Claremont Museum of Art gala celebrates new gallery spaces

The Claremont Museum of Art Fall Gala returns to the Claremont Depot lawn on Saturday, September 18. This year’s theme, “Imagine,” celebrates the completion of two new galleries in the historic building, as the museum is reimagined to include more walls for more art, more programs and more people.

The evening festivities will be highlighted by the dedication of the museum’s atrium in honor of Sandy Baldonado, in recognition of her leadership, vision and commitment to CMA and the entire Claremont community. The museum offers special thanks to Patricia A. Lobello, of Lobello Lamb Lewis & Riley LLP, for serving as the platinum sponsor for this year’s event.

Guests will enjoy a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and a dinner catered by Spaggi’s, with all CDC and L.A. County COVID-19 guidelines in place. The exhibition, Furious Garden, will be open for viewing, as will the newly renovated gallery spaces. The evening will include bidding on unique live auction items, as well as a paddle auction to benefit Project ARTstART in the Claremont schools.

The community is invited to participate in the gala celebration and the online auction, with more than 50 works of art, which will go live at at noon on Monday, September 13, and end at noon on Monday, September 19. Available artwork will include oil paintings by Paul Kittlaus and Anne Seltzer; watercolors by Joella Mahoney, Sylvia Megerdichian and Milford Zornes; jewelry by Ahlene Welsh and Ginger Lai; glass by Paul Brayton, photography by Nancy Macko, ceramics by T. Robert and Jon Pacini, and many other treasures.

Individual tickets to the gala are $150, of which $75 is tax deductible. Reservations can be made online at For more information, contact the museum via email at or call 909 621-3200. All guests must be vaccinated or have had a recent negative COVID test.

More about the museum expansionThe construction on the two most eastern rooms in the Claremont Depot is moving forward on schedule thanks to the generosity of museum members, friends and supporters in the community. Local architect, John Bohn, of JBohn Associates, is leading the project with contractor Darin Ross of Ross Construction. Mr. Bohn has worked with the CMA Board of Directors since the museum moved into the Claremont Depot in 2015. He developed the plans to renovate and restore the atrium and add a second skin to the former Foothill Transit office to turn it into a gallery, without impact to the original walls of the interior of the historic building.

The same care and attention to detail is being followed in remodeling the final two rooms in the building into galleries. The original, rare 100-year-old plank cedar flooring in the old bike room was saved, and, after milling and sanding, it is being reinstalled and stained. The adjacent room, the old luggage room, which had a cement floor will now have Douglas fir flooring stained to match the cedar in gallery 3. The original ceilings in both rooms are also being retained and track lighting will be hung from the ceiling in the two new galleries. The construction is expected to be completed by mid-September.

With high ceilings and expansive wall and floor space, the new galleries will more than double CMA’s exhibition and educational opportunities and allow the museum to showcase a mix of art, sculpture and media to inspire art lovers of all ages. As the “Imagine More Museum” fundraising campaign moves forward, the final piece of the expansion, the addition of a glassed-in community room, will begin. It will reshape the west portico into a venue for smaller programs, art classes, and special events. The expanded museum will be a catalyst to spur creative thinking, engagement and innovative programming for the broader community. For more information on the “Imagine More Museum” campaign, visit or send a request via email to


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