Fashionistas Fight Back!

Juror: Shana Nys Dambrot

Exhibition Dates: October 3 - November 14, 2015

Opening Receptions: Oct 3rd and November 7th, 6-10pm

DJ Yellow Blackbird will be spinning Oct 3rd

Special Reception Dance Performances by: EMBARK Dance Theatre


Isabella Kelly-Ramirez, Alice (2015), Collage on Paper, 11" x 14"




Featured Artists:

Stephen Anderson, Shula Arbel, Sue Arnold, Ingrid Aubry, Loretta Ayeroff, Jodi Bonassi, Bridget Bourgon, Leslie Brown, Donna Casey Aira, Jennifer Cawley, Chuka Chesney, Karen Clark, Dick Craig, Bibi Davidson, Ellen Davis, Eliza Day-Green, Sheri Determan, L. Aviva Diamond, Lucia Ferreira Litowtschenko, Rebecca Finley, Claire Fleury, Kathi Flood, Robert Gorman, Ellen Greene, Gina Herrera, Hannah Jenkinson, Amy Kaps, Lauren Kasmer, Colleen Kelly, Isabella Kelly-Ramirez, Leslie Lanxinger, Gudrun Latten, Stevie Love, Leslie Magdaleno, Susan Melly, Trevor Messersmith, Leon Mostovoy, Shaun Muscolo, Diana N'Diaye, Ashleigh Norman, Sarah Palmeri, Janet Pedersen, Saraswati Petrovic, Donnal Poppe, Nataša Prosenc Stearns, Osceola Refetoff, Robin Repp, Paul Roustan, Ellen Schinderman, Carl Shubs, Elaine Sigwald, Marischa Slusarski & Britt Ehringer in collaboration with NAMAAK Collective, Christian Smith, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jane Szabo, Nancy Tabeling, Annie Terrazzo, Adam Tramantano, Scott Trimble, Marjan Vayghan, Petert Walker, Bob Weil, Tracey Weiss, Kurt Weston, Victor Wilde, Carolyn Yarnell, Katayoon Zandvakili

PDF of selected work


Delivery of accepted works: on or before September 26, 2015.


DOWNLOAD AGREEMENT FORM PDF: please fill out and attach to artwork


Leslie Magdaleno, Exquisite Corpse (2015), Mixed Media, 20" x 16"


Fashion is a seductive powerhouse in contemporary culture, worthy of celebration and critique. Fashion is a weapon --- against boredom, the prosaic, and the humdrum. 

With a joie de vivre that is irrepressible, fashionistas fight back against mediocrity, conventional thinking, and bad taste. The catwalk is a platform with only one plank: freedom of self-expression. “Joy wants eternity,” as Nietzsche wrote. To see modernity in the ruffle of a dress is a form of clairvoyance. The drama in fashion’s “street theater” inspires designers, photographers, musicians and artists of all kinds, to reach new heights of style. Think Marina Abramovic who now has a gig with Givenchy. And Prada is synonymous with cerebral interventions into the world of art. Recent retrospectives of major designers signal deeper appreciation of their creativity. In the sumptuous, sensual Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity (2013) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manet is quoted: “The latest fashion is absolutely necessary for a painting. It’s what matters most.” The Impressionists captured the novelty of fashion’s fleeting allure so exquisitely it makes one ache for the Paris of the past. Such is fashion’s power, that it can immortalize a time and place.

The juror for Fashionistas Fight Back! will select works of painting, photography, video, sculpture, craft --- and the dressmaker’s art. Even when displayed on a rigid dressmaker’s form, a gown can evoke the impossibly beautiful wearer. But sometimes avant-garde designers undermine our expectations by using unusual or re-cycled materials. And who can forget Bjork arriving at the Academy Awards dressed as --- was that a swan? Or Rodarte’s wearable sculpture with bulges reminiscent of the Willendorf fertility idol.

Despite the bellicosity of the term “fashionistas,” it fits perfectly: fashion revolutionaries living in the urban jungle, armed with attitude. But sometimes reality pops the bubble: AIDS, anorexia, animal pelts versus faux fur, dangerous conditions for underpaid workers, pressure from “fast fashion” with styles see-sawing between the normal and the weird, disposable clothes piling up in landfills, the perils of “heroin chic,” and the tilt toward the pornographic in fashion advertising, a far cry from the classic photography of Vogue in the 1950s.

Graphic Design by Dali Polivka
Written by Rob Mintz


Trevor Messersmith, Glove (2011), Photography, 12" x 10"



Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator, and author based in Los Angeles. She is currently LA Editor for Whitehot Magazine, Arts Editor for Vs. Magazine, Contributing Editor to Art Ltd., and a contributor to the LA Weekly, Flaunt, Huffington Post, Montage, Desert Magazine, and KCET's Artbound. She studied Art History at Vassar College, curates one or two exhibitions a year, and speaks in public with alarming frequency. An account of her activities is sometimes updated at sndx.net.


Marischa Slusarski & Britt Ehringer in collaboration with NAMAAK Collective,
Empty Words (2015), Unique Digital Print, 40.5" x 72"


40 Hues Between Black & White

Collaboration exhibition, Call for art with

Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA)

Online entry at CAFÉ

Click to enter


Deadline to enter EXTENDED: October 31, 2015

Exhibition Dates: December 5 - 19, 2015

Venues: OCCCA and VAALA Cultural Center

Websites: www.occca.org & www.vaala.org


About the theme:
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the beginning of the exodus of over a million Vietnamese people to other countries for political, economic, and other reasons following the end of the Vietnam conflict. For some, the irrevocable changes that accompanied the conflict’s end resulted in the loss of a way of life. For others, it ushered in new beginnings. And for many, both were equally true.

This exhibition aims to present a survey of the thematic concerns of artists of Vietnamese heritage AND artists inspired by Vietnam over the past forty years. Themes such as change, displacement, identity, and memory are particularly relevant. By presenting many “hues” of artworks, we hope to express the multiplicity of generations of artists and viewpoints, and to counter black-or-white, good-or-bad judgment and politics. Works of art produced in any media since 1975 will be considered.


All Media will be considered.
Accepted video work should be submitted on a self playing and looping DVD disk. Venues have Limited amount of Video monitors and DVD devices, Artist may need to provide their own equipment. Any special equipment must be supplied by the artist

Open internationally
Open to artists from every country, shipping costs are paid for by the artist, both to and from the gallery. No exceptions, the venues do not have funds for shipping of accepted artwork.

Entry fee is non-refundable, and does not guarantee acceptance.
Entry fee proceeds go towards offseeting costs for this exhibition, and for future programing to both of the non-profit venues.

Note this exhibition is held simultaneously at the two venues, your work will be displayed in one of the venues based on the curators discretion, and size of the work. 


Curated By: Dinh Q. Lê and Stephen Anderson

Dinh Q. Lê was born in Ha-Tien, Vietnam in 1968.  He received his BA in Art studio at UC Santa Barbara and his MFA in Photography and Related Media at The School of Visual Arts in New York City.  In 1994, Lê returned to Vietnam and in 1997 Lê settled down in Ho Chi Minh City.  

Lê’s artistic practice consistently challenges how our memories are recalled with context in contemporary life. Whether he provokes the dominance of film and media in the creation of historical legacy; the confluence of cultural tradition and contemporary tragedy in his woven photographs; the re-placement of everyday urban objects into artistic wonders; or by documenting the un-chronicled stories of those who endured the first helicopter war - what all of these artistic investigations elucidate is a commitment to the artistic process as a means of excavating history, in the uncovering and revealing of alternate ideas of loss and redemption.

Lê’s work has exhibited worldwide. His recent solo exhibitions include, Destination for the New Millennium, The Art of Dinh Q. Lê at the Asia Society, New York, and Project 93: Dinh Q. Lê at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. He was also included in the Delays and Revolutions, Venice Biennale 2003; in dOCUMENTA (13) 2012; and the 2013 Carnegie International.  In July of 2015, the Mori Museum in Tokyo will host his mid-career survey Memory for The Future.  The exhibition will travel to Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016.

Lê co-founded VNFA and San Art, the most active none profit gallery and residency program in Vietnam. He is the board member of Arts Network Asia Peer Panel, the Danish Embassy’s Cultural Development and Exchange Fund.  Lê was the 2010 Visual Art Laureate, Prince Claus Fund, Amsterdam, and a 2014 Rockefeller’s Bellagio Fellow.

Dinh Q. Lê 
San Art - An independent artist space 
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 


Stephen Anderson was born and raised in Southern California

Stephens creativity sprouted early in his life as he made his own toys out of pipe-cleaners, Styrofoam balls, pant and a mix of fabric and found objects. A early mixed media beginning which has continued to this day, including installation, video, assemblage, sculptural collage and interactive artwork.

After receiving a BFA degree from California University Long Beach, and feeling, ‘now what to do with an art degree? He sought out local artist groups: First becoming a member and a past president of Southern California Artists (SCA), and later applied and was approved to join the artist run non-profit gallery the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA). Which he visited during college as a class field trip, and the experience stuck in his mind as a ‘cool’ place to one day belong to. These organizations allowed him to network with fellow artists and become part of the art community. Leading to develop his artwork and to exhibit domestically and internationally.

Now as the executive director for OCCCA for the past 5 years, he has raised the quality, knowledge and prestige of the center, opening it up to community collaborations and events, along with art exhibitions and musical events including the annual ‘Santa Ana Noise Festival’ featuring experimental and noise genre performers, now in its 7th year. Stephen Co-founded The Eclectic Company, a group of artists and mucsicians who organized and presented diverse media events.

While art making and the art community is a large part of Stephens life, one has to pay the bills, and that is done (as with most artists) with a day job, of which he is currently the visual arts coordinator for the OC Fair and Events Center




All work will be considered for saleunless otherwise indicated on the entry form.
Proceeds from work sold: 60% to the artist, 40% to OCCCA/VAALA
Checks to the artists are processed within 30 working days of the close of the show.



Art sold remains on display until the close of the exhibition.

Although care will be taken in handling of entries, OCCCA/VAALA accepts no responsibility for damage of work submitted to the competition improperly framed or packaged for handling.

Artists may wish to obtain their own insurance.



Artist agrees that display of the work in GENERATIONS is at artist's own risk. OCCCA/VAALA IS not responsible for any loss or damage arising from, connected with or related to theft, fire, vandalism, negligence, defamation, negligent display, water or flood, natural disasters, or any other occurrence, except that OCCCA/VAALA are responsible for its own acts of willful misconduct or gross negligence. Artist hereby indemnifies and holds harmless, and agrees to defend OCCCA/VAALA against any claims or demands arising out of or related to injury or damage caused by the Work, or from claims of infringement. OCCCA/VAALA IS not responsible for the appearance or non-appearance of committee members or their conduct. OCCCA/VAALA IS not responsible for the behavior of any guests or members of the public at the exhibition. Artist is responsible for obtaining insurance to cover damage to the works from any cause.



Artist contact information (email address, telephone) is only held for the purpose of contacting selected artists. All artist emails are added to our future events announcement email list. If you do not wish to be on the email list click the unsubscribe button when you receive the first announcement and your email will be automatically deleted.



By submitting works to GENERATIONS, artists agrees to the rules set forth herein.


Hold Harmless Agreement:

I hereby release the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art /Vietnamese Arts And Letters Association and its members from all liability of every kind and character on account of loss, damages, or injury to property which I may have while on the property at 117 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, CA, 92701. and 1600 N. Broadway, Suite 210 Santa Ana, CA 92706

Any work left at OCCCA/VAALA after exhibition closing, will be subject to a $10.00 per day storage fee. Any artwork left after 10 days from the pick up date will become the property of OCCCA/VAALA

I understand that information contained in this form may be released to the media and that by entering this competition, I understand that my artwork may be photographed for promotional or other purposes.


Entry Agreement:

Submission for consideration in the exhibition, "Generations" constitutes agreement to the conditions stated in this document.


X________________________________ DATE_________



Seen for Syria

January 2-30, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday January 2, 6 - 10 PM

Curated by Soulaf Abas & Alyssa Arney

Press release


The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art is very pleased to announce Seen For Syria, a traveling exhibition featuring the works of Soulaf Abas and Muzaffar Salman as well as the children of the Seen For Syria art therapy program, on view from the 2nd of January through the 30th of January 2016. A public reception will be held on Saturday, the 2nd of January from 6:00 to 10:00 PM in addition to an artist Q&A with Abas in conjunction with the opening.

“I think art is important for everyone everywhere. We never realize, especially in the region, and for educational and cultural reasons, the incredible therapeutic component of creating anything. Even when one is not doing specifically art therapy, one is still healing when they are being creative, and this comes from my personal experience,” says Abas. Jointly their works address their experiences with their home- land and refugees by creating a visual memoir of their beloved country and by depicting the struggles of the Syrian community as well as their personal and internal passions, love, and sadness through photographs, paintings and sundry printmaking methods.

Seen For Syria was realized after Abas imagined it while on a bus ride from Washington DC to New York City in August of 2013. The entirety of Seen For Syria is comprised of three segments: a traveling art exhibition to raise awareness about the ongoing conflicts in Syria, an art education program that utilizes art therapy with Syrian children to express their traumas, and an art exchange between disadvantaged US children, who were able to escape rough neighborhoods, drugs or abusive homes, and displaced, disabled Syrian children. 50% of the art sales will go directly to the outreach programs. The exhibition amplifies the powerful voices of Abas and Salman by creating a unique use and interplay between their lives, work and meaning of their art. The exhibition is organized by Soulaf Abas and Alyssa Arney.


Damascus. 2012.etching. 21 inches by 27 inches


Soulaf Abas was born and raised in Damascus, Syria for 20+ years and lives in Terre Haute, IN. She graduated from Indiana State University in 2008 with a bachelors in Fine Arts and then her masters in 2013. She currently teaches in the art department at ISU. Seen For Syria has traveled to Jordan, Indiana, and Washington DC all in 2014.

Muzaffar Salman was born in Homs, Syria and currently lives in France. He began photography as a hobby and commenced college with an intent to study tourism. His education was interrupted to fulfill his mandatory 2 1/2 years of military service, but upon returning home he earned a diploma in Photography from the International Craft Center in Homs. He has been a freelance photographer for Thomson Reuters and the Associated Press and has exhibited his work in Rome, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, and Turkey.

The art and letters exchanged by the US and Syrian children have been condensed into Me and You, organized by Abas and published by CreateSpace in 2014. The book will be available for purchase at the OCCCA with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the outreach programs.


Explosion, 2012. Oil on canvas.16 inches by 20 inches


For inquiries, please contact the gallery at 714 667 1517 or info.occca@gmail.com.



  Past exhibitions:

Virtual Walkthroughs

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000
1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990
1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980

  orange county center for contemporary artall images & content copyright © 2015