Please join us on Saturday, August 2nd at 6:00PM for a conversation with Flora Kao. The artist will be discussing her work and her current installation in the Grand Central Art Center Project Room – Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced.
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.
With all the recent installations, programs and activities, we’ve been a little behind on our posting, so forgive us for this late recap…
The First Saturday Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk on June 7th marked the opening of two new exhibitions at Grand Central Art Center – Jody Zellen: Time Jitters and Flora Kao: Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced. Both artists were in attendance throughout the evening, greeting the 2,700+ who attended the reception. It was another truly successful evening.
Along with the opening receptions, our current artists in residence, Ingrid Reeve, Barbara Milliorn and Evan Senn, presented a screening of the film Cutie and the Boxer, as a public program for their current project/residency Life of an Artist. The audience loved it!
And we continue the current exhibition/residency Wild Times with artist Susan Robb. Susan continues to send transmissions from her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, as well images and three-dimensional objects back to GCAC, resulting in an ever-expanding exhibition in the gallery.
In our GCAC Graduate Studio Spaces, California State University, Fullerton’s Kimberly McKinnis (MA in Exhibition Design) collaborated with Heather Bowling to present artist Taylor Correa. Taylor activated the space, creating work on site and presenting past work on display. Individuals were welcomed into the space for conversation and shared engagement.
We followed our First Saturday activities with a Downtown Santa Ana Neighborhood Mixer event on the evening of June 11th. Over 100 of our neighbors joined us at GCAC to connect further and meet new friends. It was a solid representation of our business community, our GCAC students who live on sites, and residences who live in the lofts of our downtown. The event included a Bites Battle, with delicious appetizers provided by Downtown restaurants Diego’s and Boldo, as coordinated by Downtown Inc.’s Ryan Smolar. Beverages were provided and served by Alova, through the in-kind generosity of Karen Gonzalez and her team. The amazing Delilah Snell was key to helping making this event a reality. GCAC’s team thanks each and everyone who donated and attended the event. WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS!
A few more updates are coming soon, so keep an eye on the blog, or just come over for a visit.
Flora Kao: Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced
June 7 – August 10, 2014
Opening Reception: June 7th, 7-10pm
The Mojave Desert is a space of tenuous order and inevitable decay. Shacks in varied states of ruin punctuate the scrubby expanse of sand. Allowing homesteaders to claim up to five acres of expendable public land, the Small Tract Act of 1938 spawned a mid-century desert land rush. The majority of these homes were eventually abandoned due to the extreme living conditions. In Wonder Valley, a collapsed shack seems to have melted into the ground. A single gable stands erect, surrounded by an explosion of white shingles.
Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced explores the poignant associations of this fallen form through a life-size rubbing of the homestead’s debris field. Executed on a thousand square feet of white silk, gestural black marks map the house at a specific moment of decay. This rubbing is transformed into an installation of eight panels suspended askew across the gallery. Upon entering, the viewer is immersed in a sensuous drawing that can only be comprehended in fragments over time, never at once. With each turn, one’s experience oscillates between compression and openness, as new vistas are framed and cropped, lines advance and recede, and textures unfold.
Capturing the physical evidence of failure, Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced archives the effect of entropy on an architecture of economy. Mapping absence and presence, the rubbings present a visceral encounter with erasure and accumulation. Breathing with the viewer’s movement through the space, the installation suggests the precarious balance of a structure on the verge of collapse. Referencing shrouds, fossils, and grave rubbings, the installation’s black wood grain and white fabric suggest sails, shipwreck, and surrender, linking the vastness of the ocean with the extremes of the desert. Ultimately, Wind House, Abode That A Breath Effaced meditates on the fugitive nature of home and the ease of loss in a land of new beginnings.
The opening reception will take place on June 7th, 2014, 7-10pm, during the First Saturday Art Walk.