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Padua Hills Art Fiesta showcases newcomers

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Jacob Barriga
Sports Editor 

The 10th annual Padua Hills Art Fiesta was filled with families, artists, music, food and crafts on Sunday at the Claremont Museum of Art, on First Street in the Claremont Village. 

About 30 local artists set up their exhibits and displayed their best work for anyone to look at and potentially purchase their favorite pieces of work. The art ranged from traditional painting, jewelry, glass and wood works, and ceramic pottery.

“It’s amazing to see these people here as the crowd is eager to come and they get to see the best art in Pomona Valley,” Jorge Rafael Moawad, wood designer and craftsman, said. 

Moawad is a local artist out of Pomona who displayed his wood framing for paintings and photographs for the first time at this event. Moawad said he is proud to be able to be in this event with so many great artists. 

“It takes time to be accepted here and it is a big accomplishment,” Moawad said. “I applied a few times before this and this year I finally got in.”

Catherine McIntosh, board member for the Claremont Museum of Art, said that each year the museum tries to bring 25% new, first-time artists to this event and they try their best to keep a variety of the different pieces and artists for the people who visit. 

McIntosh also said this event is meant to honor the history of the Padua Hills Theatre and the arts shows they held throughout the 1950s. She said the original reason for the art shows was to display and invite people to join artists in their process of making their pieces which included pottery and furniture.

They did this to highlight the work that was put into these pieces rather than the mass production culture that was rising rapidly in the nation at the time. 

Local artist Doug Pearsall, who was another first-time artist at the fiesta, said he loved the venue and hoped that everyone had a great time at the event. 

“It’s a beautiful venue. Every time I look up at the mountains I feel inspired,” Pearsall said. “I want everyone here to sell well, not just me. That’s just how I roll. I want everyone to come out well.” 

Pearsall displayed two unique pieces, among his other paintings, one of which was called “Moment Maps” with pictures overlapped by black and white silhouette drawings of another picture to complete the moment Pearsall was capturing. His most intriguing project was his personal creations called “Texture Light Dance.” 

This was a mixture of fabric and paper in which Pearsall cut designs from stone onto the fabric. When held up to a backlight, the fabric glowed from the front like sunlight through a window. 

Pearsall was excited to be a part of this event and show his work off for people to see. 

“I have been working hard on most of these pieces over the past five or six weeks,” Pearsall said. “I am capturing the moments within some of these pieces.”

Hal Metlitzky, a Claremont wood turning artist, created a technique of wood turning that has been mimicked and featured by multiple artists and magazines. Metlitzky said it takes months to produce some of the bowls he had on display but the process is therapeutic and he invites everyone to try and find their own craft. 

“We all need time to decompress and make time for ourselves and loved ones away from our duties,” Metlitzky said. 

Metlitzky was happy to see so many people at the event and he hopes people continue to come out every year. 

“The more people that come the more beneficial it is to all of us, and this year there has been way more people than the years past because I think everyone wanted to get out,” Melitzky said. 

The Padua Hills Arts Fiesta will return next year. For more information on upcoming events for the Claremont Museum of Art visit claremontmuseum.org

Jacob Barriga can be reached at jacob.barriga@laverne.edu. 

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