Thank you for your interest! Our Crowdfunding campaign has finished. If you still wish to support us, you can make a gift at

GCAC Artist-in-Residence Program

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
66 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 01, at 12:00 AM PDT
Project Owners

GCAC Artist-in-Residence Program

This is Grand Central Art Center’s (GCAC) first attempt at a crowdfunding campaign, we know you will help make it a success! Donations of $5, $10, and $20 add up and help us toward our goal. We also appreciate those who, at this time, can contribute more significant amounts, $50, $100, and $500.

Perhaps a few of you are interested in a more significant gift to help us establish an endowment for our artist-in-residency initiative. If you’re one of those individuals, please reach out; I would love to have that conversation and share more regarding our future vision.

Your generous donation helps to champion the expanded approaches of the CSUF Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) artist-in-residency initiative. Contributions provide an opportunity to bring innovative artists to Grand Central Art Center for the engagement of students, faculty, and our greater communities. With positive energy and national recognition of past projects, our future residencies will continue to focus on ambitious and successful outcomes.

GCAC brings awareness, connection, positive change, equity, and community through the contemporary visual arts. Our artist-in-residence program's diverse history has continually worked toward raising artistic voices often underrepresented in our society and art institutions. Residencies lead through the belief that the creative process should be fluid and porous, not confined or restricted by limitations. The process is free roaming and focuses on providing opportunities for exchange, discovery, and influence to occur organically.

With this institutional philosophy of centering and connecting in place, GCAC continues to experiment with and refine the residency approach, inviting artists to build relationships, understanding, and respect toward undertaking new forms of cultural production and inclusion in the Cal State Fullerton community, our broader communities, and within the field of contemporary arts.

We thank you for your support and share with you, in artists own words, how your contributions make a difference:

Carmen Papalia, Vancouver
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2013
Producing Mobility Device at the GCAC was an experience that remains a highlight for me from my first year working as an artist after grad school; it was the first time a mainstream contemporary art institution invested in my practice and meaningfully supported me in bringing a concept to realization! Now ­ after having worked as a disabled artist in a contemporary art context for the last few years ­ I know that the effort and intention that John Spiak and the GCAC staff extended to me is rare. For me, GCAC’s truly community-based, artist-first approach to supporting artistic development ­ and their ongoing commitment to embrace non-traditional practices and topics that are relevant in the current social, cultural, and political landscape ­ represents a gold standard in the areas of accessibility and public engagement in a field where practitioners from a range of minority groups remain at the margins.

Jasmín Mara López
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2021-23

Being an artist-in-residence at GCAC has been a blessing. Over a two-year period, I have been afforded time, space and resources to support the completion of one feature length film (Silent Beauty), and the development of three other films which will go into production in 2024. The generous and caring environment at GCAC has been pivotal to my success as a BIPOC artist. 

Paul Ramirez Jonas
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2014-16

Residencies scare me a little! I always fear they are only for artists that need time away from their lives to produce something very concrete. I usually travel places as part of a process of creating a new public project; to get to know a place rather than escape. GCAC has created a magical sweet spot where truly nothing is expected in terms of concrete outcomes; but they have a secret recipe of conversation, engagement, community, and conviviality –that paradoxically incubated one of the most important projects I have ever completed. 

Alicia Rojas
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2020-23

The residency allowed me to follow my own process without the pressure of a goal or timeline. It supported me with the privilege of time, space, and funding to develop a meaningful layered project.  It was an incredibly enriching experience to feel welcomed and nurtured throughout the whole process. John Spiak empowered me to work to my fullest potential, also connecting me to a community of creative professionals that felt more as a support cohort during a very important transition in my career as an artist.

Susy Bielak and Fred Schmalz
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2019-23

It is unique and special for a residency to ask you to arrive without a preconceived notion of what you would like to do while in residence. GCAC offers the time and resources to develop complex projects that require research and experience to reveal the wrinkles and nuances of place. Orange County’s palimpsest of history and contemporary social dynamics require time to understand—and more time to develop into sensitive place-based work. The investment of the curatorial staff helped us start with a blank canvas, learn the complexities of the environment, and refine an exhibition that could not have happened anywhere else.

Alison O'Daniel, Los Angeles
GCAC exhibiting artist, 2014

John Spiak and GCAC supported the early stages of The Tuba Thieves, a large-scale project I have been working on for several years. Their encouragement, technical, and financial bolstering of my project was not only generous, it paved the way for me to be more ambitious. GCAC helped close a gap in funding I was trying to fill and enabled me to work with a crew to film a recreation of John Cage's 4'33" in the actual Maverick Concert Hall where it occurred originally in 1952 in Woodstock, NY. I can draw a direct line from the support I received from GCAC to opportunities that came later and I'm incredibly grateful to John and his fantastic and lovely team for hearing what I needed and happily stepping in to help make the project happen.

Cog•nate Collective (Amy Sanchez and Misael Diaz)
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2013-19

The support we have received from GCAC throughout our residence — not just in terms of resources, but perhaps more importantly, in terms of the flexibility of the residence program — has allowed us to develop and test increasingly collaborative, inter-disciplinary, reciprocal approaches to teaching, learning, and making art with/in community. In this process we have felt GCAC has made itself a partner in not only nurturing and allowing us to grow our own practice, but in fostering the development of relationships with students/faculty from CSUF as well as local community organizations, generating important dialogue around the role arts and culture can play in improving the quality of life of residents locally in Santa Ana and regionally throughout Southern California.

Yumi Janairo Roth
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2020-23

GCAC was instrumental in helping me develop SPIN (after Sol LeWitt) and allowed me to work intensely with sign spinners, dancers, and musicians to create a diverse body of work that we exhibited and presented over the course of several months (but explored over a two-year period). We co-produced a podcast between sign spinners and art world professionals, we developed performances with dancers and sign spinners, we hosted impromptu workshops, and we co-organized the first ever Guinness World Record event for a sign spinner. GCAC's artist-in-residence program is unique and allowed me to engage with so many different kinds of people. It's an experience I won't forget, that was both creatively invigorating and intellectually humbling.

Gregory Sale
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2021-present

Grand Central Art Center has created a generative space for my creative projects that can take time to incubate. And there’s something new, barely perceivable that I started there this summer. I have appreciated the warmth and care shown to the artists, the connection to the Santa Ana community, the graduate students that are part of the GCAC family, and the proximity to art centers in Los Angeles. Importantly, GCAC has also provided a generous and deeply appreciated meeting place, hosting some of my long-term art and justice collaborators and me while working on our multifaceted, multiyear projects. GCAC is a place where I’ve been able to pause, reflect and evaluate the work. All important aspects of an arts practice that are often in short supply.

Mariangeles Soto-Diaz
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2022-23

My time at GCAC has been nothing short of amazing, and it wouldn’t have been possible without John and Tracey’s warm welcome, unwavering support, and the nurturing environment they have created at GCAC. Being at GCAC, a place dedicated to fostering a sense of possibility and to championing creative practice in community has been a real gift not just in terms of space and time but of connection and friendship with other artists in Santa Ana.

Lexa Walsh
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2019-23

My residency at Grand Central was flexible, hospitable, and process centered. Working with John and his team allowed me to focus deeply on my research, experimentation, and eventual collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. John and the GCAC staff were there with me every step of the way, helping create a fruitful and satisfying project and many long-lasting relationships.

Lucas Murgida
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2018-2019

Grand Central Art Center provided me with the rare opportunity to build a long term, community engaged project from the ground up. Over the course of a year and a half, I was able to create a six-part viewer interactive experience for the community of Santa Ana that would not have been possible without the immersive support that GCAC provides from its artists in residence. This included a very comfortable apartment, an art studio to work in, a wood shop to fabricate in, a vibrant community to live and engage with, and a gallery to install work in. The staff was nothing but supportive and gave me a chance to expand my discourse in exciting new directions at a scale that I never thought was possible.

Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle
GCAC artist-in-residence, 2017
In the summer of 2016, our nation witnessed an unfathomable surgent of state-sanctioned violence, unrest, and horror. That summer was a major turning point within my practice and gave birth to the performance Exploring The Nowannago with Tyler Matthew Oyer. The performance was six years in the making.

When GCAC’s Director/Chief Curator invited us to build a whole exhibition and programming around the performance at GCAC in 2017, I witnessed my relationship to my art practice, the poetics of space, and what it means to create a space for the audience to shift from spectators to witness unfold and intensify. My approach to creating exhibitions has never been the same.

Working with the GCAC staff to produce the exhibition and a performance that has such an intense subject matter was no light undertaking. Many institutions either do not want to present work of this nature because they want to continue ignoring the ghosts of history and how they haunt our present, or some institutions invite performances of this nature for shock value. Presenting our work at GCAC was neither, and it’s a testament to the entire staff and their progressive thinking and approaches to bringing necessary work to the Santa Ana community. Participating in the Art Walk alone was astonishing and a first for me. I was so floored by how many people engaged in the work, concept, and ideas.

The sensitivity, understanding, and the allowance for us to experiment, challenge and interrupt the notion of the white cube and hegemonic narratives is something I continue to bring with me throughout the life of my Kentifrica project and other bodies of work that I am engaged with. I truly treasure GCAC, and I am so honored that my work was shared with the Santa Ana, Cal State Fullerton community, and beyond!

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