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(Teresa Lemon - Daily Press)

(Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

The grand opening of the Artesia Historical Museum’s Art Center is finally nearing, and museum manager Nancy Dunn is excited to share the new facility with the community.

The grand opening is slated for 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the center, 503 W. Richardson Ave. The inaugural exhibit will feature the latest and greatest from the Artesia Quilters Guild. Refreshments will be served, and everyone is invited to tour the new addition, which includes a spacious gallery, public research area, and outdoor courtyard.

The newly finished building consists of a large gallery room, which will house the center’s exhibits, including the opening exhibit of quilts, scheduled to run Oct. 3-17. The gallery will also be used for travelling exhibits and special events.

A public access room will house computers for the public to research information such as “old yearbooks, old home movies of Artesia from back in the day, and all our oral histories that have been transferred from crumpling cassettes onto CDs,” said Dunn.

“Eventually, we would like to get some interactive art going on those as well,” she said.

A soundproof room will also be available for listening to Story Station, a project facilitated by Park Junior High librarian Jennifer Duff that consists of extensive interviews with many Artesia residents, and other oral histories.

Dunn anticipates Story Station will resume again in the near future and says the room can also be used for storage.

The center will additionally provide a proper home for the museum’s art collection, about which Dunn was extremely excited. The facility also has a kitchen and laundry area for staff to prepare for special events, such as the upcoming Dia de los Muertos Day to be held Thursday, Oct. 24. The courtyard allows for events to expand outside if necessary.

Dunn says she is thrilled to have this addition to Artesia’s museum and encourages the public to take advantage of the facilities the City of Artesia has to offer. Upcoming events will be featured in the Daily Press and can also be viewed on the city website, artesianm.gov.