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Jacalyn Lopez Garcia

#49 Jacalyn Lopez Garcia
(Artist - exhibited at COD's Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts)

In 2010, I was invited to present a multimedia installation at the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts (MAC). This exhibition featured two art projects “In Search of the Mago”, a documentary project based on the story of a real life canine and her fictional Internet identity on Facebook, as Goldie García and "Lifecycles: Reflections of Change and a New Hope for Future Generations" a documentary project based on seven migrant farm worker families that settled in the Coachella Valley. As an exhibiting artist, my experience working with the Marks Center for the Arts staff and COD administrators was exceptional and very professional. The exhibition titled "Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow" provided an excellent venue for me, a COD faculty member who teaches digital photography, to share my work with the COD community and the Coachella Valley residents at large.

Finding innovative ways to entwine the spectator in a complex and interconnected environment of computers, digital projections, instant messages, and blogs is very important to me as a multimedia artist. So having an opportunity to work closely with Lisa Soccio, the gallery director at the MAC, was a great experience. Lisa was very supportive in allowing me to present Goldie’s journey on http://goodgirlgoldie.com in a manner that could blur the link between reality and fantasy with an online experience in a gallery setting. As an installati

on, this project revealed how the canine and her Facebook friends collaborated to help her find the Mago (a Wiseman who has the power to help Goldie attain her heart’s desire) with over 300 images that were suspended from the gallery ceiling. 84 framed photographs were hung on the gallery walls for “Lifecycles: Reflections of Change and A New Hope for Future Generations.” Visitors were also encouraged to visit the project on via the Internet - http://lifecycles.ucr.edu On this interactive website you can also listen to the personal stories and view videos based on the documentary project.

I am thankful for the professional support I received from the Marks Art Center staff and the COD community at large. Anyone interested in challenging questions on the significance of virtual space, the impact of social networking sites on public and private behavior, or on the nature of contemporary society should contact Lisa Soccio, the gallery director. This is a gallery director who is interested in showcasing works that break away from the traditional conventions of storytelling and art making. More importantly, the Marks Center for the Arts is the perfect venue for artists, like myself, who are interested in challenging the audience to think in new and unconventional ways with regard to “what art is” and “what art can be.”