New galleries to open celebrating Claremont’s artistic legacy
EXHIBITION DATES: May 20 – September 25, 2022
Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, 200 W. First St., Claremont
Grand Opening Saturday, May 21, 6-8 p.m.
Claremont Collects: Art, Creativity, Community is the inaugural exhibition in the newly expanded Claremont Lewis Museum of Art. Featuring highlights from the Museum’s permanent collection, Claremont Collects celebrates our rich artistic legacy, vibrant creative community, and robust support for the arts. The exhibition, generously sponsored by Gould Asset Management LLC, showcases work made by area artists from the 1930s to today.
The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street next to the Metrolink Station. The Museum is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. For more information visit http://clmoa.org.
The exhibition connects past, present, and future by revealing the depth and breadth of our region’s continuum of creativity and honors Claremont’s role in the history of California and American art. Claremont has long been recognized as a dynamic center for artistic production. Since the 1930s and continuing through the present day, Claremont has been both magnet and haven for artists. Millard Sheets, Jean Ames, Phil Dike, and their contemporaries cultivated a tight-knit community of artists, centered around the Claremont Colleges, that promoted collaboration, innovation, and experimentation. They believed that art is for
everyone and should be an integral part of everyday life. That legacy was embraced by subsequent generations including Betty Davenport Ford, Susan Lautmann Hertel, Harrison McIntosh and many outstanding contemporary artists. This long-standing creative esprit de corps continues to permeate the Claremont art community and is reflected in the generosity of artists, patrons, and collectors who have established the Museum and built the collection.
The exhibition will offer a vibrant, multi-faceted experience for visitors of all ages. Co-Curators Adrienne Luce, Director; Catherine McIntosh, Board Member; and Seth Pringle will fill the museum’s three galleries with more than 60 paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, watercolors, and furniture by both legacy and contemporary artists. The film, “Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975,” will be on view in the Baldonado Atrium.
The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, formerly Claremont Museum of Art, is in its sixth year occupying two rooms of the Claremont Depot. Last fall the Museum renovated the remaining interior rooms into galleries. The newly expanded museum transforms the historic Santa Fe Depot into a vibrant cultural destination in the heart of the Claremont Village.
The adaptive reuse of this historic building has been a very successful public/private partnership with the City of Claremont, Metro, and the generous support of CLMA members and friends throughout the local area. The CLMA Board of Directors is immensely grateful to the city of Claremont for its support and for undertaking the mandated seismic and accessibility work on the eastern end of the Depot with funding approved by Metro with the Museum as the tenant. The Claremont Depot is part of Metrolink’s rail network, and it will be part of Metro’s Foothill Gold Line system in the near future. Further, Metro has made it a priority to support art in public spaces at each of its rail stops, which is why the Metro Board found it appropriate for Prop C funds to be utilized at the Claremont stop to support retrofitting and safety.
With a fund-raising goal of $300,000 for this final phase of the renovation, the Museum has raised over $120,000 over the past two years in a quiet phase of the “Imagine More Museum” campaign to turn the two most eastern rooms into galleries.
With high ceilings and expansive wall and floor space, the new galleries more than double CLMA’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.
More About the Renovation
Local architect, John Bohn, of JBohn Associates, headed up the project with contractor Darin Ross, of Ross Construction. Bohn has worked with the CLMA 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 impacting the original walls of the interior of the historic building.
The same care and attention to detail was followed in remodeling the final two rooms in the Depot into galleries. The original, rare 100-year-old plank cedar flooring in the old bike room was saved, and, after milling and sanding, was reinstalled in gallery 3 and stained. The adjacent room, the old luggage room, which had a cement floor now has Douglas fir flooring stained to match the cedar in gallery 3. The original ceilings in both rooms have been retained and track lighting was hung from the ceiling in the two new galleries.
A tour of the new galleries and interview with CLMA Co-Curators Director Adrienne Luce, Board Member Catherine McIntosh, and Seth Pringle are available upon request.