(April 16, 2007)—Hundreds of people throughout Southern California traveled by foot, train, or automobile to enjoy the opening weekend of the Claremont Museum of Art. The Museum, located within a renovated citrus packing house along the train tracks in Claremont, officially opened to the public on Sunday, April 15.
Opening day drew more than 1,000 visitors who participated in hands-on art activities while DJ Matthew Rubino, resident DJ at The Standard Downtown, spun soul, funk, and jazz in the Packing House atrium. People age five to ninety-five created art collages inspired by the Karl Benjamin exhibit and “chalked it up” on the colorful street mural outside the building’s east entrance as part of the Museum’s “Chalk It Up!” street painting event.
Saturday evening’s opening reception drew more than 800 people to the Museum to see the inaugural exhibits, shop in the museum store, and enjoy live music by gypsy jazz quartet The Mezzonians. Attendees included a who’s-who in the local art and political scene, with art enthusiasts driving from Venice, San Diego, and other Southland locations to attend the sneak preview.
The Museum’s inaugural exhibit is a retrospective of the work of world-renowned Claremont painter Karl Benjamin. A Conversation with Color: Karl Benjamin, Paintings 1953-1995 (through June 25) features 46 paintings spanning 42 years that trace Benjamin’s career, from his early experiments with cubism to works that represent his role as one of the founders of abstract classicism.
The permanent collection, Building a Legacy: Founding a Museum, Building a Collection, occupies the smaller of the two museum galleries with works exhibited on a rotating basis. The inaugural showing of the collection (through June 25) includes work by Aldo Casanova, Rupert Deese, Betty Davenport Ford, James Grant, Susan Lautmann Hertel, Norm Hines, James Hueter, William Manker, Harrison McIntosh, Walter Mix, Roland Reiss, Millard Sheets, Albert Stewart, and Milford Zornes.
About the Musuem: The Claremont Museum of Art is a regional museum of international significance, exhibiting art connected to Claremont as well as art from around the world. In addition to a diverse slate of exhibits, the museum features a contemporary museum shop and a comprehensive slate of educational programming for all ages. The Claremont Museum of Art is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.