I went to the Claremont Museum of Art on Saturday evening for the opening reception for “The Passerby Museum” exhibit, in which objects that could fit into a sandwich bag were collected from passersby in the Village and at Pitzer College. The collection was a recent column topic.
Among the items added since I’d written about it:
* An extinguished cigarette and handwritten note reading “Hope it’s my last.”
* An apple core, beginning to brown.
* A Costco shopping list that included this item: “TP (?).” I wonder what the deciding factor was.
* An Aug. 24 Angels vs. Twins ticket.
The community-driven exhibit is “an intriguing way to get people into the museum who might not otherwise come,” executive director William Moreno told me.
In the first gallery space, the walls are covered floor to ceiling with pinned-up Passerby Museum sandwich bags, not just the nearly 300 from Claremont but hundreds from previous stops in Cuba, Spain, Canada and New York City, each city identified near the ceiling in bold letters.
Now that its name is alongside Havana, Mexico City and New York City, has obscure Claremont suddenly vaulted among the great cities of the world?
Well, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada isn’t all that well known either, and it’s represented, co-curator Nicolas Dumit Estevez pointed out when I brought it up. But he saw my point and thought that when the “Claremont, California” items are shown in other cities — San Antonio, Texas, is the likely next stop, sometime next year — the unfamiliar name might spark curiosity.
“When people see ‘Claremont,’ I think they’ll want to look it up on a map, don’t you?” Estevez said.
In the meantime, see the exhibit at the museum through Dec. 28. The first Friday of the month, admission is free.