Grand Central Art Center is excited to announce its newly designed website with blog, now online!
We invite you to visit:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
GCAC SENDS OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO DELILAH AND GUSTAVO – SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE! TO A LIFE TIME OF HAPPINESS!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: