Tag Archives: John Svenson

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

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

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Nov 18-Dec 18, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First held in 1953, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta was organized by local artists to bring art into the community. The studio art movement that flourished here in the 1950s centered on the use of natural materials and traditional sensibilities – watercolor, pottery, woodworking, sculpture in stone, bronze and ceramic, mosaic, textiles as well as painting. Visitors came from miles around to meet the artists and watch “art in action” at the popular festival.