The Westfield Valencia Mall Presents its First Storefront Show from CalArts, Window Lace

Long known for its experimental ethos in artmaking, CalArts is now also engaging its Valencia neighbors in a new way.

CalArts students have performed and displayed their work in venues throughout the world, from MOCA to London’s Menier Gallery. And now, in a new “gallery,” courtesy of the local Valencia Town Center Mall, which is owned and operated by the Westfield Company.

According to Jim Wolken, CalArts’s executive director of marketing and communications, the partnership with Valencia Mall is off to a good start:

It’s been a wonderful partnership thus far. Thousands of residents pass through the Valencia Town Center mall every day. And while I had some initial skepticism about a CalArts presence at the mall because our artists are very particular about how and where their work is presented, the Westfield Company understood this. Its staff took great pains to give our students the kind of space and support that allows them to present their work in a very inviting and professional environment.

The inaugural show, Window Lace, was curated and directed by Associate Dean of Digital Arts, Ajay Kapur, and features an installation of seven monitors displaying abstract motion art graphics by six students in the Digital Arts program.

Kapur says:

It is important for the community to know about CalArts and how it can participate in our events, summer courses and online courses–let alone apply for full programs. The Valencia Town Center is the main gathering place in Santa Clarita, so it’s a great opportunity to introduce more people to CalArts.

On May 21st Westfield’s Vice President of Marketing, Diana Kratt invited CalArts to explore available spaces in the mall to showcase student work.

Kratt says:

With a world-renowned institution like CalArts as our neighbor, we were excited to form a meaningful working relationship. This exhibit allows us to engage with our community through art and we hope this will be a game-changer for Santa Clarita Valley’s art scene. Local residents will now have an opportunity to experience what CalArts is all about. And we hope the Window Lace exhibit is just the beginning, as we look forward to working with all six of CalArts’s schools to showcase the amazing art and energy the students have to offer.

The current exhibition features the work of students Alkis Nicolaides (Music MFA 18), Olivia Hauser (Music MFA 19), Nathan Turczan (Music MFA 19), Juan Pablo Yepez (Music MFA 19), McLean Macionis (Music MFA 19), and Michael Leisz (Music BFA 17).

CalArts has managed time and time again to do the unpredictable. Showcasing student work in the mall is unpredictable but when has CalArts ever been known for the usual?

The Window Lace exhibit is located on the first floor of the Valencia Mall, across from H&M and will be on display through the end of summer 2018.

–by Daniel R. Loyola ’19

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