Over the past few months, Grand Central Art Center, through Artist in Residence Jules Rochielle, has been actively working on developing a collaborative project with the Santa Ana Public Library. The proposal, titled The Raitt Street Chronicles, will be an oral histories project that deals with recording of stories of the survivors of violence. Centered around a neighborhood known as the Townsend district in Santa Ana, the artist and GCAC are work collaboratively with the Santa Ana Public Library administrative team, Cheryl Eberly and Manny Escamilla, and teen program “young historians”, as well as Sharon Sekhon, PhD, Professor in Cal State University Fullerton‘s American Studies program. The recorded oral histories and video components will be archived at the Santa Ana Public Library and will be developed into a visual/sound art component exhibited through GCAC.
As a part of the process, collaborative partnerships with community organizations are being developed and strengthened in hopes of greater outreach and mutually beneficial outcomes. Late last week, we had the great fortune to visit The Grain Project‘s community and teaching garden at Jerome Park in central Santa Ana. We met with The Grain Project‘s Co-Founder & Executive Director Lara Montagne and were provided a complete tour of the garden by local community expert Marco. Marco shared so much valuable knowledge, providing insight into each plant’s characteristics and health benefits. A remarkable tour by a truly passionate individual!
We had the opportunity to walk the surrounding neighborhood, hear directly from Manny about his experiences growing up on these streets, and connected with artists currently working on a public mural with The Grain Project. It was an amazing afternoon and has helped us to continue to develop new partnerships towards the realization of The Raitt Street Chronicles.
Saturday afternoon, the Tijuana based team from bulbo collective, Omar Foglio, José Luis Figueroa Lewis, Ana Paola Rodriguez and Blanca España, arrived for a short residency at Grand Central Art Center. This was their first site visit to the Center and provided an opportunity for a tour of our institution and a walking tour of Downtown Santa Ana. GCAC brought bulbo to town to screen their feature film Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil). As we walked the town, we talked about possible collaborative projects through a future extended residency, so we will keep you posted as that conversation continues to move forward.
On Sunday, after an early afternoon sound and visual check, we screened Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil). The bulbo collective project film was screened in association with the OC Film Fiesta, through the collaborative effort of the Fiesta’s Director Sandra “Pocha” Peña and Creative Director Victor Payan, at The Yost Theater. GCAC would like to thank OC Film Fiesta, and especially like to thank the generosity of The Yost Theater Owner Dennis Lluy and his amazing team.
The documentary follows Herlinda, an indigenous Purepecha potter, one of the few artisans in her community who uses alternative lead-free glazes, as she faces the difficult task of finding a market for her impressive pieces. The screening was truly a moving experience, an emotional journey of spirit, joy and family. A quality audience was on hand who clearly appreciated the film, staying for 45-minutes following the screening to ask questions of the filmmakers.
After the question and answer session, individuals had the opportunity to see works by Herlinda, and fellow Purepecha potters, who are now using lead-free glazes, on display in front of The Yost.
Grand Central Art Center thanks all those who attended the evening and each of our collaborative partners for their continued support of our programs and activities.