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Art Gallery debuts at Spanish school anniversary party

By Robin Loving Rowland

So what do a couple of friends from junior high do when the school they work at goes out of business? Why, they begin their own school, of course! Or, at least, that’s the way it happened for Miguel Olvera and his friend Luis a couple of years ago when they founded the Spanish School with 1,000 pesos, one table, four chairs, and a passion to keep doing what they loved: helping the community.

Gallery Opening/Spanish School Anniversary Party
Cinco Gallery
Sat, Oct 12, 5-8pm
The Spanish School (Liceo de la Lengua)
Pueblito 5
Between Hidalgo and Reloj in Centro
Info: 152-3709

Today, the Spanish School, in its second location at Pueblito 5 in Centro south of Calzada de la Luz between Hidalgo and Relox, has on premises Spanish and English language instruction for adults and children; a fast-track adult ed school for completing primaria through prepa; the Children’s World Peace Organization, which teaches conflict resolution skills to elementary school students; Café con Leche, and Cinco Gallery, for what is an enterprise in this town without a café and an art gallery?

And, oh yeah, it’s still helping the community. Miguel and Luis fell in love with the children of Casa Ayuda several years ago, and now give five percent of their earnings to that children’s home. That’s why I call this the little Spanish school that could.

Live music and performances of song and dance from the children of Casa Ayuda will be featured at the Spanish School’s second year anniversary celebration Saturday, October 12, from 5-8pm. Cinco Gallery will be included in the open house, and Café con Leche will cater the botanas and bebidas.

Cinco Gallery founder Erssel Snyder, who is an artisan woodworker, will demonstrate the art of making wooden scrollwork boxes, toys, portraits and puzzles. Also featured at Cinco Gallery will be award-wining artist/educator Don Van Amerongen (, whose paintings and photography are rich in saturated color; Steven Stratton (, whose art ranges from the female form to Mexican themes; and Susan Neulist, fabric artist.

In addition, there will be an auction of six of Barbara Porter’s quilts and other works by Snyder, Stratton, and Amerongen to benefit Casa Ayuda’s blanket drive. The auction will close at 7pm so that all winnings may be taken home that evening.

Volunteers are being sought for set up, refreshments, the silent auction and clean up between 3 and 9pm. For more information, contact or Miguel at Cinco Gallery is open from noon to 4pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and weekdays by appointment. Snyder may be contacted at 415-111-9339.


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