Three exhibitions happening in Downtown Santa Ana

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The artwalk welcomed lots of expiators. Photo by Lizeth Martinez// el Don

Three main art spaces attracted dozens of Santa Ana College students and locals who frequent the monthly art walk. On Sept.2, during the monthly Downtown Santa Ana ArtWalk these exhibits were displayed.

All three of these exhibits remind art seekers that art has parallels no matter the medium. The mediums used in these art exhibits are videos, photographs, paintings and statues. Art that expresses a common purpose is needed to keep creating art that opens minds. 

These exhibits and their artists continue to have a strong passion to educate people that art is still needed in everyday life to truly understand the reference of our roots. 

Audiences gathered at the Art and Soul exhibition. Photo by: Lizeth Martinez// el Don

Art And Soul- Tri Tran

 When you walk into the gallery you can see the photographs are divided by sharp clear images and images with blur to trigger the viewer’s imagination. With the photography exhibit Art and Soul by Tri Tran, I immediately noticed the subtle sophistication of each picture. Every photograph was of a different place or person. Some images were so sharp it looked as if they were drawings. In this particular show of 26 pieces, Tri introduced most of his printing and photography processes people have been practicing for the last 100 years. In his dark room, he develops his film negatives by using chemical reactions that involve salt and metal plates.  The art of photography has a history and roots that cannot be replaced by digital photography.

Tri Tran continues to look for beauty in every day urges. Photo by Lizeth Martinez// el Don

In Tri’s photography, there are two ways to display images for the viewer. In a photograph titled “Redwood,” you can see every detail of the grooves in the leaves. Compared to…. a portrait shot where parts of the image look blurry. The blurry photo effect forces the viewer to use their imagination, something that may be lost with the high definition of digital photography.

 “Optical scientific distortion is not good, but in photography, distortion is good because that is the beauty. That is what you want the viewer to see or not to see,” said Tri.

Ultimately the inspiration is the final destination or goal of his images. His photographs are also for many people who do not have time to travel and he believes people enjoy seeing images of places they have never visited. Tri Tran continues to look for beauty in the every day and urges everyone else to look for it too.

This exhibition is located in 207 N Broadway Suite Q, Santa Ana CA 92701 from 6pm-9pm.

With Honey in the Mouth- Con Miel en la Boca- Alicia Rojas

Alicia Rojas’ multi-layered exhibit showed the ways in which immigration and climate change have and are continuing to affect our society, even at a local level.

Rojas said that without the migration of bees and working migrant workers the ecosystem and economic system would collapse. She explained the important parallel between how the bees live and how migrants work together to feed the world.

Her exhibition consisted of a large recurring video that covered two walls. In the video, you can see the bees building their honeycombs and hear the buzzing while they work. Along with the video, there was a dark room with an audio of the bees working mixed in with migrants’ stories of travel. Sitting in the dark room, you feel as though you are sitting with the people while they migrate. There is a physical sense of enclosure as you sit and listen to the bees buzzing and the women speaking.

Each of the hand-crafted hives in Rojas’ show represented a different family of bees, some were physically stronger than others. She made the hives out of beeswax to represent how people’s families vary in size and strength. Rojas wanted viewers to never forget where they came from and the work it took to get to where they are. To her, the roots of your history matter. 

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“It’s everybody’s story of those who migrated,” Rojas said. 

This exhibition is located in 125 N Broadway, Santa Ana CA 92701 from 7pm-10pm open until Sept. 23, 2023

Extreme Moderation

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art is an artist-owned non-profit gallery. Executive Director Jeffrey Frisch and 12 of the gallery artists collaborated to create an exhibition titled Extreme Moderation. Each artist-member was asked by Frisch to participate in the exhibition with one self-selected 24-by-24 art piece of their own interpretation of “extreme moderation.”

Debra Vodhanel said, “I took it literally” when it came to her contemporary abstract art piece. Her abstract piece had very light strokes of blue and gray colors that reminded her of her greyhounds playing at Laguna Beach. 

Frisch’s sailboat-like creations he titled “dreamVessels“ were centered pieces in the museum. These intricate dreamVessels were assembled by Frisch and come in two different forms.  Some dreamVessels have a base, consisting of a bottle and others that are suspended in the air by invisible strings. 

Each style of the dreamVessels gives the viewer a different type of feeling. The suspended dreamVessels look as though they are made of paper mache, the sails imitate wings. If you look long enough you can imagine them floating through the air. On the other hand, the dreamVessels with glass bottles as stands look heavy, as though they are being anchored to the floor. These two types of dreamVessels are opposites, it gives the viewers a look into the diversity of these particular art pieces.

“The goal is to make things that are 100% new,” Frisch said. 

Frisch’s favorite drawing is titled “God Creating Landscape Architecture”. In his black and white drawing, there is a tree cut in half, the rooted part of the tree is sprouting the half top of a traditional pencil. The other half of the tree is in full bloom with leaves, the bottom half has the tip of a pencil beginning a drawing. This drawing reflects the philosophy of the art Frisch creates; he describes himself as an intuitive artist.

Evalynn Alu

took a different approach by painting the moderation of emotions. Alu’s painting was about emotions of love, anger and sadness. Her abstract piece shows where the emotion starts and how it circulates back to the beginning. She used a mixture of pinks, yellows, blues, black and white lines to show the circle of emotions. A viewer who passed by, described seeing a rose blooming within Alu’s painting, signifying that there is an element of love in her painting, something Alu intended. 

“Abstract is more for your brain, heart and gut. Painting for the soul,” Alu said. Alu likes to see the beauty of how others can see different images through their own imagination.

Robin Repp, another artist member of OCCCA, is a photographer working in black and white infrared photography. She uses modification techniques on her cameras to create different images. She sees that beauty is an interpretation of one’s own imagination. 

 “You can alter your canvas”, said Repp. Meaning everything you create can change over time. 

This exhibition is located in 117 N Sycamore Street, Santa Ana CA 92701 Mon-Thur by appointment only and Fr-Sun open to everyone from noon- 5pm.

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