Art News

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to Display Gothic Artworks

artwork: Kelley Hensing - "Rumination" - Oil over drawing on paper mounted on board - 33" x 27" - Courtesy the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. On view in "Gothic" from February 2nd until March 24th.

Orange County, CA.- The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) is pleased to present “Gothic”, on view at the center from February 2nd through March 24th. “Gothic” features works from artists evincing a peculiar, perverse, idiosyncratic sensitivity, influenced by literature, movies, television and the tabloids, in painting, drawing, sculpture, illustration, fashion, graphic design, animation, photography, video, digital media, computer-based works, installation and performance. OCCCA’s museum of the macabre will display supernatural mutations, bizarre curiosities permeated by fantastic and pathological themes. “Gothic” is a mix of Medievalism, Romanticism, science fiction, Victoriana, punk, the uncanny, the grotesque, and the erotic, inseparable from despair, fear and rapture. “Gothic” reveals the shadow within, the skull beneath the skin.

The exhibition has been curated by Amy V. Grimm, an Independent Curator and Assistant Professor of Art History & Museum Studies at Irvine Valley College. Grimm received her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York in New Paltz, New York. She received a Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and a M.A. in Art History from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. Grimm’s M.A. Thesis, is titled, Andy Warhol: An Inquiry into Self Identity and Portraiture. Ms. Grimm’s area of specialization includes Modern and Contemporary European and American Art. Grimm’s museum and academic career spans over fifteen years including work for the Albany Institute of History & Art, the South Carolina State Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. As a museum curator, Grimm has developed and supervised over 40 exhibitions including independent projects and museum collaborations. Notable exhibitions include, Out of Eden: The Sculptural Work of Harry Geffert for the El Paso Museum of Art, and Sweet Subversives: Contemporary California Drawings for the Long Beach Museum of Art. Grimm’s scholarship related to exhibition programming and independent critical reviews have been published as museum catalogs and articles in national publications such as Sculpture and Artlies magazines.

artwork: Elyse Hochstadt - "Cloven" - Polymer clay with bronze finish, wood plinth - 9" x 12" x 4 1/2" Courtesy the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. On view in "Gothic" until Mar. 24th.

Grimm is past president of the Border Museum Association in El Paso, Texas; an organization that sponsors events to promote international arts partnerships. Working for the College Art Association, Grimm has developed annual conference programming in cities such as Seattle, Atlanta, Boston and New York. For the College Art Association’s Annual Conference in 2007, in New York City, Grimm chaired the panel Out of the Frame: Creativity and Change. This panel addressed curatorial risk taking in light of controversial topics and technological challenges. Also during the 2007 conference, Grimm curated The Media Lounge, a unique space dedicated to showing contemporary new media, such as the MIT Media Lab, Potter-Belmar Labs and several independent filmmakers and videographers. Grimm continues to lecture extensively on topics such as Andy Warhol, Contemporary Art and Museum Studies. As an Assistant Professor of Art History & Museum Studies, Grimm is developing a new undergraduate program in Applied Museum Studies for Irvine Valley College. Students participating in the program will gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a variety of employment opportunities, in museums and other arts organizations.

Talking of the exhibition, Grimm says: “The Gothic genre is a broad and complex interdisciplinary movement that never ceases to spark my interest. The human desire to experience pleasurable fear is evident in literature, music, film, dance, fashion, design and the visual arts. Creative expression of the fantastic and frightening are not new, but are deeply rooted in the psyche of humankind. In fact one might say that this part of our psyche is an essential part of what makes us human. The understanding and appreciation of opposites such as dark and light, good and evil, life and death are especially relevant to the Gothic genre. My intent as the Juror for GOTHIC is to understand and appreciate the widest range of creative expression within this complex genre. I would expect to see the deadly serious to the silly, from the secular to the non-secular, from the beautiful to the ugly and from the personal to the universal in a wide range of media. As I review the works, I will not only examine the work on its own merits, I will also evaluate them in context to the other entries and how they may work together to create a truly memorable, relevant and exciting exhibition.”

artwork: Nancy Caster - "Eighth Monster" - Acrylic on canvas - 48" x 48" Courtesy the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. On view in "Gothic" from February 2nd until March 24th.

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) is an artist operated California non-profit corporation dedicated to the pursuit of professional excellence and freedom of expression in the arts. Since it’s inception in 1980, it has provided emerging and established member and guest artists a forum to explore and develop ideas in contemporary art in an atmosphere that promotes experimentation and risk-taking, but without the specter of censorship. In addition, OCCCA develops and actively participates in public educational, outreach and community art services. Located in the heart of Santa Ana’s Artist Village, OCCCA presents a variety of free programs: Films, Forums, Eclectic Company concerts and First Saturday artist receptions. OCCCA began through the vision of its five founding members, Richard Aaron, Robert Cunningham, Suvan Geer, Alhena Scott, and Carol Stella. The inaugural exhibition, in September of 1980, featured Slator Barron, George Herms, and Dustin Shuler. OCCCA has continued to function as a nurturing showplace for emerging and mid career member artists from the Orange County area. In addition to members work, OCCCA strives to exhibit a variety of artists work from all media and career levels from emerging through established late career artists. Affiliate members participate in all aspects of professional art practice, including design and installation of exhibitions, public relations/publicity, curatorial, accounting, grant and proposal writing, gallery sitting, facilities maintenance, etc.

In its 30 year history, with a membership roster limited to 40 through its current by-laws, OCCCA has exhibited over 800 guest artists and held numerous solo, group and juried shows that have showcased more than 6,000 participants. Affiliate members have shown in more than 600 one-person shows and 300 group exhibitions. In addition, the organization has a long tradition of mounting non-member exhibition and performance projects, and inviting outside curators to organize shows. Over the years, the scope of OCCCA’s programming has expanded to include collaborative and exchange projects with other venues throughout the United States and overseas. With the generous assistance and support of the City of Santa Ana, OCCCA was granted title and moved to its current 6,300 square-foot facility. Ownership and member management and control of our gallery makes OCCCA unique in the world of non-profit arts organizations. In the past six years OCCCA has extended its international reach. The new facility has enabled the planning of more ambitious large-scale projects most notably those in the new media areas. Visit the OCCCA’s website at …