Category Archives: Exhibit

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.

Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears

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September 30 – December 10, 2010

Pitzer College Art Galleries with the support of the Claremont Museum of Art
Pitzer Art Galleries: Nichols Gallery and Lenzner Family Gallery
Guest-curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas

For photos of the Opening Reception, click here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/claremontmuseum/sets/72157625069927171/with/5095589772/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bas Jan Ader - "I'm Too Sad To Tell You," 1971 16 mm film transferred onto DVD Courtesy Bas Jan Ader Estate, Patrick Painter, Santa Monica, CA

Bas Jan Ader – “I’m Too Sad To Tell You,” 1971; 16 mm film transferred onto DVD; courtesy Bas Jan Ader Estate, Patrick Painter, Santa Monica, CA

Film Screening: Rene Daalder’s award -winning Bas Jan Ader documentary, Here is Always Somewhere Else (2008) – Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College

Panel discussion: A conversation between Bas Jan Ader’s widow Mary Sue Andersen, filmmaker Rene Daalder and guest curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas – Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College.

This exhibition brings together pivotal works by the late, Dutch-born, California-based conceptual artist, Bas Jan Ader, and ten contemporary international artists who continue to be influenced by Ader’s central themes and concerns.

Bas Jan Ader, who is presumed to have perished at sea in 1975, left a small body of work that centers on short-duration acts of physical and emotional release. It was Ader’s unique relationship to the city of Claremont, where he lived and studied from 1965 to 1974, which established his importance as a California artist. At his Claremont home, Ader executed some of his most significant works.

"Please Don’t Leave Me" (1969), Paint, light bulbs and wire, Dimensions variable, Edition of 3,  Courtesy of The Bas Jan Ader Estate & Patrick Painter Editions.

“Please Don’t Leave Me” (1969), Paint, light bulbs and wire, Dimensions variable, Edition of 3, courtesy of The Bas Jan Ader Estate & Patrick Painter Editions.

While this exhibition argues convincingly for the historical significance of Bas Jan Ader’s groundbreaking conceptual and performative work, it also makes connections to the present by the inclusion of the ten contemporary regional and international artists whose works address the legacy of Ader’s practice.

More about Ader’s Work

Suspended Between Laughter and Tears refers to Ader’s exploration of the tenuous point between comedy and tragedy in his work and provides a context for the artist’s overarching themes and strategies by addressing the living aspects of his practice. The exhibition will feature Ader’s original artworks including video, photography, installations and archived materials from his estate.

Gonzalo Lebrija, "The Distance Between Me and You" (2008), 16 mm film,  Photo: Joshua White, Courtesy of the artist and I-20 Gallery, New York.

Gonzalo Lebrija, “The Distance Between Me and You” (2008), 16 mm film. Photo: Joshua White, Courtesy of the artist and I-20 Gallery, New York.

Understanding that comedy and tragedy are aspects of the same coin, Mexico City-based artist, Artemio references Ader’s I’m Too Sad to Tell You in a video montage, The Crying Game, where the forced act of weeping in front of the camera lingers between the theatrical and the heart-felt. Los Angeles-based photographer and performance artist Martin Kersels’ suite of photographs Tripping I (a,b,c) riffs on the humorous aspect inherent in physical actions, evident in many of Ader’s works. New Zealand artist Kate Newby brings a delicate balance of melancholy and hopefulness to her installations, like Ader’s Please Don’t Leave Me, are at once a declaration to be noticed and a fleeting gesture.

Sebastian Stumpf, "marcher dans l’air" (2002), 35 mm slide projections, looped, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist.

Sebastian Stumpf, “marcher dans l’air” (2002), 35 mm slide projections, looped, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist.

Arguably the most influential aspect of Ader’s work lies in his final and unfinished trilogy, In Search of the Miraculous. Putting life and limb on the line for one’s art is a recurrent motivation for many artists. While Ader disappeared without a trace while executing this piece, Italian-born artist Piero Golia accomplished this feat in 2007 during his month-long performance Postcards from the Edge. Gonzalo Lebrija of Mexico follows in Ader’s footsteps on a vision quest in the photographic series The Distance Between You and Me, as he sets a lone course through deserted landscapes. Furthering the mystery of a journey on the open ocean, Brazilian artist Thiago Rocha Pitta elicits the relationship of man, the sea and the unknown elements at hand in the video The Secret Sharer. Finally, in a marked attempt to gain insight into the artist’s impossible journey, Canadian sculptor Jed Lind acquired a sailboat identical to that used by Ader in his 1975 performance, In Search of the Miraculous, and hollowed it out in a painstaking and methodical act of meditation.

Artists:  Bas Jan Ader, Artemio, Piero Golia, Martin Kersels, Gonzalo Lebrija, Jed Lind, Kate Newby, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Fernando Sanchez, Sebastian Stumpf, Diego Teo

Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears is a joint venture between Pitzer Art Galleries and the Claremont Museum of Art and has been made possible by a generous grant from Fundación/Colección Jumex and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, San Francisco.

An Enduring Legacy: New Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection

September 20 – December 27, 2009

An Enduring Legacy: New Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection highlights works acquired by the Claremont Museum of Art during its first two years of existence.The exhibition includes the most recent gifts from the estate of devoted collector Marge Burgeson, and works from the exhibitions LOCUS I: Art and Craft of Claremont and the Region, Vexing: Female Voices from East L.A. Punk and Multiverse. All works represent expressions of the Museum’s mission to explore and preserve the region’s artistic talent and legacy. To date, the Museum’s permanent collection consists of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, hand‐crafted furniture and ceramics dating from the 1930s to the present.

Millard Sheets Moonlight at Barking Rocks, 1983 Watercolor on paper Gift of Ann M. Mallouk

Millard Sheets
Moonlight at Barking Rocks, 1983 Watercolor on paper Gift of Ann M. Mallouk

Artists represented in the collection include Millard Sheets, Jean Ames, Karl Benjamin, James Hueter, Harrison McIntosh and Barbara Beretich, as well as a younger generation of contemporary artists.

An Enduring Legacy: New Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection is made possible through the generous support of Gould Asset Management LLC of Claremont.

Ten Pound Ape: Your Mother was Beautiful Once, part vier

September 20 – December 27, 2009

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Founded in 2004, Ten Pound Ape is an international art collective engaged in public projects questioning the nature of civic sculpture and co-opting the verbiage of non-commercial street advertisements. The somewhat provocative title of exhibit refers to bittersweet memories and the fleeting nature of our lives.

Ten Pound Ape 'Shave and a Haircut', 2006 Documentation, Mexicali, Mexico

Ten Pound Ape
‘Shave and a Haircut’, 2006
Documentation, Mexicali, Mexico

This exhibition presents the fourth part of a series where Ten Pound Ape constructs a site-specific performance sculpture from locally collected cast-offs, urban debris and other ephemeral items, transforming the materials into hybrid shelters and play spaces which are meant to be explored. A key goal of Ten Pound Ape projects is to encourage the community to be active participants and the structures – slightly subversive in nature – are intended to be playful, sentimental and thought provoking. It is an interactive and dynamic work-in-progress, where visitors are encouraged to explore, play records, give out fortunes, change the interior and exterior or just lounge.

Additionally, this exhibition incorporates two public events, Stimulus Plan, part I: Sculpture Fair and Symposia d’Bizarro and Stimulus Plan, part II: Giving and Taking, which encourage direct public engagement and participation. Clandestine public intervention components will be implemented within the Claremont area for a finite period. Ten Pound Ape will also make an appearance at the L.A. County Fair. Many of the planned events are inspired by biographical experiences from Claremont-reared Ten Pound Ape members. As one of the artists described it, this is his ‘love letter to Claremont.’

Ten Pound Ape’s Your Mother was Beautiful Once, part vier has been made possible by a generous grant from The James Irvine Foundation.