Pomona native celebrates first exhibit

Muralist Joy McAllister showcased her paintings “Feel Like Dancing,” “Parfait” and “Daybreak” at the opening of her exhibit on Saturday night. Her artwork can be viewed at the Ginger Elliot Center in Claremont until Sept. 29. / photo by Deja Goode
Muralist Joy McAllister showcased her paintings “Feel Like Dancing,” “Parfait” and “Daybreak” at the opening of her exhibit on Saturday night. Her artwork can be viewed at the Ginger Elliott Center in Claremont until Sept. 29. / photo by Deja Goode

Deja Goode
Staff Writer

Local artist Joy McAllister celebrated her first official gallery showing with friends and family on Saturday at the Ginger Elliott Center in Claremont. 

The show’s theme was based on abstract art and alluded to different areas around the world. 

Local art enthusiasts gathered to enjoy and discuss the abstract paintings that filled the walls with lively colors and lured in guests of all ages. 

The room had a modern look and feel complimented by hardwood floors, bringing a home-like essence as small glass tables were sprinkled throughout the room. 

Red and green chairs decorated the floor, inviting guests for photo opportunities, as well as a chance to relax and discuss the art among one another. 

At the entrance, a large 36×48 painting titled “Resurrection” scaled the wall. 

The piece contained subtle hints of color on a gray base with a few harsh black lines, setting the tone for the exhibit. 

McAllister’s piece titled “Bleeker Street” caught a lot of attention from the guests.

This oil canvas painting showcased an abstract image of a building, drawing in guests through the unique shape of the building along with the bright orange and yellow beams shining through its windows. 

Pale pastel colors surrounded the dark structure shifting the focus onto the building, portraying an old fashioned aesthetic to the piece. 

The painting sparked curiosity among attendees, as they often inquired the artist about it throughout the night. 

Nick Fox, McAllister’s husband, said that “Bleeker Street” was his favorite work at the exhibit.

“A long time ago I was on Bleeker Street in Chicago,” Fox said. “It reminds me of the jazz clubs there.”

McAllister spoke humbly about the selection process and the efforts put in to make everything just right for the exhibit. 

“Selecting the right pieces for the show was very tricky,” McAllister said. “I had a couple of friends that helped with that.”

Fox said he provided creative advice to McAllister when promted, and enjoys offering his opinion as he too has a passion for art.

A Claremont student, Shealee Governatori, seen with a green parrot on her shoulder, posed in front of a piece titled “Blushing.” 

The abstract painting was very loud, containing a fiery orange color that brightened the secluded corner it was placed in. 

The blue base of the piece challenged the orange center, creating an alluring contrast of light and dark colors.

“I really love this piece because I love orange,” Governatori said. “It’s beautiful and warm; it reminds me of the sunset.”

McAllister wanted to ensure everyone was able to purchase a painting, so she provided additional versions of her pieces that were more affordable. 

The pieces were exact replicas, but on a smaller, more reasonably priced canvas.

As guests were encouraged to embrace the visual arts, they could also listen to live music outside of the exhibit in the reception area. 

A folk band, The Stolen 58’s, played during the opening reception and expressed gratitude for McAllister’s love and support for the arts.

“Joy gave us the opportunity to be here, so this song is dedicated to her,” lead guitarist Jerry O’Sullivan said.

McAllister’s works can also be seen throughout the city of La Verne. 

Her mural titled “Scrapbook,” originally painted in 1992 and restored in 2017, is displayed on the south side of the Arts and Communications Building on the University of La Verne campus.

The exhibit runs through Sept. 29.

The Ginger Elliott Center is located at 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont. 

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday with free admission. All ages are welcome. 

Deja Goode can be reached at deja.goode@laverne.edu.


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