We kicked off this past weekend on Friday, by engaging with Social Practice collaborative artists Owen Driggs, through their Performing Public Space Loitering Project. Invited as part of Jules Rochielle’s Artist in Residence at GCAC, Janet Owen and Matt Driggs took visiting artists Jules Rochielle, Maria Del Carmen Montoya, Christina Sanchez, Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, and Cypress College art professor Ed Giardina and his students Brian Yellowshirt McNamara and Luis Munoz-Najar, on a loitering adventure of Downtown Santa Ana. Owen Driggs and Maria Del Carmen Montoya were exploring the area in preparation of future visits and activities in associating with Rochielle’s GCAC Artist in Residence throughout the summer and fall.
Saturday’s activities started with an outstanding talk by author Gustavo Arellano. He shared with those in attendance the history of Mexican food in the US, through stories from research for his latest book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Following the talk, Gustavo graciously signed copies of the book for those in attendance. Thank you to Rueben Martinez of Libreia Martinez Book and Art Gallery for providing the publications for the event. Thank you as well to Gustavo for allowing us this opportunity – sharing your knowledge and providing engaged insights, all with such humor and grace!
It was the monthly First Saturday Art Walk in Downtown Santa Ana, as well as Cinco de Mayo, so that could only mean a joyous night of opening receptions and cultural activities throughout the city.
Grand Central Art Center opened three new exhibitions to a very large and receptive audience. The artists, curators and GCAC team did the center proud, with top quality exhibitions throughout, so we thank them all for their hard work, passion and talent.
The exhibitions included:
Curated by Concepcion Rodriguez and Wendy Sherman
Curated by Yevgeniya Mikhailik
Along with Saturday’s three opening receptions, California State University, Fullerton’s student project Evoke Unity engaged with Jules Rocheille’s What is Democracy?, creating an interactive/participatory installation in the GCAC AIR studio space. Thank you to our outstanding CSUF students for their hard work, dedication and engaged approach to art making. Many of these students, along with the artists who participated in the loitering of Downtown Santa Ana, will be joining us at the Open Engagement conference in Portland, OR, May 18-20.
And what celebration would be complete without some traditional Lucha Libre on the front 2nd Street promenade? What power, what force, what energy – truly entertaining!
Sunday afternoon provided the opportunity for an educated conversation on the work of Millard Sheets and his studio. The lively and informative panel, Dr. Adam Arenson, Alan Hess, Mike McGee, provide outstanding perspective and historic background to the work of this artist, designer and architect. They shared their knowledge and research on the importance of the masterful artist and the impact he, along with Howard Ahmanson and Home Savings and Loan, played on the landscape, history and vision of Southern California.
And to round out the weekend activities, members of Southern California Artists (SCA) joined GCAC Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak for an evening of conversation at the center. The group discussed the current series of exhibitions, the future vision and residency programs of GCAC, and shared views on Social Practice.
Thank you to all that continue to participate and contribute to the programming of Grand Central Art Center, we truly appreciate your support, enthusiasm and insights!