The Padua Hills Art Fiesta Returns after 52 Years

Fiesta Artists, 1950s
Fiesta Artists, 1950s

(October 22, 2011) – Last held in 1959, the Padua Hills Art Fiesta will again fill the grounds of the Padua Hills Theater with art and music on Sunday, November 13. The Claremont Museum of Art will recreate the Art Fiesta produced annually by the Claremont artists from 1953 through 1959. This year’s event will feature an outdoor art fair with twenty invited artists showing their work, arts and craft demonstrations, folk music, festival foods and an historic display. In conjunction with the Art Fiesta, an exhibition with artworks by the original Fiesta artists will be presented in the Ginger Elliot gallery at the Garner House in Memorial Park.

The Art Fiesta will be Sunday, November 13 from 11am to 4pm at 4467 Padua Ave., Claremont. Tickets will be $8 for adults, children under 18 are free. Claremont Museum of Art members will receive a 25% discount.

ceramic_vaseTwenty area artists will display and sell their work under the beautiful shady grove of olive trees. Participating artists will include Paul Brayton, Dee Marcellus Cole, Gina Lawson Egan, Crispin Gonzales, Katherine Herrman, Mike Hill, Mary Hughes, Paul Knoll, Andree Mahoney, Sioux Bally-Maloof, Marciano and Richard Martinez, Luis Ramirez, Kazumi Kobayashi Svenson, Martha Underwood, Ahlene Welsh, Jan Wheatcroft, Rhys Williams and others.

Art and craft demonstrations by area arts organizations will captivate audiences. There will be ceramists from the AMOCA Ceramic Studios underwood_watercolor-flowersthrowing pots, craftsmen from Maloof Woodworkers, CCAA Museum of Art painters doing watercolor, Betty Davenport Ford and John Svenson will be sculpting at the the Claremont Museum of Art booth.

The CMA Family Art program will feature creative art activities for the children. A music stage will provide entertainment by local folk musicians.

Festive foods will be available from Casa de Salsa’s taco bar and Spaggi’s along with traditional Jamaica juice and fresh lemonade. Start your holiday shopping early with unique handmade artwork or art books. wooden_carvingA preview of the exhibition Claremont Modern: The Fiesta Artists 1953-1959 including historic photos and artworks by the original Fiesta artists will be on display in the Theatre dining room.

Additional photos and artist interviews available upon request.

Claremont Museum of Art and Claremont Heritage Partner for PST Celebration

logo-claremont_modernSupported by the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980 will celebrate the vibrancy of art in the Los Angeles area with more than 30 concurrent exhibitions in an unprecedented collaboration of museums and other cultural organizations all across Southern California.

padua-harrison_mcintoshClaremont was a hot spot of artistic activity in the mid-century era. Many of the artists who studied and lived here in the 1950-60s produced outstanding work that impacted the Modernism

For this reason, Claremont Heritage and the Claremont Museum of Art have formed a partnership to produce Claremont Modern, a series of four exhibitions in the Ginger Elliot Exhibition Hall. Each exhibition will remain open for about a month with docents provided by both organizations. The second in the series will be an exhibition about the Fiesta artists of the 1950s.

Claremont Modern: The Fiesta Artists of Padua Hills 1953-1959, Nov 18-Dec 18

A preview of the exhibition will be displayed at the Art Fiesta on Sunday, November 13. It will then be relocated to the Ginger Elliot Gallery open weekends through December 18. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday November 18 from 5:30-7:30pm.

padua-watercolor with catMilford Zornes was the Director of the Padua Hills Art Institute in the 1950s and participated in the popular Art Fiesta. His daughter Maria Zornes Baker is curating the Fiesta Artists exhibition which will include historic materials and artwork from the mid-century era.

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.

padua-sculptureThe exhibition will feature work by many of Claremont’s well-known artists: Karl Benjamin, Paul Darrow, Betty Davenport Ford, James Hueter, Doug McClellan, Harrison McIntosh, James Strombotne, John Svenson and Jack Zajac. Sioux Bally-Maloof is producing a series of photographic portraits of these Fiesta artists. Other 1950s artists will be represented such as Rupert Deese, Phil Dike, Carl & Sue Hertel, Roger Kuntz, Sam Maloof, Walter Mix, Hildred Reents, Millard Sheets, Albert Stewart, Melvin Wood, Robert Wood and Milford Zornes. The exhibition will be accompanied by a booklet funded by the Claremont Community Foundation.