Orange
Orange County gets a bad rap. Those who define the area for its rampant conservatism and vast tourist economy only think of Disneyland, Costa Mesa and Knott’s Berry Farm are missing the point. In fact, it is this vibrant economy that has allowed the O.C. to creep in as one of the most intriguing cultural centers of Southern California. University of California Irvine is a hotbed of intellectual inquiry - its creative writing department being one of the most prestigious in the nation - and its growing Mexican-American middle class has found cultural maturity in spite of (or perhaps because of) the county’s conservative backdrop.

Gustavo Arellano, the enfant terrible of Mexican-American op-eds, has found a fertile ground to voice his opinions and grow a local audience in the O.C. And who is to question the cultural importance of Mickey Mouse? Last time we checked, hundreds of O.C. teens flocked into the park with a critical understanding about theme park design. As the rest of Southern California, the O.C. isn’t easy to pin down; it is so culturally vast and complex that it is hard to wrap our high-brow minds around it.
Highlights
The Marvelous Marble of Elizabeth Turk
A pioneer in marble arts for 20 years, Elizabeth Turk has helped marble come back with a vengeance into the contemporary art scene.
The Avant-Garde at the Orange County Museum of Art
OCMA's exhibition "The Avant-Garde Collection" examines the ever-evolving definition of avant-garde as it is represented through their permanent collection.
Pink Helmet Posse: Future Skater Stars
The Orange County/San Diego-based, all-girl skate crew Pink Helmet Posse wants to change the way girls are treated in skateboarding.
Dynamic Exchange: The Pacific Rim Triennial
Dynamic Exchange: The Pacific Rim Triennial
The first Pacific Rim Triennial at the Orange County Museum of Art continues a push to position the O.C. as a significant player in the international art community.
Kustom Kulture in SoCal: Twenty Years of Fun
Kustom Kulture in SoCal: Twenty Years of Fun
A 20th anniversary tribute to Laguna Art Museum's 1993 "Kustom Kulture" exhibition, "Kustom Kulture II" celebrates artists who have impacted lowbrow art movements.
Koos Café: Orange County's All-Ages Musical Feast
Koos Café: Orange County's All-Ages Musical Feast
Koos Café of Santa Ana was an all-ages unconventional music/art space, and all around safe-haven for Orange County youth.
Leading the Blind: A Marching Band Helps an Artist Navigate Santa Ana
Leading the Blind: A Marching Band Helps an Artist Navigate Santa Ana
For his upcoming performance, Artist Carmen Papalia, who is legally blind, will spend nearly an hour navigating the streets of downtown Santa Ana by the sounds of a marching band alone.
The Social Art of Jorg Dubin
The Social Art of Jorg Dubin
Laguna Beach artist Jorg Dubin has spent 35 years as a professional artist, designer and art director, but questions about human psychology still keep him up at night.
Remixing NPR: The Dissonance and Deconstructivism of Patrick Faulk
Remixing NPR: The Dissonance and Deconstructivism of Patrick Faulk
Patrick Faulk creates provocative sculptures dealing with sound, structure, theory, existence, and identity in Santa Ana.
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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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