Local Artists Explore Pomona Valley

Local Artists Explore Pomona Valley
Ontario-based artist Gilbert Lujans with his piece “Limoztlan.”
Artist Juan Thorp expresses the feelings he has while driving on Holt Avenue in Pomona in this painting “Biomorph Mechanical Integration.”
“Cash For Trash,” by Dan Van Clapp is
his commentary on wasteful government spending.

Thousands of artists have flocked to Paris, Venice, and New York to examine each city's individual beauty, but for the artists participating in the East in Eden exhibit, there's no place like home.

East in Eden is an exhibition of new work by 24 local artists, who were invited to create pieces that investigate the theme of “Place” as it pertains to the Pomona Valley. Each artist both lives and works in the valley.

“They have history, they've grown up here, so they have experience and it's that resource that I want to tap into,” says gallery curator Patrick Merrill. “It's one thing for an artist or photographer to walk into an area and take snapshots and say, 'hey this is Pomona.' But when the artist lives and works in an area they have internalized, they know it in a way that only somebody who has identified with a place as home can do.”

The exhibit will run Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 at the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery. There will be a reception for the artists Sunday, Nov. 18, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Both the exhibit and reception are open and free to the public.

The works function like portraits of the Pomona Valley. Many pieces juxtapose critical commentary on social issues of class and privilege as well as raise environmental and ecological questions stemming from the urban and suburban sprawl.

The exhibit is a mosaic of complex and diverse artwork that displays the different viewpoints and opinions each artist has of the Pomona Valley, while raising questions to gallery visitors about their perception of the valley.

The exhibit is made possible in part by a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant helped produce a print and virtual catalog of the exhibition.

For more information, contact gallery curator Patrick Merrill at (909) 869-4301.