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Claremont Museum of Art to open in historic depot on Sunday

After operating as a roving “museum without walls,” the Claremont Museum of Art is scheduled to open its new permanent home Sunday at the Claremont Depot.

The former train station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was renovated into two museum gallery spaces: an atrium that will house sculpture and ceramics, and another room that will feature paintings and other hanging art.

“Even if it’s only two rooms, we’re really, really excited about it,” said Sandy Baldonado, the president of the museum’s board of directors.

The museum entered into a lease agreement with the city for the adaptive reuse of the depot nearly a year ago. The museum raised $150,000 to complete what Baldonado calls Phase 1.

Phase 2 likely will require an additional $1 million to expand the museum’s footprint by renovating two buildings attached to the depot that had been used for luggage storage. This project will require major construction, which Phase 1 of the renovation did not.

“We will turn those buildings into two major galleries for art,” Baldonado said.

The museum’s inaugural exhibition is “(re)Generation: Six Decades of Claremont Artists.” It will include sculpture from Pomona College professor emeritus of art Norm Hines, who died in May, as well as sculpture and ceramics from two other Claremont luminaries — sculptor Aldo Casanova, who died in 2014, and midcentury ceramist Harrison McIntosh, who died in January.

“Unfortunately many of our wonderful Claremont artists have passed over the last few years,” Baldonado said.

Additional artists featured in the opening exhibition include sculptor Albert Stewart and painter James Hueter.

All of the art has been donated to the museum, which was created in 2004. The museum is devoted to the legacy of the artists living in the Claremont community, anchored by the Claremont Colleges and known for its community of midcentury artists.

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

@jessicagelt

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