SUMMER SPLASH II: Orange County : Our Hottest picks for a Jam-Packed Summer : ART

Orange County wades into its second hundred years facing a summer that’s filled with a wider range of arts and entertainment activities than ever.

The Calendar staff of the Times Orange County Edition selects highlights among the hundreds of choices offered at the county’s theaters, art museums, outdoor amphitheaters, concert halls, comedy clubs, movie theaters and elsewhere to stave off any summer doldrums that might dare to take roost.

* War and revolution, race and culture, gender and economics are among the weighty topics to be explored in a major exhibit at the Newport Harbor Art Museum that may well be the summer’s most promising and provocative. “Committed to Print: Social and Political Themes in Recent American Printed Art,” July 15-Sept. 23, will include 144 prints and other works on paper from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s by more than 110 artists, all participants in the three-decade resurgence in politically charged and socially conscious art.

Organized by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the exhibit’s illustrious artist roster boasts such names as Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Jonathan Borofsky, Barbara Kruger, Chris Burden and Andy Warhol.


Running concurrently at the Newport Beach museum will be a solo exhibit of works by Los Angeles artist Charles Ray, whose sensibility bridges sculpture, installation and performance art.

* The Laguna Art Museum will also host two meaty shows this summer:

“Jay DeFeo: Works on Paper,” July 13-Oct. 7, gives the late California abstractionist her first major museum survey. DeFeo, a San Francisco artist, was associated with the poets and artists of the Beat generation. The exhibit, with more than 50 works on paper from 1956 on, is being organized by the University Art Museum, UC Berkeley.

“Turning the Tide: Early Los Angeles Modernists, 1920-1956,” July 13-Sept. 16, features 80 paintings and 10 sculptures by 10 leading Los Angeles modern pioneers including Lorser Feitelson, Helen Lundeberg, Hans Burkhardt and Rico Lebrun.

During July and August, the Laguna Art Museum will be open Fridays until 8 p.m., in addition to normal hours of 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

* “The Conceptual Impulse,” coming to Security Pacific Gallery in Costa Mesa, will feature works in a variety of media. Seven artists who are “aggressively investigating ideas” are included in the exhibit, says curator Mark Johnstone. The show runs June 17-Aug. 12.

* The Irvine Fine Arts Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary with “Top of the Crop: 10 Year Pick,” through July 22. The multimedia exhibit is composed mostly of works by Orange County artists, selected by curator Dorrit Kirk Fitzgerald who has chosen one old and one new piece by each participant.

The center will also host “Island Indonesia: Reflections of Art, Mirrors of Culture,” a traveling, 160-piece exhibit of Indonesian artifacts presented in conjunction with the Festival of Indonesia, a national touring program. Textiles, ritual sculptures, jewelry and paintings from the 12th to the 20th Centuries will be on view from Aug. 18- Oct. 30.

* The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art has once again chosen a superior Southern California curator to select artists for its annual juried exhibition. Judi Freeman, associate curator of 20th Century art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will officiate OCCCA’s 10th annual juried show (to take place at its main location at 3621 MacCarther Blvd.) from July 18-Aug. 17. Artists from the Western United States will be included.

* Finally, a range of ethnic groups should be represented in “Cross Cultural Currents in O.C.,” July 18-Aug. 3 at Rancho Santiago College Art Gallery. Artists in the multimedia exhibit, curated by local artist Emigdio Vasquez, have either worked or lived in Orange County. Summer gallery hours (from June 11 to September) are Tuesdays, 6 to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A list of summer arts and entertainment activities for children will appear in Wednesday’s Calendar.