College repurposes venue to provide performance, exhibit space to students

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Guest dancer Cherry Putungan Anabo will perform and lecture Nov. 13 at Main Space.

By James Russell

The fine arts program has a new exhibit and performance space in Tobin Lofts, on-campus apartments at North Main Avenue and West Laurel Street.

The venue, previously unused space known as the Blackbox, has been renovated and is now called Main Space.

The space is in the southeast corner of the first floor of Tobin Lofts. Its original purpose was to show films.

With the space not being used, fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt, college President Robert Vela and facilities Director David Ortega contacted Tobin Lofts about using the space.

Renovations began in fall 2016, finished in February 2017 and opened this semester.

The reason behind improving the venue was “for the use of the fine art students to showcase their works and do performances,” Hunt said in an interview Oct. 4.

“Once the renovation was done, we had put in a portable dance floor. A bunch of professors and staff from the fine arts department had come out to paint the walls and ceiling black, so it would look like an actual ‘black box’ as well as put flooring for a stage and a baby grand piano for music,” Hunt explained.

“Painting the walls and ceiling took two weeks to do starting in November, and the job was completed in early December.

“The entire renovation cost $13,000 due to taking out raised seating, carpeting and electrical,” Hunt said.

In the storefront of Main Space, sculptures can be seen in the lobby area, which serves as a gallery for students in visual arts, he said.

On Sept. 28, the music program started a Main Space concert series and raised $730 for the Friends of Music Scholarship.

Music Instructor Daniel Anastasio said, “The new venue will provide an opportunity for world-class guest artists to come to this college, raise the caliber of the music program and attract music lovers to concerts.”

Main Space seats about 40 inside the performance hall.

The venue was needed to give student organizations space to create and do their performances, Hunt said.

“The location of the building is close to this campus’s backyard, and the intention was to also invite the community to join this college’s activity,” he said.

Other programs and other clubs can use the space if they make reservations through the fine arts department.

Guest dancer Cherry Putungan Anabo will lecture and perform at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 13.

The “Sound Of Bamboo, Music of the Japanese Shakuhachi Flute” with Yodo Kurahashi II will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7.

For additional information, call Hunt at 210-486-0255 or email him at


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