National University

La Mesa Campus Converts Closet Space into Art Gallery

National University’s La Mesa campus attracted a respectable audience and generated some attention this summer, after faculty member Annette Cyr converted an underutilized utility closet into an avant-garde art gallery.

Cyr, an assistant professor in the College of Letters and Sciences’ department of arts and humanities who until recently served as director of the National University Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies, was inspired by her experience as an artist in New York City during the arts renaissance in the East Village.

Having lived and worked in Manhattan, Cyr appreciated the value of even the smallest amount of space and recognized the potential to create something special with minimal square footage and a healthy dose of creativity and vision.

The result was the 214a Gallery, which hosted its inaugural show in June. The exhibition, titled "Spiral Bound", featured a balanced collection of 40 artists – 20 from San Diego and 20 from New York. It was a collaborative effort in partnership with Romanov Grave, a collective of writers, curators and artists based in New York City.

The concept of the show was to display artists’ sketchbooks in order to reveal the creative process and map the journey from rough concept to the finished product. The gallery’s kickoff event, which also featured a jazz trio and a dance ensemble performance, was well attended. Exhibiting artists mingled with faculty, members of the local arts community and various other guests, comfortably filling the small quaraters.

The exhibit remained open to the public through July 16. For more information about the 214a Gallery and the “Spiral Bound” exhibit, please review the following news articles: