Woman in calavera face paint during Día de los Muertos | Photo from "Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead" ABs10

First Person: Grand Central Art Center Curator John Spiak on 'Vireo'

Witches. Wisdom. Wonder. Vireo is an opera created for TV and online broadcast that considers the usage of "female hysteria" throughout the decades. The multi-episode production was composed by Lisa Bielawa on a libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte. "Vireo" is the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award.

After 17 years as a curator at Arizona State University Art Museum, John Spiak became the director and chief curator of Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center, which was an essential player in the production of "Vireo." Artbound recently caught up with Spiak to discuss the GCAC's role in "Vireo" and the conception of the project.


Further Reading on "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser:"

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.

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.

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"

Kronos Quartet on the Sound of "Vireo"
The Kronos Quartet created the music that accompanies the performers on "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser."

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Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions with renditions enacted in communities all around the world.

  • 2019-09-18T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-17T06:00:00-07:00
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How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

  • 2019-09-19T06:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-21T17:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-22T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-22T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-22T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-24T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-25T20:00:00-07:00
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Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

  • 2019-09-26T06:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-28T17:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-29T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-29T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-29T20:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-01T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-02T20:00:00-07:00
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Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.

  • 2019-10-03T06:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-05T17:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-06T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-09T20:00:00-07:00
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Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic

"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s. Through the writings of Edith Heath, the founder and designer of Heath Ceramics and voiced by renowned chef Nancy Silverton, this episode explores the groundbreaking work of a woman who created a classic of American design.

  • 2019-10-10T06:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-13T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-16T20:00:00-07:00
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