ARTIST TALK: Julia Haft-Candell discusses her installation Fast And Slow

April 24, 2014


Join us on Saturday, May 3rd at 6pm for an exhibition walk-through with Julia Haft-Candell. She will be discussing her installation Fast And Slow in the Project Room.

The talk is free to the public and starts one hour before the art walk! 

SUSAN ROBB: WILD TIMES – Opening Reception 5/3 @ GCAC

April 23, 2014

What is wild? Where is wild? Are you wild?
May 3 through October 12, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday, May 3 from 7-10pm

Artist Susan Robb‘s Wild Times merges new media, social engagement, and a 2,650 mile hike as an invitation to explore wildness as a geographic ideal and a state of mind.

Robb will walk the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, making and sending digital artworks to Grand Central Art Center and collaborating West Coast museums and art centers.


Only 3% of the contiguous United States is still considered protected wild space.

As our culture increasingly pressures us to maintain a personal “brand,” be in constant contact, and snapchat every moment, maybe it’s not just our geographic wild spaces that are endangered, but our internal wild spaces as well.

Artist Susan Robb‘s Wild Times merges new media, social engagement, and a 2,650- mile hike as an invitation to explore wildness as a geographic ideal and a state of mind.

Beginning in mid-April 2014, Robb will embark on a 5-month adventure from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Using the trail as a nomadic studio and her experiences as inspiration and medium, she will create digital works—photos, videos, and 3D files—periodically sending them to Grand Central Art Center and a series of additional West Coast art venues. There they will be printed, projected, and installed, evolving into cumulative exhibitions, a meditation on what it means to be wild today.

In addition to Grand Central Art Center, collaborative venues include: Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA; 826 valencia, San Francisco, CA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA.

At its core, Wild Times is a proposition to YOU to seek out and explore your own wildness. To aid this process, Robb has developed satellite events and programming. The project website features “Hack Your Wild” instructions for creative action, the results of which can be posted and shared. Additional experiential opportunities are being offered at the venues: a “hero’s journey” writing workshop, group “therapy” explorations, improv comedy situationist dérives, and a “trail magic” master class.

Collaborators include: artists Fallen Fruit, Eroyn Franklin, Mandy Greer, Anastasia Hill and Eric Olson, writer Michael David Lukas, psychoanalyst Nicole Wiggins, artist and improv comedian Graham Downing, designer Katrina Hess, radio producer Jenny Asarnow, and writer, filmmaker and cultural critic Charles Mudede.

To further deepen the conversation, Robb has collected stories from “everyday explorers,” individuals who investigate or embody wildness by their own light and mettle. These media-rich features, shared online and in print, explore disaster edens, portray the life of a dominatrix, and consider the social and emotional toll of wild fires, among other subjects. Together, they depict diverse paths taken in pursuit of, or in response to, the wild.

The exhibitions, programs, and participatory website will enable venue visitors and the public at large to serve as collaborators—interacting with the project, with Robb, and the broad Wild Times community.

From the untrammeled spaces of the PCT, and with the host venues and her collaborators, Robb hopes to plot the coordinates of wildness in contemporary life. Through Wild Times, she offers her body and work as a conduit between gallery and wilderness, public and trail, form and formless, as a way to cultivate the wild terrain that resides in us all.

Wild Times is a project of Creative Capital and is supported by Grand Central Art Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, 826 Valencia, Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the Henry Art Gallery.

Generous in-kind support has been provided by MakerBot, Microsoft, Projecteo, Washington Trails Association, and Whole Foods Market.

Susan Robb’s work is an ongoing investigation of people, place, and our search for utopia. She orchestrates temporary, site-responsive, and socially-engaged projects to transform contemporary concerns—climate crisis, social isolation, high-speed daily living—into opportunities to re-envision and re-connect. Her projects include The Long Walk, ONN/OF “a light festival”, Parking Squid, Sleeper Cell Training Camp, and Warmth Giant Black Toobs. Robb’s work has been funded by a Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant, two Artist Trust Fellowships, a Stranger Genius Award, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. In 2013, she received a Creative Capital grant to produce Wild Times. Her work has been collected and shown nationally and internationally.

More Wild Times details:

More information on Susan Robb:

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.