Sergio De La Torre: Nuevo Dragon City

Sergio De La Torre: Nuevo Dragon City
June 2 – August 12, 2018
Opening Reception: June 2 from 7-10pm
Guest Curated by Maurizzio Hector Pineda

Nuevo Dragon City, 2008, is the first in a series of works by artist Sergio De La Torre that explore the psyche of a seemingly invisible Chinese community living in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. The single-channel video aims to unveil this border town’s marginalized community through the lens of migrant teenagers living in the city.

The artist places his subjects within surreal atmospheres, employing cinematic cues from Luis Buñuel’s seminal 1962 film, The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador). Through his work, De La Torre captures the fears and uncertainties of being trapped – anxieties and alienation internalized by many migrant communities on both sides of the border. The work addresses the hidden histories that impact current realities of many marginalized communities, such as Santa Ana own history of erasing unwanted enclaves, notably, the Chinatown fire of 1906 during which the city eradicated a once bustling district.

The exhibition seeks to find common ground in the current political climate – an attempt to remind us of the downfall of alienating one another, and the options of uniting to create a community that fosters humanity, adaptability, connectivity, and the welcoming of individuals and cultures within ever-changing environments.

– Maurizzio Hector Pineda


Sergio De La Torre grew up in the border cities of Tijuana/San Diego and works as an educator, filmmaker, photographer, and activist. His practice explores immigration, labor, and transnational identities. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area Mission District and is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Fine Arts at the University of San Francisco. He has been honored with grants from the NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, the Potrero Nuevo Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. He has exhibited at: SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, The Tunisian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Italy, The LA Biennial, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Arizona State University Museum of Art, Museum Contemporary Art San Diego, CA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA,

Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Belgium, Centro Cultural España Buenos Aires, Argentina, Border Biennial, El Paso TX and Ciudad Juarez, México, Centro de la Imagen, México DF, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, California Orange County Biennial 06.


Maurizzio Hector Pineda is a curator from EL Salvador who currently lives and works in Santa Ana, California. His most recent curatorial post was at the Torrance Art Museum. During his tenure at the museum, he co-curated The Gilldless Age, 2016, and developed the 2017 SUR: Biennial with a focus on Cuban contemporary art for the TAM. This project was part of the Getty PST: LA/LA initiative. Mr. Pineda received his BFA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000. From 2001-2005 he was the owner and director of SWYS Gallery in Long Beach, CA, and has worked at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and for Regen Project in Beverly Hills. He has curated exhibitions for Togonon Gallery in San Francisco, was a visiting curator at The Tree House Gallery in Los Angeles, curator in residence at the NLE Curatorial Lab where he co-curated The Only Way Out Is Through (NYC) in 2014, and Curatorial Director at The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Art in San Francisco from 2009-2012.

Rebecca Chernow: The Full Plate Project (2017-2018)

Rebecca Chernow: The Full Plate Project (2017-2018)
June 2 – June 17, 2018
Opening Reception: June 2 from 7-10pm

two white dinner plates each with black text written upon them

This project started with one simple question: what is on your plate?

In the artist’s own words:

“When I first arrived in Santa Ana, I was immediately struck by the diversity of this city. I had previously lived in other urban areas, but there is something unique about the kaleidoscopic personality of Santa Ana that is difficult to pinpoint; perhaps it is the size of the city itself, paired with the population density of the vibrant communities and individuals that co-exist, intermingle, and make the place what it is. I wanted to make a portrait of the multi-faceted gem that is Santa Ana, but how is that even possible?”

Thus began The Full Plate Collection, a collaborative art project that invites individuals that live or work within a five-mile radius of the downtown City Center to answer that one simple question. The viewpoints of teachers, students, artists, activists, civil servants, writers, parents, children, community organizers, social workers, performers, small-business owners, the affluent and the vulnerable citizens of Santa Ana are represented in this project.

Each ceramic plate is unique and is a portrait of the inner thoughts and feelings of the individual who filled it out. The collection itself is a reflection of a place that is distinguished by its multiplicity, but whose residents often have much more in common than is readily visible. Ultimately, each dish will serve as a functional reminder of the hidden challenges and joys that we share as a community without even knowing it, as we are standing next to one another at the market, post office, in traffic, or pass one another on Calle Cuatro as strangers in the city we call home.

This project is funded by the City of Santa Ana, hosted by Grand Central Art Center, and has been generously supported and made possible by Community Engagement. Special thanks to Nancy Alcalá, Jessica Preboski, and Brian Widmaier for your support in making the exhibition possible. And to everyone who participated, a most sincere thank you for sharing your thoughts and time with me and for this project. It has been a true honor.


Rebecca Chernow is a multi-disciplinary artist, traveler, and gardener. Her work often invites audience participation, and is ephemeral in nature, fabricated from biodegradable, compostable, re-purposed, or reusable materials. The projects embody the “leave-no-trace” ethic by being able to disappear while paying tribute to the local environment from which they are sourced. She was recently a Community Engagement creative-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, where she had been working within a multi-family affordable housing community in Santa Ana facilitating the construction of shared gardens and collaborative art projects that enhance and beautify common spaces.

Kim Zumpfe: outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun

Kim Zumpfe
outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun
May 5 – September 9, 2018
Opening Reception: May 5 from 7-10pm

blue abstract background with wood stud housing structure superimposed on top

Kim Zumpfe ‘s site-specific installation outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun engages with notions of safe spaces. These spaces, however, are contingent – they depend on the individual, the conditions of the moment, and the realities, or perceived realities, of specific life circumstances.

For most people, built structures and architecture provide stability, shelter, and protection. These above ground structures inhabit the surface of our world, a world in which we are typically comfortable. Subterranean spaces, in contrast, conjure thoughts of vulnerability, the fugitive, or perhaps fantasy. Zumpfe’s installation is a distinctive re-alignment of space, working to confront complex relationships and norms of society. Zumpfe creates a transitional structure for control over one’s visibility: hiding, avoidance, evasion, escape and other strategies used to counteract coercive social and political relations.

The artist’s subterranean construct offers a temporary retreat from the surface, illuminated by blue suns and resting cushions. These cushions are designed using images of hardware that were submitted and mostly rejected as potential safe designs for use within prisons – attempts to prevent harm to self and others. The raised floor, openly on view from the interior and exterior perspectives, is occupied with stripped down, unfinished constructs of domesticity. Zumpfe invites visitors to engage with space through a multitude of shared social gestures – lying down or resting, having tea or eating, ascending or descending. This engagement serves as a reminder that in reality, singular actions always take place in a context of others.

Spatial relationships create real consequences in our lives. Zumpfe likens this idea to supercolliders generating what has been hypothesized as infinite tiny black holes, which provide possibilities of a split in space or a split in time – the development of parallel experiences and alternate spaces of comfort and tension.

Ultimately the work prompts us to question, are we all in this together?


Kim Zumpfe is an artist and educator who lives and works in California. Through individual and collaborative work, the built environment is resituated as a way to address the deep entwinement between materials, space, and sociality as models of relations. Experimental forms of participation are organized as a way to explore and expand how intersections of knowledge are formed beyond the individual. Primarily working in installation, she considers how objects, images, video, performance, and space can create possibilities of encounters where there might be a collapse of identity, intimacy, and systems of influence. Zumpfe works to create alternate possibilities in the order of things through working with architectures that engage with space as a psychology and qualities of bent time(s) including the provisional, unstable, and illegible.

Zumpfe’s work has been exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Diverseworks Houston, Hammer Museum, Human Resources Los Angeles, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACA), UCR Culver Center for the Arts Riverside, University Art Gallery Irvine, and several public and online sites.

A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness – Brent Green and Brendan Canty in Live Cinema

Text about Brent Green's performance with original drawings 

“If Mark Twain were with us today, he would probably be engaged in endeavors comparable to Green’s films.”
– Saul Ostrow, Art in America

Santa Ana Sites #19
Brent Green and Brendan Canty
A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness
a co-presentation between Grand Central Art Center and Santa Ana Sites

In co-presentation with Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana Sites is pleased to present the 19th edition of their traveling art forum – Brent Green’s A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness. Green will be joined by his longtime collaborator, Fugazi drummer, Brendan Canty on Saturday, April 28 at The Frida Cinema in Downtown Santa Ana.

During the experimental live cinema experience, self-taught visual artist and filmmaker Brent Green will serve as the narrator and musician and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty will act as the percussionist and foley artist.  The evening features works that all have played at the prestigious Sundance Festival, including A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness, Carlin, Paulina Hollers, and Strange Fates. Focusing largely on stirring visuals, live music and foley, the emotionally charged films enchant audiences through lyrical narrations and somber underlying themes with flickering stop-motion Southern Gothic flair.

Sites #19 honors the relationship with Grand Central Arts Center, who served as the incubator for Sites in its’ early days. It also marks the return of Sites to The Frida Cinema, OC’s only non-profit independent art house cinema.

About Brent Green

Working on his farm outside of New Paltz, NY, Brent Green is a self-taught visual artist and filmmaker. Green’s films have screened, often with live musical accompaniment, in film and art settings alike at venues such as MoMA, BAM, The Getty, Walker, Hammer Museum, The Kitchen, Boston MFA, Wexner, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Rotterdam Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival as well as rooftops, warehouses and galleries throughout the globe. Often, his sculptural work and large-scale installation are displayed alongside his animated films, he’s had a number of solo exhibitions, including at the ASU Art Museum, Site Santa Fe, 21c/Art Without Walls, Diverseworks Houston, The Kohler Arts Center and the Berkeley Art Museum. Green’s work has been supported by Creative Capital, the Sundance Institute, San Francisco Film Society and the MAPfund. His art is in some fine public collections including MoMA, the Hammer Museum, and the American Folk Art Museum. Green is represented by the Andrew Edlin Gallery in NYC.

About Brendan Canty

Brendan Canty is best known as the drummer in the band Fugazi. Canty joined Fugazi in 1987, before which time he played in Rites of Spring, One Last Wish, Deadline, Insurrection, and Happy Go Licky. In addition to producing records for all kinds of great bands (the Thermals, Ted Leo, Garland of Hours, Benjy Ferree) Canty frequently composes soundtrack music, primarily for Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel documentaries and independent features.

In 2004, Canty co-founded the DVD label Trixie to release an ongoing series of music-related films entitled Burn To Shine. The series involves independent bands from a particular city showing up to perform one song each, live, without overdubs or corrections, in a condemned house. It’s beautiful. The films and performances are urgent and inspired, and the portraits of musicians and houses expose the transient nature of our world.

Trixie has also produced films about Bob Mould, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Eddie Vedder and the Decemberists.

He currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife and four children and has been touring around with his new band Messthetics.

Practical Info:
Tickets will be $10 General Admission, $8 Students with ID, and $7 for Frida Cinema Members.
Doors @ 7pm, Show starts 730pm

Open Studios Event March 3rd

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 McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry

Bradley McCallum & 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 sought 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.
A review of Exchange by Art and Cake writer Evan Sen can be found here.

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


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 29th — 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