Around the Counties: Touring the OC with Evan Senn

Cacophony Society Zone Show.jpg

Columnist and recent Orange County transplant, Evan Senn participates in this week's installment of Around the Counties.

Don't have plans for the weekend? What about digging into an assortment of deep fried foods at the fair or seeing sculptures constructed out of disposed materials?

Read all about the five events the OC Art Blog writer recommends for you to visit, below.

What makes Orange County so attractive?

Evan Senn.

Los Angeles had been my home for 23 years, but Orange County has everything LA has, and more! I moved to OC for grad school, and before that had only an occasional event or a friendly visit in OC. But OC has a lot more space, some of the most beautiful beaches around, good history, great culture, and so massively huge, that it really does have a large amount of art institutions that just don't get play, because of OC's size. It's fun to explore and navigate through this giant place and share my findings with people. OC is just as diverse, and just as quirky and weird as LA, NY, Austin, Portland, etc., you just have to know where to look. Good food, good art, good music scene, and passionate people... that's pretty much all I need in a place. And the fact that it's NOT in LA, but close enough... for my Angelenos to make the trek for an awesome new adventure? Yeah, I like that too.

What are some of your favorite art venues in Orange County? Why do you particularly enjoy them?

Some of my favorite art venues in OC include Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Laguna Art Museum, Begovich Gallery in Fullerton, City of Brea Art Gallery, Huntington Beach Art Center, and OCCCA. There are a ton more, but these have better shows more often than not. They stay up with the trends and happenings of today's art community, they involve other areas and communities with their art space and shows, they think outside of the generic art box, and have genuinely well thought out, high quality art. A lot of these places work hard to have quality programming that engages and impresses the OC art community, amongst others. They seem to want to contribute something more than just another budget for art in this county, they seem to genuinely want to show great art in a great way.

Grand Central Art Center. | Photo: Brandon Shigeta/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Which art event did you last attend?

The last exhibits I attended were: "1942" at The OC Great Park and "Escape from the Landfill" at HBAC (Huntington Beach Art Center).

Do you see any art trends in Orange County?

I think OC is a little tired of its roots in Pop-Surrealism and low brow paintings and drawings. I see a lot of attention paid to Relational Aesthetics, Social Activism artwork, Minimalist historical works, and more thought-provoking conceptual art. A lot of artists and curators are trying new things with their spaces, taking into account our economic status, our placement in California's art scene as well as our place in the global art scene.

'Another Orange County Sunset.' | Photo: Rolando Jones/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Can you recommend an art event to the Artbound audience that's taking place this weekend?

This weekend?

  • Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School is held monthly at Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim, and taking place this weekend. Very fun.
  • And the OC Fair just opened up, so people can go enjoy eating the weirdest deep fried goods and ride carnival-style rides until they puke! Always a blast. :)
  • But the Escape from the Landfill exhibit at Huntington Beach Art Center is a really great show, and I highly suggest going and seeing it.
  • OCMA has a cool show up right now too, Jack Goldstein--one of their better shows, I must say.
  • Oh!, and Peter Bo Rappmund is at Laguna Art Museum for their expose series. Really cool video/sound artist. I liked that show a lot too.

Orange County Fair. | Photo: Joe Utsler/Flickr/Creative Commons License

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Top Image: Cacophony Society Zone Show at Grand Central Art Center. | Photo: Waltar/Flickr/Creative Commons License

About the Author

Melody Soto is a journalist living in the San Fernando Valley.
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