Art Gallery Grand Opening

Nicole DeJesus

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Inflatable art structures, created by Professor Wendell Kling’s students, illuminated the Mesa Art Gallery entrance around 4 p.m. on Nov. 29.

It was the grand opening of the gallery’s new look and a debut for many of the students included in the exhibition, “Imagination Runs Wild.”

Students, parents, and faculty were there to celebrate the long awaited nine-month reconstruction of the new Mesa Art Gallery.

Alessandra Moctezuma teaches several art classes on campus and is also the gallery director. Her Museum Studies class came up with the concept and title for the exhibit as well as put together the entire ceremony.

The new courtyard in front of the gallery was transformed into a mini art festival, as craft makers of all kinds sold their work at tables along the sidewalk.

There were blown glass ornaments, high school students with hand made purses, and a plethora of jewelers.

A noticeable favorite among the crowd was the Mesa Culinary Arts program’s catering team. Dressed in tall chef hats with platters of treats in hand, they were acknowledged and appreciated throughout the night.

The Mesa Jazz Quartette was also there, bringing a smooth jazz sound to enhance the art gazing.

“Having the Culinary and Jazz departments join us was a great chance for students to work together,” Moctezuma said.

When the gallery officially opened at 4:30, visitors poured through the doors.

Inside, the talent was visible. Onlookers were impressed with an array of assignments from different art classes on campus including 80 artworks in drawing, life drawing, design, graphic design, printmaking, color theory, photography, painting, ceramics and sculpture.

Exhibition designer Michael Field, from the San Diego Museum of Natural History and alumnus of Mesa, assisted in making the presentation museum quality.

Moctezuma said gallery coordinator, Pat Vine, ensured professionalism in every detail.

Around 5:30 p.m. Moctezuma stepped up to a podium and commenced the celebration with a quick speech.”A museum opening is like an early Christmas present, because there are so many wonderful surprises,” she said.

Mesa President Rita Cepeda spoke next and declared the new space “a little more worthy” of the artists at Mesa.

Mesa is the only Southern California college to offer a Museum Studies program and attracts students from universities such as UCSD.

“Imagination Runs Wild,” will be on display until Dec. 12.

The next exhibit is set to open the first week of the spring semester and it will be featuring work from the Mesa Art department faculty.

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