Open Studios Event March 3rd

images of four artworks by MFA students at California State University Fullerton
(clockwise from top left works by Pamela Susan Rush, Hadley Mattwig, Caitlin Christianson, Hunter X. Huang)

Open Studios
March 3 from 7-10pm

CSUF Grand Central Art Center hosts resident graduate open studios featuring work from the CSUF Departments of Painting and Drawing and Illustration. Studios will be open to the public and are located on the main floor of GCAC, just down the hall from our Main Gallery.

These CSUF MFA students live and work on-site at GCAC. Apartments are available for students who have been accepted into California State University, Fullerton’s College of the Arts MA or MFA visual and performing arts programs. Each MFA resident who rents an apartment is assigned a studio and parking at our Downtown Santa Ana location.

MFA students participating in open studios include:
Caitlin Christianson
Hunter X. Huang
Hadley Mattwig
Pamela Susan Rush

Exchange: Bradley McCullum & Jacqueline Tarry

Man on left and women on right seated in chairs with two IVs located between them. The two individuals are connected to the IVs which are filled with blood.

Bradley McCullum & Jacqueline Tarry
March 3 through May 15, 2018
Opening Reception: March 3 from 7-10pm
Exchange quietly refers to the “One Drop Rule” in which a person with as little as one drop of black blood in their heritage was considered “colored.” The nineteenth-century law, originally instated as a means to increase the slave population in the United States, directly lead to laws prohibiting miscegenation. Through the action of ritual blood transfer and the merging of historical sound: slave testimony, police footsteps charging “Freedom Summer” marchers and politicians denying the existence of murdered civil rights workers, McCullum and Tarry navigate ideas of blood as taint and stain, as an agent of healing, as pact and purity, Eucharist and memory.


Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry worked collaboratively from 1998 through 2012, with works exhibited globally.  They seeked to surface and discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. The work, which moves fluidly between large-scale public projects, performative sculpture, painting, photography, video, and self-portraiture, challenges audiences to face issues of race and social justice in communities, history, and the family. Embedded within their work, whether it is of a historical, personal, or civic-based nature, is an ability to address the complicated and layered issues of race and power as a mixed-race artist collaborative.

Cog•nate Collective: Regionalia – Reception + Public Programs

Cog•nate Collective: Regionalia
March 3 – June 17, 2018
Opening Reception: March 3 from 7-10pm
Public Programs: Listed Below

split Image of, on the left, virgin of guadalupe and on the right, a little red wagon being pulled down a urban street

What does it mean to be a citizen? How can we enact citizenship in a region that is marked by transnational flows of bodies and cultures? How is political solidarity + social resilience established and/or expressed within transnational communities? What role can culture play in this process?

Since 2010, Cog•nate Collective’s work has sought to tease out some of these concerns in the context of the Alta/Baja California border region, a terrain where the political boundary between the United States and Mexico is contested and negotiated not just on a rhetorical level, but at the scale of the everyday. Since 2014, Santa Ana has served as a central node within this work, establishing a site from which to theorize the US/Mexico border not as a line or a wall, but as a region anchored by the comings and goings of citizens making Southern California and Northern Baja California their personal and collective home.

The objects in the exhibition showcase work created over the span of nearly 4 years that the artists have served as artists-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, establishing numerous collaborations with residents, students and community groups in the region.

Cog•nate would like to thank Resilience OC, Manos Unidas Creando Arte, Chulita Vinyl Club Santa Ana, Cal State Fullerton Professor Karen Stocker, Manny Escamilla, Kate Clark, Omar Pimienta, Christina Sanchez, Jimena Sarno, Collective Magpie and the many other community collaborators that made this work possible.

Amy Sanchez Arteaga writes, teaches, and makes art about living as a transborder subject between the Californias. She received her MFA from UC Irvine with an Emphasis in Critical and Curatorial Studies. Her work has been published in KCET Artbound, Haunt Journal of Art, Campo de Relámpagos, and most recently in L.A. Collects L.A. – Latin America in Southern California Collections (Vincent Price Art Museum, 2018). In 2016, she edited the bilingual anthology Notes on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Ajonjoli Press, Tijuana).

Misael Diaz is a Southern California based cultural producer and educator. He received his MFA in Visual Art from UCSD in 2012. He has taught and presented widely on his work in public markets along the border between Baja and Alta California. He has served as a contributor to KCET’s Artbound, and most recently co-authored an essay in L.A. Collects L.A. – Latin America in Southern California Collections (Vincent Price Art Museum, 2018).

Cog*nate Collective has shown and presented at various venues nationally and internationally including the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles, Arte Actual FLACSO in Quito, and Organ Kritischer Kunst in Berlin. They have received awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2016), Art Matters (2015), SPArt (2015), and NALAC (2014) for their work.


Throughout the exhibition, Cog•nate and Grand Central Art Center will be hosting a series of conversations around citizenship and belonging, central topics explored through the projects on view. For each conversation, the artists will propose a guiding question as a point of departure and invite local scholars, community members, musicians and activists to open the conversation with their responses and thoughts. Afterwards, they will open the conversation, inviting all those in attendance to share their own responses.

Saturday, March 3rd — Conversation #1
How do marketplaces help us make home? A conversation on Markets and (Be)Longing

Sunday, April 1st — Conversation #2
What does home sound like? A conversation on Music and (Be)Longing

Saturday, May 5th — Conversation #3
Whose streets? A conversation on Activism and (Be)Longing

Saturday, June 2nd — Conversation #4
Who do you root for? A conversation on Sports and (Be)Longing

Announcing New Director’s Circle!



Portrait Collage of Director's Circle

Through strategic invitation, Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) has formed a support group, the Director’s Circle.

The goal of the Director’s Circle is to bring supportive, engaged and outside the box Orange County thinkers together. The group fosters a stronger OC contemporary arts and cultural voice in our region through shared experience and inspiration. The emphasis of the Director’s Circle is on relationship building — working toward greater support, connection, and awareness of GCAC’s outreach programs, residencies, and exhibitions.

Utilizing proposed activities, the Director’s Circle has access to deepen their knowledge of, and engagement with, GCAC artists, events, and colleagues. The Director’s Circle provides unique growth opportunities and experiences while building more personal connections within, and understanding of, the contemporary art world.

Using GCAC as a hub, the Director’s Circle acts as a channel into communities through the creative actions of our institution. Through these combined efforts, GCAC leads forward-thinking conversations, provides resources and generates a more inclusive forum for ideas — creating a leadership capacity for developing innovative approaches and successful outcomes.

The Director’s Circle support role provides excellent opportunities for creative flow and exchange of ideas, helping GCAC achieve continued success.

Alessandra Caldana
Manny Escamilla
Richard Espinachio
Amy Fox
Matthew Gush
Sofia Gutierrez
Aaron Jones
Monica Jovanovich
Lane Macy Kiefaber
Ruthie Linnert
Susie Lopez-Guerra
Greg Nowacki
Louie Perez
Juliana Rico
Joanna Roche
Karen Stocker
Jonathan Webb
Kellie Stockdale Webb

Yasmine Kasem: Mwasah

Yasmine Kasem: Mwasah
February 3 – April 15, 2018
Guest Curated by Elizabeth Rooklidge

Opening Reception: February 3 from 7-10pm

Paper and cloth

Yasmine Kasem: Mwasah presents new work by the American-Egyptian artist that expands the material and conceptual territory of her practice. Born into a Muslim family in Indiana, Kasem has explored the ways in which Egyptian heritage and its value system intersect with her American Midwestern upbringing, and how these contexts shape her identity as a Muslim woman. Her most recent work, featured in Mwasah, meditates on the subject of grief through the lens of Islamic funerary tradition.

The exhibition takes its title from the Arabic word mwasah, loosely translating as “comforting someone in a period of mourning.” This series of works was kindled by the recent loss of a close friend. His funeral was the artist’s first experience of a traditional Muslim service, and she was struck by its silence, swiftness, and separation of mourners by gender. Its use of material, too, made a deep impression on the artist. In Islamic tradition, the deceased is wrapped in a clean, white shroud, bound by rope in three knots: at the head, the waist, and the feet. Kasem soon began researching early Islamic mourning rituals, particularly the phenomenon of wailing, a ritual practiced during Islam’s development in the 7th century and enacted only by women. This combination of crying, singing, and screaming was most often conducted in a group and served to collectively mourn the deceased. The women tore their clothes, scratched their cheeks, and pulled their hair, giving a brazen voice to their sorrow. Many Muslim men scorned these unsettling rituals as uncivilized. Not only did they contradict the trust in Allah essential to the Islamic faith, they were also group actions conducted and controlled by women in a patriarchal culture.

In the works on view in the exhibition, Kasem draws from the formal aspects of these historical and contemporary rituals to create physical manifestations of her own mourning. While she chooses her fabric and ties her knots carefully, the works are made quickly and intuitively. She tears, abrades, and stretches paper, cloth, and rope nearly to the point of breaking. The works express a sense of grief’s pain and sorrow, yet their surprising elegance suggests the act of mourning’s worth. In them the artist creates her own ritual-materializing her own voice, that is, like wailing, both poetic and bold.

– Elizabeth Rooklidge

About the Artist:
Yasmine Kasem completed her B.F.A at Herron School of Art & Design at Indiana University in 2015 and is currently an M.F.A candidate at University of California San Diego. Her work has appeared in solo exhibitions at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, San Juan Islands, WA and the Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN, as well as group exhibitions at the Crypt Gallery, London, UK; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; and Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ. In 2015, she was the recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Art award.

About the Curator:
Elizabeth Rooklidge is an independent curator based in Orange County, CA. She previously served as Associate Curator at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York, where she curated ten exhibitions, including Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition and OnSite Katonah, as well as large-scale public works such as Victoria Fu’s Egg and Keiran Brennan Hinton’s Chappaqua Mural. Prior to joining the KMA, she was Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, where she worked with artists such as Sarah Cain, Nicole Eisenman, and Byron Kim. She earned a B.A. in art history from St. Olaf College and an M.A. in art history from Williams College.

Glass and Ceramics Show + Sale

Glass and Ceramics Show + Sale

Our Glass and Ceramics Show + Sale gives local artists and students the opportunity to showcase and sell their work while engaging with the surrounding creative community. Proceeds from this sale are split evenly between Grand Central Art Center and the participating artists.


Nancy Alcala
Ihab Ali
Tim Belliveau
Leslie Davis
Tien Do
Arnold Eclarinal
Dylan Fleury
Jose Flores
Jonathan Ginnaty
Philip Kupferschmidt
Donovan Miller
Lizbeth Navarro
Annie Nguyen
Michael Penilla
Kathryn Starrs
Eamonn Swiftfox
Hiromi Takizawa
Ashley Tallichet
Karen Thayer
Max Vishny
Elijah Wooldridge
Heather Wright