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A&E >  Art

Celebrating Emerge CDA’s ‘re-grand opening’

UPDATED: Thu., May 13, 2021

After more than a year of cancellations and closed doors – first due to a fire that left them in need of a building and second due to the pandemic – Emerge CDA is set to hit the ground running as it celebrates the inaugural year at a new location just a few blocks away.

Emerge CDA is a community-focused gallery and art school dedicated to supporting local aspiring artists by providing affordable fine arts education.

Emerge’s aim, the mission statement reads, is to engage “all members of the community in a variety of high-quality creative outlets while offering a platform for emerging artists to cultivate their careers as professionals.”

In January of 2020, Emerge was displaced by a fire, but by March it had found a new, surprisingly more affordable building and was ready to reopen. Then a week after opening, COVID-19 lockdowns hit.

“That’s greatly impacted how long this project has taken,” said Jeni Riplinger-Hegsted, founder and executive director. “It took over seven months to get our permit and then, of course, we’ve been working on the space for another seven or eight months.”

The “re-grand opening” exhibit will feature artists Maya Rumsey and Reinaldo Gil Zambrano and their collaborative collection of painted pottery, “Impressions on Mud and Paper.” The opening reception begins at 5 p.m. Friday. Visitors will be able to tour the facility at this time.

And, if visitors are interested in taking home a souvenir, Emerge CDA’s darkroom instructor will be onsite taking photo booth film portraits. To book a time slot, visit

In addition to Rumsey and Zambrano’s installation Emerge CDA is bringing back its annual pop-up series with showing locations to be announced. The gallery space is scheduled out through February, and plans for summer programming are already being laid out.

The new building, at 119 N. Second St. in Coeur d’Alene, will feature a gallery and retail space on the main level, office space for staff and nearly 3,000 square feet of classroom space – a significant upgrade from theformer location.

Throughout the pandemic, Emerge CDA has offered a range of online workshops via Zoom, but instructors are excited to get back to in-person classes. The extra space in the new building, Riplinger-Hegsted said, will allow for social distancing and, eventually, larger class sizes.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming the community into the new space,” Riplinger-Hegsted said.

Most of all, she said that she and Emerge CDA staff are looking forward to showcasing and collaborating with artists in the community again.

“We’re finally getting back to why we’re here,” she said. For more information about Emerge CDA, visit

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