Category Archives: Press Release

Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Feature Milford Zornes

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

  • Sunday, November 5, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for Claremont Museum of Art members. Children under 18 are free. A free shuttle is available from Padua Park.
  • Twenty five area artists will display and sell their paintings, prints, ceramics, glass, sculpture, textiles and jewelry. Area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations and art books will be for sale.
  • This year’s exhibition will feature artist Milford Zornes, a longtime Claremont watercolor painter and the director of the Padua Hills Art Institute in the late 1950s. A new documentary film Milford Zornes: The Claremont Connection will premiere at the Art Fiesta. The 30-minute film will be shown throughout the day.
  • ARTstART students will lead families in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

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

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

THE EXHIBITION + FILM

The Exhibition

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

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

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

The Film

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

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

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

PDF of the Art Fiesta 2017 Press Release

Dee Marcellus Cole to Transform the Claremont Depot into a Carnival of Color

Dee Marcellus Cole, a self-proclaimed faux-folk artist, creates vibrant sculptures constructed of wood and layered paper at her home in Upland in 2017.

Claremont, CA (June 13, 2017) – The Claremont Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition, Dee Marcellus Cole and Carnival Seekers, will present the work of eight local folk artists driven, not by the art world, but by the instinctive need to create. The exhibition, generously sponsored by Gould Asset Management LLC, will open on Saturday, August 5 with a reception from 6-9 p.m. during Art Walk and remain on view through November 26, 2017.

Dee Marcellus Cole, a self-proclaimed faux-folk artist living in Upland, creates vibrant sculptures constructed of wood and layered paper. These colorful creatures, whimsical in movement and spiritual in nature, are reminiscent of Latin American culture.

Inspired by her many travels to Mexico, Guatemala and throughout South America, Dee will transform the Claremont Depot into a carnival of bright colors, iconic images, and spiritual messages.  She has chosen to collaborate with some of Claremont and Pomona’s most distinctive artists for this exhibition including Johnnie Dominguez, Cathy Garcia, Sandy Garcia, Karen and John Neiuber, Christian Ornelas and Dan Romero to highlight celebration, in all shapes and forms.

Dee Marcellus Cole earned an MA in art from the Claremont Graduate School in 1984 and taught at La Verne University for twelve years. Known as the Goddess of the Pomona Art Colony she has inspired generations of artists, hosted studio tours, presented workshops and been exhibited in numerous solo shows.

The Claremont Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street in Claremont just steps away from the Metrolink Station. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for CMA members and children under 18. The museum is also open from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month for the Art Walk.

The first Sunday of the every month is Free Family Day with free admission and ARTStation, a place for children to experience art and engage with local culture. High school students in CMA’s Project ARTstART lead visitors in an art activity related to the current exhibition. ARTStation is generously sponsored by Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty and Broadview Mortgage.

Go to www.claremontmuseum.org for more information about the museum, its history and current programs.

PDF of the Carnival Seekers Press Release

ARTStation to feature art-making activities on Free Family Day at the Claremont Museum of Art

ARTStation-collage-PRClaremont, California (January 17, 2017) – The Claremont Museum of Art welcomes the public for Free Family Day from noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 5 with free admission and ARTStation, a place for children to experience art and engage with local culture. High school students in CMA’s Project ARTstART will lead visitors in an art activity related to the current exhibition and the work of local Claremont artists.

Located at the historic Claremont Depot, the Claremont Museum of Art is in the Village at 200 W. First Street, just steps away from the Metrolink Station. The first Sunday of the every month is Free Family Day. Regular hours are Friday through Sunday, noon to 4pm. Admission is $5 and free for Claremont Museum of Art members and children under 18. The museum is also open from 6 to 8pm on the first Saturday of the month for the Art Walk.

The opening exhibition, (re)Generation: Six Decades of Claremont Artists, features 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 19.

Claremont Museum of Art Recently Opened in the Depot

The Claremont Museum of Art entered into a lease agreement with the City of Claremont for the adaptive reuse of the historic building. Thanks to generous and enthusiastic community support, the Museum raised over $150,000 to complete Phase I of the renovation and opened its doors to an enthusiastic crowd on November 20, 2016.

With its stunning Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the Depot served as a Santa Fe train station from 1927 to 1967. 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.

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.

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.

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 over 300 members, the volunteer organization has continued to hold numerous events and programs and has presented ten exhibitions in borrowed spaces. 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, a successful art education program now in its fifth year serving Claremont schools.

The museum currently holds a significant art collection in storage. With a new exhibition space, CMA hopes to expand the collection to truly represent and preserve the artistic legacy of Claremont.

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]

Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Focus on Midcentury Art and Architecture in Claremont

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Updated October 27, 2016 (Claremont, CA) – The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 13th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 6 with an outdoor art show, art and craft demonstrations and music under the shady olive trees of the beautiful Padua Hills Theatre.  A preview of the recently produced film Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury will be shown throughout the day accompanied by an exhibition produced by Claremont Heritage.

  • Sunday, November 6, 11 am to 4 pm at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for Claremont Museum of Art and Claremont Heritage members. Children under 18 are free.
  • Twenty five area artists will display and sell their paintings, prints, ceramics, glass, sculpture, textiles and jewelry. Area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations.
  • A 20-minute preview of the new documentary film Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury will be shown throughout the day accompanied by an informative exhibition produced by Claremont Heritage.
  • ARTstART students will lead children in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

The Padua Hills Art Fiesta originated in 1953 for local artists to bring art into the community. The studio art movement that flourished here in the 1950s centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities – 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. In 2011, the Claremont Museum of Art revived this tradition with a new generation of artists sharing their talents.

THE ARTISTS

The outdoor art show will feature twenty-five area artists showing their work under a grove of shady olive trees. New artwork this year will include woodworking by Hal Metlizky; ceramics by Kristen Erickson and T. and Jon Pacini; weaving by Patricia Hinds; and paintings by Jackie Knell, Roz McMillan and Dee Small.

And visitors will find many favorite returning artists: Paul Brayton, Sumi Foley, Sandy Garcia, Rebecca Hamm, Kathryn Herrman, Mike Hill, David Holzberger, Aleta Jacobson, Sherry Marger, Kathleen, Jerry Owens, Kazumi Kobayashi Svenson, Gaby Tepper, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft, Maureen Wheeler and Larry White.

“Art in Action” can be found on the hillside terrace provided by Chaffey Community Museum of Art, Alba Cisneros, The Clay Yard, dA Center for the Arts and Maloof Woodworkers.  Art-making activities will be led by Project ARTstART students.

MUSIC, FOOD & SPONSORS

Music performances will be provided by Gloria Cangahuala and Anne Sherrill of Claremont Symphony Orchestra, Stefan Pajaro-van de Stadt with Aviva Mann, Silver Tree with Jessie Lyn and Kyle Thompson,  and David Hostetler. Tacos will be served by El Merendero along with Bert & Rocky’s ice cream and traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

Special thanks to Art Fiesta sponsors Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty and Ryan Zimmerman, Broker Associate, Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty. And thanks to Scout Troop 407 for their invaluable helping hands.

THE EXHIBTION + FILM

Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury

Postwar Claremont: A Center of Modern Design and Architecture

With the development of substantial art programs at the Claremont Colleges, spearheaded by the artist and educator Millard Sheets, Claremont attracted a large number of artists in the years following World War II. Painters, sculptors, ceramists, muralists and mosaic artists, architects and designers shared ideas and forged close friendships. With a cultural climate that was conducive to the integration of art, craft, and architecture, Claremont became an important center of Midcentury Modern design.

Persons associated with the Claremont Colleges and art community were highly receptive to modern trends in architecture, and many of them engaged the services of local architects to create houses and other structures suited to the informal, nature-oriented lifestyle of Southern California.

The Exhibition

To record and interpret this important chapter in the cultural history of Claremont and Southern California, Claremont Heritage Executive Director, David Shearer has curated an exhibition entitled Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury.

The exhibition will chronicle the efforts of forward-looking architects, artists and designers to create living environments suited to the physical and cultural landscape of Claremont and Southern California. It will capture the full sweep of the area’s rich architectural heritage, from early expressions of modern thinking, as seen in the 1903 Mary Darling House by Greene & Greene, through the residential housing boom of the postwar period, to institutional and commercial projects that advanced modern ideas in architecture and design, including Millard Sheets’ historic local projects including: Garrison Theater, Pomona First Federal Bank and Sheets Studio.

The exhibition will feature archival imagery including photographs and drawings of architectural projects that integrated art into the design. Architects featured include: Millard Sheets, S. David Underwood, Rufus Turner, Foster Rhodes Jackson, Criley & McDowell, Edward Durell Stone and more. Work by Claremont artists will show the influence of the architecture and their perspectives on modern design. They include Millard Sheets Studio, Harrison McIntosh, Paul Darrow, and Betty Davenport Ford among others.

The Film

The 90-minute documentary film Claremont Modern: The Convergence of Art + Architecture at Midcentury, is a companion piece to Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935 – 1975, a film produced in 2014 by filmmaker Paul Bockhorst in partnership with the Claremont Museum of Art. Claremont Modern expands the scholarship and examines the regional influences that helped to establish a unique chapter in the annals of Modernism. A 20-minute preview of the film will be shown throughout the day of the Art Fiesta.

The documentary is produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Bockhorst, in cooperation with Claremont Heritage. A veteran writer, producer, and director, Bockhorst has produced dozens of programs that have appeared on PBS, NBC, ABC, Turner Broadcasting, and the Disney Channel. He recently received an Honorary AIA Award for his many documentaries on art and architecture.

Principal funding for Claremont Modern was generously provided by The Ahmanson Foundation, Andy and Blenda Wright, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and Brent Harris.

Press Release – “Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Focus on Midcentury Art and Architecture in Claremont” [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.

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

Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Feature Millard Sheets Film

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The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 12th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 1 with an outdoor art show, art and craft demonstrations, music and more. The recently produced film Design for Modern Living will be shown throughout the day and an exhibition will feature paintings by one of California’s most recognized artists, Millard Sheets. More information is available at www.claremontmuseum.org.

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

  • Sunday, November 1, 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 five area artists will display and sell their paintings, prints, ceramics, glass, sculpture, textiles and jewelry. Area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations.
  • The new documentary film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975 will be shown at 11:30am, 1:00pm and 2:30pm.
  • A Claremont Museum of Art exhibition, Millard Sheets: Hills and Horses will show how a love of horses inspired the artwork of Padua Hills’ artist Millard Sheets in the 1940–60s.
  • ARTstART students will lead children in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

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.

THE ART SALE

The outdoor art show will feature twenty-five area artists showing their work under a grove of shady olive trees. New artwork this year will include paintings by Rebecca Hamm, mixed media by Sumi Foley, ceramics by Gaby Tepper and the AMOCA Ceramic Studio artists, wood turning by David Holzberger, jewelry by Jay Simmons.

And you will find many favorite returning Claremont artists: Paul Brayton, Gina Lawson Egan, Kathryn Herrman, Mike Hill, Aleta Jacobson, Andrée Mahoney, Marciano Martinez, Sherry Marger, Kathleen McCall, Maureen Wheeler, Jerry Owens, Kazumi Kabayashi Svenson, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft and Susan Zenger.

THE FILM

Millard Sheets in his Padua Hills studio in the early 1950s. Photo for Life Magazine from Sheets Family Archive.

Millard Sheets in his Padua Hills studio in the early 1950s. Photo for Life Magazine from Sheets Family Archive.

Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975

Two years in the making, the one-hour documentary film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975, produced by Paul Bockhorst in partnership with the Claremont Museum of Art, tells the story of the remarkable artistic community that took root at Scripps College and made Claremont an important center of Mid-20th Century Modern design.

The film provides a vivid and illuminating account of the important art community that emerged in Claremont in the years following World War II under the leadership of Millard Sheets, with profiles of nearly two dozen artists and craftspersons.

In the years following World War II, the community of Claremont in Southern California emerged as an important center for the visual arts, due in large measure to the inspired efforts of the artist and educator Millard Sheets. In Claremont, painters, sculptors, ceramists, enamel and mosaic artists, woodworkers and fiber artists devoted themselves to their creative pursuits with great imagination and energy, creating works that express the spirit of Postwar Modernism in California.

In the film, artists who were active in Claremont in the postwar period share their memories of the time and place. They include Betty Davenport Ford, John Svenson, James Strombotne, Paul Darrow, Harrison McIntosh, Barbara Beretich, and Martha Longenecker. Other artists featured in the documentary include William Manker, Jean and Arthur Ames, Albert Stewart, Henry Lee McFee, Phil Dike, Milford Zornes, James Hueter, Jack Zajac, Karl Benjamin, Roger Kuntz, Rupert Deese, Susan Hertel, and Sam Maloof.

The documentary was produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Bockhorst, in cooperation with the Claremont Museum of Art. A veteran writer, producer, and director, Bockhorst has produced dozens of programs that have appeared on PBS, NBC, ABC, Turner Broadcasting, and the Disney Channel. He recently received an Honorary AIA Award for his documentaries on art and architecture.

Principal funding for Design for Modern Living was provided by The Ahmanson Foundation and Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, The Windgate Charitable Foundation, Gerald and Bente Buck, E. Gene Crain, Marguerite and Harrison McIntosh, Tom & Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle, and the Family of Helen Bockhorst. Additional support was provided by the Historical Collections Council of California, Peter and Gail Ochs, Robert and Nadine Hall, Jim and Perry Jamieson, Beverly Maloof, the Family of Karl Benjamin, and Betty Davenport Ford and Harold Ford.

THE EXHIBITION

MILLARD SHEETS: Hills and Horses

Millard Sheets, Detail from Horses at Play, lithograph, c.1985Inspired 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.

Following the Art Fiesta, the exhibition will be on display at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden through February 28, 2016. 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.

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Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Feature Millard Sheets Film

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Claremont, Calif. (June 22, 2015) – The Claremont Museum of Art will host the 12th Annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 1 with an outdoor art show, art and craft demonstrations, music and more. The recently produced film Design for Modern Living will be shown throughout the day and an exhibition will feature paintings by one of California’s most recognized artists, Millard Sheets.

Some local residents still recall the popular Padua Hills 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 1, 11 am to 4 pm at the Padua Hills Theatre, 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for CMA members. Children under 18 are free.
  • Twenty five area artists will display and sell their paintings, prints, ceramics, glass, sculpture, textiles and jewelry. Area art organizations will provide art and craft demonstrations.
  • A Claremont Museum of Art exhibition, Millard Sheets: Hills and Horses will show how a love of horses inspired the artwork of Padua Hills artist Millard Sheets in the 1940–60s.
  • The new documentary film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975 will be shown throughout the day.
  • ARTstART students will lead children in creative Art Activities. A Music Stage will feature local performers. Festive foods will be served with traditional Jamaica punch and fresh lemonade.

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.

THE ART SALE

The outdoor art show will feature twenty-five area artists showing their work under a grove of shady olive trees. New artwork this year will include paintings by Rebecca Hamm and Guan Zhi, mixed media by Sumi Foley, ceramics by Gaby Tepper and AMOCA Ceramic Studio artists, wood turning by David Holzberger, and jewelry by Jay Simmons.

Favorite returning Claremont artists will include Paul Brayton, Gina Lawson Egan, Kathryn Herrman, Mike Hill, Aleta Jacobson, Carolyn Lee, Andree Mahoney, Sherry Marger, Kathleen McCall, Maureen Wheeler, Jerry Owens, Kazumi Kabayashi Svenson, Barry Vantiger, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft and Susan Zenger.

THE EXHIBITION
MILLARD SHEETS: Hills and Horses

The exhibition Millard Sheets: Hills and Horses will feature paintings, drawings and lithographs from the years that Sheets lived and worked in Padua Hills in the 1940s-60s. 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.

THE FILM

Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975

Millard Sheets in his Padua Hills studio in the early 1950s. Photo for Life Magazine from Sheets Family Archive.

Millard Sheets in his Padua Hills studio in the early 1950s. Photo for Life Magazine from Sheets Family Archive.

Two years in the making, the one-hour documentary film Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975, produced by Paul Bockhorst in partnership with the Claremont Museum of Art, tells the story of the remarkable artistic community that took root at Scripps College and made Claremont an important center of Mid-20th Century Modern design.
The film provides a vivid and illuminating account of the important art community that emerged in Claremont in the years following World War II under the leadership of Millard Sheets, with profiles of nearly two dozen artists and craftspersons. In the years following World War II, the community of Claremont in Southern California emerged as an important center for the visual arts, due in large measure to the inspired efforts of the artist and educator Millard Sheets. In Claremont, painters, sculptors, ceramists, enamel and mosaic artists, woodworkers and fiber artists devoted themselves to their creative pursuits with great imagination and energy, creating works that express the spirit of Postwar Modernism in California.

In the film, artists who were active in Claremont in the postwar period share their memories of the time and place. They include Betty Davenport Ford, John Svenson, James Strombotne, Paul Darrow, Harrison McIntosh, Barbara Beretich, and Martha Longenecker. Other artists featured in the documentary include William Manker, Jean and Arthur Ames, Albert Stewart, Henry Lee McFee, Phil Dike, Milford Zornes, James Hueter, Jack Zajac, Karl Benjamin, Roger Kuntz, Rupert Deese, Susan Hertel, and Sam Maloof. Additional insights are provided by Tony Sheets, Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle, Christy Johnson, Harold Nelson, James Elliot-Bishop, and Catherine McIntosh.The documentary was produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Bockhorst, in cooperation with the Claremont Museum of Art. A veteran writer, producer, and director, Bockhorst has produced dozens of programs that have appeared on PBS, NBC, ABC, Turner Broadcasting, and the Disney Channel. He recently received an Honorary AIA Award for his many documentaries on art and architecture.

Principal funding for Design for Modern Living was provided by The Ahmanson Foundation and Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, The Windgate Charitable Foundation, Gerald and Bente Buck, E. Gene Crain, Marguerite and Harrison McIntosh, Tom & Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle, and the Family of Helen Bockhorst. Additional support was provided by the Historical Collections Council of California, Peter and Gail Ochs, Robert and Nadine Hall, Jim and Perry Jamieson, Beverly Maloof, the Family of Karl Benjamin, and Betty Davenport Ford and Harold Ford.

CLAREMONT: A CENTER FOR MODERN DESIGN

The three decades following the end of World War II stand out as a golden age in Claremont and the surrounding Pomona Valley. The work created in that time and place gave vibrant physical expression to Southern California’s informal lifestyle, commanding both national and international attention. American confidence was high, and so too was the desire for the good life promised in the American Dream. After fifteen long years of economic crisis and war, there was enormous pent-up demand for modern housing and well designed home furnishings. Another important factor was the GI Bill, which allowed large numbers of returning veterans unprecedented access to higher education, including art instruction. The alignment of these factors in the late 1940s and early 1950s set the stage for an explosion in craft production in Southern California—and for Claremont’s emergence as an important center for modern design.

MILLARD SHEETS: ADVOCATE FOR THE ARTS

If the conditions were favorable for an artistic boom, a spark was still needed to ignite it. 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. Sheets began by creating the art department at Scripps College and the Claremont Graduate School in the 1930-40s. He went on to develop the Art Department at the Los Angeles County Fair, planned and designed dozens of Home Savings & Loan Association branches throughout California, and became a powerful voice for the arts in the Southland.

“Padua Hills Art Fiesta to Feature Millard Sheets Film” PDF