New Exhibitions, President Garcia Visit, MFA Open Studios – Kick-Off May @ Grand Central Art Center

This past Saturday, Grand Central Art Center celebrated the opening reception of our new exhibitions – Divested Interest: Exchange Dialogues with Cog•nate Collective & Ramiro Gomez, curated by California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) College of the Arts graduate students Emily D. A. Tyler and Martha Rocha of the Exhibition Design program, and artist Saskia Jorda’s solo project Unraveling Tradition.

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The night kicked off with CONVERSATION #4, Community Exchange, GCACs ongoing series that provides the opportunity for current CSUF students to lead conversation with creative individuals active in the field.  The conversation was led by the two curators of Divested Interest, Emily Tyler and Martha Rocha, and included on the panel Cog•nate Collective (artists Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez) and artist Ramiro Gomez.  It was a great conversation about the development of the exhibition and the artist’s interactions with the downtown Santa Ana community over the past month and a half as the three artists popped in for artist residencies.  It provided great insight and the audience of over 90 individuals – a great mix of local community, CSUF faculty and staff, local merchants and art world visitors – engaged in the dialogue with outstanding questions for the artists and curators.

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Following CONVERSATION #4, we opened our three galleries to the public and were visited by CSUF President Mildred Garcia and her Chief of Staff Ann Camp.  GCAC Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak led Ms. Garcia and Ms. Camp on a full tour of the exhibitions, introducing them to the artists, curators, key GCAC supporters and the works in the exhibitions.

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Saturday also marked the MFA Open Studios night for our CSUF GCAC resident artists who live and work here on site.  With President Garcia visiting, the evening provided the perfect opportunity for her to be exposed to the work of these outstanding artists.  The President was truly gracious with her time, talking with each student about his or her work, which was on display in the studios.

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During a two-month artist in residency at GCAC, creating her Unraveling Tradition exhibition, Saskia Jorda developed an outstanding relationship with Quinceanera Magazine.  We were fortunate to be joined Saturday evening by representatives of Quinceanera Magazine, including Jenny Razo (Miss Cover Girl, January 2013) and Flor Garcia (Miss Cover Girl, May 2013).  The magazine set-up their pink carpet and backdrop, inviting our patrons to join the cover girls for photos.  A truly enjoyable experience – GCAC and the artist would like to thank Quinceanera Magazine and especially Norma Capitanachi for all her support and assistance over the past few months in helping to realize successful outcomes.

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We were also fortunate to be joined during the evening by the great folks of the Pacific Symphony.  Through GCACs collaborative partnership with the Pacific Symphony, we presented the Rite of Spring Video Booth in our Artist in Residence Studio.  Created by UC Irvine associate professor of dance and media art John Crawford, the video booth allowed participants to choose sections from the ballet The Rite of Spring, capture their own movement in a green screen environment and combine it with Crawford’s artistic video content.  The booth generated a great energy with our audience and those who participated directly within the booth.

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Along with all the new projects, we also celebrated the ongoing GCAC exhibitions Monique Leyton and Brad Kuhl: Elite Deviance and Ryman Arts Fullerton Exhibition, the work of Orange County based high school students who participated in the CSUF/Ryman Art program throughout the Spring semester.

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Grand Central Art Center thanks all of the 2,200+ individuals who were in attendance Saturday evening, those who couldn’t join us that evening but contributed significantly to the success of the current exhibitions and programs, and those individuals who have continued to support GCAC throughout the years.  Through this generous support, Grand Central Art Center continues to serve and engage our direct community, contribute to the educational process and greater success of our CSUF students, inspire through the would of visual art and creative outlets, and be responsible neighbors and friends open to dialogue and inquiry from all perspectives.

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