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Helen Rae and Artists of Tierra del Sol Bring Their Unique Vision Home to Claremont

Exhibition dates: December 7, 2019 – April 11, 2020
Claremont Museum of Art, 200 W. First St., Claremont

Thirty years ago, a group of visionary artists from Tierra del Sol Foundation opened the doors of the First Street Gallery Art Center in Claremont. Since then, Tierra and its hundreds of trailblazing artists have been in the vanguard, forging professional pathways while advancing the cause of inclusivity in the art world.

The Claremont Museum of Art exhibition Vanguard: Origins of Tierra del Sol Arts in Claremont featuring Helen Rae, co-curated by Rebecca Hamm and Paige Wery, represents 15 artists from the Claremont years whose remarkable creative expressions have influenced and enriched contemporary art in Southern California and beyond. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Sandy Baldonado, Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, and Susan Guntner.

Vanguard is co-curated by Rebecca Hamm, artist, educator and Director of Arts for Tierra del Sol, working with Tierra since 1990; and Paige Wery, past owner of The Good Luck Gallery (2014-19), publisher of Artillery Magazine (2007-13), and new Director of Tierra del Sol Gallery. Tierra del Sol Progressive Art Studios are now located in Upland and Sunland.

Featured Artist Helen Rae

Featured artist Helen RaeHelen Rae, who is from Claremont, is one of the studio’s founding artists, joining it at the age of 50. Since then, she has become an internationally recognized artist with a prestigious list of accomplishments including national and international exhibitions, numerous publications and reviews, and a place in distinguished private collections.

In a 2015 Gallery Magazine feature on Rae, David Pagel, well-known art critic, educator, and curator, wrote, “Every square inch of her meticulously composed and vigorously colored-in surfaces is unique, distinct, singular. To look at her works is to know that you are in the presence of someone who sees the world anew every split second. That is thrilling. It’s also terrifying. And I, for one, am thankful that Rae has given me a glimpse of the world as she sees it.”

Helen Rae, born in 1938, has been producing art with Tierra del Sol Foundation’s progressive studios for adults with developmental disabilities for the last thirty years. Rae utilizes fashion magazines as a point of departure, elevating the source material to expose a world of momentous, subversive vision.

Composed using colored pencil and graphite, Rae creates dense, profoundly fractured drawings that are instantly recognizable and inescapably alluring. A bold use of color and sophisticated command of design culminates in a torrent of pattern and texture.

Helen Rae has been featured in Vogue and Vulture, among many other publications, and has received solo shows at The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles, First Street Gallery, Claremont, and White Columns, New York.

Artists of Tierra del Sol

Anthony Barnes

Anthony BarnesAnthony Barnes has worked as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol since 1990. Barnes works from imagination and from life, forming strong graphic images in his artwork. His energetic style and use of powerful line is recognizable in both two and three-dimensional media. Barnes compositions range from images that knit together eclectic narratives to presentations of entrancing drawings of the banal. He works with a variety of media such as color markers, pencils, watercolor, ink, acrylic and clay to create works that are simultaneously mysterious and a delightfully light-hearted.

Barnes’ work has been exhibition continuously since 1990 and includes shows in Sacramento, Washington D.C., Scotland and Japan. His paintings have twice been selected by the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center for its promotional campaigns.

John Boyer

John BoyerJohn Boyer, born in 1931 worked with the progressive studios of Tierra del Sol during his final years from 1993 through 2005. He grew up in Oregon and, after moving to Southern California as a young man, taught himself to draw.  Boyer showed a mastery of composition and narrative in drawing and painting. He used vivid oil pastels, graphite, and acrylic paint to describe complex architectural landscapes. Interiors and exteriors were exposed simultaneously in rich compositions that center on an array of characters.  Boyer’s characters exhibited similar features yet were distinguishable by unique costumes.  Whether heads-of-state, religious icons, or Hollywood horror movie characters, his attention to detail and bold, colorful style revealed a strong storyline he was happy to share with the interested admirer.

Boyer’s work has been exhibited in many shows at the First Street Gallery, the studios of Tierra del Sol, and many art galleries and venues including the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles, Club Nokia Los Angeles, and The Claremont Graduate University.

Mary Lou Dimsdale

Mary Lou DimsdaleMary Lou Dimsdale has worked as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol Foundation since 2009. Mary Lou Dimsdale is a painter who knows no boundaries when it comes to creating. Pulling inspiration out of anything from her own imagination to everyday scenes, Dimsdale carefully composes each painting with unbridled confidence and familiarity. Her application of paint is patient and remarkably intentional, which is evidenced in the small brush strokes and thoughtful application of line. Initially in representational colors, she now approaches her work with an extraordinary level of interpretive, less expected hues. Playing with line, perspective, scale, and the careful modulation of color and brush stroke, she draws the viewer into her whimsical and playful world.

Michael LeVell

Michael LavellIn 1989, Michael LeVell launched his professional art career when he began working with the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol. LeVell immediately presented a natural ability to draw landscape, furniture and architecture in perfect perspective which is also present in the intricate ceramic sculptures he creates. His devotion to the magazine Architectural Digest appears to inspire LeVell’s creative process. He often references the magazine’s photo spreads in his own compositions which also include color palettes and repeated motifs of his own design. A few of his series have diverted from this by including figurative elements, and another group of works show a mysterious and delightful pattern of ovals interwoven throughout the composition.

LeVell is one of the original eight artists who helped found First Street Gallery and the studio arts programs in 1989. He was honored with a retrospective exhibition in 2014 to celebrate First Street Gallery’s 25th Anniversary. His work has been shown and sold around the world in such locations as Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Japan.  White Columns Gallery, NY, presented a 2018 solo show of LeVell’s with the CONDO Art Fair, presenting LeVell’s elegant paintings and ceramic sculptures which gained critical acclaim including the praise of Jerry Saltz, Pulitzer Prize winning art critic with NYMagazine.  LeVell’s work has also been shown with the NADA Art Fair Miami and Felix Art Fair Los Angeles, courtesy of White Columns Gallery, NY.

Jackie Marsh

Jackie MarshJackie Marsh has worked as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol since 2009. Marsh produces whimsical depictions of animals and flowers in painting, drawing and ceramics. In her two and three dimensional work, gestural mark-making is combined with a vibrant and loosely applied color palette to define her delightfully exuberant style.

In addition to being a studio artist, Marsh also teaches art classes at Upland Art Studios, the Joslyn Senior Center and other venues. Her work has been exhibited at such venues as the Chan Gallery, Pomona College, Claremont, California; California Baptist University, Riverside, California; Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California and Zask Gallery, Palos Verdes, California. When she’s not developing her art career, you can find Marsh at work providing compassionate care to the animals of local animal shelters.

John Maull

John MaullBorn in Los Angeles, California, John Maull has worked as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol since 2005. Maull’s work explores motifs which seem iconic on their surface but are based on idiosyncratic personal histories and experiences. His drawings include layers of floral patterns which border on abstraction through their repetition but also have references to Maull’s childhood home embedded in their imagery. In ceramics, he forms dogs and automobiles based on autobiographical references with colorful dripping and swirling glazes.

Maull has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Charles Long and Karen Kimmel and has exhibited his work across the United States.

Dru McKenzie

Dru McKenzieDru McKenzie has worked as an artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol since 1998. McKenzie’s signature style of thick contour lines is used to depict a menagerie of animals, portraits and mundane objects. Her bold stylized imagery and sense of color make strong graphic statements.

McKenzie has been honored with solo exhibitions at First Street Gallery Art Center and at the 24 Hour Gallery in Pasadena, CA. Her work has also been featured in exhibitions at The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles, California; Berenberg Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts; Gensler, Santa Monica, California; Bridge Gallery at City Hall, Los Angeles, California; Da Vinci Gallery, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, California; Art Enables, Washington D.C. and McKenzie was featured in an Artsy article by Doug Harvey, “10 L.A. Artists Whose Work You Probably Don’t Know—but Should”.

John Peterson

John PetersenJohn Peterson has worked as a studio artist at the progressive studios of Tierra del Sol since 2013. Peterson is recognized for his unmistakable steeple-like ceramic towers and head sculptures. Peterson engages with the grid as a mode of abstraction in the least rigid of styles. Geometric forms and mark-making are contrasted by oozing glazes and sensuously rounded corners. He has also been expanding on this repertoire of elegantly odd forms through constant and adventuresome experimentation with surprisingly inventive results.

Peterson’s work has been exhibited at such venues as the Outsider Art Fair – New York, First Street Gallery, Claremont, California; Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California and Hellada Gallery, Long Beach, California.

Helen Rae

Helen RaeBorn in 1938, Rae has worked as a studio artist out of the progressive studios of Tierra del Sol since 1989. Her work, in colored pencil and graphite, is immediately striking for its vivid imagery and resonant use of color. Her drawings exude a strange power and sense of menace. Fierce or frightened-looking women, with distorted figures, often seem to be hiding or escaping in furtive dream-like adventures, emerging out of or disappearing into ornate floral patterns, shrouded in luxuriant foliage, or on the verge of vanishing into abstraction. Using fashion advertisements as a point of departure for otherworldly journeys into the unconscious, Helen holds up a shattered mirror to the source material, breaking down the images into something uniquely expressive.

Rae has had solo shows with The Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles in 2019 and in 2015 and 2016. She has exhibited at The Outsider Art Fair in New York City and Paris and enjoyed her first solo show in New York City at White Columns in September 2017. Rae’s sudden emergence onto the international scene was named by Brut Force as one of the top six stories of self-taught and outsider art of 2016. One of her drawings has been reproduced by Exhibition A as a limited-edition print. Her work has earned her an Award of Recognition from the Artists Beyond Disabilities Exhibition in Pasadena, California and reviews in the Los Angeles Times, a Gallery Magazine feature by David Pagel, Art in America, Vogue.com, Gallerie Magazine, Art Absolument, Artnet, Artillery Magazine, Disparate Minds and The Creator’s Project (Vice) and critical acclaim by Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Jerry Saltz in NY Magazine.

Jose del Rio

Jose del RioJose del Rio was born January 25, 1921 in Puerto Rico. He attended school in Puerto Rico to the 9th grade. In 1947, when Jose’s mother died, he moved to New York City to live with his sister and in 1980 relocated to California. From 1990, Jose worked at the First Street Gallery and Art Center three days a week. The other two days a week he worked as a gardener.

Jose was a self-taught artist whose colorful artwork reflects his culture, religion and humanitarian nature. Birds, flowers, fountains, the sun are drawn with bright color markers. The inclusion of inspirational words, love, peace, harmony, prosperity, appear in both Spanish and English. All of Jose’s work was made as a gift for someone whose name he inscribed on the composition.

Jose’s sister remarks that Jose had always been fascinated with birds and would spend hours outdoors admiring birds and the landscape. Jose’s work has been exhibited nationally. He was recently awarded an honorable mention for his work at the Ontario Museum of History and Art. One of his linoleum block prints appeared on the cover of the international literary journal, the Santa Monica Review. Jose del Rio died of liver cancer in December of 1992 at the age of 72.

Hugo Rocha

Hugo RochaHugo Rocha has worked as a studio artist out of the progressive studios of the Tierra del Sol Foundation since 2007. Rocha’s recent work reinvents specific scenes he carefully selects from popular telenovela soap opera shows. Rocha’s narratively rich images employ his explosive use of color, expressive reinvention of the figure and intricately balanced compositional shapes which play with the viewer’s sense of depth. Rocha’s also creates perfectly balanced hand drawn typography to list names of popular singers, names of cities and map elements.

Rocha has exhibited his work in solo and group shows including Storytellers, Curated by Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz of Disparate Minds, at LAND Gallery, Brooklyn, NY and Summery Appeal, Curated by Doug Harvey, at The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and his recent solo exhibition at Tierra del Sol Gallery, Los Angeles.

Vicente Siso

Vicente SisoVicente Siso has worked as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol since 2012. Siso was born in Spain, grew up in Venezuela and studied in Miami and Trinidad.  He produces work in a variety of media, including painting, drawing and ceramics. In clay, Siso creates whimsical vessels and creatures which are finished with exuberant glaze applications. In painting and drawing, he produces architectural landscapes and portraiture with experimental applications of perspective, patterning and color palette.

Siso has taught ceramics classes at the Joslyn Senior Center in Claremont and volunteered at the Blaisdell Senior Center in Claremont. His work has been exhibited at such venues as The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles, California; Lamperouge, Los Angeles, California; Special Olympics World Games, Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles City Hall Bridge Gallery, California; and California Baptist University, Riverside, California.

Isabel Vartanian

Isabel VarnanianIsabel Vartanian works as a studio artist at the progressive art studios of Tierra del Sol Foundation. Vartanian recalls creating artwork from a very young age. The art books she had in her parent’s house there continue to inspire her to produce inventive and stimulating compositions years later. She has grown tremendously as an artist and is expanding the creation of her own, stunning artistic narrative. A gifted observer of the visual realm, Vartanian locates a rich plethora of imagery from her everyday life, stories she loves, her dreams and imagination. She rearranges and intricately weaves the subject matter together using pattern, vivid hues and distorted scale to realize her dynamic, intriguing and full compositions. Working in acrylic, watercolor and colored pencil, Vartanian’s application of medium is consistently bold, heavy and definite, creating wonderfully strong worlds for the viewer to enter and contemplate.

Joe Zaldivar

Joe ZaldivarJoe Zaldivar was born in Rosemead, California and has worked with the progressive art studios of the Tierra del Sol Foundation since 2011. Zaldivar is known for his innovative use of Google Maps. Using his iPad as a reference material, he creates aerial view maps of locations around the world, often autobiographical, as well as street level renditions of the same locations using Google Maps Street View. The resulting works, which combine technology and perspectival architectural drawing in a style reminiscent of cartoon animation, twist time and space both spatially and conceptually.

Zaldivar has completed commissions for collectors and businesses across Southern California and exhibited internationally at such venues as The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland; Joshua Tree Art Gallery, Joshua Tree, California and The Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York City and the Biennial of the Image, Chiasso, Switzerland.

Tierra del Sol Foundation

At Tierra del Sol’s Career in the Arts programs, artists demonstrate that creativity and artistic expression are not limited by physical or intellectual challenges. Our Progressive Studios offer individualized opportunities so that all people can develop creatively and be recognized as cultural producers, community leaders and professional artists.

At the Progressive Art Studios of Tierra del Sol, individuals discover career opportunities, advance their skills and craft their own professional career path in the arts. These pathways include a blending of these 3 roles:

  • An exhibiting artist with a strong studio practice of creating artwork, developing a portfolio and resume and exhibiting art locally and internationally
  • An arts educator designing lesson-plans and leading classes and presentations
  • A professional in Arts Management, including curation and exhibition design, and successfully developing and launching art businesses

In the summer of 2018, after almost 30 years in downtown Claremont, Tierra del Sol Foundation’s Career in the Arts programs expanded one of its progressive studios, the First Street Gallery and Claremont Art Center, by relocating nearby to a beautiful building in downtown Upland. Currently 100 artists are working out of Upland Art Studios and Sunland Studio Arts. Both studios present extraordinary shows and art events including open studios, art classes for the public, guest artist collaborations and up to 20 annual art exhibitions both in studio and throughout the region.

Last summer, the new Tierra del Sol Gallery opened in downtown Los Angeles as the First Street Gallery celebrated 30 years with its final exhibition. Already this year, the new Tierra del Sol Gallery, located in China Town, Los Angeles, has presented an exciting program of highly successful shows and is recognized on a global level.

 

www.tierradelsol.org

https://www.tierradelsol.org/careers-in-the-arts/

https://www.tierradelsolgallery.org

Claremont Museum of Art to Open at the Depot

depot-back_smThanks to generous and enthusiastic community support, the Claremont Museum of Art has raised over $150,000 to renovate and repurpose the Claremont Depot into a jewel of a small museum. Phase I of the renovation is nearing completion and the first exhibition will soon be installed.

The Board of Directors of the Claremont Museum of Art is exceptionally grateful to the Depot Challenge Grant funders and Challenge Match donors for their commitment and generosity to the Phase I renovation of the Claremont Depot. See our complete list of Depot Renovation Fund Donors.

The community is invited to join in celebrating this first big milestone in the transformation of the Claremont Depot on Sunday, November 20, from noon to 4:00 pm at the Depot, 200 W. First Street in Claremont. The opening exhibition, (re)Generation: Six Decades of Claremont Artists will be on view and visitors will enjoy light refreshments and art-making activities led by Project ARTstART students. There will be an official ribbon cutting with the City Council and Chamber of Commerce on Monday, November 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Under the direction of local architect John Bohn and Bob Soderberg of Alchemy Construction the former Foothill Transit Ticket Office has been transformed with a second “skin,” so art can be installed on the new walls without harming the original structure.  The elegant Atrium has been polished up with new gallery lights in the chandelier, new paint, and some much needed repair work. The bathrooms have also been renewed with all new fixtures, paint and new lighting.  The changes are so subtle and ingenious that they mask the incredible amount of time, effort and creativity that went into the renovation.

Phase II will focus on the two most eastern rooms in the building that will require more extensive renovation and will require additional time and resources. The City of Claremont will be partnering with CMA on underwriting Phase II with special grants earmarked specifically for this project.

The opening exhibition, (re)Generation: Six Decades of Claremont Artists, will feature selections from the museum’s permanent collection that reflect our region’s rich artistic legacy from the influence of Millard Sheets and the artists who arrived in the 1940s to the GIs who came to study after WWII, to the many contemporary artists who continue to call Claremont home. The exhibition, generously sponsored by Gould Asset Management LLC, will be on view through March 12, 2017.

The Claremont Museum of Art will be open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4:00pm with free admission through December. The museum will also be open 6-9:00pm the First Saturday of each month for the Art Walk.

Press Release – “Claremont Museum of Art to Open at the Depot” [PDF]

CLAREMONT ANNUAL ART SHOWCASE

claremontLogo

For Immediate Release
July 20, 2016
Contact: Aurelia Brogan, Arts Coordinator
(909) 399-5490

Claremont, CA – The City of Claremont Human Services Department will host the Second Annual Claremont Art Showcase from September 7, 2016 through November 28, 2016 at the Alexander Hughes Community Center. The exhibit will feature works by local artists Carol Abbe, Johnnie Chatman, Sumi Foley, Mary Hughes, Aleta Jacobson, Kenneth Johnson, Jacqueline Legazcue, Kathleen McCall, Rosamar McMillan, Paul Kittlaus, Jacqueline Knell, Jerry Owens, Elizabeth Preston, Mervyn Seldon, Anne Seltzer, Wendy Smith, and Jane Park Wells.

A variety of 2-dimensional works will be on display, including a temporary mural which will be painted by Jerry Owens for the exhibit. A reception for the artists will be held at the Alexander Hughes Community Center on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 5-7pm. The Alexander Hughes Center is located at 1700 Danbury Road in Claremont. The center is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

This exhibition is presented by the City of Claremont in conjunction with the Public Art Committee, the Claremont Museum of Art, and Claremont Graduate University Art Business/Art Management Public Art Program. For further information about the exhibit or the reception contact Aurelia Brogan at abrogan@ci.claremont.ca.us or (909) 399-5490, or visit the city website at www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

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Paul Kittlaus

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Jerry Owens

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Anne Seltzer

Press Release PDF

StART It Up with ART in the Park

Vista del Valle elementary students create a mural on a Project ARTstART visit to the Pomona College Museum of Art in February.

Vista del Valle elementary students create a mural on a Project ARTstART visit to the Pomona College Museum of Art in February.

Claremont, Calif. (May 10, 2016) 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. For the fifth consecutive year, the high school students of Project ARTstART will curate ARTstART: StART It Up, an overview exhibition that includes works on paper, collage, sculptures, and laminated paintings from each of the art units presented to 4-6 th grade classes at Mountain View, Oakmont, Sumner, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools. In addition, this year’s StART It Up will highlight project samples from various AfterARTs sessions, and the ARTstART: By the Book library programs.

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

Project ARTstART is completing its fifth year under the direction of Rich Deely, Project Director. During the 2015-16 school year, 60 high school ARTstART students taught multi visit exhibit based art lessons to 920 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 approximately 125 students a month with our AfterARTs Series of art-making workshops for students enrolled in CUSD Aftercare and over 300 people for the ARTstART: By the Book Series at the Claremont branch of the LA County Public Library.

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 funded by generous donations from the LA County Arts Commission; The Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation for the Arts; the Claremont Community Foundation (CCF); the Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF); funds from the City of Claremont Community-Based Organization (CBO); The City of Claremont Teen Council; Scripps College Fine Arts Foundation; and two CMA member major donors.

For more information on Project ARTstART, visit the Project ARTstART page.
For photos of ARTstART in action go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/claremontmuseum/albums/72157666311764465

Photo Opportunity: ARTstARTers will be installing the 2016 StART It Up exhibition on Friday, May 20 from 4:30-6:30 pm. Please contact Rich Deely, 914 330-1740, for further details.

Museum Finds a Home at the Claremont Depot (updated)

Proposed CMA at Depot front_web

J Bohn Associates Architecture

After a great deal of planning, collaboration and high hopes, the Claremont Museum of Art has signed a lease with the City for the Claremont Depot to serve as CMA’s permanent home. The beautifully restored Depot, an iconic building in the Village, has been under-utilized for 25 years despite numerous efforts to find the right tenant. This facility offers the perfect setting to showcase the exceptional works of our Claremont artists, past, present and future, as well as opportunities on the lawn for ARTstART activities, art classes for children and adults, and other art-related events and programs.

We are extremely grateful to City Manager Tony Ramos, Mayor Corey Calaycay, and the City Council for their enthusiastic support of CMA and our shared vision of Claremont as a popular arts destination in Southern California.

Now the real work begins as CMA undertakes the renovation of the interior of the historic facility to bring it up to the standards of the elegant exterior. The work will be done in two phases to allow CMA to move into the Depot as soon as possible and make it a vibrant addition to the community. Phase I will involve the renovation of the current Foothill Transit ticket office and the atrium lobby into exhibit space.

Phase II involves the two most eastern rooms in the facility, which will take considerably more time and resources, and will not begin until 2017. CMA, a totally volunteer-run organization, is responsible for raising the funds necessary for Phase I of the remodeling to begin in late February.

CMA’s Claremont Depot Advisory Committee has retained local architect John Bohn, AIA LEED AP, who has experience in museum architecture and is an architectural instructor at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, to work with them in developing a vision for the museum in the Claremont Depot.

We reach out to you, our members and supporters, to join us in this exciting endeavor. Your gift to the Depot Renovation Fund will help us begin Phase I of the Depot renovation. Donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized publicly at our grand opening exhibition. Send your check to the Claremont Museum of Art, PO Box 1136, Claremont, CA 91711. Be sure to mark it “Depot” in the memo.

Claremont Museum of Art Finds a Home at the Depot

Claremont, Calif. (December 9, 2015) – We are pleased to announce that Claremont Museum of Art (CMA) has entered into a lease agreement with the City of Claremont for the adaptive reuse of the Claremont Depot as a small art museum. The proposal was approved by Claremont City Council with a unanimous vote on Tuesday evening. This iconic building in the center of the Claremont Village was partially restored in 1990 but has remained unoccupied, except for a Transit Center and a bike storage facility. Funded by a state grant, the City will initiate necessary basic tenant improvements to the structure, while CMA will be responsible for all museum enhancements, which will be funded by a major capital campaign.

With plans to start small and grow gradually, the museum will showcase the work of Claremont area artists, past, present and future. It will serve as a centerpiece for the arts community and contribute to Claremont’s increasing status as an art destination. The recently completed Public Art Master Plan “is dedicated to Claremont’s vibrant arts community. It is intended to build on Claremont’s significant artistic legacy and to appreciate, nurture, and celebrate the long-held civic pride for its artists.” The Claremont Museum of Art will serve an essential role in this mission. See the attached CMA proposal with accompanying architectural renderings and initial plans. Go to www.claremontmuseum.org for more information about the museum, its history and current programs.For questions and comments, you may contact Sandy Baldonado, President of the Claremont Museum of Art Board of Directors at (951) 203-5397.

Claremont’s Rich Artistic Legacy

Art is an enduring part of Claremont’s history and heritage. Known throughout the country as an “art mecca” in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Claremont remains an important center of artistic activity. Claremont artists are integral to the cultural fabric of the City, having contributed to its unique identity and personality for more than 70 years. Centered by the Colleges, Claremont emerged as an important art community in the years following World War II. The recently produced film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-75 reinforced our awareness of the significance of our artistic heritage, a heritage worthy of preservation and presentation to future generations.

Claremont continues to have an active community of artists. Although many artists have homes and studios in neighboring towns, Claremont serves as a hub for area artists in large part because of the presence and reputation of The Claremont Colleges. In the tradition of their predecessors, local artists continue to impact the quality of the social and built environments. Part of the charm of this town is to walk through the Village hearing talk of kiln firings or seeing the latest mural project emerge. Local galleries fill with visitors at the monthly Art Walk and the Colleges bring exhibitions, lectures and art events to our community. Art happens here.

About the Museum

The Claremont Museum of Art was created to celebrate our community’s rich artistic legacy and to promote the cultural vitality of the region. With high hopes, the museum was incorporated in 2004 and was located in the Packing House for two years. Since 2010, the museum has successfully operated as a “museum without walls.” With nearly 300 members, the volunteer organization continues to hold numerous events and programs. CMA has presented ten exhibitions in borrowed spaces, including Millard Sheets: Hills and Horses currently on display at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. The Padua Hills Art Fiesta has become a popular annual event and studio tours have opened dozens of artists’ studios to the public. Funds raised have supported Project ARTstART, an art education program now in its fifth year serving Claremont schools.

The museum currently holds a significant art collection in storage. With a permanent exhibition space, CMA expects to expand the collection to truly represent the artistic legacy of Claremont. CMA’s Claremont Depot Advisory Committee has retained local architect John Bohn, AIA LEED AP, who has experience in museum architecture and is an architectural instructor at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, to work with them in developing a vision for the museum in the Claremont Depot.

View the pdf of this press release

Claremont Museum of Art Proposal

John Svenson: For the Love of Wood

(Claremont, CA) October 9, 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.

Svenson-Madonna-144x144John 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. The exhibition is sponsored by Maria (Zornes) and Hal Baker, Marilyn Dale and Svenson Arts.

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

November 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

Over 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.

John 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.

Svenson Exhibition PDF

Art Under the Olive Trees of Padua Hills

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Art Fiesta returns Sunday, November 2

(Claremont, CA) October 6, 2014 – The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 11th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 2 with an outdoor art show, art and craft demonstrations, music and more. This year’s exhibit will feature original Fiesta artist John Svenson.

Some local residents still recall the popular Art Fiesta held through the 1950s. Since 2011, the Claremont Museum of Art has continued the tradition with Claremont area artists showing their work under the shady olive trees of the beautifully restored Padua Hills Theatre.

  • Sunday, November 2, 11am to 4pm at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for CMA members. Children under 18 are free.
  • Twenty two area artists will display and sell their paintings, ceramics, glass, sculpture, textiles and jewelry. This year’s Fiesta artists include Paul Brayton, Sandy Garcia, Crispin Gonzales, Kathryn Herrman, Mike Hill, Mary Hughes, Aleta Jacobson, Jens Lerback, Andree Mahoney, Sherry Marger, Richard Martinez, Kathleen McCall, Jerry Owens, Luis Ramirez, Tom Skelly, Wendy Smith, Jeanne Steffan, Alan Swartz, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft and Susan Zenger.
  • Art and craft demonstrations provided by area art organizations including craftsmen from Maloof Woodworkers, and artists from Chaffey Community Museum of Art and the dA Center for the Arts.
  • A sculpture exhibition, John Svenson: For the Love of Wood is presented by the Claremont Museum of Art. 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 is sponsored by Maria (Zornes) and Hal Baker, Marilyn Dale and Svenson Arts.
  • ARTstART students will lead children in creative Art Activities.
  • A Music Stage will feature local performers.
  • Festive foods from Casa de Salsa’s taco bar and Spaggi’s will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh Padua Hills lemonade.
  • Holiday shopping gets an early start with unique handmade artwork or art books.
  • Special thanks to Art Fiesta sponsors Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty; Ryan Zimmerman, Broker Associate, Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty; Spaggi’s; Robertson’s Roasted Almonds; also Sandy Baldonado, Barbara Brown, Sue Hyland, Paul and Linda DesMarais, Marilyn Ray, Michele & Dudley Rauch, David & Ahlene Welsh and Tammy Zipser.

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. Today the tradition continues with a new generation of artists sharing their talents.

PDF – Art Fiesta returns to Padua Hills on Sunday, November 3, 2014

Explore Claremont Art Studios with OpenART

Anne Seltzer

Anne Seltzer

(Updated June 1, 2014) The Claremont Museum of Art invites you to explore the multitude of studios tucked into local neighborhoods and business parks on Saturday, June 7. Over 20 area artists will open their studios to the public for OpenART on June 7. Visit your favorite artists from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.or discover a new one! Then mingle at the Artist’s Party from 4-8 p.m. at the Garner House.

OpenART Studio Tour presented by the Claremont Museum of Art
Saturday, June 7 – Studios open 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Artists’ party 4-8 p.m.
Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont CA 91711
Admission is $40 for the all-day event

Check-in will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Memorial Park, where guests will receive a color map for locating the studios. Works by participating artists will be on view in the gallery, and patrons will  have the opportunity to win a favorite artist’s work. The event will end with An Artists’ Party from 4 to 8 p.m. at Garner House. Participating artists include Opoku Acheampong, Barry Cisneros, Steve Comba, Max Emadi, Cathy Garcia, Crispin Gonzales, Mike Hill, Mary Hughes, Aleta Jacobson, Carolyn Lee, Karen and John Neiuber, Osvaldo Orellana, Elizabeth Preston, Anne Seltzer, Tom Skelly, Jeanne Steffan, Norma Tanega, Georgette Unis, Ahlene Welsh.

The OpenART 2012 Artist's Party on the patio of the Garner House.

The OpenART 2012 Artist’s Party on the patio of the Garner House.

And, of course, you won’t want to miss the popular Artists’ Party from 4-8 p.m. in the courtyard of the Garner House. Join the fun and take a chance to win a piece by your favorite artist. This event only occurs every two years, so don’t miss out!

Cost for the tour and party is $40 per person. To purchase advance reservations for $35, mail a check to Claremont Museum of Art, P.O. Box 1136, Claremont, CA 91711, email info@claremontmuseum.org or come by the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Space from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 6 to preview the OpenART exhibition and purchase advance tickets.

Special thanks to OpenART sponsors Wheeler-Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty and State Farm, Randy Prout and Eric Martinez.

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ARTstART Presents StART It Up, a Student Art Exhibition

(May 19, 2014) 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.

An Oakmont Elementary School student creates a clay creature on a Project ArtstART field trip to visit the Claremont Museum of Art exhibition "Betty Davenport Ford: Capturing the Animal Spirit" at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden on Monday, March 10, 2014.

An Oakmont student makes a clay snake after viewing animal sculptures by Betty Davenport Ford on a field trip to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

StART It Up, an exhibition of related student artwork will be on view noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday May 31, Sunday June 1 and Wednesday June 4 in the Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Center in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. Curated and installed by ARTstART high school students, the exhibition will feature work by 4-6th grade classes from Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools.

The Claremont Museum of Art’s presents StART It Up, a Project ARTstART student exhibition.

When: Saturday May 31, Sunday June 1 and Wednesday June 4 from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Claremont Heritage Ginger Elliott Exhibition Center in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont

Project ARTstART is completing its third year under the direction of Rich Deely. In the 2013-14 school year, 42 high school ARTstART students interacted with 442 elementary students from Oakmont, Sycamore and Vista del Valle elementary schools. Activities to date have included 35 exhibition visits, field trips and classroom art-making. In addition, after-school art lessons have been offered through CLASP and at Sycamore school. Project ARTstART will expand to include Mountain View school in the fall of 2014.

Project ARTstART is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Flourish Foundation.  For more information on Project ARTstART, go to claremontmuseum.org/education-programs/artstart/ .