OsCene 2004: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC

November 7, 2004 – February 27, 2005

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The OsCene: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC
was a survey exhibition of Orange County artists working in all media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, multi-media installations, video/film, sound/music, architecture, design, and fashion.
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It had been over twenty years since a major survey exhibition of contemporary art in Orange County had been organized by a museum. Tremendous growth and change had occurred both to the art scene and culture in Orange County during that time period. Consider these facts: there were now more people per square foot in Orange County than in Los Angeles; there had been a substantial increase in contemporary art centers, galleries, and dedicated artists residences; art departments at OC colleges and universities had grown dramatically; cities like Santa Ana and Laguna Beach were increasingly becoming known and were marketing themselves as world-wide art destinations; Orange County had an umbrella arts organization, Arts Orange County, that serves to focus and highlight the arts; and OC also sported the most active chapter of The Business Committee for the Arts, the national organization which recognized and encouraged corporate support of the arts. In addition, there was now a weekly periodical, OC Weekly, which pulled together the art sprawl of OC each week, not to mention several magazines, Coast and Riviera, which devoted large sections to the exhibitions and artist’s of OC.
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So, how good is the art that is being made in Orange County? The OsCene attempted to answer this question with its survey exhibition drawn from over 400 artists who submitted work in an open call.