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Claremont Art Walk returns in vibrant color

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Artist Rebecca Hamm discusses her most recent exhibition, “Law of Nature,” in the Claremont Chamber of Commerce gallery at the Claremont Art Walk on Saturday. She said the work was inspired by the idea that nature should not be a commodity. / photo by Jingyao Liang

Artist Rebecca Hamm discusses her most recent exhibition, “Law of Nature,” in the Claremont Chamber of Commerce gallery at the Claremont Art Walk on Saturday. She said the work was inspired by the idea that nature should not be a commodity. / photo by Jingyao Liang

Anabel Martinez
Arts Editor

Art lovers and community members visited the art galleries at the Claremont Art Walk on Saturday. The event, which had been on hiatus due to COVID,  is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Saturdays of each month in the heart of the Claremont Village. It showcases art, photography, artisans’ crafts, live music and more.

Visitors can grab a bite from the local pizza or coffee shop before strolling through First Street to engage in art from the participating galleries.

The September event featured the sound of soft jazz music and dim studio lighting to view Rebecca Hamm’s, “Law of Nature,” a series of acrylic paintings on paper and some on canvas.

Hamm said she was working on safeguarding a piece of land when she became inspired to paint on the idea that nature should not be argued about in the court.

“Essentially, these start with images and in reference to natural undeveloped land or animals, insects, flowers, flora and fauna. Then I build it and layer the surface, and it becomes more rich and the painting takes over,” Hamm said.

Hamm’s paintings show splashes of colorful, bright paint across the paper to create a visual representation of the chaotic connection between the law and nature.

One of her paintings, “The Jury of Coyotes,” has outlines of coyotes hidden among the dabbles of paint, the title being a juxtaposition between legal terms and animals in nature.

“It is so vibrant and wonderful and one of the things I love about her work is that it evolves and morphs. Yet, it maintains a continuity of her focus on nature and her interest in revealing hidden aspects of nature,” Paul Faulstich, a resident of Claremont, said.

Faulstich said he enjoyed that her pieces felt familiar as they were place-based and referenced surrounding areas of Claremont.

“There are all these layers and you start peeling them away and you get to see all the stuff that’s in there. If you’re out there in the world, in nature, there’s a lot you don’t see until you focus in and really start looking. Rebecca captures that so well in her paintings,” Faulstich said.

In honor of late local artist Bill Moore, Square i Gallery showcased several of his works. Moore’s paintings featured a mix of red hues, neutral tones and texture, most of them on long, rectangular canvases.

Visitor Silvia Giodarno, Upland resident, was a long-time friend of Moore and said she loved the way his paintings were displayed in the gallery.

“One of the things I love about his paintings is the texture,” Giodarno said. “He lived close to the railroad tracks and he would go and get small rocks, put them on the painting and paint over them.”

Several art walk visitors talked about Moore’s character and impact in the community.

Artist Jerry Owens’ exhibit, “Split Decisions,” was showcased in two galleries, Bunny Gunner Gallery and Studio C on West Bonita Avenue, with Bunny Gunner focusing on the traditional style of his art and Studio C focusing on the contemporary side.

“The split decision is as I start painting, at some point in time I have a decision. Which way do I go with this painting? Push it to the traditional or push it to an abstract? That’s the scripture,” Owens said.

In Bunny Gunner, colorful paintings of pathways splitting through nature were displayed on canvas with a few in gold frames.

In Studio C, Owen’s paintings show various versions of a single building in the middle of nowhere with horizontal lines across the canvas.

“Me being a true Gemini, which (is known for) a double personality, I like to do traditional painting. But I also like to dabble in contemporary and abstract art,” Owens said. “Not too often does someone show in two galleries. I feel like it’s a real blessing.”

Claremont hosts an art walk at Claremont Village every first Saturday of the month. The next art walk will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 2, in the Claremont Village.

Anabel Martinez can be reached at anabel.martinez2@laverne.edu.

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