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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:

â“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?â”

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 Alcalí­¡, 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 â“leave-no-traceâ” 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.