Wonderful Day of Celebration @ GCAC

August 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

robbins nest

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

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU JOIN US IN CELEBRATION!

Here are the details on the program…

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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

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juan and randy serving ice cream

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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.

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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!

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shauna cumulus

Jenny in cumulus

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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!

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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!

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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!!!


INTERNal Affairs: Too Much Good Stuff

November 5, 2013

INTERNal Affairs is a series by GCAC Curatorial Intern and CSUF Art History major Shauna Hultgrien.

Happy autumn my Internet friends! The winds of the season are blowing and bringing with them exciting changes! I’m not talking about the turning of the leaves or the coming of the clouds; no, I’m afraid those wonders are dimmed by the new exhibitions here at Grand Central Art Center. As I’m sure you’ve learned through various experiences with tantalizing El Pollo Loco commercials that lead to excessive salivating and a broken nose from an attempt to smell your television screen– nothing compares to the real thing. Yet there are still those of you who choose to experience Santa Ana’s Saturday Art Walks through me! While I am indeed flattered, you have no idea what you’re missing. The liveliness is not something that can be efficaciously communicated through a brief recreation of the evening. As GCAC’s dutiful intern and your faithful reporter, I will once again do my best to bring the evening to you. For those of you that did attend (yes, over 2,200 of you), let’s take this opportunity to relive that wonderful evening together, shall we?

encinitas rage bear

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Alright, so there was Matthew Moore and Braden King’s Cumulus, Aili Schmeltz: Cross Cut, Rage Bear: Juggling Awesome organized by Marvin Chow, the Ceramics and Glass exhibition, Tim Youd’s performance of A Scanner Darkly, A Ryman Arts The Big Draw, the Dia De Los Muertos show by the CSUF MFA students hosted by Memphis at the Santora, Artist in Residence Vincent Goudreau roaming the halls, guest appearances by the mayor and city council members of both Santa Ana and Encinitas, and a VIP visit from friends at Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) with their Senior Curator Dan Cameron. Got it all? Was it as if you were standing next to me greeting our illustrious patrons? I hope so, because that’s all I have for you today art lovers.

Just kidding. All of those were indeed components of last Saturday’s delightful event, but allow me to elaborate on my experience with each.

OCMA dan tim john

We had a full house of new activity here at GCAC! The foyer was bustling with activity as the two front gallery spaces each boasted new pieces. The masses began to flood the typewriter-laden hallways (I’ll explain that in a moment), headed by a group from the wonderful OCMA and collectors group. Dan Cameron and Genny Boccardo-Dubey were amongst the group who popped in to see what all the buzz was about. While our Director John Spiak gave the group the “behind the scenes” tour, I remained at the front to greet and guide.

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Cumulus continues, and with the arrival of the centennial commemoration of the aqueduct, interest in this exhibition was noticeably heightened. The continuation of this show nicely complimented the three openings that occurred on Saturday. The first room people tended to make their way into was the space housing Aili Schmeltz’s Cross-Cut. Like many good works, this piece is better experienced than explained so nip that anticipation in the bud and come see it for yourself! Across from Schmeltz’s space is the fun and eclectic show Rage Bear: Juggling Awesome. Cal State University Fullerton MFA student Marvin Chow employed his curatorial talents and corralled his creative peers to create this visually stimulating show. Imagine a reality with bears instead of people and you have a glimpse into the world that Chow has created. There is something to Chow’s show that appeals to the young and old and everyone in between; it’s fun, energetic, and sometimes just plain weird. But I love it, and you can love it too, until February 9th. And of course, fall wouldn’t be complete without our Ceramics and Glass Exhibition and Sale, which includes incredible works by CSUF students, alumni and members of our community. It’s a great place to do a little holiday shopping.

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This month GCAC was bursting at the seams with creative energy (I’m guessing it has something to do with that creative bug going around- see last month’s blog for details), so much so that it spilled into our hallways. Ryman Arts graced us with their presence and allowed our spacious abode to serve as one of the sites for their Big Draw L.A. event. The Big Draw allowed people of all ages to flex their creative muscle and see what the right side of their brain has to offer the world. At the other end of the hall artist Tim Youd parked his typewriter and went to work on Phillip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. Youd takes novels and retypes them in the same location they were originally written, on the same make and model typewriter on which they were originally composed. Unfamiliar with his work? You’re in luck! He will be here at GCAC all month finishing his current project and recreations of his past projects will be hanging on our walls during this time.

john santa ana group

As the night was winding down and the excitement beginning to subside (or so I thought) the Mayor of Santa Ana Miguel Pulido, City Council Member Michele Martinez, new City Manager David Cavazos and other City Official casually waltz in the corridor! We here at GCAC are ecstatic that there is continued interest in our creative operations. This was further evident as I continuously caught our Artist in Residence, Vincent Goudreau nonchalantly hanging around the galleries. Goudreau is using his time with us to work on his heart-wrenching biographical account of a man whose father was murdered in front of him, on his fourteenth birthday. If you have a minute (and a tissue) listen to this firsthand account, HERE IS THE AUDIO LINK. Since our structure could barely stand anymore creative genius, it once again poured into the promenade and over to the Memphis at Santora. Some of CSUF’s MFA students such as Caesar Alzate and Teresita De La Torre livened up the space with their Day of the Dead themed art. It will be up all month if you missed it on Saturday and there will be a new show from the students up every month.

Vincent and Susan

So how was that? Are you still enjoying living vicariously through me or are you itching to get down here and experience it in person? I encourage the latter, especially since we just welcomed Susan Robb as Artist in Residence for her upcoming project/journey Wild Times. Plus, Goudreau is here through December, Cog-nate Collective (Amy Sanchez and Misael Diaz) are here in residence through next summer, and Tim continues to type in the lobby. Well Internet community, I do enjoy our little chats, it is an exciting thing for me to re-experience these events with you. If you happen to miss the Art Walk next month (which I hope you don’t), log on for December’s trip down memory lane. This is the GCAC intern, over and out.


GCAC Recognized by Mayor, First Saturday Recap and On Campus Posters!

June 5, 2012

Last night, June 4, at the City of Santa Ana council meeting, Mayor Miguel A. Pulido awarded Grand Central Art Center a Certificate of Recognition in appreciation of GCAC’s long-standing relationship with the City of Santa Ana and the promotion of the arts in the downtown.

Grand Central Art Center is honored to be a part of this great city and thanks the Mayor and entire City Council for their continued support of our institution, exhibitions, programs, outreach and activities. The City and Mayor were there as this institution was first developed and they, and the members of the City Council, are here for us today as this institution continues to develop forward!

The recognition capped of another great weekend of activities that took place at Grand Central Art Center during the First Saturday Art Walk on June 2.

GCAC presented artist and curator receptions for our three current exhibitions, Nadia Osline: All the Queen’s Men, Camilla Taylor: The Disagreement and Millard Sheets Studio: The Art of Home Savings and Loan, curated by CSUF Master Candidates Concepción Rodriguez and Wendy Sherman.  In our GCAC Theater Space, Tony Sheets and professional storyteller Jim Cogan shared with the audience memories and personal stories on the life of Millard Sheets.

Danny with artist Naida Osline

Along with the reception and talk, the surprise performance art piece Guerrilla Gowns, organized and performed by CSUF current students, alum and Grand Central Art Center MFA residences, occurred on our 2nd street promenade.


Just another active night in downtown Santa Ana, CA.

And to top this off, Grand Central Art Center poster announcements are popping up all over the CSUF main campus this week. We’re excited to continue engaging students, staff, faculty and administration with our programming.

Mark your calendar, our next big opening celebrating the 10th year anniversary of ISM takes place July 7th!