Saturday, May 3rd, marked another successful first Saturday art walk! The monthly art walk event in downtown Santa Ana provides a night of open galleries and institutions, studios and street vendors, great live music and all the wonderful food of local restaurants. It’s always an enjoyable way to spend a southern California evening!
The day kicked-off a little early this month as Fallen Fruit. Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work. David and Austin led a day hike with participant collaborators Sue-Na G., Stephanie Kern, Emily Lacy, Husam Salman, Sarah Shewey and Faith Purvey, to Deep Creek Hot Springs in the San Bernardino National Forest. Fallen Fruit’s project, Rainbow Day Trip, was organized as a collaborative program of Susan Robb’s project and exhibition Wild Times, currently on exhibition at GCAC.
The group of Rainbow Day hikers joined Fallen Fruit on the adventure to become “trail angels,” an effort to connect with Pacific Crest Trail hikers for encouragement and inspiration along the 5-month journey from Mexico to Canada (more details on Wild Times below).
Here is the way Fallen Fruit describes how their preparation and adventure unfolded:
“Prior to Saturday, each collaborator chose a color to embody for the day hike. They thought about each color and what that color means in the world. They thought about flavors, histories and songs. They constructed characters based upon our individual research and imagination.
The evening before the hike we connected to fine-tune our characters collectively. We told each other stories and made embellishments to our color characters. We used feathers and spray paint, working out the details of each of our individual performances, which we would reveal as a color performances to the group the next day. At the trailhead, we geared up and embarked on our experimental day trip to perform all of the colors of the rainbow. Rainbows don’t last forever; they are fragile and temporal like our group. We became a visual spectrum of color and spanned an arc within a landscape we couldn’t capture except by photographs.
The Rainbow Day Trip was a mind-body experience that constructed a narrative created by individual experiences that was group authored. Each color performed in independent ways, as meditations, as series of declarations about each participant, completely in song and through silence. We realized that colors are many things.”
Back at GCAC, we kicked off our evening with a 6pm gallery talk by current exhibiting artist Julia Haft-Candell. Julia shared insights into the current body of work included in her solo GCAC exhibition Fast and Slow, on exhibition in the Project Gallery through May 11th. The artist provided insight into her process, her philosophies on art making practice and her current career activities. It was an appreciative audience in attendance who asked great questions, engaging the artist in wonderful dialogue.
As the official art walk began at 7pm, we opened the doors to our three galleries. The night marked the opening reception for Susan Robb’s Wild Times project. In mid-April, Robb embarked on a 5-month adventure from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Using the trail as a nomadic studio and her experiences as inspiration and medium, she is creating digital works—photos, videos, and 3D files— sending them to Grand Central Art Center where they will be displayed. Over the course of the 5-months, the exhibition will continue to grow through physical object, engaged programming and hands-on activities provided by Robb through the Wild Times website.
Thanks to a generous donation by Microsoft, we have numerous Surface tablets connected in the space, as well as a Microsoft Perceptive Pixel (PPI) touch screen device, allowing patrons the opportunity to browse the current activities of Robb on the trail. The connection to the project website also allows for individuals to post their own responses and interactions with the project, adding a truly collective voice to the project and gallery space.
Through our new Makerbot 3D printer, we are actively printing objects Susan is scanning along the way and transmitting back to us. The objects are being printed in color codes that indicate the altitude on the trail where the object was discovered and scanned by the artist. We printed three rocks on Saturday evening that became, and will remain, part of the exhibition.
The exhibition space also contains an Epson large format printer, being used by GCAC to print 2D images Susan sends from her journey. After being printed, the photos are framed and become part of the overall installation. Over the course of the exhibition the photos will begin to hang layered upon one another, creating a topographic map extending out from the gallery wall. The images and installation will provide a sense of the terrain the artist has traversed to date.
If you haven’t seen it yet, we thought you might enjoy reading the interview with Susan regarding her Wild Times project on the Creative Capital blog. Creative Capital is a major granter of this project. Here is the link: http://blog.creative-capital.org/2014/04/susan-robbs-wild-times
In addition to Grand Central Art Center, you have the opportunity to see elements and programs of Susan’s Wild Times project at collaborative venues including: Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA; 826 valencia, San Francisco, CA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA.
We are excited to be able to support and to be on this journey with Susan. We hope you will join us throughout the project, to engage with its programming and to support the artist as well!
Saturday marked the last week of Julia Haft-Candell’s Fast and Slow exhibition, as noted earlier, and the last week of the extremely successful and well received exhibition by artists Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer, Miracle Report. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see these exhibitions, stop by this weekend, as both exhibitions are open through this Sunday, May 11, when we close at 4pm. Lots of wonderful restaurants here in Santa Ana, so it could be a great way to celebrate Mother Day.
And the activities and outreach of Grand Central Art Center on Saturday evening were not limited to Santa Ana. Current GCAC artist in residence Daniel Tucker was busy with his own activities in Los Angeles as well. During his residence, Tucker has been developing a documentary project entitled Future Perfect – Time Capsules in Reagan County, dealing with the legacy of Ronald Reagan and the phenomenon of time capsule burials in California. As part of his residency, the artist has been traveling the entire state of California, visiting research libraries, Reagan related monuments and parks, and presenting talks at various locations and institutions. On Saturday night, Daniel was part of the group exhibition PRESENTS that opened at Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, which runs through May 24th. For his contribution to the exhibition, Tucker created the project The Preface to Future Perfect, a photography installation presenting materials from his ongoing research while in residence at GCAC.
You would think all those activities would be enough to fill a weekend, and you would probably be right, but not for us here at GCAC. Sunday we welcomed back our ongoing artist in residence Lisa Bielawa, who is in town this week for a series of meeting, arranged through our Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak, in the development of her upcoming GCAC project, a serial Opera titled Vireo. Lisa also had time to connect with our new GCAC Cal State Fullerton graduate assistant Amanda Leader, who is working on her Masters Degree in Music, Voice Performance with emphasis in Opera. Amanda has been an excellent addition to the GCAC team and will be helping manage major components of Lisa’s serial opera as Project Coordinator. We’ll provide you more details on this project as it progresses.
So stop by Grand Central Art Center and be part of the action, we would love to see you!