California State University, Fullerton

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School of Music Department of Theatre and Dance Department of Visual Arts Grand Central Art Center
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Grand Central Art Center Mission Statement

A unit of California State University, Fullerton – College of the Arts, Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) is dedicated to the open exploration of contemporary art and visual culture: locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally through socially engaged collaborations among artists, students, and the community.

Please visit Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center website for complete Center information.


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 college of the arts graduate students, the Grand Central Gallery, the Project room, the Grand Central Theater, the Gypsy Den Café, a Sales Gallery, classrooms, 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 Education Gallery offers new exhibitions each month.

The Theater is centrally located in the building. It is configured in-the-round and seats an audience of seventy. 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. Visit the Department of Theatre and Dances events page for a listing of productions at Grand Central Theatre