Grand Central Art Center Mission Statement
California State University, Fullerton Grand Central Art Center is dedicated to the investigation and promotion of contemporary art and visual culture: regionally, nationally, and internationally through unique collaborations between artists, students, and the community.
We are approximately one mile from the Santa Ana freeway (Interstate 5).
The center is approximately twenty-five miles south of Los Angeles and seventy miles north of San Diego.
The Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center is the result of a unique partnership between the university and the city of Santa Ana. Located ten miles south of the main campus in the heart of downtown Santa Ana the art center is a mixed residential, commercial and educational complex. The art center is a 45,000 square-foot, half-city block deep and full city-block long, three-level structure and houses: live/studio spaces for visual arts graduate students, the Grand Central Gallery, the Project room, the Grand Central Theater, Watermark Press, the Gypsy Den Café, a Sales Gallery, classrooms and computer lab, and a studio and living space dedicated to the center’s international artist-in-residence program.
Santa Ana community activist and visionary Don Cribb and Cal State Fullerton Gallery Director Mike McGee originally conceived the Grand Central Art Center in 1994 as the anchor and catalyst for a ten-square block area in the heart of downtown designated as the Artists Village. The subsequent success of the Artists Village has helped spawn a cultural and economic renewal.
The city of Santa Ana purchased and refurbised what was the Grand Central Building—originally built in 1924 the building served as the central market for Orange County up until the 1940s. LA-based architect Steven Ehrlich did the original design for the remodel; Orange County-based Robbins, Jorgensen and Christopher was the executive architectural firm. The project has won three architectural awards.
An innovative fiscal plan allows the center to generate enough income to support basic day-to-day operations. The restaurant, printmaking studio and classroom/computer lab are subleased to third-party operators. The apartments and studios are sub-leased to students.
Twenty-seven apartments are available for students who have been accepted into the university MA or MFA visual and performing arts programs. Students live and work at Grand Central. Each resident who rents an apartment is assigned a studio and parking at the twenty-four-hour-guarded parking structure on 3rd Street.
One of the residential apartments is reserved for the art center’s artist-in-residence program. In addition, an 800-square-foot private studio space is designated for the artist-in-residence.
The Grand Central Art Gallery and Project Room feature exhibitions and projects by internationally noted artists. We present four to six exhibitions a year in each space.
The Sales Gallery offers new exhibitions each month.
Watermark Printmaking is a private business run by owner Andrea Harris-McGee and Matthew Miller. Miller is a master printmaker and artist. He is also the contracted printer for most of the Grand Central Press projects. The Grand Central Press publishes limited edition prints, folio editions and catalogues. The Press project is managed by art center director and supported by the Grand Central Art Forum.
The Grand Central Art Forum is a group of 20 arts supporters who provide professional expertise and sponsor exhibitions, programs and events.
The Theater is centrally located in the building. It is configured in-the-round and seats an audience of eighty-five. We are currently scheduling various performance groups and theater companies to utilize the theater space throughout the year, including productions presented by the university’s nationally recognized dance and theater department. Participating artists in residence also utilize the theatre for performances, film presentations and lectures.