New GCAC Website and Blog!

September 8, 2014

NEW GCAC CSUF LOGO

Grand Central Art Center is excited to announce its newly designed website with blog, now online!

We invite you to visit:
http://www.grandcentralartcenter.com/

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Wonderful Day of Celebration @ GCAC

August 15, 2014

Yesterday, Grand Central Art Center hosted an event celebrating Pakistan Independence Day, organized by artists-in-residence Heather Layton and Brian Bailey, part of their current year long project 59 Days of Independence. They are here in residency through the generous funding support of the GCAC artist-in-residency program provided by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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The day including a “Malala Trilingual Book Reading for Kids,” with children’s stories of Pakistani-American and Mexican-American culture read in Spanish, Urdu and English, with projections of the illustrations.

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Recent Orange County School for the Arts student Miguel Pulido (Class of 2014, beginning Pitzer College this fall) helped to organize the activities, as well as participated in the reading and performed on guitar. His contributions to the event brought a joyful spirit and energy through music.

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The afternoon provided an opportunity to view an assortment of craft objects that reflect the development of Pakistani visual culture from traditional to contemporary. A hands-on activity table was set-up within the space, with both children and adults sharing their creative skills. Delicious traditional food for all in attendance was available from Noorani Halal Restaurant.

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In addition to Heather, Brian and Miguel, Grand Central Art Center thanks the following individuals for making the celebration possible:
Ifra Khoso, Sheba Akhtar, Almas Asif, Farhan Aziz, Anila Ali, Monica Mouet, Pam Solorzano and the Irvine Pakistani Parents’ Association.

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We concluded the day with a GCAC Dutch Treat Dinner at The Robbins Nest Wine Bar here in downtown Santa Ana. A great group of individuals, including CSUF grad students and faculty members, four current GCAC artists-in-residence, a curator and artist coming down for the night from Los Angeles and many of our creative collaborative community members, all joining us for the event. Thanks to Lisa Robbins and her wonderful team for allowing us to take over a big part of her restaurant for the evening of great conversations and connections!

We thank you all for your continued support of GCAC and look forward to having you join us for upcoming programs and receptions.


Pakistan Independence Day Celebration & Dutch Treat Dinner (Aug. 14) – 59 Days of Independence Project @ Grand Central Art Center

August 7, 2014

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Earlier this year, Heather Layton and Brian Bailey joined us as artists in residence, here to realize programs through their current project 59 Days of Independence. Throughout 2014, a vast network of artists, musicians, dancers, authors, filmmakers and community members from around the globe are celebrating the independence days of 59 countries that once gained freedom from British rule. The most important part of the project is that they are all celebrating for countries OTHER than their own. In January, they celebrated Burma’s 66th independence day on JANUARY 4TH at GCAC by giving away 66 hand-painted lanterns.

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PAKISTAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION @ 2PM, THURSDAY, AUGUST 14TH

This week Heather and Brian return as GCAC artists in residence, developing a project celebrating Pakistan’s 67th independence day on AUGUST 14th, with a “Malala Trilingual Book Reading for Kids”. The celebration will include a trilingual reading of three selected picture books (approx. ages 4-8). The 1st and 3rd will teach about aspects of Pakistani-American culture and the 2nd will teach about aspects of Mexican-American culture. The books will be read in Spanish, Urdu and English with projections of the illustrations on the wall. We will transform the room into a colorful and intriguing space reflecting Pakistan’s rich visual culture. There will be a food table with small samplings from a local Pakistani restaurant. Also onsite will be an assortment of craft objects that show the development of Pakistani visual culture from traditional to contemporary. Funding in support of this GCAC residency is provided by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

In January, during the First Saturday Art Walk, Heather and Brian met and began a conversation with Orange County School for the Arts student Miguel Pulido (now an alum of OCSA, Class of 2014). Miguel was excited about their project and they began a dialogue about collaboration toward this current project. Miguel was instrumental in the development of this program and is connecting the project with additional students and alum of OCSA to get them involved, including Monica Mouet and Pam Solorzano who assisted with the early development.

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Through these collaborative efforts a relationship was established with the Irvine Pakistani Parents’ Association, through its members Ifra Khoso, Sheba Akhtar, Almas Asif, Farhan Aziz and Anila Ali, who are actively collaborating on the program of celebration on August 14th here at Grand Central Art Center.

DUTCH TREAT DINNER @ 7PM, THURSDAY, AUGUST 14TH
@ THE ROBBINS NEST WINE BAR

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The event will be followed that evening by a GCAC DUTCH TREAT DINNER, beginning 7pm at The Robbins Nest Wine Bar here in Downtown Santa Ana, 207 West 2nd Street. The artists and many of their collaborators will be at the event to connect further with those in attendance. DUTCH TREAT DINNER are an opportunity to build new connections, reconnect with those you know and develop a stronger community of creative individuals. Unlike a gala or formal dinner event, DTD has no set menu, ticket price or seating arrangement – you order straight from the standard menu, attend for free and sit with those you wish. Individuals attending are responsible for their own dinner bill, hence the name DUTCH TREAT DINNER. There is no pressure – you eat and drink what you order and can afford.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU JOIN US IN CELEBRATION!

Here are the details on the program…

Malala Yousafzai ke baray mein kutub Beeni,
Bachon ke liye teen zabano mein

Thursday, August 14, 2:00pm
Grand Central Art Center
125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana

Un evento que celebra el dia de independencia de Pakistan con música, comida y una lectura a voz alta trilingüe de libros infantiles cuales demuestran la belleza de la diversidad cultural. / A free event that celebrates Pakistan’s independence day with music, food, and a trilingual reading of three picture books that demonstrate the beauty of cultural diversity.

Daaqula muft aura am hae / Gratis e Abierto Al Publico.

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We LOVE the Thursday Farmers’ Market in Downtown Santa Ana!

July 31, 2014

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This signed appeared this morning in front of Grand Central Art Center, which made us extremely happy. Each Thursday from 4-8pm, at the East End of Downtown Santa Ana, is the wonderful DTSA Certified Farmers’ Market.

We hope you will come to downtown to join us at the Farmers’ Market. And when you do, stop by GCAC to say hello – we stay open until 7:30pm each Thursday during the summer.


Artists in Residence, Tacos and a Wedding – Another Typical Weekend @ GCAC

July 22, 2014

At Grand Central Art Center you never know what to expect, especially when you are an artist in residence. The only thing that is certain is fun activities and connecting with great people.

This past week we had Lisa Bielawa back in residence as we prepare for her major opera project Vireo, a project with her long-time collaborator librettist Erik Ehn. It was a week full of meetings with community leadership, potential collaborators, individuals from Cal State Fullerton and key members of our direct community.

We also continue to have in residence curator Regine Basha, here for the month of July working on projects and talking possibilities of future collaborations with GCAC through her Basha Projects initiative.

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But it’s not all work around GCAC, we always find time to walk down to our favorite local tacoria and grab some lunch. Tacos provide a great way for our artists in residence and staff to connect further – just ask Lisa, Regine and GCAC Associate Director Tracey Gayer.

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And what GCAC weekend would be complete without an event on our 2nd Street plaza? This weekend, Delilah Snell (our former GCAC tenant through her Road Less Traveled store, Co-Founder of Patchwork Modern Handmade Festival and Co-Founder of the Craftcation Conference for Creative Makers) and Gustavo Arellano (Editor of OC Weekly, Author of Taco USA, writer of the syndicated column “¡Ask a Mexican!”) celebrated their marriage with a reception on the plaza. Delilah and Gustavo sure know how to throw a party! It was, as they have called it “a street fiesta”, with a great mix of live bands, DJ’s including the world famous Richard Blade (formerly of KROQ and now on SiriusXM 1st Wave), great food and drink, and a wonderful gathering of the Santa Ana community. It also provided the opportunity for some dancing to classic 80s pop, allowing Lisa Bielawa to get in on the festivities and share some moves with GCAC’s Santa Ana Sites Co-Found Allen Moon – a fun time was had by all!

delilah and gustavo

GCAC SENDS OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO DELILAH AND GUSTAVO – SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE! TO A LIFE TIME OF HAPPINESS!!!


Cog•nate Collective with Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School

June 27, 2014

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This week, current artists-in-residence Cog•nate Collective (Amy Sanchez and Misael Diaz) presented a listening/walking activity tour through downtown Santa Ana, with Erin Hyatt’s students from Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School here in Santa Ana.

The focus of Ms. Hyatt’s current teaching is a living history of Santa Ana, with the goal of exposing students to the arts and culture of their community.

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During their visit, the students were provides a tour of the current exhibitions at Grand Central Art Center, including: Jody Zellen: Time Jitters; Flora Kao: Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced; and Susan Robb: Wild Times. We discussed with the students the connections between the current exhibitions and the activities they were to engaged with throughout the day – subjects such as journey and discovery; uses of technology as information platform, information and connector; everyday surroundings and place; local history.

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Amy and Misael took the students on adventures throughout downtown, sharing along the way audio excerpts for their recently developed BORDERBLASTERS (SNA) // LA CUATRO I-IV series, presented via their radio transmission wagon – collections of oral testimonies of local residents, artists, community leaders and 4th Street business owners as they reflect on the economic, social and cultural dimensions of redevelopment in the Downtown core of Santa Ana. The stories are also available to the public through QR codes and printed binders located at businesses throughout downtown.

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The interactions of the day provided the students an opportunity to use their technology to record, through image, sounds and video, new discoveries of their own community. The documentation will be brought back to the classroom where it will be discussed, edited and used in the continued classroom curriculum over the summer course.


Video, Images and LA Times Review of Santa Ana Sites #5: Steve Roden

June 20, 2014

On the evening of Saturday, June 14th, GCAC presented the fifth performance in our Santa Ana Sites series, with a sound performance by artist Steve Roden.

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The evening began with a reception at Downtown Santa Ana’s Q Art Salon, hosted by Jose Quant and Shell Martin. Guests gathered and connected with one another at this pre-event mixer.

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At 8:15pm, GCAC Director/Chief Curator and Sites Co-Founder John D. Spiak led guests, downstairs, down the street the a historic law building and a parking lot in front of roll-up gate leading to an underground parking area. When all had arrived, the gate was opened and guests made their way underground, where they then entered another space – that of a subterranean racket ball court located beneath the law building owned by Dennis Dascanio, who generously allowed GCAC use of the space for the evening.

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There, guests were greeted by Sites Co-Founder and Artistic Director Allen Moon and were introduced to Steve Roden for some brief pre-performance remarks.

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GCAC invited Steve to perform in the Sites series, as we admired and respect him for the constant risks he takes – through his painting, installation work, films and sound performances. He is always challenging himself and the audience, allowing access to those slight moments in life that we often forget, or don’t allow ourselves to experience or enjoy – the slight mark, the capturing of an actual shadow, an adjustment or shift of a tone. It is what Steve does best and what makes him such a remarkable individual.

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performance above

Over the course of his 5o-minutes performance, Steve didn’t disappoint, as he took the audience on a complicated sound journey – one that began with sound bleed from a cumbia band performing for a wedding at a nearby banquet hall, first collaborating with those sounds, then making that background beat truly disappear as his own synthesized composition took center stage. Through his skillful use and knowledge of sound, Roden was able to successfully transport the audiences to a place outside the confines of the Downtown Santa Ana location, to a space of “elsewhere” that was unique to each of the 108 individuals experiencing this live performance.

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GCAC was fortunate to have in attendance Carolina Miranda of the Los Angeles Times, who wrote a wonderful review of the evening. capturing her own images and sound of the performance that she shares through text and slideshow, available through the following link:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-steve-roden-sound-art-santa-ana-20140617-column.html

We were also able to record video documenting some of the sound check with the artist during the afternoon set-up, so we thought you might enjoy it as well.

We would like to also acknowledge and thank Dennis Lluy, along with his team at The Yost Theater for their continued support of Santa Ana Sites. Through their in-kind generosity, they have loaned equipment that makes each Sites performance possible.

Lastly, we thank all those who attended and who continue to support Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana Sites and our community outreach activities!

More information on the Santa Ana Sites series, including documentation of past performances, can be found online at:
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/santa-ana-sites/