Sunday, March 4, 2012

Claremont and Pomona Day Trip

This excursion by bus was sponsored by the Mingei museum. The first stop was at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona.   The museum was opened in 2004 in a former bank building and is one of few museums devoted exclusively to ceramics and is the only one of its kind on the West Coast.  An impressive mural by Millard Sheets titled Panorama of Pomona Valley dominates an entire wall of the main gallery.

Our group enjoyed  a docent-led tour of Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945 -1975, featuring more than forty artists who had a common ground with Millard Sheets, an artist and educator and designer in Southern California during that time. There is also a studio for artists and students to create their own pieces with pottery wheels, kilns and work tables.

Lunch was on our own in the pleasant Claremont Village. Ed and I enjoyed an  excellent Thai lunch at Bua Thai Cuisine.

The group then went on to Claremont Colleges, which is a complex of 5 colleges that include Pomona College for liberal arts, Claremont McKenna for liberal arts that specializes in economics and political science, Harvey Mudd for sciences and math,  Pitzer College for liberal arts and Scripps College for liberal arts for women.

The group focus was the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery in Scripps College to view “Clay’s Tectonic Shiftwith pieces by John Mason, Ken Price and Peter Voulkos from 1956-1968 .The exhibit was dominated by massive, abstract ceramic sculptures.  

We also got to explore a basement storage area to see an extensive ceramic collection in many drawers and open crates.  This was unique in that we could handle the pieces if we wished.

Our next stop was at the Garrison Theater portico to see a large mosaic mural on red granite panels by Millard Sheets which depicts characters from three Shakespeare plays: Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear.

Inside of the lobby are three large tapestries by Jean and Arthur Arnes titled The Dance of Destiny”.
We continued on to Pomona college to see the James Turrell Skyspace known as Dividing the Light. It is in an open courtyard with granite seating around a shallow pool under a thin metal canopy with a section framing the sky. Light is reflected off the underside of the canopy and changes in hue and intensity to represent different times of the day. In the evening the colors slowly change during an hour from lavender to sunset colors. It was rather cool to stay the whole time for this outdoor experience.

Wine and a box dinner was served on the bus on our way back to San Diego.

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