Club 34, named after the Walter F. Dexter Building — which is located in building 34 — is open to all art and design majors, said Stephanie Zombek, an art and design junior and club president.
There is a different artistic theme for the annual Art Gala each year. The theme of this year’s gala is Cirque du Gala.
“It’s circus themed,” Zombek said. “It’s kind of a play off Cirque du Soleil.”
Zombek said the officers of Club 34 have been working to make Cirque du Gala a place where art and design students can network, dance, get creative and forget about stressful classes.
“Sometimes we aren’t allowed to express ourselves as much in some of our classes,” Zombek said. “What’s so great about these social gatherings is we are able to let our personalities shine through.”
Each year the art and design students come up with creative costume choices for the event, and this year will be no different, Zombek said.
Art and design senior and president of the Cal Poly chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Brice Tuttle said he is excited to dress up for the upcoming event.
“I never was good at deciding on costumes,” he said. “At the moment, I’m trying to decide between ‘ringmaster’ and ‘human cannonball.’ The ringmaster seems more classy — it is a formal, after all — but a grungy human cannonball could be awesome if pulled off right.”
This year’s event is extra special because the art and design department is holding Cirque du Gala at the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. Club 34 and the Children’s Museum have worked out a trade, Zombek said.
“The SLO Children’s Museum agreed to give us the venue for free, as long as we came back and did workshops with the kids,” Zombek said. “We’re doing four workshops with them that correspond with four Art After Darks.”
The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum will facilitate workshops between Cal Poly art and design students and children from the local community. The art the children produce, as well as Cal Poly student artwork, will be displayed during Art After Dark, Zombek said.
Art After Dark is held on the first Friday of every month in San Luis Obispo. Art work is displayed throughout downtown from 6 to 9 p.m., and San Luis Obispo patrons can celebrate art in more than 20 galleries and non-traditional art venues — such as restaurants, bars, boutiques and salons — for free, according to the Art Obispo website.
The art and design students will not only benefit from a free venue, but will have the opportunity to give back to the San Luis Obispo community, said art and design senior and Art Gala co-coordinator Caitlin Beyer.
“I think there’s always something to gain when Cal Poly gets involved with the community,” she said.
Beyer said working with children in the community will be a great opportunity to gain inspiration.
“Children don’t have a sense of restraint, so anything is possible,” she said. “They just have a sense of imagination that is just inspiring sometimes.”
Cirque du Gala will take place Saturday, April 23 at 9 p.m., with more than 100 students of different majors and interests expected to attend.
Cirque du Gala will include a DJ, dance floor, costume contest and student photographer to capture the best costumes of the night, Zombek said.
Food and drinks are also a new addition this year. Petra Mediterranean Pizza and Grill will cater the event.