Summer Arts Preview 2015

Those bloviating LA snobs who like to venture forth the supposition there's zero culture south of their city . . . they're just circling the wagons, people who haven't been here in the past decade or simply like to repeat the same old bullshit. Orange County galleries, museums and movie theaters have something for everyone this summer, so over the next few months, take a break from skin cancer or Hollywood cinematic mediocrity and mainline some art.

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“Adams, Curtis and Weston: Photographers of the American West.” Differing visions of the Old West by three of the greatest photographers who ever clicked a pic are compared and contrasted at the Bowers. 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; Through Nov. 29.

“Blood Orgy of the Behemoths.” With the best title of any exhibition you'll see this year, curator Stephan “Bax” Baxter exhibits 40 paintings at Max Bloom's Art Gallery by four artists—Doug Horne, BigToe, Candy Weil and Ken Ruzic—celebrating kitsch (tiki), schlock (alien encounters) and old-school movie monsters. 220 N. Malden Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2600. Call for times and dates. Free (but help a guy out and buy a cuppa joe).

“Korda: Revolutionary Photographer.” The man who took the iconic revolutionary image of Che Guevara that plastered a million posters and T-shirts on a million clueless hipsters gets an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Latin American Art. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-1689; Through Aug. 2. $6-$9; kids younger than 12, free.

“Moist.” The rare local exhibition that, according to Orange County Center for Contemporary Art's press release, “casts a long, slow look at sensuality, sexuality and eroticism in today's art, giving free rein to desire.” Translation: You'll flood your basement. Bring rubbers. 117 N. Sycamore St., Santa Ana, (714) 667-1517; Through July 11. Free.

Summer Writing Project. Visionary local boy Kevin Staniec revives the lost art of the novella with this annual collaboration between JukePop, 1888 Center and his own publishing collective, Black Hill Press. Submit your work serially and read and comment on the work of others participating; at the end of August, a jury will select three of the best books entered and publish them. Free biweekly talks and lectures on genre writing, literary journals and marketing, among others, are also scheduled throughout the summer. Through Aug. 31.

Sunnyside Cemetery Movie Screenings. Long Beach Cinematheque and Santa Ana's own Frida Cinema come together to present screenings of cult films, camp and classics in outdoor screenings. Films include Repo! The Genetic Opera, Donnie Darko, The Birds, Xanadu and The Lost Boys. Picnic dinners, lawn chairs and horror films in a cemetery that's more than a century old? I'm already there. 1095 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 595-93925; $12. Throughout the summer.

“Yesterday's Future.” Portland native Grace Kook-Anderson sneaks back into town at the Great Park Gallery and guest curates an exhibition that examines artists and architects reflecting on modernism versus more traditional ways of city-making. I have only a vague idea of what that means, but if Kook-Anderson is involved, I'm there. At the Palm Court Arts Complex, Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way, Irvine, (866) 829-3829; Through Sept. 20.

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“My Generation: Young Chinese Artists.” The death of Mao, the arrest of the Gang of Four and the renunciation of the Cultural Revolution by China's leaders led to another revolution (of sorts), opening up the tightly controlled Communist country. The 25 artists presented in this touring show that'll stop at the Orange County Museum of Art were all born after 1976, have been part of the country's One Child Policy and experienced China's growth into an economic superpower. Witness their vision of that new world, despite continued censorship and government interference. 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; June 26-Oct. 11.

“The 1968 Exhibit.” This traveling exhibit at the Bowers examines the year that war, assassinations and riots ran roughshod over the U.S., as well as the advances in science and counterculture that happened, attempting to settle the debate whether all of the victories balanced out all of the violence. 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; June 13-Sept. 13. $10-$15.

“Robert Rauschenberg.” The Orange County Museum of Art raids its vast collection again to present the second installment of its “Selections” series. Focusing on individual artists, this time, the subject is sculptor, graphic artist and painter Robert Rauschenberg (deeply loved by this critic for his erasure of a de Kooning drawing as an act of poetry). The Museum is presenting nine of his works, including collages, prints and light boxes. 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; June 28-Oct. 11.

3tArts presents “Spirit of the Wind.” Rothick Art Haus hosts its last gallery show (!) with this 3tArts tribute to Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli creations. If the exhibition is anything like their delightful Sailor Moon tribute show last year, expect enough art on display to satisfy a hungry No Face and magical enough to please Kiki and Jiji. 170 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 829-8283. Opens Aug. 8. Free.

The Yes Men Are Revolting. The most entertaining performance artists/political activists this side of Pussy Riot, culture jammers Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno routinely issue phony press releases in which evil corporations such as Dow Chemical Co. accept responsibility for deaths they've caused in Bhopal, create websites that name and shame corporate criminals, and give lectures in which they espouse the joys of slavery while posing as execs of those same multinationals. Catch their film at the Frida Cinema. 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 285-9422; Visit the website for showtimes. June 12-18. $10.

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