Another Successful Imagination Celebration @ GCAC!

April 14, 2014

Each year, Grand Central Art Center participates in the month long, countywide celebration of the arts, Imagination Celebration.

The overall countywide program is presented by Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education, with each individual venue organizing their own contributions through visual, performing and creative arts activities.

GCAC’s contribution took place this past Saturday, April 12, a day of free hands-on workshops.

This year was another grand success, with individuals of all ages participating in the activities.  

Here is a little recap of the days activities: 


Drawing activities with Ryman Arts


Hands-on art activities with MASKA


Face painting with Cynthia Mann


Zines / bookmaking with Ivy Leighton and Maxwell Rivas


Printmaking and collage techniques with Elise Bernal


Flamenco dancing with Claudia de la Cruz


Button making with Tracey Gayer

Activities of Imagination Celebration continue through May 25 at sites throughout Orange County, so check the calendar for upcoming activities:


INTERNal Affairs: Out of the Woodwork

April 14, 2014

INTERNal Affairs is a series by GCAC Curatorial Intern and CSUF Art History major Shauna Hultgrien.


Hello Internet friends! Did you miss me? I apologize for my absence but alas, duty calls. We have been quite busy here at Grand Central Art Center; between hosting an assortment of very talented (and extremely amusing) artists in residence, entertaining a variety of visitors, and of course, Spring Break 2014, I’m afraid that I have neglected my reporting duties. Well dry your eyes Internet Art Community, I’m back! As a student who is almost (hopefully) finished with my undergraduate studies, my opportunities to carpe spring break are rapidly coming to a close. I decided that I should do what any good Southern Californian college student would do and use my well earned vacation time to head north to the frosty terrain of Montreal, Quebec. So grab your beanies, scarves, and parkas as I walk you through my experience with our northern neighbors.

After the initial shock of experiencing a place where temperatures fall far below my comfort zone of 76 degrees Fahrenheit, I slapped on some long johns and three more pairs of socks and set out to see what this city was all about. The coffee and quaint cafes quickly won my heart and it also wasn’t long before I was on a daily double rationing of Poutine— the Canadian delicacy of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. When I had finally topped off my dining experiences with all the maple syrup I could handle, I was ready to explore the art scene of Montreal.

The Museum of Fine Arts Montreal did not disappoint. The institution boasts a wonderful collection of timeless masterpieces. From Caravaggio to Picasso, my eyes were rewarded at every turn; but my countless years as a student of the arts as well as my privileged position at GCAC have polished my tastes and given me an insatiable appetite for all things Contemporary. The Museum had a nice little Contemporary collection and I was especially excited to see their newly acquired piece, “Long Hair Hobo No.2” by Southern California’s very own Allison Schulnik. I soon realized, however, that in order to experience the cutting-edge art of the times I needed to leave the comfortable walls of this state-funded institution and make the journey to Old Montreal and their sea of high-end galleries.

Old Montreal consists of a long stretch of winding cobblestone road, lined with buildings that look like they were transplanted directly from a quiet Parisian rue. The buildings seemed to follow a consistent restaurant-gift shop-gallery pattern and prospects looked promising for art finds. A brief round of peeking into gallery windows left me disheartened; the displays were so kitschy and generic they would have been comfortably at home on aisle 12 of Wal Mart’s Home Decor section. Refusing to believe this beautiful section of the city was completely void of compelling work, I made another round. And another. And another. On my fourth, and what I swore to be last walk up the street I noticed a small gallery I had overlooked on a bend in the road. A hooded boy stood ominously in the window holding a small bouquet of flowers that commanded the entirety of his attention. The creepiness of the scene prompted a sincere intrigue and I had to get a closer look. I went inside and shed four of my ten layers then approached the boy for closer inspection. The boy was a boy in a Pinocchio sense; he was made entirely of wood and he was not holding the small bunch of flowers, but they were sprouting directly from his fingers. This hidden gem of a gallery is actually far better known than its modest location lets on. Galerie LeRoyer, I have since learned, is one of the galleries of Montreal with a very strong reputation and I was lucky enough to see why firsthand.

The wood carved boy is named, “Fioriranno i nevai”and is the work of Italian artist Willy Verginer. His impressive wooden sculptures were around every corner of the gallery and all maintained an eerily lifelike demeanor while each had a touch of Surrealism. The boy sprouted blue flowers from his fingers; a wooden woman stood plainly dressed barefoot with her head and raised fingertips coated in gold, complimented by the title, “Shine on Me.” A suited man painted grey with tires attached to his feet sits on the back of a large beige bull whose hind quarters match the grey of the man hid in the back of the gallery. I inquired as to why this beautiful and hilarious piece titled, “The Dark Side of the Bull,” was tucked away from plain view only to learn that it had been sold. As had four other works that called the gallery home just a week earlier. I found this to be no surprise at all. The ease with which these figures emanated the realness of living beings left me in awe of Verginer’s careful craftsmanship. The work at LaRoyer more than compensated for the framed wallpaper of the other galleries.

Unfortunately for us, Internet friends, I did not have the $10,000 it took to make one of these pieces mine. I do count myself lucky however to have experience done personally and I hope that you all will be able to do the same. In the meantime, do come see us here at GCAC, we have quite a bit coming up for you in the summer. Having experienced the art scene in Montreal left me with a feeling of gratitude for the nearly unrestricted access to art that we enjoy here on the West Coast. We have so many talented artists here that their work is spilling out of the metropolis of L.A. and right to our doorstep here in Orange County! I know this can be overwhelming so remember: Grand Central Art Center in the heart of Santa Ana is a great place to start. Well friends, it’s been a joyous reunion and I am happy to have been able to share my experiences with you but it is time for me to go enjoy the weather I missed dearly. This is your GCAC intern, over and out.

Daniel Tucker – The Active Schedule of a GCAC Artist in Residence

April 11, 2014


You may wonder what an artist in residence at Grand Central Art Center does on a daily bases during their time with us. Besides engaging with the GCAC team, CSUF students, community members and visitors, they stay pretty active.

Here is a quick summary of this week’s meetings and activities current artist in residence Daniel Oliver Tucker has been involved with, in addition to lots of reading and prepping for his installation (and a few unrelated admin and writing gigs related to other stuff he’s got going later in the year).


As part of his residency, from April 18th-26th, Tucker will be touring California, participating as a visiting artist at College of the Redwoods (Eureka 4/17), Mills College (Oakland 4/24), and giving a lecture at CalArts (4/26 Valencia) as part of the 10th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place.  At each location he will be sharing information about his new project, Future Perfect – Time Capsules in Reagan County, being developed as artist in residence at GCAC.

He then returns to GCAC where he will continue the research and development stage of this new project.

A portion of his new project will be featured in a group exhibition from May 3-24th at Commonwealth & Council (Opening 5/3 at 3006 W 7th St #220, Los Angeles).

Installation Title: The Preface to Future Perfect – Time Capsules in Reagan County (2014).

Description: Over the course of 2014, Tucker is developing a documentary project entitled Future Perfect – Time Capsules in Reagan County dealing with the legacy of Ronald Reagan and the phenomenon of time capsule burials in southern California. Speculating on the contents of many of these time capsules, Future Perfect considers what Reagan’s science-fiction imagination of the future was and how that vision constituted parts of the political terrain of the present. Presented in Tucker’s first exhibition in LA, The Preface to Future Perfect is a photography installation presenting materials from his ongoing research.

The last portion of his GCAC residency will involve the community engagement phase that is still in the planning. The overall project will evolve into an installation open to the public, taking place in the GCAC Artist in Residence Studio.

We will keep you updated as the plans develop further and dates for activities here at GCAC are set.

We look forward to seeing you here!


April 10, 2014

in collaboration with
Arts Orange County and Orange County Department of Education

11am – 2pm

Grand Central Art Center presents a day of
FREE hands-on art workshops


Celebrate the excitement of art with hands-on studio workshops for all ages.

Workshops include:

Drawing activities with Ryman Arts

Hands-on art activities with MASKA

Face painting with Cynthia Mann

Printmaking with Ivy Leighton

Zines / bookmaking with Elise Bernal

Flamenco dancing with Claudia de la Cruz

Button making with Tracey Gayer

More details about all Imagination Celebration events can be found online at:

Last Night @ GCAC – Joshua Simon + Dutch Treat Dinner

April 9, 2014

Last evening Grand Central Art Center, in collaboration with Artis, presented a talk by Joshua Simon. Simon is the Director and Chief Curator for The Museums of Bat Yam, a complex of three museums located in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in Israel.

Joshua shared an overview of his institutions mission, including images, video and handed out published materials from recent exhibitions. He provided insight into the engagement with a diverse community that is at the core of his institutions mission.

Through the question and answer session, he field questions on the current political climate, navigating boycotts and the effects and impact of Occupy Wall Street type moments worldwide.

The evening concluded with a Dutch Treat Dinner at Santa Ana’s own TABU, continuing conversation and connections at a more informal level.

A truly informative and enjoyable evening!


We thank the quality audience in attendance, which included Deans from the Arts programs at Cal State Long Beach and Santa Ana College, Interim Director of the Orange County Museum of Art, Assoc. Prof. of Art History & Museum Studies from Irvine Valley College, Independent Curator and SoCal Curator of the Artist Pension Trust, Director of Marketing from the The Muchenthaler Culture Center, three current GCAC Artists in Residence, local artists and current MFA/MA students from Cal State Fullerton and UCI.

Special thanks to Kris Kuramitsu, Associate Director in Los Angeles of Artis, for making the collaborative program possible.

Mark Your Calendar (4/8 @ 6pm) – Talk by Joshua Simon and Dutch Treat Dinner

April 1, 2014

Grand Central Art Center and Artis
present a talk by Joshua Simon

Curating in Context – Joshua Simon on The Museums of Bat Yam
Presented by Artis & Grand Central Art Center
Tuesday, April 8
@ Grand Central Art Center



Joshua Simon will speak about his work as the Director and Chief Curator for The Museums of Bat Yam, a complex of three museums located in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in Israel that functions as both a center for contemporary art and a community museum, offering a wide platform for cultural research, theory and criticism. Simon, in discussion with GCAC Director and Chief Curator John Spiak, will explore the role of community-centered arts institutions situated in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods on the periphery of major urban centers – Tel Aviv, in the case of MoBY, and Los Angeles, in the case of GCAC.

The program is a GCAC collaboration with Artis.

Artis is an independent nonprofit organization that broadens international awareness and understanding of contemporary art from Israel.

The event will be immediately followed by a
GCAC Dutch Treat Dinner

306 W. 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701

First Episode Debut – Life of An Artist – Saturday, April 5

April 1, 2014

Join Us on Saturday
April 5, 2014
@ 7pm

life of an artist 1

Life of An Artist debuts their first episode, during the April Santa Ana First Saturday Art Walk. Come join Ingrid, Barbara and Evan as they screen the first episode of their documentary web series. In this series, two female artists have paired together with an art critic and manager to better navigate through the difficult and tumultuous terrain, on the road toward successful art world careers.

Video Documentation – Santa Ana Sites #4: wild Up at the Santora

March 18, 2014






Grant / Residency Opportunity – A Social Practice Initiative of Living Resources and Grand Central Art Center

March 10, 2014

Living Resources & Grand Central Art Center Partnership

Developing Sustainable Practices within Affordable Housing Communities





Living Resources, a program of a California-based nonprofit organization, has teamed up with Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), a unit of the College of the Arts at California State University, Fullerton, in enlisting community-driven “Creatives” (artists, architects, social activists) to respond to a “Call” for proposals.

Specifically, the Creatives selected will be awarded a one-year opportunity to engage the residents in one of two affordable housing communities in Southern California and Phoenix, AZ to ignite social change through sustainable practices and programs. The Creatives selected – individual and or collective groups, will be given housing (or a housing stipend), a working stipend, and a small budget to execute their projects.


The communities in which applications will be accepted for are as follows:

Warwick Square Apartments, Santa Ana, Calif., a 500 unit family property where residents’ household income is less than 60% of median income adjusted for family size

Whispering Pines Apartments, Phoenix, AZ, a 325 unit family property whose residents’ household income is less than 80% of median income adjusted for family size


Living Resources is an outreach program developed and funded by a nonprofit organization founded to promote the preservation and/or rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income households. Living Resources provides support – financial or otherwise, to underserved individuals or other nonprofit organizations serving those in need.


Grand Central Art Center, a unit of California State University, Fullerton’s College of the Arts, is the result of a unique partnership between the university and the city of Santa Ana. Located ten miles south of the main campus in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, the art center is a mixed residential, commercial and educational complex. Grand Central Art Center is dedicated to the investigation and promotion of contemporary art and visual culture: regionally, nationally, and internationally through unique collaborations among artists, students, and the community. The art center is a 45,000 square-foot, half-city block deep and full city-block long, three-level structure with apartments, live/studio spaces for college of the arts graduate students, the Grand Central Gallery, the Project room, the Grand Central Theater, the Gypsy Den Café, an Education Gallery, classrooms, and studio and living spaces dedicated to the center’s international artist-in-residence program.

More information on GCAC can be found at:


A partnership between Living Resources and the GCAC germinated from a collaboration in which Living Resources funded an artist in residency program at GCAC, as well as have seeded other community-based artistic efforts to stimulate social change in many Southern California communities.


We are looking for Creatives who seek to bring low-income people together at two affordable housing communities, in which the nonprofit is part owner, to share ideas and experiences, and stimulate social change within their communities. The Creatives role is to live and/or spend significant amounts of time with the people living there, get to know them, listen and lead the effort to stimulate change using their specific skillset and Social Practice approaches. Living Resources and GCAC seek a similar outcome – the Creatives leave the community a better place to live, with people more active in assuring the continuation of this positive change.


In sociology, the term social change refers to any significant alteration in behavior patterns and cultural values. This type of change may have a lasting effect on a society’s culture that has undergone transformation. We are looking for Creatives to live within the community in an affordable housing apartment complex and ignite change within that community making it a better place to live, getting people involved, and leaving a lasting impression for generations to come.

What exactly the Creative and that community are seeking to change and how this is accomplished is where we turn to you, the applicant, to lay out a framework for specific projects and approaches to accomplishing your goals over a one year period of time. This framework would also include methods for measuring this impact during your residency and once you have concluded your time.


This is a one-year residency in which the Creative is provided housing at no cost, a stipend of $10,000, and a small project budget of $2,000 for the year. The Creative may also choose to work part of the time from an onsite resource center, as well have access to the property management staff onsite and the resource center coordinator’s time.

Information related to each affordable housing community, such as what is listed below, can be found at the GCAC Website at the following link:

a. Demographics (Ethnic, Financial, Household Residents, etc.)
b. Existing Onsite Programming
c. Compilation of Any Onsite Survey of Resident Needs and/or Profiles
d. Surrounding Community Resources


Creatives must be:
• Individual artists or artist collectives
• A U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident
• At least 25 years old
• A working artist with at least five years of professional experience
• Undergo a background (and credit check for living in residence at one of the affordable housing communities*)
• And have never committed a felony.
*To be eligible to live at the Santa Ana site, artists must qualify for affordable housing.   Artists can still do a project at the Santa Ana and not qualify for affordable housing, as it is not a requirement of the grant to live on site. The Phoenix site doesn’t have the same affordable housing qualifying requirement for living on site.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – The Call will be released.
Friday, May 23, 2014 – Applications due, 11:59 p.m. PST.
Friday, June 27, 2014 – Awards Made.


Living Resources & Grand Central Art Center Partnership
Developing Sustainable Practices within Affordable Housing Communities

Call to Creatives


Full Name(s)
Collaborative Information (if relevant)

Phone Alternative Phone
Email Address
Other Contact Information

On a separate document, please provide responses to the following questions.

Please describe your creative interests.

1. Please select which community you would like to work with.

Warwick Square Apartments (Family Affordable Housing Community; 500 units)
780 Lyon Street; Santa Ana, CA 92705

Whispering Pines Apartments (Family Affordable Housing Community; 325 units)
2601 North 36th Street; Phoenix, AZ 85008

2. What type of social change do you hope to bring about in that respective community? And, what are your goals of the proposed project? (Please provide a minimum of one page description on this question.)

3. How do you plan to go about at engaging the community to foster their interest and participation?

4. What plan do you have to bring about this change?

5. How do you plan to measure your impact on the community during your residency and what tools might you suggest post-residency?

6. What makes you qualified and the right person to be selected to initiate social change in this community?

7. Please describe some of your past work engaging community and/or leading social change.

8. What sets you apart from other applicants for this project?

9. Please provide samples of your work, if relevant.

10. Please attach a copy of your resume or CV.

11. Please provide three professional references.


Applications should be submitted to arrive no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, May 23, 2014 as follows:

Grand Central Art Center
Attn: John D. Spiak
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Please feel free to email any questions you may still have to the ATTN OF: John D. Spiak /

Joanna Klass, Wojtek Szaszor, Nadia Hironaka, Matthew Suib – Great Visitors to GCAC!

March 7, 2014

Joanna Klass and Wojtek Szaszor

Joanna Klass and Wojtek Szaszor were visiting us from Warsaw, Poland.  They were GCAC creatives in residence for a first site visit, connecting with us and discussing possibilities for a future extended residency project.  While here, they presented an evening of live performance/ installation/ multimedia/ archives and conversation, Art of the Spectacle, part of their ongoing “artist in permanent utopia/permanent exile” project.  The program provided a round table dialogue about art objects, society, and exile, with a slight local focus toward Grotowski, Modjeska, Orange County and Santa Ana.  The gallery space was activated over the course of the evening for a gathering of several artists, curators and community friends who joined Klass and Szaszor as collaborators. A simple table with a circle of chairs was placed in the center of the space. A meal was served.  The goal was to engage the group in an interesting, initially outlined conversation concerning art, cultural politics, urgent issues that matter. Participation in the performance was open.   There were empty chairs for visitors who wished to join the conversation, allowing the public to enter freely and roam the gallery, listen to the conversation, join at the table or observe. The “discontextual installation” contained small traces of Deren, Cage, Modjeska’s godson Witkacy, Jerzy Grotowski, F-Space Gallery, Situationists and others.  It was an art event that one individual described as “Borscht, Bauhaus, and Bickering.”

*Joanna Klass is the founding director of Arden2, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, facilitating exchanges between Polish and American artists.  She has brought a broad spectrum of contemporary Polish theatre to the U.S., including Gardzeniece Theatre Lab, Song of the Goat, Teatr Provisorium, the Modjeska Theatre Company, Kana Theatre, the Wroclaw Puppet Theatre, TR Warszawa and Teatr ZAR.   (*from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles website)

If you were around Downtown Los Angeles in the early to mid-90s, you might have run into Wojtek Szaszor, as he was one of the organizer of an incredibly important alternative space located on Traction Avenue by the name of Spanish Kitchen.  For the record, Downtown LA had a great scene in the 90s, with spaces like Deep River, POST, the activities of the Santa Fe Colony, artists studios and a bit later The Project, among much more.

Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka

Philadelphia based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib also stopped by Grand Central Art Center for a visit.  Current GCAC Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak presented Hironaka’s major multi-channel video installation with 16-channel sound, The Late Show, when Spiak was a curator at Arizona State University Art Museum.

GCAC always loves sharing our time and space with quality artists, creatives and the community, so come pay us a visit!


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