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A fire on the grounds of Lubbock's Garden & Arts Center (GAC) at 4215 University Avenue has forced a temporary closure not only for repairs, but also for an ongoing investigation as to the cause of the fire, according to Jacqueline Barber, Director of Municipal Museums here in Lubbock. I spoke to Barber via telephone Tuesday afternoon.

The fire occurred adjacent to the east end of the building on Monday, September 19th. The fire damaged a storage area and its contents, an exterior wall, and killed established shrubbery and plants. Interior painting and carpet replacement is likely necessary as well. It's hoped that the investigation can conclude and repairs can be made for a target reopening date of October 3rd. The GAC might not participate in First Friday Art Trail for the month of October.

Full Disclosure: I worked at the GAC several years ago and I love that facility very much. It's been a Lubbock institution since 1959 and has provided Lubbock with a center for art exhibition, art classes, user group meetings, and kid's camps. It's also a rather lovely place to have a small to mid-size wedding.

I asked Barber if any weddings were booked during the closure in the main building, and luckily there was not. She told me that all the class instructors and user groups have been incredibly kind, accommodating and flexible about the closure.

Some of my proudest moments happened during my time at the GAC. Including conceptualizing and executing my own First Friday Art Exhibit there. It was called Intersections: Art & the Body and it had amazing art, artists and attendees. I carved many of the pumpkins for the first Pumpkin Trail using power tools and wood-working knifes. I had tiny pieces of pumpkin rind in my hair for days. I taught a week of art camp with some brilliant and beautiful kids. I saw countless lovely weddings, anniversaries, and art shows. It was a beautiful time in my life.

If you've never utilized this amazing resource, I encourage you to do so when the facility opens back up. Take an art class, rent space for your book club or gaming group, book a baby shower or an anniversary party there. Attend one of their many beautiful curated art shows, or simply walk around and enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds between GAC and the Lubbock Arboretum. And absolutely do not miss the Pumpkin Trail. It's a must-attend Halloween event here in Lubbock.

For more information about the GAC, head over to their website.

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