Complementary Voices

Artists speak with the tools they have at hand.

Aimee Aul’s work uses the vocabulary of paint and brush to describe and depict details in nature that often go unnoticed. Her small, intimately observed portraits of stones, leaves and soil are meditations on the experience of looking closely.

Jim Cokas’ work begins with the vocabulary of poetry. Using his own words or those of noted poets, he melds imagery, typography and text to create works of layered meaning. His prints are simultaneously visual and verbal works of art. They help us enter the unique phrasing of each poem, adding depth to the meaning implicit in the written page.

Although they use very different tools, both artists ask us to look closer and deeper at the world we inhabit, especially the natural world so often overlooked in our urban environments. Taking time to be present with nature and ourselves is a pathway to understanding and perhaps to saving both.



On display at the 1888 Center from November 2 through January 3, 2019.

Credit: Jim Cokas


Hot Off the Press

A collection of screen prints designed for Saddleback College’s Dia de los Muertos event. Conceptual themes center around individual ancestry, life death cycles and our relationships to death.



On display at the 1888 Center from November 2, 2018 through November 30, 2018

RSVP for the 5:00 pm reception on Saturday, November 17th.
Credit: Saddleback College


Burning Time

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This presentation focuses on Burning Time, a graphic book collaboration between writer Jonathan Alexander and artist Antoinette LaFarge that explores the intimacies of imagined memory and sexuality. The book consists of cycle of 8 poems and 8 associated panoramic paintings to tell the story of a young gay man arriving in New Orleans in the late 1950s to start a new life. Text and image interweave to evoke a particular time and place while also summoning the timelessness of self-exploration and desire— experience reimagined as mythic adventure. In this presentation, Alexander and Lafarge read poems and present art from the book, discuss their collaboration, and consider the possibilities of multimedia for queer storytelling.



Jonathan Alexander is a writer, critic, digital artist, and performance poet. Previous graphic collaborations include the digital book Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self and the graphic book Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing. The author, co-author, or editor of fifteen books, he is Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.

Antoinette LaFarge is an artist and writer whose beat is virtuality and its discontents. She is especially interested in exploring text-image dynamics through artists’ books, interactive narrative, and experimental performance. She is Professor of Art at UC Irvine.

Between the lines

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Singer’s work can be viewed as a way of re-imagining the material life of books, words, and literature. Through patience and meticulousness, he cuts and assembles the pages of books to create geometric and symmetrical patterns. The result is a visual language that evokes a different type of reading and legibility.

On display at the 1888 Center from August 30, 2018 through October 31, 2018

RSVP for the 5:00 pm reception on Thursday, August 30th.
Credit: Brian Singer



Someguy, also known as Brian Singer, is a San Francisco based fine artist whose projects have received international attention. His art ranges from intimate works with paper to large scale participatory projects. The 1000 Journals Project, launched in 2000, was turned into a book, a feature length documentary, and has been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The project was covered in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Better Homes and Gardens and many others. More recently, he launched the provocative project TWIT Spotting, where photos of people using their phones while driving were placed onto Billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Brian is also an accomplished graphic designer having created work for Apple, Adidas, SFMOMA, Facebook, Chronicle Books and many others. In addition to being recognized with numerous awards and publications, he has served as the president of the San Francisco chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design and taught at Academy of Art University.

Existential Wonderings

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These works reflect artist Mike Stilkey’s perusals and introspective explorations into the nature of existence. The images call into question the reality that we perceive and contrast our version of reality with the absurd. Drawing on the musings of philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, he pondered how seemingly inconsequential choices made in youth can be woven together to shape our paths throughout adulthood. If we live in a universe that is indifferent, objective, filled with absurdity, and devoid of meaning, we as humans can create meaning by observing our own actions and choices, and applying our own interpretations of these. This can help us make sense of the culmination of these earlier choices and assign meaning to the reality that we experience.

In other words, I have no idea what I’m doing.

“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.”  -Umberto Eco

“Life has no meaning a priori… It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.” -Jean-Paul Sartre.

On display at the 1888 Center July 29 – August 22, 2018

RSVP for the 5:00 pm reception on Sunday, August 5th.
Credit: Mike Stilkey



Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting and drawing not only on vintage paper, record covers and book pages, but on the books themselves. Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery. His work is reminiscent of Weimar-era German expressionism and his style has been described by some as capturing features of artists ranging from Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele.

His work has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as internationally, at galleries and museums such as the Bristol City Museum in the UK, Bakersfield Museum Of Art in Bakersfield, CA, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ, Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Kinsey/DesForges Gallery in Culver City, CA, David B. Smith Gallery in Denver, CO, Gilman Contemporary Gallery, Ketchum, ID, and Rice University Gallery, Houston, TX. He has also created numerous large-scale installations internationally, in Turin, Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Manila, Philippines; and Hong Kong and Beijing, China.



Memories in the Making: When Words Fail, Art Speaks

Memories in the Making® is the signature art program of Alzheimer’s Orange County. The program has been nationally recognized for its ability to elevate the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.

Memories in the Making encourages reminiscing, stimulates the brain, provides socialization, improves self-esteem, reduces stress, and promotes self-expression.

All of the works in this exhibit were painted by individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia.



On display at the 1888 Center July 13th and 14th

RSVP for the 5:00 pm reception and lecture on Saturday, July 14.
Image Credit: Dr. Justin Call


The Vanishing West

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The Vanishing West: Chris Darrow
Photographer Chris Darrow is one of those unique creatures of the Southern California landscape. Darrow was one of the original members of the legendary 60s band, Kaleidoscope. He later joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, appeared in the movie Paint Your Wagon, played with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, produced albums for the known and unknown, and authored some of the best in bluegrass, rock n’roll and world beat music (before it was called “world beat”) to come out of California.



The Vanishing West is the big-picture view of the loss of our heritage, including some of our most interesting landmarks,” says Darrow.

On display at the 1888 Center from May 31, 2018 through June 27, 2018