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Sunday, 07 September 2014 08:03

CSU Stanislaus Art Gallery Opens to Public

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(Left to Right) Jessica Gomula-Kruzic, Dean DeCocker, President Joseph F. Sheley, and Roxanne Robbin prepare for the ribbon cutting prior to the Art Space on Main opening. (Left to Right) Jessica Gomula-Kruzic, Dean DeCocker, President Joseph F. Sheley, and Roxanne Robbin prepare for the ribbon cutting prior to the Art Space on Main opening. Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com
California State University, Stanislaus painted Downtown red Friday night as the “Art Space on Main” opened to the public following a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Many University faculty and students, all wearing red, as well as several local business owners were in attendance to see the gallery, located at 135 W. Main St., open.

“It’s our way of saying, ‘Hey, we’re apart of this city too and we want to be here,’” said CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley. “This particular facility is for the community, our faculty… and it’s for our students.”

The gallery has been in the works for many years, but the faculty are very excited to see it finally come to life.

“Thank you, it’s been a long road,” said Roxanne Robbin, chair of the Department of Art. “It’s taken awhile, but it’s marvelous to see that this is actually happening.

According to Matt Swanson, who funded the gallery, the Art Space project has been approximately 20 years coming before finally opening on Friday.

“I’ve been here a long time waiting for something like this to happen,” said James A. Tuedio, Dean of the College of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, who joined CSU Stanislaus as an Assistant Professor in 1983.

As the first exhibit, “Art Faculty on Main,” the work of CSU Stanislaus faculty will be on show. The first exhibit is expected to run through Oct. 24.

Along with the tradition art in the gallery, the Art Space on Main is also the new home to the Building Imagination Center — a video arts space that focus on original films made in and about the Central Valley.

The back area of the Art Space will also feature a workspace for CSU Stanislaus students, and student art will hang in the hallway shared with Memo’s Cocina and Tequila Bar, even when the facility is not open.

Although University administration, faculty, and students played a large part in putting together the art gallery, it may have never seen the light of day had it not been for Matt and Maria Swanson.

“It it weren’t for their enthusiasm and their vision, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Sheley about the Swanson family.

Matt Swanson funded the art gallery with the help of his wife, Maria Swanson, whose family owns the Berg building that houses the Art Space on Main.

“This to me is a way for the City to see how great the University is,” said Matt Swanson, who is not an alumnus of CSU Stanislaus. “... I see [CSU] Stanislaus as being essential to our city.”

The opening was held in conjunction with the CSU Stanislaus Night at the Turlock Farmers Market, with several students flooding the streets wearing red — matching the bright awnings hanging over the front of the Art Space.

“Turlock is hot stuff right now,” said Sheley. “We think we’re hot stuff and we honestly do believe this means we’re working together.”

The Art Space on Main is open to the public noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with evening hours from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

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