Joanna Klass, Wojtek Szaszor, Nadia Hironaka, Matthew Suib – Great Visitors to GCAC!

March 7, 2014

Joanna Klass and Wojtek Szaszor

Joanna Klass and Wojtek Szaszor were visiting us from Warsaw, Poland.  They were GCAC creatives in residence for a first site visit, connecting with us and discussing possibilities for a future extended residency project.  While here, they presented an evening of live performance/ installation/ multimedia/ archives and conversation, Art of the Spectacle, part of their ongoing “artist in permanent utopia/permanent exile” project.  The program provided a round table dialogue about art objects, society, and exile, with a slight local focus toward Grotowski, Modjeska, Orange County and Santa Ana.  The gallery space was activated over the course of the evening for a gathering of several artists, curators and community friends who joined Klass and Szaszor as collaborators. A simple table with a circle of chairs was placed in the center of the space. A meal was served.  The goal was to engage the group in an interesting, initially outlined conversation concerning art, cultural politics, urgent issues that matter. Participation in the performance was open.   There were empty chairs for visitors who wished to join the conversation, allowing the public to enter freely and roam the gallery, listen to the conversation, join at the table or observe. The “discontextual installation” contained small traces of Deren, Cage, Modjeska’s godson Witkacy, Jerzy Grotowski, F-Space Gallery, Situationists and others.  It was an art event that one individual described as “Borscht, Bauhaus, and Bickering.”

*Joanna Klass is the founding director of Arden2, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, facilitating exchanges between Polish and American artists.  She has brought a broad spectrum of contemporary Polish theatre to the U.S., including Gardzeniece Theatre Lab, Song of the Goat, Teatr Provisorium, the Modjeska Theatre Company, Kana Theatre, the Wroclaw Puppet Theatre, TR Warszawa and Teatr ZAR.   (*from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles website)

If you were around Downtown Los Angeles in the early to mid-90s, you might have run into Wojtek Szaszor, as he was one of the organizer of an incredibly important alternative space located on Traction Avenue by the name of Spanish Kitchen.  For the record, Downtown LA had a great scene in the 90s, with spaces like Deep River, POST, the activities of the Santa Fe Colony, artists studios and a bit later The Project, among much more.

Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka

Philadelphia based artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib also stopped by Grand Central Art Center for a visit.  Current GCAC Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak presented Hironaka’s major multi-channel video installation with 16-channel sound, The Late Show, when Spiak was a curator at Arizona State University Art Museum.

GCAC always loves sharing our time and space with quality artists, creatives and the community, so come pay us a visit!


Busy End to 2013, Even Busier Beginning to 2014 @ GCAC!

January 17, 2014

To say it has been a little busy around Grand Central Art Center over the past month is a bit of an understatement – IT’S BEEN EXTREMELY BUSY!

juan with prints

Vincent Goudreau was very active during his last weeks in residence at GCAC in mid-December. As part of his Recordings of an Immigrant project, we decided to fly Juan Aquino out from the island of Maui to join Vincent in residence. Juan is the inspiration/subject for Vincent’s current project.

juan, vincent and john by houses

juan vincent at gas station

juan looking out car and pinting

Vinct and Juan walking along freeway

During their time together Vincent and Juan, along with videographer Randy Mills, spent a number of days searching for a specific house in Fullerton, CA – the location where coyotaje delivered Juan upon his arrival into the United States over twenty years ago. Now a legal US citizen, the visit by Juan brought him back to a connection/transition location that marks an important part of his amazing life journey. We will share the results of this search soon, as the video is currently in the editing phase for a short documentary we will be releasing online in the coming weeks.

Vincent Conversation

villa capri

juan and randy serving ice cream

vincent ice cream

Vincent and Juan, joined by GCAC Director/Chief Curator John Spiak, presented a public conversation about Vincent’s residency, his journeys with Juan and thoughts for the project moving forward. The evening included the screening of two of Vincent’s past short film/video works – Harry and Janet and Villa Capri, providing insight into how Vincent’s projects often deal with the topic of global connection and place. As the screening concluded, patrons were invited to join the artist for an informal ice cream social, a tribute to an important scene from Villa Capri.

vincent with IVC

IVC Class at GCAC

As the week concluded, we were visited by two of Danielle Susalla Deery’s classes from Irvine Valley College, Museum and Technologies and Museum Marketing. We are proud of the fact that Danielle is a Cal State University, Fullerton alumna and love when she returns with her students to share her enthusiasm for contemporary art. The students of her classes enjoyed a full tour of GCAC provided by GCAC Director/Chief Curator John Spiak. They talked about the technologies included in Matthew Moore and Braden King’s installation Cumulus and shared stories of successful marketing strategies by art institutions. They also had the opportunity to visit Vincent Goudreau in the GCAC Artist in Residence studio and talk with him directly about his project and process.

Vincent has now returned to Maui, but keep an eye here for updates on the project and the soon to be released short documentary of the search for the drop house with Juan.

peter at OCMA

peter and john at memphis

That following week GCAC was visited by Peter Held, Arizona State University Art Museum Curator of Ceramics. Peter and John Spiak worked together for many years at the ASU Art Museum. The day was spent visiting Orange County Museums and Galleries, including the Orange County Museum of Art, Irvine Fine Arts Center and Laguna Art Museum. The timing for the Orange County Museum of Art visit was perfect, as it provided for a preview tour of the new exhibition California Landscape into Abstraction curated by OCMA Chief Curator and Interim Director Dan Cameron. The day concluded with a late lunch across our 2nd Street plaza at Memphis and a full tour of Grand Central Art Center. We are excited to see what Peter does with the move of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center to its new location!

lanterns being made

shauna heather and brian

2013 ended with the arrival of artists and educators Heather Layton and Brian Bailey from Rochester, NY. Heather and Brian were here for a second visit in the continued development of projects with GCAC. We anticipate them back for a third visit later this year. During this most recent visit, they worked towards a specific project as part of their larger 59 Days of Independence project.

lanterns through window

lanterns above day

lanterns above

Line for Lanterns

guys with lanterns

As part of this project, and for our First Saturday Art Walk kicking off 2014, Heather and Brian celebrated Burma’s 66th independence day on January 4th at GCAC by giving away 66 hand-painted lanterns they created during their residency. Creating an installation in the artist in residence studio space, they opened the storefront studio doors and invited the public in to select a lantern. People were lined-up waiting outside the door when they arrived. It took less that six-minutes for the 66 lanterns to be spoken for that evening. Truly magical!

heather and brian with mayor

After all the lanterns were gone, Heather and Brian joined us in the main gallery spaces for our receptions. The evening provided great opportunity with a productive 40-minute conversation for Brian and Heather with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, his son Miguel Pulido Jr., GCAC Santa Ana Sites co-founder/collaborator Allen Moon and our GCAC Director/Chief Curator John Spiak. So many collaborative possibilities in the works for their return visit!

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The January First Saturday Art Walk also kicked-off with a meet and greet event for GCAC Artists in Residence Ingrid Reeve, Barbara Milliorn and Evan Senn, as they begin their project The Life of an Artist. The project is a proposed television/webcast series that follows the lives of two Orange County artists and their manager, an art historian and art critic, as they strive for their professional dream to solidify careers as professional artists.

Ingrid Reeve, Barbara Milliorn and Evan Senn are recent graduates of higher education programs at California State University, Fullerton. Throughout this coming year year, the artists will be hosting and participating in monthly events in their artist in residence opportunity at Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), in downtown Santa Ana. The monthly events will include panel discussions and workshops, as well as performances that will engage the community of Santa Ana and the larger Orange County.

Their residency at GCAC is meant to help them in their goal to educate and entertain interested parties on the life of an up-and-coming female artist in Southern California by creating a window into the art world as well as providing historical context for contemporary practices in the arts, and a focus on the unique struggles and benefits of being a woman in today’s world.

patrons in cumulus

That night as well marked the closing of the successful run of Matthew Moore and Braden King‘s installation Cumulus. It was yet another well attended First Saturday, with over 2,000 individuals through the door and engaged with the exhibitions. We feel so fortunate to be a part of this amazing downtown and Santa Ana community!

angelica deinstall

deinstall

shauna cumulus

Jenny in cumulus

deinstall 2

But there is no rest for the weary, as two days later the GCAC team was in full de-installation mode of Cumulus. It was a short de-install time, so everyone leant a hand, even Curatorial Associate Yevgeniya “Jenny” Mikhailik and CSUF GCAC student intern Shauna Hultgrien (she write our INTERNal Affairs blog posts).  We were able to get the work down and the gallery resorted backed to its normal configuration in less than a week – ready for the arrival of Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer to begin their major installation just a few days later. Thanks go out to the entire GCAC team of amazing individuals for their hard work and dedication!

Sara and Erik

The beginning of January also brought a surprise visit from a few folks, Curator Sara Cochran and graphic designer Eric Montgomery. It was just announced that Sara has accepted the position of Associate Director at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Cochran left her position as Modern and Contemporary Art Curator at Phoenix Art Museum in November 2013. Prior to that, she was Assistant Curator at Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA). She had also held positions at the The Getty Center in LA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It was so great to have her and Eric here for a visit and tour of Grand Central Art Center!

group

Also paying us a visit was artist Brent Green and FLOWN drummer and vocalist Kate Ryan. The two spent a couple of days with us as Brent packed some of the work from his To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given exhibition that took place at GCAC last year. It’s been a very busy year for Brent, with many major new projects in the works and the recent acquisition of one of his works by the UCLA Hammer Museum to their permanent collection. We also found out during the stay that Kate was scheduled to make an appearance in an upcoming episode of HBO’s Girls, jamming on her drums.  It also provided Brent and Kate the opportunity to connect with Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer who have been in residence the past couple of days as well.  It’s so wonderful to have them all staying with us at GCAC!

jenny with julia

And yesterday we were visited by Los Angeles based artist Julia Haft-Candell for a site visit for her upcoming solo exhibition Fast and Slow. She meet with GCAC Curatorial Associate Yevgeniya “Jenny” Mikhailik, who is curating Julia’s GCAC exhibition, to discuss her project and installation details. We are excited to see the project develop for the opening in March!

julianne and shauna install

install julianne

install julianne and shauna

Now we are in full installation mode for Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer’s Miracle Report, a project that includes at current time 26 monitors, 6 projections and numerous speakers. This is a MUST SEE EXHIBITION! We hope you will join us at the public reception during the First Saturday Art Walk on February 1 from 7-10pm.

There is a lot more planned and in development for GCAC in 2014, we are excited to share it with you!!!


Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer: Miracle Report

January 10, 2014

GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
A Unit of California State University, Fullerton
College of the Arts
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714.567.7233

Public Reception: Saturday, February 1 from 7-10pm
Grand Central Art Center Residency: January 12 – 19, 2014
Original ASU Art Museum Residency: December 26, 2011 – January 20, 2012

JK

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer: Miracle Report
January 19 – May 11, 2014

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the Arizona State University Art Museum looking for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through people’s perceptions of it in their lives, interviewing students, school children and community members of all ages and backgrounds. They combined their findings in an installation of fleeting vignettes playing on all of the available sound and video equipment in the museum’s possession. In the words of the artists, “Our installation strives to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus and some unexplainable magic.”

The artists’ decision to focus on people’s hands provided the comfort of anonymity as participants shared intimate stories. They filmed at various locations, using only the Arizona sun to highlight the hands against a shrouded background, an effect that preserves and enhances the mystery of the miracle. Throughout their reporting on miracles, the artists grappled with the balance between the sacred and profane, belief and skepticism. This complexity is reflected throughout the installation in the video vignettes, the darkness of the gallery and the layering of sound.

Using all the available sound and video equipment at Grand Central Art Center, the artists created this new site-specific installation of the work.

Miracle Report was first realized at the Arizona State University Art Museum and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of the Social Studies series. John D. Spiak initiated this project. Upon Spiak’s departure to accept his new position at Grand Central Art Center, Heather Sealy Lineberry with Nicole Herden curated the exhibition at ASU Art Museum.

The artists and curators thank the following for their assistance and participation: the staff of the ASU Art Museum; Andrea Feller, Curator of Education; ASU School of Art intermedia faculty and School of Art Director Adriene Jenik; Peter Bugg; Robert Madera; Sean Deckert; Christian Filardo; Ben Mack; Barbara Perez and Tesseract School students; Amy Hardgrove and students from Academy with Community Partners High School; J. Eugene Clay and Mark Woodward from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; Beth Ames Swartz and John Rothschild; and especially all of the people who lent their stories and viewpoints to this project.

MIRACLE REPORT
Mission Statement

We spent our Social Studies Residency at Arizona State University Art Museum looking for miracles.

We sought the miraculous through other people’s perception of it in their lives.

We interviewed many local residents and asked each to “describe a miracle you have experienced.”

Interviewees were of varied ages and backgrounds. We gratefully recorded anyone who wished to retell his or her own miracle.

We recorded audio and video from these interviews, but identities were obscured.

The recordings were edited into fleeting vignettes that attempt to establish “the miraculous” through entirely subjective perspectives.

To display the recordings, we use all of the institution’s available audio and visual equipment.

Our installation strives to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus, and some unexplainable magic.

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer

More information on Julianne Swartz:
http://www.julianneswartz.com/

More information on Ken Landauer:
http://kenlandauer.com

Click this link to see the recent activities at Grand Central Art Center and information on the installation of this project:
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/busy-end-to-2013-even-busier-beginning-to-2014-gcac/




2014 EXHIBITION / ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE PREVIEW – Grand Central Art Center

December 18, 2013

GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
A Unit of California State University, Fullerton
College of the Arts

2014 PREVIEW
EXHIBITIONS AND ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

*confirmed to date – more programs being developed

EXHIBITIONS

Matthew Moore and Braden King
Matthew Moore and Braden King: Cumulus
Curated by John D. Spiak, GCAC Director/Chief Curator
Residency/Exhibition with support of the Metabolic Studio and Casio
Continues through January 5, 2014

Cumulus marks the first collaboration between these two accomplished artists. Through the residency, the artists set out on journeys – a series of driving trips along the Los Angeles Aqueduct – marking its 100th anniversary. They connected with people who work, live and engage along its path. Their travels allowed them the opportunity to listen to the land and then the water as it rushed down the cascade near Newhall Pass; flowed through massive piping in the Antelope Valley; traversed under slabs of concrete through the Mohave Desert; diverted from the Owens River.

Through the use of building materials, specifically used scaffolding planks, the artists have created a massive pipeline that emerges from one side of the gallery before quickly disappearing into the other. Projected upon it are moving images of atmosphere and landscape, traversing its surface as fluidly as water flows through the aqueduct itself. The installation reflects our inherent curiosity, of being fascinated by the things humans decide to make. To quote Moore, “the audacity of the human endeavor is never more apparent than when societies come together to construct such industrial feats as the aqueduct, achieving a perceived common good.” At the same time, such achievements acknowledge our limits of control as makers, as much as we desire to do so.”

From Moore’s direct experience of water in agriculture, “to believe in it as a certainty is inherently flawed. We can build all the infrastructure and systems to transport this precious resource, but if it doesn’t rain, they are all for naught.” He continues, “there may be no more hopeful image than that of a cloud… the promise of sustenance and a future that cannot be controlled by the will of man.”

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Aili Schmeltz: Cross Cut
Curated by Yevgeniya Mikhailik, GCAC Curatorial Associate
Continues through February 9, 2014

Cross Cut, from Aili Schmeltz’s Tomorrowland series, explores the idea that utopia can be considered not only a place or a goal, but also as the very act of striving for such a target. Schmeltz’s hybridized structures are materializations, remnants of an ideal that never was and may never be. As fallen monuments to a utopic philosophy, they function as relics of both a “good place” and “no place.” Part architectural, part fossil, part potential: these works utilize discarded building materials that appear to have crystallized within a ‘natural’ process – strata that have undergone philosophical transformation yet to be fulfilled.

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Rage Bear: Juggling Awesome

Organized by Marvin Chow, CSUF MFA in illustration
Continues through February 9, 2014

An exhibition representing both in-game artwork, concept artwork and fan artwork as it relates to Rage Bear – a concept involving a Bibi bear whose specialty juggling skills allow him to juggle ridiculous amount of objects when he gets angry. Through the invitation of Marvin Chow, 30 Los Angeles-based entertainment artists will develop work for the exhibition, creating part of the Rage Bear storyline in their own personal style.

Participating artists include: Craig Mackay, Kelly Delanty, Alex Leon, Kevin Bentz, Candice Lee, Jack Sy, Paul Grab, Isaak Lien, Nathan Drobnack, Diana Drobnack, Jerry Ortega, Kingsley Harden, K Godfrey, Ray Mendoza, Corey Peters, Jia Tan, Casey Matsumoto, Eugene Negri, Tiffany Ma, Aaron Jones, Alex Santa Clara

ceramics-and-glass-far
Ceramics and Glass
Curated by Yevgeniya Mikhailik, GCAC Curatorial Associate
Continues through February 9, 2014

A small selection of works from CSUF alumni, students and members of our community.

Participating artists include: Aimee Sones (alumna/faculty), Brandon Lipe (student), Chelsea Wonenberg, Diana Donaldson, Elijah Wooldridge, Hiromi Takizawa (alumna), Jose M. Flores (student), Karen Thayer, Kimberly McKinnis (student), Klai Brown, Philip Kupferschmidt (student), Sarah Alonzo, Xin Xin Chen (student)

JULIANNE SWARTZ and KEN LANDAUER
Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer: Miracle Report
Coordinated by John D. Spiak, GCAC Director/Chief Curator
January 18 – May 11, 2014

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the ASU Art Museum looking for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through people’s perceptions of it in their lives, interviewing students, school children and community members of all ages and backgrounds. They combined their findings in an installation of fleeting vignettes playing on all of the available sound and video equipment in the museum’s possession. In the words of the artists, “Our installation strives to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus and some unexplainable magic.”

Using all the available sound and video equipment at Grand Central Art Center, the artists will create a new site-specific installation of this work.

Miracle Report was first realized at the Arizona State University Art Museum and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of the Social Studies series. John D. Spiak initiated this project. Upon Spiak’s departure to accept his new position at Grand Central Art Center, Heather Sealy Lineberry with Nicole Herden curated the exhibition at ASU Art Museum.

you are what you concede
Heather Bowling and Amanda Patenaude: You Are What You Concede
Curated by Kimberly McKinnis, CSUF MA in Exhibition and Design
March 1 through April 13, 2014

East Coast artist Amanda Pantenaude will team up with West Coast artist Heather Bowling, for a first time collaboration, creating a site-specific installation made from recycled materials collected within the Santa Ana community.  The artists are interested in social awareness and have created previous participatory projects in the hope to educate the public about current and pressing global issues.

The collection of materials will be organized through a series of community events, collaborating with local individuals and organizations. Hands-on workshops, panels and programs are being developed for the course of the exhibition.

Julia Haft-Candell
Julia Haft-Candell: Fast and Slow
Curated by Yevgeniya Mikhailik, GCAC Curatorial Associate
March 1 through May 11, 2014

Julia Haft-Candell’s sculptures are physical records of their making, and a reflection of their own history. Using small components to build larger forms, the artist continually invents, reassesses and makes endless decisions about how the work takes shape. Ultimately the goal is to form a composition that most effectively speaks to the ambiguity of perception and the complexity of being.

Using forms inspired by nature and the body, as well as ideas derived from quick doodles and sketches, she focuses on the space in between two contrasting concepts as a metaphor for my experience as a human being. In Haft-Candell’s words “I express contradictions. I seek the intersection of the conscious and subconscious, construction and destruction, fast and slow, serious and funny, hard and soft.”

Above the Fold JODY ZELLEN
Jody Zellen: Above the Fold
Curated by John D. Spiak, GCAC Director/Chief Curator
June 7 through August 10, 2014

Above the Fold is an exhibition of a series of artworks that take their point of departure from world news images from the New York Times. Included in Above the Fold are gouache on paper paintings, digital images and a two-channel video installation.

Above the fold traditionally refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper where an important story or photograph catches the attention of passersby. In the digital age it refers to what is visible on the screen without scrolling. These images proliferate endlessly suggesting that the news is entertainment. Zellen calls attention to this bombardment by creating her own over-saturated installation. She begins with an image that appears above the fold culled from both digital and print media and proceeds to alter it in a variety of ways. In one series of works she reduces the image to its essential pixels distilling the photograph into a grid of colors. While the original image is diffused, it never disappears. Through a process of layering fragments taken from news photographs she builds an abstract composition. Images of war, man-made and natural disasters and the destruction they cause are ubiquitous in the digital age. Today one expects instantaneous documentation of events as they occur. By appropriating this imagery Zellen changes its context and therefore the way the images communicate and how what they represent is understood.

Time Jitters is a two channel video projection that juxtaposes a grid of 25 looping animations with a single channel narrative.

The various components in Zellen’s work serve as building blocks that can be reconfigured for different mediums. A line drawing is scanned and used in a digital collage, which becomes a template for a painting, a page in an artist’s book, an image in an iPad app as well as an animation in which the drawing process is made visible. Drawing and the relationship between how the computer generates a line in contrast to what is created by the hand is central to Zellen’s explorations.

Also included will be a series of gouache on paper paintings. These 22 x 30 inch works illustrate the cycle of regeneration — birth and growth, death and decay – collectively becoming a representation of the passage of time. While the specific events may not be discernible, the works poetically and metaphorically alter these cyclical images. The translucent pastel colors of the paintings contrast with the harsher opaque tones in another work; a grid of 40 small digital prints collectively entitled “If.” “If” is also a 40- page limited edition artist’s book whose sequence reads as a poetic narrative.

flora kao wind house
Flora Kao: Wind House
Curated by Yevgeniya Mikhailik, GCAC Curatorial Associate
June 7 through August 10, 2014

Flora Kao’s installations respond to the endless repetition of the urban landscape. Each installation is a drawing in space, built from a multitude of repeating marks. By multiplying ordinary elements like sound, shadow, plant, paper, or line, Kao creates elegant systems that sculpt and activate space. She plays with malleability of meaning and visual slippage, where street grids dissipate into atmospherics and constellations, consumer waste morphs into musical forests, and plants take flight.

With the GCAC installation Wind House, abode that a breath effaced, artist Flora Kao explores the poignant associations of a collapsed desert homestead. Making a life size rubbing of the shack’s debris field, Kao transforms the physical evidence of failure into a sensuous architectonic experience.

LOUD silence
LOUDsilence
Curated by Amanda Cachia
September 6, 2014 – TBD

What happens when a composer and/or performer have no control over sound, or rather when they purposefully choose to relinquish control over sound? How does such a radical act change the soundscape? What new noises ensue from such acts, and how can the binary of loudness and silence be transformed in politicized ways? And how might the idea of “trespass” be employed to energize, expand, negate, or flip the idea of “access” within the territory of sound, in order to mobilize trespass in a way that re-imagines the agentive capacity of those not normally “permitted” equal access to sound? In particular, how does a composer/performer who is hearing and one who is deaf make loud silence or silence loud?

LOUDsilence explores the generative intersections of when the seminal work, 4’33” by John Cage collides with work by four contemporary deaf artists – Joseph Grigely, Darrin Martin, Alison O’Daniel and Christine Sun Kim. The exhibition includes work on paper, sculpture, video, film and audio works, plus archival material by John Cage.

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE / PROJECTS

cog collective
COG•NATE COLLECTIVE (MISAEL DIAZ AND AMY SANCHEZ)
Onsite Throughout 2014

Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez were GCAC Artists in Residence for a first visit from April 15 through June 23, 2013. Based upon their extremely positive connection with our community and desire to continue the engagement, they were invited to returning as GCAC Artists in Residence throughout the coming year and are developing multiple projects to engage community.

The Social Neighborhood Art (S.N.A.) Project is in the process of invite local College and High school students to participate in the planning, designing and executing of an intervention in public space in Downtown Santa Ana.

For the first half of the program students will work with contemporary artists whose practice focuses on research and performances/interventions in public space and/or community engagement. During the second half of the program students will work together to design an intervention (or series of small interventions) elucidating an issue or condition in Downtown Santa Ana encountered during the walkthroughs and workshops.

The program will culminate with the intervention(s) and a concurrent or subsequent public exhibition and presentation. Students will collect documentation of their intervention to present during a round-table conversation and small exhibition at Grand Central Art Center (GCAC). Amy Sanchez and Misael Diaz of Cog•nate Collective will facilitate bi-Monthly meetings.

Cog•nate Collective is in the development phase for a second project, which will be collaboration with Rudy Córdova of downtown Santa Ana’s Café Calacas.

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CAROL A. STAKENAS
Multiple Site Visits Throughout 2014

Carol A. Stakenas was a collaborative partner with GCAC in 2013 through her role as Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), before departing this fall for new activities in Boston. Stakenas returns to our region throughout the coming year as Artist in Residence at GCAC.

Grand Central Art Center is proud to partner with (SPAN) on a new podcast series – Social Practice AIR. Throughout 2014, Carol A. Stakenas, (SPAN) curator, will be interviewing the social practice artists of and collectives that are participating in GCAC’s artist in residency program. This project is dedicated to capturing and cultivating creative voices in our field to deepen critical understanding and share methodologies.

(SPAN) is a project of the Social Design Collective (LLC). The Social Design Collective LLC is an innovative design team comprised of artists, architects, urban planners, media professionals and educators. Collectively they have designed and implement a range of projects that have taken their shape in the form of permanent public art works, exhibition designs, marketing campaigns, educational platforms and civic engagement projects. They are interested in using creativity to generate long-term community, public and social benefits and create solutions through bridging cross-sector partnerships between community organizations, academic institutions, residents, youth and local municipalities.

The Life of an Artist INGRID REEVE BARBARA MILLIORN EVAN SENN
INGRIED REEVE, BARBARA MILLIORN AND EVAN SENN
Onsite Throughout 2014

Ingrid Reeve, Barbara Milliorn and Evan Senn are recent graduates of programs at California State University, Fullerton. They return to their Alma Mater throughout the coming year as Artist in Residence at GCAC.

The Life of an Artist is a proposed television/webcast series that follows the lives of two Orange County artists and their manager, an art historian and art critic, as they strive for their professional dream: to collaborate with Marina Abramović, the Godmother of performance art, and to solidify their careers as professional artists.

The life of an artist is a difficult road to travel. In one of the art hubs in our contemporary society—the Metropolis of Los Angeles—it is near impossible. What sets one artist apart from the rest? What makes them more worthy for exhibitions, press and galleries than another? How is the struggle different for female artists? Now move them to Orange County. What then happens is that “near impossible” becomes heavier and more difficult to move.

Two female artists have paired together with an art critic and manager to better navigate through this difficult and tumultuous terrain. Together, they must conquer the battles to “make it” in the art world, and they’ve set their sights high. These three women tackle real life trials and tribulations and strive to make their way to blue chip collaborations in fine art. We watch as they hope that the road to success in the art world won’t destroy their relationships, their bank accounts or their practice. Follow this series to view the struggles and progress of these professional artists in The Life of An Artist.

During their Artist in Residence, the artists’ will be hosting and participating in monthly performances, including panels, discussions and workshops, as well as performances that will engage the community of Santa Ana and the larger Orange County region.

lisa bielawa
LISA BIELAWA
Multiple Site Visits Throughout 2014

Lisa Bielawa was GCAC Artists in Residence in summer of 2012 for a first site visit in the development of her Vireo project. She will be returning in the spring and fall of 2014.

Vireo is a serialized opera that will be recorded in front of a live audience and released as episodes via the Internet. The musical ensemble, as well as the roles of characters, will change per episode so as to broaden the scope of creative collaboration through Social Practice approaches.

Think Prairie Home Companion, John Cage, Bauhaus and Arrested Developed, all mashed together. Vireo takes high art form at intelligent levels and provides them to general audience, through mainstream media and contemporary delivery systems.

Vireo Timeline:
Spring-Summer 2014: partnership-building, casting, development of libretto and score for pilot episode.
July-August 2014: first press release, performers confirmed.
October 2014: rehearsals/first taping (over 1-2 weeks); post-production (1-2 weeks)
Late October/Early November: pilot episode released

holly
HOLLY MYERS
Multiple Site Visits Throughout 2014

Holly Myers continues her GCAC Artists in Residence as she continues her research and development of the project What is Art Worth? – Conversations About Value in Contemporary Art.

What is art worth? Is a multi-dimensional research based project that aims to explore and interrogate the concept of value in relation to the visual arts. How is value determined in the art world? How do we talk about value? What are the different kinds of value and how do we understand the relationship between them? How is value generated? Who generates it? How is it utilized? How is it distributed? Whom does it benefit?

heather and Brian
HEATHER LAYTON AND BRIAN BAILEY
Winter 2014

Heather Layton and Brian Bailey were GCAC Artists in Residence for a first visit in the winter of 2013. They will be returning for a second visit as they work toward a new major project being developed for GCAC.

Artists Heather Layton and Brian Bailey spent time in Orange County exploring the community and developing connects for a large-scale project currently being developed. Through their collaborative work, the artists have traveled to remote parts of the world, working with youth communities to teach skills in the filmmaking process, create films, developed film festivals and connect these communities to one another.

During there time at GCAC, Heather and Brian made direct connections with: Aaron Orullian, Director of the Film and Television Conservatory, Orange County School of the Arts; Veronica Arias-Aguayo, Service Coordinator, Project Access Resource Centers; Robert Santana, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana; Irv and Ryan Chase, Downtown Santa Ana Property Owners; Gabriela Lomeli, Project Manager, City of Santa Ana; Mayra Mejia Gille, Program Manager, Latino Health Access.

The connections mentioned served as initial research and developed relationships for future collaborative possibilities for the project in development. This second visit will continue the research and connection phase of their project.

tucker1
DANIEL TUCKER
Spring 2014

Daniel Tucker was GCAC Artists in Residence in fall of 2013 for a first site visit in the development of his Future Perfect: The Ronald Reagan Time Capsule project. Tucker returns from April through June to realize the project.

Part speculative fiction and part real-world intervention, Future Perfect: The Ronald Reagan Time Capsule is conceived of as a series of writing workshops and public sculpture burials taking place up and down the coast of California in 2014. The event-based work will result in a publication and exhibition.

The combined focus on time capsules, Reagan, and speculative fiction comes out of a 1976 speech given by Reagan in which he references a time capsule – one for which he wrote a letter speculating what the world would be like one hundred years in the future.

Future Perfect will partner with local organizations, universities and collaborators from San Diego to Eureka. Those involved in the project can engage by writing letters in the voice of Reagan (as his Bicentennial letter has never been recovered) or in the voice of other figures (fictitious or real) that would have buried time capsules concurrently with Reagan. These letters will be buried in time capsules throughout the State of California. The capsules will be buried with the letters collected in each locale and a burial event will be organized with all of the local participants.

SUSAN ROBB
SUSAN ROBB
Spring through Summer 2014

Susan Robb was GCAC Artists in Residence in fall of 2013 for a first site visit in the development of her Wild Times project. She will be activating her project from April to September of 2014.

Beginning in April of 2014, GCAC will be a home base for engagement with the project Wild Times – a site of virtual connection to Susan during her upcoming 5-month journey, a 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Using her experiences as inspiration and medium, she will send “trail transmissions” to Grand Central Art Center via 3D printing, text exchange and Skype communications. Community engagers of the project at GCAC will serve as collaborators, interacting with the project, the artist, and the broader public via hands on activities in the gallery and the Wild Times website.

Carmen Papalia and Kristin Rochelle Lantz
CARMEN PAPALIA AND KRISTIN ROCHELLE LANTZ
Fall 2014

Carmen Papalia, with curatorial support by Kristin Rochelle Lantz, were GCAC Artists in Residence for a first visit in the spring of 2013. They will be returning for a second visit as they work toward a new major project being developed for GCAC.

Artist Carmen Papalia, with curatorial support by Kristin Rochelle Lantz, spent time in Orange County exploring the community and developing connects for a large-scale project currently being developed. Through their collaborative work, they have been developing ideas around the concept of tactility as a way of knowing.

During his time at GCAC, Carmen performed a walk through the city titled Mobility Device, accompanied by Santa Ana’s Century High School Marching Band.
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/short-film-documentary-on-artist-carmen-papalias-mobility-device-performance-gcac-2/

Berkley-based author Georgina Kleege tells of an experience in which she had the opportunity to touch a sculptural maquette that Matisse used in order to produce a 2-dimensional figure on canvas. The moment is of particular interest to the blind author since it describes how the tactile sense can be used in order to understand a thing visually. This image, of the blind accessing and receiving visual culture non-visually, has been represented and mythologized in paintings throughout history, and even served as the subject for Jacques Derrida’s Memoirs of the Blind – a 1993 project in which the theorist used depictions of the blind from the Louvres collection as the basis for writings on vision, blindness, self-representation and drawing.

The image of a blind individual engaging in a tactile Art experience represents the possibility of an unmediated and unbiased experience of Art – an idea that has attracted the Art practitioner, the viewer and the critic for centuries. However the idea that blind experience is unmediated and unbiased is a fallacy: as any person engaged in interpretation exists within a unique cultural context, and therefore within the realm of subjectivity. What this provocative image does illustrate is the uncharted territory that is non-visual interpretation – a method that, if practiced within the context of the Art experience, has the potential to expand what is currently understood as visual culture.

Touching on an Elephant is a progression of Papalia’s recent work that invites the participant to develop their perceptual mobility — a project series that includes the Blind Field Shuttle, The Touchy Subject and For Your Ears Only. It aims to further investigate how tactual astonishment can connect the viewer / participant to the objects, spaces and culture of the museum. It will include a suite of engagements (touching tours, curated tactile experiences and opportunities for independent tactual exploration) which will provide opportunities for the participant to develop their tactile sense as a mode of interpretation, and which will set a precedence for a tactile aesthetics and tactual experience within the art center.

This second visit will continue the research and connection phase for this larger project.

gcac
SUPPORT GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER

We appreciate your support from near and far!

In person and online, you view our exhibitions, engage with programs, experience performances, provide feedback and contribute to GCAC’s continued success!

As we begin to plan for upcoming seasons, our continued goal and commitment is to extremely ambitious, creative and engaged artists and projects. Our plan is to put additional strategic initiatives and team members into place that will expand our efforts to better serve our communities – locally, nationally and internationally.

To make this happen, we rely on continued generosity of the supportive friends our institution has built. We are reaching out to you for your pledge of support of the upcoming year. With your commitment, even greater success and impact through artistic exploration will be possible, serving communities who deserve such outreach the most.

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE NOW!
https://www.fullerton.edu/SupportGCAC

All proceeds will directly benefit our activities, allowing Grand Central Art Center the opportunity to work with artists in developing more exhibitions, residencies, programs, events and lectures for our communities. As the projects develop, we will continue to keep you informed and provide you invitations to all exciting activities.




FALL SEASON PREVIEW – Grand Central Art Center

September 20, 2013

FALL SEASON PREVIEW
Exhibitions / Artist in Residence / Theatre

EXHIBITIONS

Adriana

 

 

 

 

Adriana Salazar: Nothing Else Left
2013 California-Pacific Triennial Partnership with Orange County Museum of Art
through September 22, 2013

Is there an end to our existence? Can we be separated from our bodies and be transformed into something else? Adriana Salazar’s work has continued to revolve around these questions in different ways. This is why the realm of mortuary customs appeals to her: it presents numerous ways to approach the ultimate unknown.

During a two-month residency at Grand Central Art Center, the artist desired to go deeper into that moment of transition between life and death, finding out as much as she could about what happens with our bodies, with our consciousness and with everything we build around the death of others. In her words, “I found, amongst other things, that there is an aesthetics of transition, that there are rituals trying to maintain life after death, and laws which govern our bodies, even when we are not fully present. I also found out that there are transitional techniques and an intricate industry around them.”

Salazar has decided to rescue as many cremated artificial body parts possible. These parts remain as solid as they were inside their bodies and are nevertheless considered residue. She found their value in this very ambiguity. They embody the question of the status of our own existence on a physical level: their materiality creates confusion between those objects as parts of a physical body and our own body, thus opening the gap between our certainties and uncertainties, beyond the matter of human death itself.

Beatriz

 

 

 

 

Beatriz Cortez: The Time Machine
through October 13, 2013

The Time Machine is an installation that explores the dual realities of a first world metropolis, Los Angeles, and of urban space in a developing region of the world, in this case San Salvador. These spaces coexist in the same hemisphere, separated by over 2,300 miles. However, they have strong connections to one another through labor and culture. Los Angeles is home to the largest Salvadoran population outside of the capital city of San Salvador.

Cortez’s work explores memory and loss in the aftermath of a war and in relation to the experience of immigration. Her installation conveys the experience of an immigrant who lives in Los Angeles, but who simultaneously inhabits another reality, that of one’s own city of origin. As a result, the installation makes reference to a landscape of diverse layers, the superimposition of two urban realities. The outside wall of the room displays a video projection of the City of Los Angeles in the daylight, viewed from the Griffith Observatory. The inner space of The Time Machine, on the contrary, is dark and shows a view of the city of San Salvador at night. It is a space reminiscent of childhood and nostalgic memories – a childhood of an artist who was raised during a war torn period in Salvadoran history.

Eamonn

 

 

 

 

Eamonn Fox: Solo residency exhibition for the purposes of furthering my career
through October 13, 2013
Performance: October 5 from 7-10pm

Eamonn Fox solo residency exhibition… is a real time adventure in art making. The artist approaches the exhibition opportunity as a fluid series of related events, as opposed to an exercise in the arrangement of static objects. Featuring sculpture, photography, printmaking, painting, and performance in a bizarre and unpredictable rotation – the artist hopes to engage audiences on a personal level, one individual at a time. Taking time away from his day-job, Fox plans to be in “residence” and on site during gallery hours (as much as possible) to collaborate with patrons, field questions or perhaps play darts. Without a discernable strategy in terms of “big picture” meaning making, content is variable and specific to individual works. As fleeting, fast and dynamic as contemporary life is, the exhibition aims to be an enlivened site of exchange – nimble enough to adapt to news items, world events and local engagement through the constant development/arrival of un-predetermined artworks and programming.

matthew braden

 

 

 

 

Matthew Moore and Braden King: Cumulus
Residency/Exhibition with support of the Metabolic Studio
October 5, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Opening Reception: October 5 from 7-10pm

The journey of water is not a foreign concept to artist Matthew Moore; it is actually central to generations of his family’s lively hood. For without the control of water, it would have been impossible for Moore to become the fourth generation of farmers in his family, sowing land in what would otherwise be considered hostile desert environment of western Phoenix, Arizona.

Through his artistic practice, Moore has found his artistic voice, while at the same time coming to a realization – the actions of taking raw desert/native land, converting it into fertile farming land by diverting water, and creating infrastructures, actually provides the perfect environment for suburban sprawl to occur. He also realized that his practice of farming this land might actually exploit more natural resources than the subdivisions he was so quick to criticize.

Matthew Moore has invited filmmaker/artist Braden King to collaborate through residency at Grand Central Art Center. They have spent time traveling the LA Aqueduct route from Central to Southern California. Along the way they’ve reflecting upon its impact, connecting and having conversations with individuals who live, work and engage this structure on daily bases. Informed by these experiences, the artists will create a major site-specific installation, marking the aqueduct’s 100th anniversary on November 5, 2013.

Major funding support for this project provided by Metabolic Studio.

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Youd: “Performing” A Scanner Darkly
Throughout November 2013

Novelist Philip K. Dick lived the latter part of his life, and died, in Santa Ana. During his time in Santa Ana, he wrote some of his most highly acclaimed work. One of these late classics is A Scanner Darkly, a semi-autobiographical novel of drug use and paranoia set in a dystopian Orange County of the then near future (he wrote the novel in 1977, setting it in the mid 1990s).

Artist Tim Youd will “perform” A Scanner Darkly over the course of a 2 to 4 week period in the Grand Central Art Center lobby as part of his new series of novel/typewriter based work.

Aili

 

 

 

 

 

Aili Schmeltz: Cross Cut
November 2, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Opening Reception: November 2 from 7-10pm

Cross Cut, from Aili Schmeltz’s Tomorrowland series, explores the idea that utopia can be considered not only a place or a goal, but also as the very act of striving for such a target. Schmeltz’s hybridized structures are materializations, remnants of an ideal that never was and may never be. As fallen monuments to a utopic philosophy, they function as relics of both a “good place” and “no place.” Part architectural, part fossil, part potential: these works utilize discarded building materials that appear to have crystallized within a ‘natural’ process—strata that have undergone philosophical transformation yet to be fulfilled.

Marvin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rage Bear: Juggling Awesome
Organized by Marvin Chow, CSUF MFA in illustration
November 2, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Opening Reception: November 2 from 7-10pm

An exhibition representing both in-game artwork, concept artwork and fan artwork as it relates to Rage Bear – a concept involving a Bibi bear whose specialty juggling skills allow him to juggle ridiculous amount of objects when he gets angry. Through the invitation of Marvin Chow, 30 Los Angeles-based entertainment artists will develop work for the exhibition, creating part of the Rage Bear storyline in their own personal style.

Julianne Ken

 

 

 

 

 

Miracle Report: Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer
January 18 – May 11, 2014
Opening Reception: February 1 from 7-10pm

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the Arizona State University Art Museum looking for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through people’s perceptions of it in their lives, interviewing students, school children and community members of all ages and backgrounds. They combined their findings in an installation of fleeting vignettes playing on all of the available sound and video equipment in the museum’s possession. In the words of the artists, “Our installation will strive to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus and some unexplainable magic.”

Initiated by John D. Spiak, this project was realized at the ASU Art Museum and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of the Social Studies series. Upon Spiak’s departure to accept his new position at Grand Central Art Center, Heather Sealy Lineberry curated the exhibition at ASU Art Museum with curatorial assistance from Nicole Herden.

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

(Cog•nate Collective) Amy Sanchez and Misael Diaz
Eamonn Fox
Matthew Moore and Braden King
Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer
Holly Myers
Tim Youd
Vincent Goudreau
Daniel Tucker
Heather Layton and Brian Bailey

GRAND CENTRAL THEATRE

theatre

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Show #1 – ALMOST, MAINE
by John Cariani
Directed by Kari Hayter
The residents of and visitors to the tiny mythical town of Almost, Maine are falling in and out of love.
“An all encompassing globe of love: puppy love, hidden passion, love lost, burgeoning love, and many that fall in-between.” Amanda Gunther MD Theatre Guide
Performs 8pm 10/4, 10/5, 10/10, 10/11, 10/12, 10/16, 10/17, 10/18, 10/19
Tickets: http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/gcac/theatre.html#maine

Fall Show #2 – THE SUBMISSION
by Jeff Talbot
Directed by Mark Ramont
A raw, unsentimental play about race and gender exposing quiet prejudice and intolerance in the theatre.
“A mischievous dance across the minefield of affirmative action in the arts” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Performs 8pm 10/25, 10/26, 10/31, 11/1, 11/2, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9
Tickets: http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/gcac/theatre.html#submission

Fall Show #3 –ILLYRIA
Book, music, and lyrics by Pete Mills
Directed by Kari Hayter
Illyria is a musical based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Performs 8pm 11/15, 11/16, 11/21, 11/22, 11/23 (dark Fall Break) 12/4, 12/5, 12/6, 12/7
Tickets: http://www.fullerton.edu/arts/gcac/theatre.html#cradle

MISSION

Grand Central Art Center is dedicated to the investigation and engagement of contemporary art and visual culture – regionally, nationallyand internationally – through unique collaborations between artists, students and the community.

SUPPORT
Grand Central Art Center programs are made possible with the generous support provided by:
Metabolic Studio
Efroymson Family Fund
William Gillespie Foundation
Fainbarg-Chase Families
Memphis at the Santora
An anonymous donor
The Yost Theatre
Memphis @ The Santora
Community Collaborative Partners

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
Quality exhibitions, programs and outreach of Grand Central Art Center are made possible through the generous support of individuals like you.

MAKE A DONATION TODAY – Support GCAC for Continued Success!
Please call Tracey Gayer @ 714.567.7233

GALLERY HOURS
Closed Mondays and Holidays
Tuesdays – Sundays 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.
Extended hours: Friday & Saturday 11.00am – 7.00 pm.
(First Saturday of the month galleries are open until 10.00 pm)
http://www.grandcentralartcenter.com/maps.php

Thank you for your continued engagement and support!

Grand Central Art Center
a unit of Cal State University Fullerton’s College of the Arts
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
t. 714.567.7233
w. http://www.grandcentralartcenter.com
Blog. https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com
fb. https://www.facebook.com/pages/CSUF-Grand-Central-Art-Center/44510429914


Open Engagement, AAM, Social Practice and a Forward Vision @ Grand Central Art Center

May 24, 2012

Social Practice is a major focus of our Forward Vision at Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), so we were honored by an invitation to participate in the Open Engagement conference in Portland, Oregon (May 18-20).  GCAC was represented on two panels by Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak, which included:

René de Guzman, Dominic Willsdon, John D. Spiak, Stephanie Parrish, Allison Agsten

It Turns Out There Is Room For Everyone: Museums and Social Practice – with panelists Dominic Willsdon (SFMOMA), Allison Agsten (Hammer Museum), René de Guzman (Oakland Museum of California), Stephanie Parrish (Portland Art Museum) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center). Moderated by Harrell Fletcher (Portland State University).

and

Gregory Sale, John D. Spiak, Pete Brook, Julie Perini

Prison Communities: You Can’t Arrest Your Way to a Solution. Social Practice Engaging the Criminal Justice System – with panelists Gregory Sale, John D. Spiak, Pete Brook, Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Julie Perini.

Bernie Díaz (Faculty @ SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts), Ariel Gentalen, Karla Monterrey, Shannon Jackson (Director of ARC @ UC Berkeley), Carlin Boyle

We were able to encourage, with the help of GCAC Artist in Residence Jules Rochielle, a few California State University Fullerton students, a faculty and staff member to attend the conference.  Those in attendance included: CSUF students Carlin Boyle, Ariel Gentalen, Karla Monterrey; CSUF faculty member Gretchen Potts; and CSUF staff member Mylan Chacon.  The conference allowed the opportunity for these individuals to connect with national figures of the art world, including artists, theorists, educators and curators.  It was clear that these individuals were truly inspired by the experience.  We are sure this will have a major impact on GCAC and the CSUF College of Art, especially starting next semester, as these individuals are playing key roles on the campus community – Karla leading CSUF Arts Week this coming year; Ariel leading the CSUF Arts Inter-Club Council; and Carlin through her Evoke Unity efforts.

Three weeks ago, Spiak also represented GCAC through two panels at the American Association of Museums Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which included:

Getting into the Bones: Museums, Dance and Social Action – with panelists Gregory Sale (Arizona State University), Robin Conrad (Fullerton College), Elizabeth Johnson (Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center)

and

Kris Morrissey, Robert Garfinkle, John D. Spiak, Emily F. Zimmern, Thomas M. Finkelpearl

New Roles/New Culture: Tackling Tough Topics and Engaging New Audiences – with panelists Thomas M. Finkelpearl (Queens Museum of Art), Emily F. Zimmern (Levine Museum of the New South), Robert Garfinkle (Science Museum of Minnesota) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center).  Moderated by Kris Morrissey (Director, Museology Program, University of Washington).

The inspiration and knowledge these conferences provided inform this institution as our Forward Vision document develops and becomes more refined.

The in-progress Forward Vision for Grand Central Art Center focuses on the belief that the key to success in Social Practice Residencies is complete honesty, trust and openness by the institution, curator and artist with all potential collaborators and participants. GCAC is open to exploring, through artistic practice and conversation, the complexities of society – acknowledging that we may raise more questions than perhaps answer.  This institution is open to flexibility and adjustment throughout a project/residency as envisioned by the artist, leaving the opportunity for new discoveries to develop – creating the possibilities for even greater, successful and mutually beneficial outcomes for artist, institution and collaborator.  We use the term “successful” loosely, as we acknowledge that failure of a process also brings knowledge.  These rules should apply to any institution exhibition, program or project, but they are even more essential when working with community and artists through Social Practice residence.  Without an honest approach, trust cannot be secured to build connections with diverse individuals through an artist’s vision.

Shannon Jackson (Open Engagement Keynote)

We also acknowledge the kinds of results that often occur at the conclusion of a residency or Social Practice based project are not always easily measured, in the traditional sense.  For example, attendance figures, tour numbers and budgets may not be the most appropriate measures of “success.”  Unfortunately, these are the most common types of statistics that funders and agencies require in grant reports, usually due immediately upon completion of the project.

GCAC understands that many projects in Social Practice should not, and can not, be limited by a set timeline for completion.  Therefore, it is our goal to provide an artist time needed to realize their vision.  Often the first question asked by individuals when inquiring of our Artist in Residence program is “how long is each residency?”  To this we will answer, “we do not know,” as each will be determined by the artist, their project and their collaborators working through GCAC.  We also understand that even though a project might be considered complete, impact of that project, and even the project itself, may continue beyond the artist and institution.

If It Doesn’t It Should (Open Engagement Panel) – Ted Purves, Harrell Fletcher, Cassandra Thornton

GCAC will look at traditional and standard matrix measurements for each project, but we will also measure, validate and share the success, and/or failure, of each Social Practice Residency through the following:  gathering of personal stories and testimonials (artist, institution, organizations, community); presenting at national conferences (American Association of Museums, College Art Association, Open Engagement); creating web and print based documentation (website, blog, catalogues); writing and publishing articles in national journals (Museum and Social Issues, Art Education, Journal of Art for Life); and direct sharing with colleagues of peer institutions and through society itself.

The Social Practice Artist in Residence is just one component of our institution, but the philosophies of this program will guide GCAC in the further development of Forward Vision documents for our exhibitions, education, public programs and outreach.  Their outcomes will be measured in the same fashion and be accountable to our mission as a contemporary art center.  We will raise questions, allow inquire, be open to opposing view points, be challenged and/or criticized, in the hope of understanding greater society, the role of contemporary art and our shared, or unshared, experiences.  It is important for us as a contemporary art center to acknowledge that we may not be able to change lives or minds, but it is our hope to change moments.


Grand Central Art Center Forward Vision Featured in LA Times Article!

April 2, 2012

Thank You to Holly Myers at the Los Angeles Times for the wonderful article spotlighting the Grand Central Art Center FORWARD VISION!

John Spiak, formerly of the Arizona State University Art Museum, envisions Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana as a community collaborator. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / March 27, 2012)

John Spiak, formerly of the Arizona State University Art Museum, envisions Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana as a community collaborator. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / March 27, 2012)

If you missed the article, here’s a link:

John Spiak wants Grand Central Art Center to be engaged neighbor

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-john-spiak-fullerton-20120328,0,5401700.story


A NEW BEGINNING!

January 5, 2012

We are starting a new Grand Central Art Center blog.

This is the first post – many more to come!

September 6, 2011, just a little over four months ago, I started my new role as Director/Chief Curator of the Grand Central Art Center.  Although born and raised in Orange County, a 1985 graduate of Tustin High School, I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life in Arizona as a member of the curatorial team at Arizona State University Art Museum.

I am honored to be here at the GCAC and in this amazing community of Santa Ana.  I was fortunate to spend much of my youth in this community. My grandparents lived just up the street from the downtown area in Santa Ana’s Washington Square (1954-1998).  My grandfather took me to the 4th street district; he banked down here off Main Street; at family gatherings we ate Koo’s Chinese take-out; played on the fields of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School; went to the Pep Boys on 1st Street to get parts for his cars; shopped at the Montgomery Wards in Horner Plaza; and giggled when we drove by the Mitchell Brothers Theater.  As a member of the Tustin High School marching band, I performed in parades on the streets of this city and during field shows at Santa Ana Stadium.  As I grew older, I took classes at Santa Ana College – my dad, after graduating from Santa Ana High School, began his college career at Santa Ana College as well, before heading off to the University of Arizona to get his degree in civil engineering.

In the late 90s, I watched with anticipation the development of Grand Central Art Center.  As it was being retrofitted and renovated, I was fortunate to receive a preview tour of the facility.  As a curator with a sociology degree, working at a major university art museum with a focus on social engagement, I found the approach Santa Ana, California State University Fullerton and the CSUF College of the Arts was taking extremely innovative.  I met with Mike Mcgee and Don Cribb, the forward thinking minds behind Grand Central, and they shared their vision.

Original Sigalert device from 1955 Photo courtesy of Loyd 'Sig' Sigmon

As the center prepared to open in 1998, Mike approached me with the offer to bring an exhibition I was curating for Arizona State University Art Museum to GCAC, for what would be the second exhibition to be presented within this space.  I accepted, and in the summer of 1999 the exhibition Sig-alert 2, which featured the work of twenty-one Los Angeles area artists, opened in downtown Santa Ana.  I have kept engaged with the institution ever since, seeing the exhibitions of Grand Central every time I was home from Arizona visiting my parents and sisters.

In 2003, I once again had the good fortune of involvement in curating a project at the center, the group video exhibition VJ Johnny D. Presents: Top of the Pops.  After appearing at GCAC, the exhibition traveled back to ASU Art Museum for a one-night screening.

From 2000-2006, the Arizona State University Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival presented a tour version of the festival on the 2nd Street plaza in front of Grand Central, a project realized through the co-organizational efforts of artist/filmmaker Bob Pece.  Bob was a co-founder of the ASU Art Museum Festival, which began in 1997, and had his studio in the Santora building for many years.  The Santora studio was where Bob and I would spend three full days each year, from 9am – 10pm, jurying the ASU festival.

The reason for providing this background information is to let you know how invested I am in the Grand Central Art Center, Downtown Santa Ana, this community and a forward vision.  I LOVE THIS INSTITUTION AND CITY!  It has a mix of everything I desire – the rich cultural diversity and energy that thrives throughout downtown, especially along 4th Street; the creativity and innovation occurring in the Artists Village; the vision and quality of the numerous restaurants in the district; the collaborative partnerships that exist through the City, University, organizations such as Latino Health Access, Downtown Inc., local business owners and residents.   Most of all, what this downtown has that makes it so desirable to me is its authenticity.  That is why I not only work in this city, but chose to live in Santa Ana as well.

My desire for Grand Central Art Center is to be a major contributor to the vision of Santa Ana, working in collaborative, mutually beneficial ways, to engage community through artistic and creative practice.

Over the past four months, I have been adjusting to my role as director and working to reach out to meet new individuals – introducing Grand Central Art Center and downtown Santa Ana to individuals who might not yet be familiar with these jewels of Southern California.  I am beginning to develop partnerships and implement a vision for Grand Central Art Center moving forward.

Following you’ll find a little recap of a few of the activities that have taken place since September…

In November, we opened the hugely successful RIDE exhibition to an opening night crowd of over 2,800.  Curator Elle Seven (Loriann Hernandez), a MFA candidate of Cal State Fullerton’s Exhibition Design/Museum Studies Program, brought a number of the artists, who live nationally, to the opening to enjoy the evening with us.  Members of Apache Skateboard, OC Roller Girls and the curator herself activated the in-gallery, half-pipe skate ramp throughout the evening as DJs rocked the house with music energy.  At the closing reception January 6, over 2,100 people attended as skaters from Element Skateboard’s team activated the half-pipe, exhibition artist Tommii Lim DJed the music and the audience enjoyed art in the exhibitions.  I cannot take credit for this exhibition or it’s success.  The full credit must go to Elle Seven for curating the project, Mike Mcgee for scheduling it here at GCAC, the artists who have work in the exhibition and the dedicated GCAC team I was fortunate to inherit.

For the record, that team includes Tracey Gayer, Matthew W. Miller, Krystal Glasman (who just left us for an amazing opportunity at the Palm Springs Art Museum), Jenny Mikhailik, Angelica Perez and Tony Pedraza.

The solo exhibition of artist Hiromi Takizawa‘s installation work has been on exhibition since November as well.  The artist, a Cal State Fullerton Alum, reflects on connection, the ocean and distance that separates her from her homeland of Japan.  Again, an exhibition that would not have been possible without the hard work, skill sets and intelligence of a team already in place prior to my arrival.

Both exhibition close this Sunday, January 15, so if you haven’t yet seen the exhibitions, this is your last chance.  The center will be open 11am-7pm today (Friday),  11am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

In December, the first of many Dutch Treat Dinners, a gathering of creative and arts professionals, occurred at downtown Santa Ana’s El Curtido Salvadorian Restaurant.  The evening was attended by 78 individuals from the Southern California region, with artists, community members and individuals representing the following institutions: Museum of Contemporary Art, Orange County Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, Bowers Museum, UC Riverside’s Sweeny Art Gallery, Orange Coast College’s Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Coastline Community College Art Gallery, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine Great Park,  Cal State Northridge and of course, Cal State Fullerton.  The evening was followed by an informal tour of the Grand Central Art Center.  It was a great success and the next Dutch Treat Dinner is already in the planning stages.

For the past two months, artist Naida Osline has been Grand Central Art Center’s Artist-in-Residence.  Through her vision for four different bodies of work, Naida has engaged and photographed middle aged men of our community, including individuals of our street community and local business owners; she’s collected stories of individuals past drug use, for which she is currently creating audio files for future projects; and just this week she engaged the local drag queen community, bringing them into our GCAC Theater space for a 10-hour day photo shoot.  Naida has definitely made the most of her time here and taken advantage of a full depth of resources this community has to offer.  Her time here and the success of her residency would not have been possible without the generous support of the Grand Central Art Forum and its board.

January marks the beginning of our new collaborative partnership/tenant relationship with The Road Less Traveled store.  The Road Less Traveled store is an environmentally and human conscious store dedicated to bringing alternatives to every aspect of life.  Delilah Snell has moved everything from her old location on Main Street to the storefront space on our 2nd Street promenade (formerly Watermark Printmaking Workshop). She will be opening the doors (and window blinds) February 1st for a soft opening, before celebrating a major grand opening during the First Saturday Art Walk events in April. Grand Central Art Center and The Road Less Traveled will be working together to create engaged community programs, expanded partnerships and activities for mutually beneficial outcomes.  The initial collaboration will begin with Belly Sprout, which is a natural living store for families in Orange County, from pregnancy through parenthood. The Road Less Traveled and Belly Sprout are community hubs of resources, information and education, so a natural fit for the Grand Central Art Center. In the coming months our outreach activities will continue expanding to include our additional collaborative partnership/tenants The Gypsy Den restaurant, Claudia de la Cruz Flamenco Institute Tierra Flamenca, MASKA architectural school for kids and adults, the 27 MFA student resident apartments of Grand Central Art Center’s upstairs space, as well as businesses, non-profits, NGO’s and individuals throughout Santa Ana and the region.

The coming months will also involve the realizing of exhibitions and a few programs that remain on the schedule set by former directors of Grand Central Art Center.   Projects like The LA Cacophony Society retrospective exhibition opening February 4, organized by former Interim Director and GCAC Founder Mike Mcgee, members of LA’s Cacophony Society and students of Cal State Fullerton’s Exhibition Design/Museum Studies Program.  The exhibition will run through April 15.  The next blog post will include many more details.

With an open time slot in the GCAC Project Room for the same period, February 4 – April 15, we decided to organize an exhibition that creates a dialogue with the work of the Cacophony Society exhibition. Here in Your Space will focus on the work of three artists – Guy Ben-Ner, Christian Jankowski and Gillian Wearing – engaging in private/pubic space.  More information on this exhibition will appear on the blog next week.

In the year to come, you will have the opportunity to meet and engage with visiting artists of the Grand Central Art Center Artist-in-Residence program.  We’ve been in dialogue with artists and are making arrangements for their time here in our downtown Community.   The new emphasis of the residencies will focus on artists working in Social Practice, projects that will look toward collaborating with community.  The artists will be invited to explore the intellectual, cultural and physical resources of our community. GCAC provides each artist an apartment, studio, time and the support to empower their vision, focused toward creating new projects and/or research relevant to their artistic  practice.

Visit our blog, website or sign-up for our email list to keep informed of the visiting artist dates and activities.

In November, you will see the first exhibition scheduled through the new vision for Grand Central Art Center.  Artist Tony de los Reyes will be premiering his new body of work, both in painting and sculpture, that will focus on the US/Mexico border.  A series of programs are being developed to compliment the exhibition, so we will definitely keep you posted as these are scheduled.

As the new Director/Chief Curator, I invite you to join us here at the Grand Central Art Center.  Come visit and share our vision, enjoy our programs, engage with our community and explore all that Grand Central Art Center and Downtown Santa Ana has to offer.

We look forward to collaborating with you!

John D. Spiak
Director/Chief Curator
Grand Central Art Center