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 Whimsy of Wood: The Pyrography of Suzanne Walsh
Pyrography plays a primary role in the practice of Suzanne Walsh. The Orange County-based artist uses fire to portray animal life, and the parallels between humans and animals.
The Music Stops for the Original Disneyland Band
The Disneyland Band has been playing since opening day of the amusement park on July 17, 1955. Recently, Disneyland announced the last performance of the original assemble will be on July 16, a day before the 60th anniversary of the park.
The Otherworldly Works of Yevgeniya Mikhailik
The whimsical artwork of Russian-American Yevgeniya Mikhailik reflects the artist's fantastical imagination.
First Person: Grand Central Art Center Curator John Spiak on 'Vireo'
First Person: Grand Central Art Center Curator John Spiak on 'Vireo'
Director and chief curator of Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center John Spiak discusses the GCAC's role in "Vireo" and the conception of the project.
A History of Hysteria in Art, Film, and Literature
A History of Hysteria in Art, Film, and Literature
A look at the history of hysteria in the Western psyche, in relation to "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser"
Librettist Erik Ehn on Writing 'Vireo'
Librettist Erik Ehn on Writing 'Vireo'
"Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser" is based on research done by composer Lisa Bielawa did on the history of female hysteria for her college thesis.
Episodic Opera: Composer Lisa Bielawa on Vireo
Episodic Opera: Composer Lisa Bielawa on Vireo
"Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser," is a new opera that considers the nature and uses of female hysteria through time. Composer Lisa Bielawa discusses the inspiration behind the innovative work.
Santa Ana Sites: Eclectic Ensemble wild Up Comes to Orange County
Santa Ana Sites: Eclectic Ensemble wild Up Comes to Orange County
The pop-up series, Santa Ana Sites, features the experimental music group "wild Up," an ensemble that re-interprets modern-classical music.
Kevin Stewart-Magee's Ubiquitous California Murals
Kevin Stewart-Magee's Ubiquitous California Murals
Since the early 90s, Orange County artist Kevin Stewart-Magee has created over 100 corporately, publicly and privately-sponsored murals in six states.
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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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