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SMC to Show Off New Gallery

By Lookout Staff

Moving closer to establishing its Madison campus as a center for the arts, Santa Monica College will celebrate the grand opening of a state-of-the-art gallery at the site on Thursday evening.

The grand opening ceremony - which will kick off the college's annual Art Faculty Exhibit -- will include a ribbon cutting and music by the Mancini Jazz Quartet.

"This beautiful facility will not only feature a wide range of superb exhibits, it will be much more accessible to the community than our current gallery," SMC President Piedad F. Robertson said in a statement.

The 29,000-square-foot facility will be called the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery. The couple has a long history with the college as both financial donors and volunteers. Susan Barrett is a member of the SMC Foundation Board of Directors. She and her husband Pete are also involved in a number of community organizations including the YWCA of Santa Monica, Kiwanis and the California Heritage Museum.

The art gallery is the latest addition to the Madison Campus, located at 11th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard. Last year the college unveiled its free and eclectic concert series, which will continue in 2000-2001. SMC is currently raising money for a 500-seat performing arts hall and arts education center at Madison.

Community visits to the college's old gallery on its main campus were restricted due to a parking crunch. The Madison site boasts ample free parking. The old gallery will be used for much needed classroom space.

"This new gallery will be a fantastic place to exhibit," said Maurizio Barattucci, SMC art department chair. "We expect to attract top-rate shows and display more contemporary art forms, thanks to built-in technology."

The grand opening party will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The SMC Art Faculty exhibit, which will run through Sept. 29, features a wide range of media. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For information call (310) 434-4231.

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