SanTana’s Fairy Tales: Sarah Rafael García

SanTana’s Fairy Tales

Sarah Rafael García
March 4 – May 14, 2017

Developed through a one-year onsite artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, SanTana’s Fairy Tales is a visual art installation, oral history, storytelling project initiated by artist/author Sarah Rafael García. The project integrates community-based narratives to create contemporary fairytales and fables that represent the history and stories of Mexican/Mexican-American residents of Santa Ana (inspired by the Grimms’ Fairy Tales), which include:

The Carousel’s Lullaby
SanTana’s urban history intertwined with a traditional Mexican-folk lullaby and a haunting ghost carousel.

Zoraida & Marisol
The godmother of life or death, Zoraida grants transgente a vital wish at their last breath.

Just A House
Josie, a young girl caught between two worlds, the haunting past and displaced futures.

Hector & Graciela (an homage to the Brothers Grimm’s Hansel & Gretel)
Hunger, uncertainty, border crossings—a precarious family-life in our little city.

When The Mural Speaks…
One man’s perspective, a fable from the faces on the wall.

The Wishing Well
A central landmark becomes a magical promenade of forgotten wishes and parallel worlds.

The multi-media installation, created by the artist in collaboration with local visual, musical and performance artists, presents bilingual single-story zines, a fully illustrated published book, an ebook, and a large format classical book with graphic art by Sol Art Radio‘s Carla Zarate. Viento Callejero’s Gloria Estrada, in collaboration with local singer/songwriter Ruby Castellanos and members of the Pacific Symphony, composed an “open book” sound performance for the project. The entire collection was translated by poet Julieta Corpus and published in collaboration with Raspa Magazine.  Digital archives for the project were researched and obtained by Mariana Bruno, CSUF Graduate Student in the Department of History.  The ebook is being produced by Digitus Indie Publishers.


Sarah Rafael García is a writer, community educator and traveler. Since publishing Las Niñas in 2008, she founded Barrio Writers and LibroMobile. Her writing has appeared in LATINO MagazineContrapuntos IIIOutrage: A Protest Anthology For Injustice in a Post 9/11 WorldLa Tolteca ZineThe Acentos Review, among others. In 2010 Senator Lou Correa honored the artist with the “Women Making a Difference” award and in 2011 she was awarded for “Outstanding Contributions to Education” by the Orange County Department of Education in California. Sarah Rafael is also a Macondo Fellow and an editor for the Barrio Writers and pariahs anthologies. She obtained a M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a cognate in Media Studies in May 2015.


SanTana’s Fairy Tales was supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through a grant supporting the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center. Thank you to the City of Santa Ana for their generous loan of original elements from the Fiesta Marketplace sign and carousel.