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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!!