Rebecca Chernow: #superbloom

Rebecca Chernow: #superbloom
November 4, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Opening Reception: November 4, 7-10pm

In Spring 2017, in the Antelope Valley just northeast of Los Angeles, vibrant orange poppies carpeted the ground in perhaps the largest display of flora in Southern California in over ten years. The desert’s dazzling color occurs every spring due to the annuals that grow there, but a “superbloom” is a term for when a mass amount of desert plants blossom simultaneously. These annual flowers are also referred to as ephemerals because they live for only one season and last only a few weeks at most.

Thanks to the Internet, unprecedented crowds arrived to witness this natural phenomenon and made an indelible mark on the landscape. Social media also suggested a reality that wasn’t entirely true to the stunning imagery viewed online — a familiar scenario in our Digital Age. At peak season, motorists were stuck in traffic for hours, restaurants ran out of food, discarded water bottles and plastic bags littered the ground, and many of the flowers, that had waited out a decade-long drought, were destroyed by visitors trampling over them in search of the perfect image for their social media accounts

Artist Rebecca Chernow’s immersive installation simulates a California poppy field at sunset made from familiar plastic items that are often disposed of on the ground in downtown Santa Ana: the iconic green straws from Starbucks and orange shopping bags from Fallas’ department store, both located just a few blocks from Grand Central Art Center. For months, the artist collected these discarded materials in order to create a synthetic portrait of a surreal California landscape that is colorful, delicate, and ephemeral. More importantly, #superbloom was created to be documented by the individuals who experience the installation. Please feel free to take as many images of yourself in the space as you wish, and upload them to social media to add to the image library of the #superbloom.

Thank you for your consideration in preserving this experience for others to enjoy by staying on the designated trail.


Rebecca Chernow is a multi-disciplinary artist, traveler, and gardener. Her work often invites audience participation, and is ephemeral in nature: fabricated from bio-degradable, compostable, re-purposed, or re-useable materials that embody the “leave-no-trace” ethic by being able to disappear while paying tribute to the local environment from which they are sourced. She is currently a Community Engagement creative-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, where she has 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.