The monthly Claremont Art Walk had residents walking from gallery to gallery observing the various forms of art displayed at sites across the Claremont Village, including the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art at 200 W. First Street.
In front of Ahmad Shariff Art Gallery at 107 Harvard Ave., a music performance was happening as visitors gathered around to listen. Inside, the tiny visitors squeezed in to see, among other works, two paintings that were about In-N-Out.
The first painting, “Still Life In-N-Out & Champagne,” depicted a cheeseburger and fries in a box sitting on a table inside the restaurant in front of a champagne bottle and its corresponding glass.
What was distinctive about the piece was the thick acrylic line work and texture on the wooden panel from the strokes of the brush that gave the artwork more life.
Valeria Gonzalez, University of La Verne senior studio art major, attended the event with two other students from her Life Drawing class.
“I like the concept of this painting,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t see champagne and greasy food put together so my friends and I were talking about what the artist was possibly trying to convey through this piece.”
Inside the Shariff Art Gallery paintings lined the inside perimeter of the white walls. In the middle were zigzag cubicles that contained more paintings by different artists.
Looking at art in the cubicles was Claremont resident and freelance artist Dace Felton.
“I paint myself, so I love to see what other people are doing,” Felton said.
At the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, viewers were greeted with a slightly dimmed room that had interesting glass teapot sculptures on display and a pamphlet detailing the exhibit called “Transformations in Glass.”
In this room the gallery offered assorted cheese and cracker refreshments on a three-tier platter for all guests that walked in.
One exhibit in this museum featured mini glass sculptures of teapots separated in three glass cases.
One of the most prominent sculptures was a statue with the head of a teapot, colored with yellow stripes, blue stripes, orange, red, and clear parts of glass.
The next room over was a well-lit room with a variety of sculptures crafted by Claremont local KéKé Cribbs, a mixed media artist, whose work included mini- and life-sized mosaic sand blasted sculptures depicting boats, doors, animals, and portraits.
In the back left corner was a tall orange, black and blue sculpture “Hermione” that resembled an antelope. It also had a mosaic glass story engraved within the belly of the beast.
The antelope statue was life-sized, standing around five feet tall. Carved into the sand blasted glass was a smaller version of the statue being worn by a woman. The concept of all her pieces was to bring in the theme of journeys and dream-like states, a concept she has been working with for 51 years.
Next door to Cribbs’ room was a dark room that was being rented out to David Svenson, a studio glass artist and wood carver.
Svenson’s artwork is like no other. His room was a trippy illusion that was powered by neon lighting fixtures.
He includes wood carved totems into his work, because he was adopted into the Tlingit tribe in NorthWestern Alaska. All of his creations are an ode to his experience with the tribe and stories he has learned in his life.
“The work that I’m showing here is related to my experience of living in Alaska with the NorthWest coast people, the Tlingit,” Svenson said.
A distinct feature he incorporated around the room were mini neon angels that hung from the ceiling in groups.
The room as a whole was eye grabbing but two pieces in particular captured the eyes of many who entered the room.
In the left corner was a totem called “My Other Mother.” The piece portrayed Frank Zappa, band leader for The Mothers of Invention, with guitar strings going through his head. Svenson said he created this because it can be difficult to find culture and heroes to look up to, but in dedication for his love for music he decided to make a totem designated to it.
“I’m not going to lie, this piece scared me at first because I was not sure what was going on, but I love that it’s different,” Armida Carranza, University of La Verne senior photography major, said. “You don’t really see art like this everyday so honestly it’s also my favorite piece.”
Directly centered in the room pinned on the wall was a life size wooden mask called “Tena” that was surrounded by a neon green hue. The neon lights in the eyes of the mask danced around back and forth like an electric current.
“Tena is a symbol of wealth,” Svenson said. “Most of the tribes and linguistic groups in the northwest use this copper when they have a Potlatch ceremony. Originally it was made from copper and then they would cut it into pieces and hand out a piece of it to everyone who participated.”
Robyn Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.