Giovanna Z. Rinaldo
The Claremont Village was awash with art Saturday evening at the monthly Claremont Art Walk.
With 11 stores and galleries participating along Foothill Boulevard, Bonita Avenue, First Street and Yale, the art walk gave Claremont residents and visitors a chance to admire local artists’ work and meet some in person.
“Mostly, the art walk is locally centered, we really want to showcase artists that are here,” owner of The Colony at Loft 204 Jenelle Rensch said. “It doesn’t mean just Claremont, but close by (so) that they could come here and meet you. That’s what we like to do.”
Rensch reached out to other gallery owners and joined up with Claremont Village Marketing to improve the art walk.
“There wasn’t very much organization to the art walk for several years, and something that was really exciting to me about owning an art gallery was the art walk,” Rensch said.
Village Marketing funds the art walk event, which is held the first Saturday of every month, and the gallery owners run it.
Now that the art walk is growing, not only are galleries allowed to purchase a space, but stores can as well.
Rensch’s interest for art, transmitted to her by her artistic mother, is a symbolic window into the people behind the artwork.
“I think that a huge reason why I got involved in the art walk, is that I’m interested in who is doing the art, and what their story is, and why they choose to do the certain subjects that they do or use the certain colors that they use,” Rensch said.
Elisa Rosas-Hutchison, an artist who uses acrylic paint, ink, watercolor and charcoal on the same canvas to explore the relationship between color and texture, displayed her paintings at The Colony at Loft 204.
Her series of four animals painted colorfully in portrait style were for sale at $125 each.
“I get inspiration from my travels throughout Europe with all of the history that they have there and literature that they have there,” Rosas-Hutchison said.
“But also, I chose animals as my subject because I’m also part Native American and I use that as my reference point. For me, art is a place to escape to happiness,” she said.
Artist Henry Hayden, 97, could not be present, but his watercolor landscape paintings displayed at the Buddhamouse Emporium showcased a sample of the pieces he creates while he is at the Pilgrim Place senior community.
“He has the energy, and he’s very robust,” said Tiffany Williams, his 33-year-old art agent who has known him for 16 years. “He has a great memory and a great mind.”
The Claremont Art Walk also included paintings from Paul Batou, a Iraqi artist whose art displayed at the Square i Gallery reflects the search for his native land.
Batou believes art can deliver the message of hope and freedom.
“People really love the art walk and they really want to see it grow,” Rensch said.
“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and support about making it really something that’s going to showcase everything that this town has to offer, because there is so much art here.”
Giovanna Z. Rinaldo can be reached at email@example.com.