Thank You for Celebrating with GCAC!

September 5, 2012

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at Grand Central Art Center this past Saturday night to celebrate the 2012-2013 Season Opening Reception.

Martin Durazo, Claudia Huiza, Mary Leigh Cherry, Tony de los Reyes, John Spiak, Nancy Popp, Deb Klowden Mann

It was a wonderful evening celebrated by friends of GCAC, both long time supporters and individual’s visits us for the very first time.

Patrons enjoying Tony de los Reyes exhibition.

Along with the three exhibiting artists, Tony de los Reyes, Constantin Hartenstein and Erin Morrison, we were joined by many institutional colleagues for the successful event, including: Sarah Bancroft, Orange County Museum of ArtJulie Lee, Bowers Museum; Jocelyn Tetel, Skirball Cultural Center; Tyler Stallings, Sweeney Art Gallery at University of California, Riverside; Leslie Ito, California Community Foundation; Cassandra Coblentz, Independent Curator; David Michael Lee, Coastline Community College Art Gallery and Chapman University Collection; gallery owners Mary Leigh Cherry of Cherry and Martin Gallery in Culver City and Deb Klowden Mann of Gallery KM in Santa Monica; writers/critics Liz Goldner, Julie Friedman, Bill Bush; numerous collectors and patrons; plus outstanding artists including:  Nancy PoppMatthew Moore, Carrie Marill, Martin Durazo, Micol HebronLG Williams, Nobuhito Nishigawara, upcoming GCAC Artist in Residence Saskia Jorda, among many others; and students and educators from across southern California.

LG Williams, Julia Friedman, Erin Morrison, Saskia Jorda, Matthew Moore, Carrie Marill, Mary Leigh Cherry, Tony de los Reyes, Bill and Inez Bush

If you missed the evening, we invite you to visit Grand Central Art Center in the coming weeks to see these three remarkable exhibitions for yourself.  We also thought you might enjoy a few more images of the reception activities below.

The evening also included the opportunity to visit CSUF MFA Grand Central Art Center residents who opened their studio spaces to the public for the evening.

Patrons enjoying the studio and artwork of CSUF MFA student and GCAC resident Sara Dehghan.

Patrons enjoying the studio and artwork of CSUF MFA student and GCAC resident Sara Dehghan.

With the season kicked off, we are now focused on our community, educational and outreach programming.  Many announcements will be made in the coming weeks, so keep posted as additional programs and events are confirmed.

The first day of the official new season started on the right note, with a day long visit to Grand Central Art Center, arranged by Joe Forkan, Associate Professor of Foundations and Drawing, for his California State University Fullerton MFA and BFA drawing and painting students.  Joe spent quality time with his students talking about the light qualities of Southern California, encouraging them to view the world in person instead of through a lens, and explaining how to create depth within a work of art.  He used his skill to demonstrate his thoughts on canvas, sharing with his student’s techniques that this skilled artist uses in his own outstanding work.  With this shared knowledge, the students dispersed across the Grand Central Art Center 2nd Street Promenade and began to create their own works, capturing elements of the downtown Santa Ana urban landscape.

Joe Forkan’s CSUF Class

Joe Forkan’s CSUF Class

Joe Forkan’s CSUF Class

This is the environment in which Grand Central Art Center exists and thrives.  It is a balance of education, outreach, shared experience and inspiration for our CSUF campus, GCAC Resident, Santa Ana, Orange County, national and international communities through contemporary art.  It bridges generations, cultures, ethnicity and gender, celebrating the diversity in humankind – developing programming that connect us with one another and help us to understand the world around us in deeper and more meaningful ways, through exhibitions – artist in residence, public programs and engagement.

We look forward to having you connect with us!


2012-2013 EXHIBITION / PROGRAM SCHEDULE @ Grand Central Art Center

August 8, 2012

EXHIBITIONS / ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE / PUBLIC PROGRAMS / THEATRE & DANCE
2012-2013 SCHEDULE
GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
A Unit of California State University, Fullerton
College of the Arts
125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701 – t. 714.567.7233
w. http://www.grandcentralartcenter.com
b. http://www.grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com

GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER MISSION STATEMENT
Grand Central Art Center is dedicated to the investigation and engagement of contemporary art and visual culture – regionally, nationally and internationally – through unique collaborations between artists, students and the community.

SUPPORT
Grand Central Art Center programs would not be possible without the generous support provided by:
William Gillespie Foundation
Fainbarg-Chase Families
anonymous donor
community collaborative partners

PRESEASON OPENING PERFORMANCE
Friday, August 24 at 7 p.m.

Bleu Remix, Yann Marussich, with sound performance by Steve Roden and Glenn Bach
Friday, August 24, 7 p.m.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNWkdbBf5Ls
In his spectacle-installation Bleu Remix, Yann Marussich returns to a theme originally explored in Bleu Provisoire (2001), a spectacle in which a mysterious blue liquid oozes through the layers of his skin as though it were the final effect or by-product of his body’s inner processes. In Bleu Remix, the artist once more invites the viewer to experience an intimate journey through the corners of his body. Each time the spectacle is performed, a different (local) musician accompanies Marussich. This unique, singular confrontation establishes a new relationship between the sound and image. The meeting of the two artists brings an element of risk and uniqueness to the event, as if the music explores the spectacle repeatedly, resulting in new ways of perception. 
Marussich’s spectacle-installation at Grand Central Art Center will be accompanied by live sound performed by artists Steve Roden and Glenn Bach.

This program is in collaboration with LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), with support for Bleu Remix at both venues generously provided by swissnex San Francisco, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and the City and Canton of Geneva.

SEASON OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, September 1 from 7-10 p.m.

Tony de los Reyes: Border Theory
September 1 through November 14, 2012
The Border Theory paintings combine two “orders” – abstract painting and the border that separates Mexico and the United States. Their relationship concerns components that are inherent in each: the demarcation of space through a conceptual framework, and its resulting material manifestation. Both systems rely on a combination of organic and inorganic materials and processes. The border itself can be addressed as site of politicized abstraction. It also utilizes specific materials and processes to organize otherwise incoherent space.  The Rio Grande, a geological, natural boundary that dominates the eastern portion of the border, turns abruptly into a geometric bifurcation on the western half of the border. This push and pull of “landscape” and “border,” which is inherent in topographical mapping, also happens to be the most significant occupation of abstract painting.  This solo exhibition will mark the premiere of de los Reyes new body of work.

Constantin Hartenstein: Event Horizon
September 1 through October 14, 2012
Grand Central Art Center Artist in Residence, Constantin Hartenstein (b. 1982, Herzberg, former GDR), is an installation and video artist living and working in Berlin and New York. His works deal with personalized appearances of spaces within the context of displacement, settlement and fast forward consumer culture.  During his residency, Hartenstein will create new work that will be presented in a solo exhibition.

Erin Morrison: Meditative Action
September 1 through October 14, 2012
Morrison’s recent body of work is a culmination of paintings ranging from what some might consider surrealistic landscape to magic realism, with slight experimentation in minimalism. The intent of the work is to reach beyond the dictum of paintings history through the categorization of genre, and to explore the identifiable borders established by the institution of studio practice. They portray a sense of loss or misunderstanding, as well as a feeling of upheaval, revealing the displacement that comes with living a somewhat nomadic life.

CSUF Students Ceramic and Glass Exhibition and Sale
November 3 through January 14, 2013
This year’s annual ceramics and glass exhibition and sale focuses on the work of students from California State University, Fullerton.  The exhibition will be organized through the collaborative efforts of CSUF School of Art Associate Professor Nobuhito (Nobu) Nishigawara.

Sean C. Flaherty: An Overture in Parts
November 3, 2012 through January 14, 2013
Through a three act video installation, appropriating the soundtrack of the Broadway musical Les Misérables (based upon the 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo), artist Sean C. Flaherty explores complex family and relationship dynamics.   The installation includes the video works: Act I, The Confrontation: Script as Set; Act II, One Day More: A Family in Parts; Act III, A Heart Full of Love: Familiar Parts.  Flaherty’s work allows the personal to become universal, providing seemingly intimate and private shared matters to be opened to critique.

Brent Green: To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given
December 1 through February 10, 2013
Brent Green is a self-taught artist and filmmaker who lives and works in a barn in Cressona, PA.  Known for his poetic works that address complex personal struggles, the artist will be in residence in the fall of 2012, creating a new multi-channel video installation for solo exhibition in the main gallery.  Green will conduct outreach programs with teens of the Santa Ana community, through animation and stop-motion filmmaking techniques, helping youth in the development of original content. His time at Grand Central Art Center will also include a screening (date TBA) with live soundtrack, performed by Brent Green and his selected musicians, of his past animation works.

Grand Central Art Center MFA Residents Exhibition
February 2 through April 21, 2013
The MFA Residents Exhibition will feature work by the artists currently residing at Grand Central Art Center.  The GCAC houses 28 residential apartments on its privately secured second floor, 26 of the apartments are dedicated living spaces for students of California State University Fullerton’s College of the Arts MFA program.  The Center also includes active studio space for each of the artists.

Monique Leyton and Brad Kuhl: Elite Deviance
March 2 through May 12, 2013
Kuhl & Leyton’s collaborative work explores the American and global culture of crime and its relationship to fame, media and the bizarre. The solo exhibition at Grand Central Art Center marks the US premiere of their new body of work, which focuses on the subject of white-collar crimes.  The artists draw inspiration from both obscure and popular subjects in the news, on the Internet and television.  Their primary medium is tape on paper.

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE SCHEDULE:

Constantin Hartenstein
http://www.constantinhartenstein.com/
through mid-September 2012
Working with members of the community to explore the concept of “future” through the exploration of Southern California futurist architecture. During his residency, Hartenstein will also create an installation, through the collaborative work with community, which will premiere in the GCAC project gallery.

Jules Rochielle
http://www.julesrochielle.com/
Pop in visits through November, full time late-November through late-December 2012
Rochielle was first in residence at GCAC in spring 2012 and has been returning throughout the summer for pop in visits.  She is continuing to expand on the relationships she has built in the community and developing collaborative projects which include:  An oral histories project that deals with recording of stories of the survivors of violence, centered around a neighborhood known as the Townsend district in Santa Ana, through a collaboration with the Santa Ana Public Library Teen Space program “young historians” and Sharon Sekhon PhD, Professor, CSUF American Studies; Working on a proposal to develop a public work of art in the Logan Neighborhood through collaboration/conversations with the local organizations Santa Ana Public Library, United Artists of Santa Ana, El Centro, SACReD and The Grain Project; Organizing a teen summit and future GCAC teen council through relationships being built with Santa Ana Public Library, Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club, Bowers Museum, Project Access Warwick Center, Santa Ana High School and Orange County School for the Arts.

Brent Green
http://site.nervousfilms.com/
mid-September through early-December 2012
Outreach programs focused on the creation of stop-motion animated film/video works.  Green will also screen his past animation work with live performed soundtrack for a one evening program in collaboration with The Copper Door, Santa Ana.  During his residency, he will also create a full video installation that will premiere in the GCAC main gallery.

Carmen Papalia
http://www.gallerieswest.ca/events/madness-and-mobilty-the-art-of-inclusion/
mid-October 2012 (first visit), Additional Extended Visit TBA
First visit will include a welcoming performance/city tour.  Upon immediate arrival, Papalia, who is visually impaired, will lead individuals on a walking tour of downtown Santa Ana. A full marching band will follow the artist and will begin to play music whenever the artist approaches a potential hazard.  The work is an attempt to create a heightened awareness of ones own community and surroundings.  Papalia will spend time developing a future project that will be realized through a future extended residency at GCAC.

MKE<–>LAX: Sarah Gail Luther
http://www.mke-lax.org and http://sarahluther.blogspot.com/
mid-November 2012 
Born in Milwaukee, Sarah is devoted to creating work that expands her knowledge of specific cities.  She’s worked with IN:SITE, a Milwaukee-based temporary public art organization, for three years.  She has been involved with public art projects including The Amplifier, a pop-up community center located in Milwaukee’s Silver City neighborhood, which was funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board.

This residency is in collaboration with the CSUF Begovich Gallery exhibition Interstice (November 10 – December 13, 2012), curated by CSUF Exhibition Design graduate students Cassandra Erb and Kimberly McKinnis, in association with MKE<–>LAX through the direction of Sara Daleiden.

Heather Layton and Brian Bailey
http://www.heatherlayton.com/_/intervention.html
late-December 2012 through late-January 2013
Backpack Film School will engage the local youth community, allowing individuals to explore the histories, traditions and transitions of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Through the expertise of the artists, the participating youth will develop skills and knowledge of filmmaking, working with the artists and community to create a series of visionary film projects. When completed, the films will be screened through a series of unique community film festivals in the exact neighborhoods in which the participating filmmakers live.  Each teen filmmaker will be responsible for deciding their location – apartment complex, driveway, school, public street and/or local parking lot – for their individual festival. The youth create the vision, invitation and serve as the director for their individual festival, responsible for introductions and remarks to open their festival. GCAC will provide all the projection, screen and sound equipment, as well as set-up and support needed for each festival. The artists and GCAC team will remain behind the scenes for each event, allowing the participating filmmaker to take the leadership role.

Saskia Jorda
http://saskiajorda.com/
late-January through late-April 2013
Quinceañeras is a residency exploring bodies in state of transition, from childhood into womanhood, based upon the artist’s own experience and memories of becoming a quinceañeras in Venezuela (one of the artist’s last significant experiences before migrating to the U.S). The artist plans to collaborate with 29 quinceañeras/wedding shops located in Downtown Santa Ana, Quinceañera Magazine, a downtown non-profit health care provider and individuals of the community – which will include girls and their families as they prepare for quinceañeras. Working together, they will examine the traditions behind rite of passage, family values and body image as perceived by these teenagers.

Bad at Sports
http://badatsports.com/
May – July 2013
Bad at Sports is a Chicago-based artist collective that began as a solution to the problem of dwindling local arts coverage. The results so far have included: a weekly podcast/freely accessible audio archive of 380+ hours of artists and “art worlders” talking about their “art” and their “world;” several exhibitions and events; and a blog, that in 2000+ articles, has not only shed light on the regional art context, but offers an international reach and engagement. The project reflects the logic and generosity of the Internet – engaging, inviting and openly participating in the discussions that shape our culture.

Holly Myers: What is Art Worth? – Conversations About Value in Contemporary Art
http://thenand.org/
Date: TBA
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?

PROJECTS/RESIDENCIES IN DEVELOPMENT:

Paul Ramirez Jonas
http://www.paulramirezjonas.com/

Lisa Bielawa
http://www.lisabielawa.com/

Vincent Goudreau
http://www.vincentgoudreau.com/

PUBLIC PROGRAM SERIES:

Patchwork: Indie Arts and Craft Festival
http://www.patchworkshow.com/
November 25, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Peruse 100+ booths featuring local independent
artists, designers & crafters at the show. These amazing creators
will be showcasing their wares including: clothing for men, women
& kids, accessories, home goods like art, pottery & glassware,
pet items, jewelry, soaps, candles & other bath & body items,
craft kits & patterns, knit & crochet items, stationery & paper
goods, plushies, purses, handbags and so much more!  Patchwork is organized by our GCAC tenant/collaborative partner The Road Less Traveled.

MFA Conversations
Dates: TBA
Grand Central Art Center is developing a series of conversations that will take place at GCAC.  Placing CSUF MFA students working on degrees in specific medium, in conversation with individuals currently successful in that medium, in conversation with individuals who play a role in decision-making within that field.  For example:  MFA artist, in conversation with a successful artist in the field, in conversation with a gallery owner; or MFA theatre student, in conversation with actor, in conversation with theatre director/TV show creator; exhibition/design student, in conversation with curator, in conversation with museum director.  The MFA student, who can use the conversation to ask questions focused toward approaches for their greater success and opportunities in the field as they near and complete graduation, will lead these public programs.

Brilliant Soil – Film Screening in collaboration with bulbo, OC Film Fiesta and The Yost
http://www.brilliantsoil.org/
Dates: September 16, 1 p.m. @ The Yost
This documentary follows Herlinda, an indigenous Purepecha potter, one of the few artisans in her community who uses alternative lead-free glazes, as she faces the difficult task of finding a market for her impressive pieces. The screening is presented in collaboration with bulbo (Tijuana/Los Angeles), OC Film Fiesta and The Yost Theatre.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS IN DEVELOPMENT:

GCAC is working to secure funding for a series tentatively titled “Santa Ana Sites.”  These programs will include professional performance based events – including dance, theatre and opera – that will occur at sites throughout downtown Santa Ana.

GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER THEATRE SCHEDULE:
Programmed by California State University, Fullerton
Department of Theatre & Dance

Ordinary Days
Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon
Directed by Patrick Pearson
Oct. 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20 @ 8 p.m.
[a refreshingly honest and funny musical about making real connections in the jungle of New York City]

A Bright New Boise
by Stephan D. Hunter
Directed by Mark Ramont
Oct. 26, 27, Nov. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 @ 8 p.m.
[Summoning the Rapture, this comedy will shatter preconceptions about the sacred, the profane and the secret lives of big box retailers]

The Drunken City
by Adam Bock
Nov. 16, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 @ 8 p.m., Nov. 17 @ 2pm
[A wildly theatrical take on the mystique of marriage and the ever-shifting nature of love and identity in a city that never sleeps]

CSUF Spring 12 x 16 Dance
Coordinated by William F. Lett
Mar. 7, 8, 9 @ 8 p.m., Mar. 9 @ 2pm
Spring Show #1 – TBA
Mar. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 @ 8 p.m.

Spring Show #2 – TBA
Apr. 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27 @ 8 p.m.

TBA MFA/NEW PLAY
Directed by Jeremy Lewis
May 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 @ 8 p.m.

CSUF Spring Cabarets
Coordinated by Mitchell Hanlon
May 21, 22, 23, 24 @ 7 & 9 p.m.

* Additional exhibitions, public programs, lectures and artists in residence being confirmed with schedule subject to change.  Please visit the Grand Central Art Center website and blog for updates. 


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