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"I grew up in San Diego, in a big family -- I've got three older sisters," says Matthew Cirello of Cirello Gallery. "My mom's always been artistic; she did stained glass window design, and now does custom landscaping. She was always encouraging me to be artistic from a very young age."

It was while studying art at Humboldt State University that Cirello first gravitated toward metal sculpture. "I was about two and a half years in when I took my first jewelry class," he says. "I liked the medium -- the small scale of it, the detail."

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Tomorrow night from 7 to 9 p.m. (Saturday, December 29), Cirello will host an artist reception, during which he will "share stories of his life, love and progression of the gallery." "I opened [the gallery] four years ago with another artist, the oil painter Santos. We had different visions, and he moved to open up another spot in North County."

Earlier this year, on February 1, 2012, Cirello expanded his working studio and fine art gallery. "We doubled in size -- we were 900 square feet, now we're 1800 -- and now we have three more working studios." Among the artists who work in the space are jewelry designer Jasmine Lee and oil painter Jordan Cantwell. The show immediately following Cirello's will be an exhibition of Cantwell's new work. The opening reception for that show will coincide with the next Ray at night, which is Saturday, January 12.

The gallery is located at 3803 Ray Street in North Park.

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