About the Gallery

Juanita Salazar Lowe - First Art Instructor at IVC

Our gallery at IVC is named after the late Juanita Salazar Lowe, who shared her passion for painting with her students, and exhibited locally as well as in galleries in San Diego and North Carolina. 

Mrs. Lowe taught art at Imperial Valley College (IVC) for a 29-year period, from 1961-1990.

Mrs. Lowe was IVC's first art instructor, and was instrumental to launching the college's first art gallery, housed in the relocated Holtville train depot. An historic building, IVC's original gallery was built in 1905 as the terminus of the Holton Interurban Railway. IVC bought the building from the City of Holtville for $1 on June 28, 1970, and it opened as an art gallery on Friday, December 3, 1971.

The cactus garden that surrounds the gallery was created by IVC Agriculture instructor (later a College trustee) Pete Mellinger. His class gathered cactus from the desert, and others were donated. The gallery garden includes cactus from Africa, South America, Mexico and the United States.

One special historical artifact within the garden is two sections of the original plank road through the sand dunes to Yuma, the only route through the dunes from 1915 to 1927.

Sadly, after 34 years of service, the IVC Holtville Depot art gallery burned down in an electrical fire on September 12, 2005.

A new gallery, built on the site of the old one, was named after Mrs. Lowe upon its grand opening in June 2011.

The Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery has been serving students and the community, offering easy access to quality fine art, ever since.


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