Heritage gala to honor Pitzer College, Claremont Museum of Art

Claremont Heritage will hold its annual awards gala May 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Padua Hills Theatre, according to an announcement email. This year’s event will be called “Spirit of Place.”

The gala will honor Pitzer College’s Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, this year’s recipient of Claremont Heritage’s Garner Preservation Award, and the Claremont Museum of Art, this year’s recipient of Claremont Heritage’s Cultural Heritage award.

Pitzer’s award will honor the Conservancy’s “adaptive reuse and restoration/renovation of the historically significant former college infirmary building designed by the well-known Pasadena architects Marston and Maybury,” according to a Claremont Heritage press release.

The former infirmary building is a historic structure, which was built in 1930 and opened in 1931, around the same time as Bridges Auditorium. The building was closed in the 1960s because of increases in seismic code requirements for hospitals, firebombed in the 1970s as part of a student protest and declared unusable by the city and fire department in the 1980s.

However, the Colleges were barred from demolishing the building due to its historic nature, and it sat boarded up and empty since the 1990s.

“Pitzer College has given the infirmary a new use and a new life that will not only honor the history embodied within its walls, but create new history for decades to come,” the press release reads.

The Claremont Museum of Art’s award is being presented for the museum’s “contribution to celebrating the community’s rich artistic legacy and promoting the cultural vitality of the region” and its commitment to “making art and culture accessible to the general public” through exhibitions, educational programs, and events.

The press release specifically highlights the museum’s Project ARTstART program, which provides art lessons to elementary school students.

“By bringing high-quality, art appreciation classes and activities to the Claremont schools, the Claremont Museum of Art not only inspires students through an understanding of the arts, but also highlights the history of Claremont’s rich artistic legacy,” the press release reads.

The award also honors the museum’s use and preservation of the Santa Fe Depot, which the press release describes as “one of Claremont’s most important cultural resources.”

The event will feature complimentary cocktails from mixologist Ramon Aguirre of Nuno’s Bistro and Bar, craft beers from Last Name Brewing and Claremont Craft Ales and private label wine, among other beverages. The gala will also offer passed hors d’oeurvres and a served three course “farm to table inspired” dinner catered by Gourmet/Gourmet.

The event will feature live and silent auctions offering artwork by Claremont’s own Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Milford Zornes, Betty Davenport Ford and Peter Weinberger, as well as various experiences.

Gala tickets are available for $125 each for non-members or $100 each for members on Claremont Heritage’s website. Ten-person tables are available for $1,000 for non-members or $800 for members.

Claremont Heritage’s annual Claremont History Exhibition, which features art from the Third Grade Local History Program, is also coming up soon. Opening receptions will be held 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 during the First Saturday Art Walk and again from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 for the Claremont Education Foundation’s Casa de Amigos event at Garner House in Memorial Park.

—Marc Rod



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