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A World of Exhibits on Display

Works Celebrate History, Culture Around the Globe


Focusing on California art as well as world-renowned treasures, local exhibits this fall will offer patrons a range of styles to explore, from traditional and contemporary to the mystic and irreverent.

* "Diego Rivera" comes to the Santa Ana College Main Gallery today through Oct. 25. The exhibit is a multimedia exploration of the Pan-American Unity Mural completed by Mexican artist Diego Rivera at the City College of San Francisco in 1940. The exhibit features an interactive kiosk stocked with voice, music and video photographs that takes viewers on a tour and describes the stories behind each figure in the fresco.

* "Along El Camino Real: The California Missions in Art" at the Irvine Museum features more than 50 works from the late 1800s that capture California's past. El Camino Real, which means "King's Highway," connected the 21 California missions. Selections include etchings by Henry Chapman Ford and a painting of San Juan Capistrano by Alexander Harmer. Other paintings are by California Impressionist painters such as William Wendt, Franz Bischoff, Maurice Braun and Guy Rose. The exhibit opens Sept. 23 and continues through Jan. 20.

* The remnants of urban graffiti find their place in art in "East of the River: Post Grafitt," Saturday through Oct. 15 with an opening reception Sept. 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana's Artists Village. The exhibition is created and curated by artist Frank Miller.

Miller's work comprises 650 discarded materials such as spray cans, paint rollers and syringes scattered along the east side of the Los Angeles River from Cypress Gardens to Commerce. Miller also will be working with 17 artists from the L.A. Assemblage Group. Each artist will present a piece of work and collaborate on a single mosaic installation.

* The Fullerton Museum Center offers a rare glimpse of Amish life in "A Different Form of Modernity: Amish Life Across North America." The exhibit, which opens Sept. 30, uses more than 200 photos along with Amish and Mennonite quilts, clothing, toys and dolls to provide an in-depth look at the people, their customs and reverence for their land. The window into a community locked in 19th century rural America is open through Dec. 31.

* Anticipating another blockbuster exhibition, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art brings "Egyptian Treasures from the British Museum" to town from Oct. 7 through Jan. 2. The show will feature more than 120 artifacts that are more than 3,000 years old. The British Museum houses one of the world's largest collections of Egyptian antiquities.

The treasures from Egypt's temples and tombs include stone sculptures of pharaohs, bronze statuettes of gods, jewelry and papyri from "Books of the Dead" with their painted vignettes. Other items are amulets, furniture, cosmetics and a decorated coffin with its wrapped mummy inside.

* The art of contemporary artist and master illusionist Tony DeLap is featured at the Orange County Museum of Art from Oct. 14 through Jan. 14. The exhibition is guest-curated by Bruce Guenther, the museum's former curator, who returns to present the 40 drawings, 45 painting-sculpture hybrids and five free-standing sculptures of the artist. The works chronicle more than four decades of the artist's stylistic development. DeLap is known for his free-standing aluminum and fiberglass and resin sculptures that have evolved into complex art forms.

* In "Portraits of a Small Town" at the Anaheim Museum Oct. 18 through Jan. 6, is viewed during the early 1900s. Guest-curated by Jane Newell, the exhibition features dozens of photographs taken by James Howard, the city's justice of the peace.

* The exhibition "Domestic Priorities," running through Oct. 22 at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, draws parallels between making art and performing daily chores. Three artists use common household materials such as teacups, vinyl flooring, dinner menus and plastic bottles for art that explores identity and memory of domestic life.

* Art goes to the "Extremes" when the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art opens its show with a tentative date of Oct. 28. The title of the show is a play on the Gen X notion of extreme attitudes that push human and societal limitations, said Clayton Spada, who is in charge of exhibitions. The extreme art exhibition showcases work that is reverent, untraditional or low-brow in concept or process, including graffiti. In addition, a masquerade ball is scheduled. Materials will be provided for participants to decorate masks or they can select an artist-decorated mask. The masks will then be sold in a silent auction.

* "Mariners and Mandarins," which explores seafaring in the China Sea and runs through Nov. 10 at Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, is followed by a show highlighting the career of painter Rex Brandt, a well-known Orange County artist. The Brandt collection is on display Nov. 18 through March 9.

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