Hole in the Wall Gallery, Claremont


On a visit to Bunny Gunner‘s new digs in the old Pigale Optical Parlor space at 230 W. Bonita Ave. in Claremont, I was directed outside from the framing shop and art gallery to see the Hole in the Wall Gallery in the breezeway. First pass through, looking for a door, I missed it. Then someone pointed it out to me.

It’s a cabinet in the wall, about the size of a shoebox, that probably once held a fire extinguisher. Bunny Gunner co-owner Juan Thorp said he’d noticed the empty cabinet when he’d moved in to a nearby space two years ago and got Pigale owner David Wilson’s permission to make use of it. Thorp had turned a similar receptacle in an alley behind his former space in Pomona into a tiny art space too.

“This was empty and I loved it,” Thorp told me as we admired his handiwork. “Dave said go for it. He said it was a drug drop in the ’70s.”

Thorp put in plexiglas and a new light (there’s a key and lock too) and christened the space the Hole in the Wall Gallery. It lives up to its name.

Artist Anne Seltzer has the current show, if that’s not too grand a name for the single piece inside the space. It’s titled “…and now for my next trick” and is priced at $95.

“I’m a fan of alternative spaces,” Seltzer told me, mentioning that she had installed the Little Free Library box at eye level in a nearby alley behind Heroes and Legends. She’s had sculptures or paintings in the tiny gallery several times and has sold half a dozen of them.

Of the location, Seltzer said: “It’s fun to come up on.” In my case, you might come up on it and not even realize it. Keep an eye out for it.

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James Hueter, ‘Explorations’


James Hueter, one of the Claremont artists from the GI Bill era, has a one-man show, “Explorations,” that opened Saturday and continues through June 1 at the Bunny Gunner gallery, 230 W. Bonita Ave. It’s got a couple of dozen works in various media: paintings, drawings, sculptures and assemblages.

Hueter, seen at right above, turns 91 on May 15 “and continues to make new work in his studio in Claremont,” daughter Barbara Schenck told me. I attended the opening, as did many others, including a lot of local artists there to pay obeisance.

Hueter is the last survivor of the “Four Friends” group of Sam Maloof, Rupert Deese and Harrison McIntosh. One of his pieces was acquired recently by the Huntington Library for its permanent collection.

His most recent solo show was at the Claremont Museum of Art in 2009. “It was a 60-year retrospective — and that was seven years ago,” Schenck noted.


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Favorite films of 2015

I’m not an avid moviegoer, but I like movies. Last year I saw 23 new releases, from superhero punch-’em-ups to art films. In an annual tradition (here’s my 2014 list), I rank them. One note: Four of the movies were released at the very end of 2014 and were on the lists that year of professional critics; like most people, I saw them in 2015, and they’re on my list.

In roughly descending order, my Top 10 goes like this: Spotlight, Selma, Brooklyn, Room, Mr. Holmes, The Theory of Everything, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Imitation Game, Amy, Grandma. (Does having a one-word title give a film a leg up in my eyes, or do most films have one-word titles? Discuss.)

Numbers 11 to 20: Sicario, The Martian, Hitchcock/Truffaut, All Things Must Pass: The Story of Tower Records, Ant-Man, Love and Mercy, Heart of a Dog, Spectre, Ex-Machina, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.

Bottom of the heap: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, While We’re Young, Goodbye to Language.

If you didn’t see it listed, that means I didn’t see it.

What were your most and least favorites?

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