Bill allowed him to attend Claremont Graduate School to study art at Scripps and Pomona College. For many years he worked with sculptor Albert Stewart and artist/designer Millard Sheets. During his prolific career, Svenson produced over 23 sculptures for Home Savings and Loan banks and many public works in California and Alaska. His sculpture and medallic work are held in numerous public and private collections in national and international locations. Teacher Albert Stewart and mentor Paul Manship nominated Svenson to the National Sculpture Society in 1966 and he advanced to “Fellow” in 1971.

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.”

THE ARTIST

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)

Betty Davenport Ford: Capturing the Animal Spirit (updated)

Betty Davenport Ford with Wild Goat, 1956

Betty Davenport Ford with Wild Goat, 1956

A sculpture exhibit, Betty Davenport Ford: Capturing the Animal Spiritwill be on public view at three venues from November 3, 2013 through October of 2014. This exhibit, produced by the Claremont Museum of Art, is cosponsored by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts.

One of Claremont’s most prolific sculptors, Betty Davenport Ford is well known for her unique style and honest craftsmanship. Working in clay and bronze for over sixty years, she simplifies form to abstract the natural essence of the wild creatures she depicts.

Sunday, November 3 at the Padua Hills Art Fiesta
Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Art Fiesta tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for CMA, RSABG and SAMFAC members. Children under 18 are free.

November 10 – March 30, 2014 at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. Exhibit is open Friday-Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Garden admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children and free for CMA and RSABG members.

Friday, December 13, 5-7 p.m. at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
The Claremont Museum of Art will host a reception at the RSABG gallery to honor Betty Davenport Ford. There will be a $5 entrance fee for that evening’s Luminaria event with a candle-lit loop walk through the gardens.

May 4 – October 25 at Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts
5131 Carnelian St., Alta Loma. As part of Sculpture in the Garden 2014, the exhibition will be on display in the Pyramid Room every Thursday and Saturday noon to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

THE ARTIST

During Ford’s early years she discovered the beauty of the animal form, a fascination that thematically reoccurred in her sculptures throughout her professional career. It was through the study of the form and anatomy of these creatures that Ford gained the ability to capture not only the likeness of her animal subjects, but their essence as well.

A professional sculptor, teacher and author, Betty Davenport Ford was born in Upland in 1924. She received her BA degree from Scripps College and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy in Michigan in 1950. Her award winning work has been exhibited throughout the country and she has taught at Scripps, Pasadena City College and throughout California for the Visual Arts Program. She created numerous public works of art including the large tiger of Chaffey High School in Ontario and several fountains for the Pomona Mall.

INSIGHTS & OUTSIGHTS: The Collages and Cartoons of Paul Darrow

May 3-5 and 8-12, 2013
Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space, Memorial Park

For pictures of the opening reception, click here.
Read about it in the Claremont Courier

Artist Paul Darrow

Artist Paul Darrow

To complement the new ARToon education program, the Claremont Museum of Art saluted Claremont’s own cartoonist, Paul Darrow, with an exhibition of original sketches from his sixty years of Courier cartoons and recent work in mixed media.

INSIGHTS & OUTSIGHTS: The Collages and Cartoons of Paul Darrow was on display May 3-5 and May 8-12 from noon to 5pm at the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space in Memorial Park.

The opening reception was held Friday, May 3 from 6:30-8:30pm. The exhibition was curated by Skip Pahl, retired director of the Oceanside Museum of Art, and Catherine McIntosh with assistance from CMC student Bailey Yellen. Sponsors included Claremont Heritage, Peggy A. Carlson, Wealthcare Capital Management, Inc., Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Reality, and the Claremont Courier.

Drawing by Eric DarrowPaul Darrow came to Claremont to study art at Claremont Graduate School after serving in WWII. He began submitting cartoons to the Claremont Courier when Martin Weinberger purchased the paper in 1954 and soon created a devoted fan base in the community. Darrow used his attention to detail to create thousands of cartoons, representing his interpretation of the social and political atmosphere of the time.

A professor of art at Scripps College from 1954 to 1992, Darrow taught courses in drawing, filmmaking, printmaking, and an extremely popular mixed media class. Throughout these years, he created close relationships with students and colleagues

Collage by artist Paul Darrow

Collage by artist Paul Darrow

that had a huge impact on his work as an artist. Darrow relocated to Laguna Beach in the 1970s, where he drew inspiration from the coastal scenery for his paintings and mixed media collages. For decades, he has created introspective snapshots of his world through a combination of found objects and Polaroid film. Today, the 91-year-old Darrow continues to draw, paint, and collage at his home.

– Bailey Yellen

CLAREMONT MODERN: Design Blends with Art in New Public Spaces 1955-1965

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April 2012

Our final exhibition showed how Modern design flourished in local non-residential buildings from 1955-1965.

Many public buildings designed by Millard Sheets incorporated the work of Claremont artists and craftsmen. The Congregational Church, Garrison Theater and Pomona First Federal Bank all feature artwork by local artists such as Jean and Arthur Ames, Sue Hertel, John Svenson and Martha Underwood. Harvey Mudd College and the School of Theology were both designed by Edward Durrell Stone and the stunning chapel is furnished with the work of Sam Maloof.

CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill

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February 17-26, 2012

In 2010, inspired by the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time celebration, Claremont Heritage and the Claremont Museum of Art formed a partnership to produce CLAREMONT MODERN, a series of four exhibitions in the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space.

The third in our series, CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill examined the impact of the GI Bill on the Claremont art community.

As soldiers returned from WWII, the opportunity to study art was made possible by funding from the GI Bill. Some came to the Pomona College Art Department and stayed on. Millard Sheets developed the Graduate School Masters of Fine Art program in 1943-44 and admitted many talented GIs to study with art professors on the Scripps campus. These young men were older, more experienced with a focus and determination to pursue careers in art. The vision of Millard Sheets combined with the enthusiast energy of these GIs transformed Claremont into a vibrant art center at mid-century.

The Exhibition CLAREMONT MODERN: The Artists of the GI Bill focused on a pivotal point in the history of the Claremont art community from 1945-1960. It featured Claremont area artists who served in WWII, returned to study art with funding from the GI Bill and pursued a lifetime career in the arts.

It included works by Karl Benjamin, Paul Darrow, Rupert Deese, Carl Hertel, James Hueter, Anthony Ivins, Roger Kuntz, Doug McClellan, Harrison McIntosh, David Scott, Paul Soldner, John Svenson and Melvin Wood. The Exhibition was displayed for eight days in the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space located in Memorial Park behind the Garner House.

CLAREMONT MODERN: The Fiesta Artists of Padua Hills, 1953-1959

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Nov 18-Dec 18, 2011

The Claremont Museum of Art recreated the Padua Hills Art Fiesta held annually from 1953 through 1959. It featured an outdoor art fair with invited artists selling their work, art and craft demonstrations, folk music, festival foods and an indoor display of historic photos, documents and artwork. In conjunction with this event, an exhibition with artworks by the original Fiesta artists was presented in the Ginger Elliot gallery.

Milford Zornes was the Director of the Padua Hills Art Institute in the 1950s and initiated the popular Art Fiesta. His daughter Maria Zornes Baker curated the Fiesta Artists exhibition. Living artists who participated in the 1950s are: Karl Benjamin, Paul Darrow, Betty Davenport Ford, James Hueter, Doug McClellan, Harrison McIntosh, James Strombotne, John Svenson and Jack Zajac. Sioux Bally-Maloof  produced a series of photographic portraits of these remaining Fiesta artists. Historic material and artwork from the families of Rupert Deese, Phil Dike, Carl and Sue Hertel, Roger Kuntz, Sam Maloof, Walter Mix, Hildred Reents, Millard Sheets, Paul Soldner, Albert Stewart, Melvin Wood, Robert Wood, Milford Zornes and others are included.

The studio art movement that flourished here in the 1950s centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities – watercolor, pottery, woodworking, sculpture in stone, bronze and ceramic, mosaic, textiles as well as painting. Distinctions between art and craft were fundamentally ignored. The openness of the land and the free-thinking spirit of the times allowed Claremont artists to flourish. Here they developed a Modern aesthetic with a craftsman influence.

Celebrating the artists and craftsmen of Claremont’s first art festival

November 18-December 18, 2011 (weekends) at the Ginger Elliot Exhibition Center at Garner House, 840 N. Indian Hill Boulevard, Claremont

One of a series of exhibitions produced by the Claremont Museum of Art and Claremont Heritage.

Inspired by Getty’s Pacific Standard Time, CLAREMONT MODERN focuses on the artistic vibrancy of Claremont at mid-century.

First held in 1953, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta was organized by 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 – watercolor, pottery, woodworking, sculpture in stone, bronze and ceramic, mosaic, textiles as well as painting. Visitors came from miles around to meet the artists and watch “art in action” at the popular festival.

CLAREMONT MODERN: Post-War California Dreaming

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October 9–30, 2011

The annual Claremont Heritage Home Tour highlighted examples of Claremont’s exceptional and unique mid- 20th century residential architecture. The tour included a home designed by Richard Neutra and the homes of artists Karl Benjamin and Harrison McIntosh designed by Fred McDowell. David Shearer is curating the accompanying exhibition in the Ginger Elliot gallery which will look at how home design was integrated with local arts, crafts and furnishings for the modern lifestyle.

Karl Benjamin Studio

The home and studio of Karl Benjamin was on the Heritage Home tour on October 9, 2011. Photo by Louie Rios.

Claremont was fertile ground for the new thinking in art and design in the years after World War II. Hidden among the Victorian and Arts & Crafts-era homes are modernist masterpieces by the likes of Cliff May, A. Quincy Jones, Theodore Criley, Buff and Hensman and others.

The tour included homes by distinguished architects and designers such as Richard Neutra, Foster Rhodes Jackson, Fred McDowell and Everett Tozier. Significant modern artists, including painter Karl Benjamin and ceramicist Harrison McIntosh, also worked in Claremont in those years in a unique environment that fostered collaborations between artists and designers.

The remarkable confluence of these artists and architects had a profound and lasting impact upon the broader movement of Southern California Modernism. Few places of such small geographic area have produced such a plethora of outstanding work across so many disciplines as did Claremont in the 1940s, ‘50s and 60’s.