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Larson Gallery and Tasting Room take shape

At the start of 2021, the new Larson Gallery and Tasting Room at Yakima Valley College’s West Campus were essentially empty shells inside. Since then, however, the interiors of those spaces have come to life.

Trent Ball, vineyard and winery technology instructor, said the transformation of the spaces in just a few weeks has been remarkable.

“I think visitors are going to be amazed at the beautiful artwork, elegant design and wonderful atmosphere,” Ball said. “The barrel feature with the oak barrel heads lining the wall I knew would be beautiful, but now that it is fully installed it is even more spectacular than I anticipated.”

In February, Larson Gallery Director David Lynx installed the new gallery’s first two exhibits — an exciting development as the previous gallery space could only accommodate one exhibit at a time. The first, “Who’s Minding the Gallery?” highlights artwork of previous curators of Larson Gallery while the second, “Victor Ospina: A View from Corcora Valley,” features the work of the contemporary Colombian artist. Read more about these exhibits on page 14.

“It’s very exciting getting into the space,” Lynx said. “Now that we’re able to make appointments for members of the public to visit I know people are going to be so impressed. The new Larson Gallery is just a jewel for the whole community to enjoy.”

Meanwhile, Yakima Valley Vintners – YVC’s teaching winery, is in the process of hiring a new staff member who will coordinate activities at the Tasting Room to make it a comfortable gathering place for the community as well as a venue that provides additional training and learning experiences for students.

Students and faculty in YVC’s Vineyard and Winery Technology Program also are in the process of creating interactive educational displays for the new space.

“As part of the educational displays there are two interactive touch screens,” Ball said. “One of the touch screens is at the oak barrel head wall, where visitors will be able to learn how barrels used in the wine industry are constructed.”

Ball and Lynx are also collaborating to leverage the Larson Gallery and Tasting Room being located next to one another in order to create a unique experience for visitors.

“The audio and video capabilities in the Tasting Room are incredible,” Ball said. “The sound system around the outdoor sculpture garden will provide amazing ambiance for guests of the Tasting Room and Larson Gallery alike.”