The city of Gainesville has become animated with the opening of the Anime Art Museum.

The museum, located at 1155 NW 13th St., calls itself the first anime-style art museum to open in the U.S. and showcases 17 pieces of art.

Carmen “CJ” Marrero-Akin, executive director and co-founder of the museum, opened it to the public on Tuesday.

Along with a permanent art collection on exhibit, the museum will eventually feature art from visiting artists, themed exhibits on the history of anime and a cafe.

“We want to show that anime art pieces can be unique and creative in its own right,” Marrero-Akin said.

Marrero-Akin, a UF alumna who has been drawing since she was 7, said the goal of the museum is to foster the skills and confidence of aspiring anime artists and to celebrate the artistic expressions behind popular franchises.

All but one of the art displays are Marrero-Akin’s own work, but the museum is accepting art donations from local and international artists.

Marrero-Akin said she hopes to open the museum to the broader community and eventually spotlight the works from young anime artists.

Robert Witt, the 20-year-old president of the Gator Anime Club and an electrical engineering junior, said he hopes to visit the museum and bring the club with him.

“Anime may not be as popular in America as modern art,” said Witt. “But it definitely has its fans.”

A version of this story ran on page 8 on 10/14/2013 under the headline "First anime art museum in US opens"