What a Weekend @ Grand Central Art Center!

May 7, 2012

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:

Naida Osline: All the Queen’s Men

 

Millard Sheets Studio: The Art of Home Savings and Loan

Curated by Concepcion Rodriguez and Wendy Sherman

 

Camilla Taylor: The Disagreement

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!

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Field Report from Artist in Residence: Jules Rochielle

April 19, 2012

An update about the Grand Central Artist in Residency Project:
In an effort to begin a project that reflected the needs of the community surrounding Grand Central Art Center, the months of March and April have been filled with a range of community building activities. In order to build a strong set of community connections we felt that it was necessary to conduct a number of creative team planning sessions within our own group and also with a variety of community groups located in Santa Ana. As an aspect of this process we have conducted outreach to El Centro, the Orange County May Day Coalition, the Teen Space connected to Santa Ana Public Library, and we also arranged meetings with a variety of community businesses and community members.

What is  “Social Practice Fieldwork”:
The community outreach process used to meet the community has been one of direct outreach and participation. This has included attending and direct participation in community discussion groups, and gender workshops, community bbq’s, May Day planning sessions, and other small meetings that have introduced a variety community members to one another.

We recently also attended the California State University Fullerton 8th Annual Social Justice Summit called Unite to Rise Above Apathy– through this action we ended up meeting and getting connected to a ton of social engaged community groups. And we hope to conduct some follow up meetings with many of the groups we met.

As an aspect of the direct participation in community and our outreach to community we have a also decided to work with community leaders as a volunteer  for skills and time needed to improve a website for the Orange County May Day Coalition. This is a work in progress. This aspect of our engagement with the community in Santa Ana has been completely rewarding.

The Storefront Studio Project:
During April, we participated in the Santa Ana Art Walk– this is the first time  that we activated the A.I.R studio. On the evening of the art walk we invited Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, to enact and perform Pura Cháchara which is part of  her larger project called Translation Nation.

We also activated our window front and installed our audio stations by opening a storefront studio project called What is Democracy?. This aspect of the residency is a storefront project meant to connect with the communities opinions about the meaning of the word “democracy”. The storefront is open Tuesday through Friday from 4-7pm. We program special events, talks and public gatherings. Recently, Jules Rochielle and Christina Sanchez worked along with the Santa Ana Public Library team consisting of Cheryl Eberly and Zulma Zepeda to hold two young women’s identity discussions circles.

The Writing Component of a Social Art Practice:
The residency opportunity has also provided the opportunity for the artist to complete a number of writing projects. While in residency, Jules Rochielle recently published an article with Public Art Review for Issue 46 • spring / summer 2012— Food for Thought. The writing team consisting of, Jules Rochielle and Janet Owen Driggs recently completed a new piece of writing for a new second commission publication with Proboscis. This piece is currently being published and it will be the second part to the book set called Material Conditions I. This writing team also submitted a text about collaboration and “together work”for a book project that emerged out of last years Congress of Collectives. Jules is also currently producing a set of oral history interviews for the oral history aspect of Unfinished Business, 25 Years of Discourse in Los Angeles,LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design

Upcoming Activities:
On April 29th, Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz and Jules Rochielle will work with Arts Orange County lead a participatory movement workshop for the Día Del Niño” / Day of the Child. This event will take place at Birch Park in Santa Ana.

On April 30th, we were invited to conduct a set of student interviews about the word Democracy on the university campus of California State University Fullerton.  A big THANK YOU goes out to Bonnie Joy Massey.

May 1: May Day in Santa Ana: Community Story Collection and Protest.  During the busy month of May, we will be working at the individual and community level to directly participate in a variety of events associated with the Orange County May Day Coalition.  We hope to continue to work within the community to produce and capture an audio archive of the events taking place in Santa Ana.

May 2nd- May 5th: We will also be working with the artist Carmen Montoya during this time. We hope to run a set of community art making workshops with Carmen on May 2nd- May 5th. Carmen has been actively engaged with a group known as Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), is Oregon’s union of farmworkers, nursery, and reforestation workers, and Oregon’s largest Latino organization.We are hoping to garner enough community support to be able to work with Carmen to create a set of powerful  images to take back to the Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste.

May 5th: For the Santa Ana Art Walk:  We are also excited to announce a collaborative effort with a group called Evoke Unity. We will work together to activate the What is Democracy? storefront space and to engage the community. We met this dynamic young group of artists at  California State Fullerton 8th Annual Social Justice Summit called Unite to Rise Above Apathy

Evoke Unity, is a grassroots project developed by undergraduates from the Art Department of the College of the Arts, was created to discuss cultural diversity and identity among today’s students. This installation brings to light that our campus population is made up of students from over 80 nations. Evoke Unity hopes to convey that our success as a university community is due in large measure to these diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Saturday, May 12th – 3:30 to 5
A big ThankYyou goes out to Bonnie Joy Massey. Thank you for asking us to particpate”
Grand Central Art Center,125 N Broadway.Santa Ana CA 92701
Speakers:”Successes and Failures of Democratic Social Movements in South Africa.”Alan Emery, Assistant Professor of Sociology at CSUF “Reviving the Left.” Steve Jobbit, Assistant Professor of History at CSUF.
Stop by and participate in What is Democracy? an art project developed by artist Jules Rochielle. Record your opinions and your story about the meaning of democracy today.

May 17-May 21: The Open Engagement Conference in Portland Oregon:
Jules Rochielle and the (SPAN)Social Practices Art Network will be part of this years Open Engagement 2012. The residency has allowed time to be made available for some more of the archived interviews to be produced to share through a presentations at Open Engagement. We are also trying to co-write a short essay along with John Spiak for a publication that will emerge out of this convening.

Open Engagement is an international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice and expand the dialogue around socially engaged art making. The Open Engagement conference is an initiative of Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice MFA concentration. Directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes and planned in conjunction with the Art and Social Practice students, this year’s conference features keynote presenters Tania Bruguera, Shannon Jackson, and Paul Ramirez Jonas. The work by these artists and scholars touch on subjects including politics, economies, education, and representation.

Student Voices at What Is Democracy?


On April 21,2012: Today a group of students gathered for a diversity conference just stopped by to tell a few stories about youth and democracy.http://www.mcnc.us/professional-development/student-leadership-initiative/ —  at What Is Democracy, Grand Central Art Center.

Here is what they said about the word “democracy”

Beyond May…..well we have accomplished this much between March 6th and April 19th. There are many things currently being discussed with various community stakeholders in Santa Ana and we will post again as soon as we gain clarity about future activities.


Jules Rochielle: Portable City Project’s Artist in Residence @ GCAC

March 2, 2012

Jules Rochielle:
Portable City Project’s Artist in Residence
@ Grand Central Art Center
March – May 2012

With artist collaborative partners:
Carmen Montoya
Paige Tighe
Christina Sanchez
“Owen Driggs” – Janet Owen Driggs and Matthew Owen Driggs
Silvia Mantilla Ortiz
Jamie Crooke
Yevgeniya Mikhailik

During this initial phase of Jules Rochielle’s Grand Central Art Center Artist in Residence, the artist will be inviting several other artists to share her residency in order to create a “think tank” that will allow the team much needed time and space for collaborative artistic research. This time spent together creates the potential for the collaborative design of a larger collaborative project.

The creative team will use models of community-based research, public outreach, interviews, community resource mapping and community building to investigate the topics of work, labor, food and immigration. The discoveries made during the research residency will be presented in the form of a web-based archive and this information will be used to launch a larger collaborative project. The group of artists involved in the initial stage of this residency and the creation of this “think tank” will be:

Jules Rochielle
Carmen Montoya
Christina Sanchez
Paige Tighe
Owen Driggs
Silvia Mantilla Ortiz
Jamie Crooke
Yevgeniya Mikhailik

The time and space offered through this residency platform will also allow Jules Rochielle structured editing time to refine her archive of interviews collected through (SPAN) The Social Practice Art Network. These interviews will be transcribed and they will be presented to a broader audience at Open Engagement 2012. During this event, the artist Jules Rochielle will continue to interview the community of socially engaged artists forming at Open Engagement 2012.

Additional Links:

Social Practice Art Network
Open Engagement

About the Collaborators:

Jules Rochielle has held artist residencies at LACE (Los Angeles), Knowles West Media Center, (Bristol UK) and with The Sequoia Parks Foundation, (Visalia, CA). In March 2012, she will be in residency at Grand Central Art Center, Cal State University Fullerton (Santa Ana, Ca). In May 2012 she will present her work at Open Engagement in Portland, Oregon. Recently selected to participate in Creative Times’ Living as Form, the Social Practice Archive. Founder of (SPAN) the Social Practices Art Network, and Portable City Projects and a co-founder of Miscellaneous Productions. Also a consultant that specializes in community arts, community organizing and non-profit sector issues. She has worked with the following groups and organizations: Native Public Media, Public Art Review, Metabolic Studio / Farmlab, Otis College of Art and Design, Freewaves, Access to Media Education Society, Vancouver Moving Theatre/Heart of the City Festival, Full Circle First Nations Performance, Vancouver International Fringe Festival.

Maria del Carmen Montoya is a new media artist working in performance, sculpture and installation. Her studio practice explores the personal, emotional and utterly irrational tendencies of technology. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Rhizome Commission for New Media for I Sky You, an installation wherein the quiet of a room is intermittently broken by erratic bursts of chemically synthesized light and electronically generated resonant tones. Her ongoing international collective, Ghana ThinkTank, was shortlisted for the Cartier Award and won the Creative Time Open Door Commission in 2011. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including SIGGRAPH, PERFORMA, State X New Forms, New Museum Festival of Ideas, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, and Visiones Sonoras in Morelia, Mexico where she cofounded an artist residency program for multimedia performance art. She holds a Masters Degree in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design.

Christina Sanchez was born in Woodland, a farming town in California’s central valley. In 2002, she completed her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from San Francisco State University. From 2002 to 2010 she worked at a small inner-city private school in Oakland, California. During that time, Christina took on various roles: she taught Kindergarten, mentored teachers, served as Vice Principal, and organized the school’s first art program from the ground up. She now lives in Los Angeles and will receive her Masters in Fine Arts in Public Practice from the Otis College of Art and Design in May 2012.In 2011, Christina initiated the Break/Pausa project as a dialogical investigation into the lives of immigrant restaurant workers living in Los Angeles. In particular, Break/Pausa is aimed at engaging the most hidden and marginalized people of this workforce: Back-of-House workers. Through informal interviews, performative interventions, and partnerships with advocacy organizations, the project seeks to uncover and archive worker histories as well as raise public awareness about pertinent workers rights and quality of life issues.

Tighe Paige is currently exploring the boundaries of public and private meditation with a concentration in disruption. This manifests in her collaborations in postmodern dance with Christine Suarez and the mentoring of Hana von der Kolk. She has danced at MOCA, beaches, the Hammer, public parks, buses, and RedCat. She is a part of Pedestal & the All Girl Band that is a mobile karaoke unit and a public art persona. Her favorite media are dancing and video, sometimes together, sometimes not. She is the inaugural post grad curatorial fellow at the Ben Maltz Gallery under the tutelage of Meg Linton. The artists received her MFA in Public Practice from OTIS College of Art and Design in 2010.

Silvia Mantilla Ortiz is a transnational individual with constantly expanding roots. Her notions of home and belonging continuously swell in order to include the many places where a piece of her being resides; these include Bogotá, Colombia; Edison, NJ; Providencia, Colombia; Williamstown, MA; Giron, Colombia; and now, Los Angeles, CA. The artist received her BA from Williams College, Cum Laude and is currently a MFA Public Practice Candidate at Otis College of Art and Design.

“Owen Driggs” is the collective identity of Matthew Driggs and Janet Owen. Individually experienced artists, educators and curators, Janet and Matthew began their professional collaboration in 2007, after the spectacular success of their first major work, their son Theo. Together, as Owen Driggs, their practice focuses on the production of space and the impact of spatiality on action and discourse.

Janet Owen Driggs is a writer, artist and curator who has exhibited her work internationally, including in the United States, Europe, Scandinavia and Brazil. She has curated exhibitions and screening programs in the United Kingdom, United States, People’s Republic of China and Mexico. A member of the Metabolic Studio team, Janet is the editor of “Not A Cornfield: History/Site/Document”. Her writings have been published most recently in: Artillery, ArtUS, Strawberry Bulletin, The Guardian, and Art Review , in addition to the volumes “How Many Billboards? Art In Stead”, “Hammer Projects 1999-2009”, and “Heike Baranowski – Kolibri”.

Matthew Owen Driggs is an artist, curator and educator, Matthew Owen Driggs lives and works in Los Angeles. Previously Exhibition Designer at the University of Southern California’s Fisher Museum, and a curator at both RAID Projects and Edward Giardiana Contemporary Art, Matthew is currently an adjunct professor at Cypress College. His work has been exhibited at national and international venues including: Kyubidou Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Vegabond, Palmer, Alaska, USA; MOP (Modes of Production) Sydney, Australia; Cynthia Broan, New York, NY, USA; Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA, USA; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Jamie Crooke is an artist working in the discipline of fine arts through project-based artworks that are participatory in nature, which utilize performance, installation art, drawing, social sculpture and event planning as formats for her artwork. She currently has two on-going projects that exist online, through art objects and performative events: Save Yourself and Pulse and Parcel. Her artwork is reflective of value and worth, as seen through her service-based model in many of her projects. Some areas of investigation include the intersection of interior body space and exterior constraints, be it land, policy or social services. Throughout her projects she aims to create cathartic moments of relief and reflection for individuals and the collective through the use of pedagogical models, poetics and public practice.

Yevgeniya Mikhailik was born and raised in Russia and relocated to the US in 2000. She is currently working on her MFA in Illustration at California State University, Long Beach. She has exhibited at the CSULB Art Museum, Gallery Nucleus, Grand Central Art Center, Phone Booth Gallery, The Box, Hibbleton, and the CSULB art galleries. Yevgeniya’s work as been on the pages of local and international publications, online publications and blogs.

Information on the Grand Central Art Center Artist in Residence initiative can be found at:
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/artist-in-residence-program/