Metro State’s Center for Visual Art (CVA) celebrated two milestones last Thursday: its 20th Anniversary and its new, permanent home at 965 Santa Fe Dr. in the Art District on Santa Fe.
The CVA’s new location is a “great venue,” says alumnus Javier Flores, whose gallery is an exhibitor in the CVA’s first exhibit at its new location.
MIX: CVA + The Art District on Santa Fe, which runs through July 3, showcases art galleries in the Art District on Santa Fe, including Boxcar Gallery, of which Flores is vice president. On Thursday, he joined nearly 500 CVA supporters at the new location to celebrate the center’s anniversary and its new, permanent home.
The evening was a dream come true for the College.
“It's really hard to believe it was a furniture gallery last fall,” said CVA Director and Curator Jennifer Garner, who thanked Metro State President Stephen Jordan “for the most amazing 20th birthday present the CVA could ask for.” (Click here for slideshow)
The evening was a culmination of efforts and well wishes, according to Jordan, who noted a number of supporters including the state legislature, Denver City Council, the Metro State Foundation, the Art District on Santa Fe and the Boettcher Foundation, which provided a lead grant of $425,000 to inspire other gifts and donations to the award-winning gallery.
Julie T. Lerudis, director of the grants program for the Boettcher Foundation (on behalf of Tim Schultz, president and executive director), said the new location “resonated with the trustees. We are pleased to be a part of funding for CVA.”
“I’m very excited about it,” said Tony Garcia, executive director of Su Teatro and an affiliate professor of Chicana/o Studies at Metro State. “I think this is a great addition to the arts district. It helps raise the bar in terms of diverse programming.”
The CVA’s new space offers greater opportunities for Metro State to connect with the Latino community – important to the College’s goal of attaining the federal designation of Hispanic Serving Institution.
Denver City Councilwoman (District 9) Judy Montero said because the art district is “very culturally rich and diverse, there are so many things creative people can learn about this district.” In addition, she named area schools, including West High School, that could benefit from the CVA’s presence in the neighborhood.
A division of Metro State’s Art Department, the Center for Visual Art contributes to the College’s status as the only public higher education art program in Colorado to maintain accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. This status, according to Garner, who is also an assistant art professor, will positively impact the gallery’s programming in the neighborhood. She promised “to offer the community the same caliber of program we offer our students.”
Metro State Assistant Art Professor and Art History Coordinator Deanne Pytlinski said of the new CVA, “It will be an integral part of teaching.”
Garner added: “A few years ago, I kept saying imagine the possibilities. We really have so much to look forward to.”
The process from beginning to end has been great, according to Chair and Professor of Art Greg Watts. “I’m grateful that so many people at Metro State believe in the value of art.”