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"An artsy town? Really? Whitewashed ol’ San Luis Obispo?!” Yup. If you know where to look. No, not over there. That’s Bubblegum Alley.

Consider the following example: Cuesta College’s Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery. The gallery is nestled snugly in a coat of murals between the music building and the Cultural and Performing Arts Center. The gallery’s exhibits rotate from professional artist exhibits to the work of students (still perfectly impressive) and back again, thanks to a donation from the Harold Miossi charitable trust specifically aimed at increasing the Cuesta gallery’s role in the wider community. 

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Throughout the month of October, contemporary Mexican artist Jorge Arreola Barraza will display Espacio de Paz, a collection of his urban photography. Barraza, a photographer and performance artist, shows through this photography the collateral damage of the cartel violence devouring Mexico for the past decade. His goal is to create “spaces of peace” and “spaces of love” to help community members feel safe. He’ll be staging various performances the week before the exhibit. However, regretfully, the information for these wasn’t available before press time. The month-long exhibit starts with Espacio de Paz’s opening reception, Oct. 2 between 4 and 7 p.m. And don’t worry, the exhibit is open to the public and perfectly free to attend. If you aren’t already a Cuesta-goer, though, it might be helpful to know that you’ll want to park in lot 2, which has a parking fee of $2, excepting during opening receptions, when it’s free!

The final week of September is here, and, with it, the sudden realization that time moves faster than you might have expected it to in college. Sure, there are the bits you have to slog through during the day (and of course the sheer joy of the material you really do connect with), but those days tally up at an impressive rate. Better make sure to not fall off the train now; it’s not going to wait. Find your study group. Find your tutor. Perhaps most importantly of all, find a place where the voices in your head are too distracted by the pleasant atmosphere to actually interfere with your personal concentration. And get cracking, students! You can do it!

Contributor Chris White-Sanborn can smell October’s succulent approach luring eternity into its jeweled grasp. Just in case, send her your smelling salts (and your collegiate news) via cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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