BLOG   ·  August 19, 2020



For over the last decade, Claudia Salazar has been part of the MOPA family. She became involved in MOPA through the Museum’s remodel project that received the AIA 2016 Honor Award. After joining our Board and the Collectors Salon, she took her visual arts passion to new levels. Moving beyond San Diego, Claudia is a Design Director in Silicon Valley. MOPA’s Roberta O’Connor (ROC) chatted with Claudia about her love for MOPA and photography.

These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

ROC: Please share that moment when your story with MOPA began?
CS: When my son was one week old, I took a trip to MOPA. I remember walking the galleries, enjoying the art, but most vividly I remember sitting down on a lovely bench conveniently located in the gallery space, surrounded by great art. The imagery communicated visually and I began to contemplate my role of new mother and the future of my professional journey. I would never forget that inner peace I found in MOPA.

ROC: As a designer, what was the guiding principle for the project to transform a museum space?
CS: Staying true to MOPA’s vision: A center for visual learning, relevant for the old and new generations, with a mission to inspire, educate, and engage the broadest possible audience through the presentation, collection, and preservation of photography film and video.

ROC: What is your favorite room at MOPA?
CS: Oh now you are putting me on a hot spot, I have to say the Museum Store, not only because it is beautiful, but it’s this lovely intersection where books, art, photography artifacts intersect and the patron can get to take a little or a lot of MOPA brand and showcase it to the world.

ROC: How do you see MOPA’s future post-pandemic?
CS: Certainly MOPA is taking advantage of the disruption created by COVID-19 by exploring opportunities that are, frankly, thinking-out-of-the-box initiatives while continuing to leverage technology to reach out to the local community and expand its global reach. Simply put, MOPA will be ubiquitous, just like your camera.

ROC: Any advice for MOPA members about online visual experiences?
CS: My advice is practical. When you find yourself waiting in line to grab your latte or tacos, and spend 5 minutes visiting, it creates a habit, soon you will be sharing my advice with others and thank you for your support. Patrons as members build community, support each other and together we build a connection that goes beyond our passion for the visual arts.


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Welcome to the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art!

As of July 1, 2023, the Museum of Photographic Arts and The San Diego Museum of Art have merged to become one unified institution. The Museum of Photographic Arts is now the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA).

MOPA@SDMA remains a pay-what-you wish museum open Thursdays through Sundays 11:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you soon!