Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Night in Fullerton 1964-2009

I moved to downtown Fullerton in 2004.  At that time, the downtown was dominated by bars and restaurants.  There was no discernible art scene to speak of.  That is one of the main reasons four friends and I decided to start Hibbleton Gallery, and THE reason I helped start the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.  In the past year or so, however, I've met a number of older Fullerton artists who told me of a time when Fullerton had a real art scene, when Norton Simon would display his priceless treasures at the Hunt Branch Library, when the whole city would come alive one night every year for an art/music/dance/theater event called "A Night in Fullerton."  By the time I got to downtown, "A Night in Fullerton" was on its last legs.  It wasn't anything young people would get excited about.  In fact, I didn't even know it was an arts event.  I thought it was just a chance for local businesses to drum up some business, which is what I think it had mainly become.

But for many years it was not this way.  For many years, starting in 1964, there were shuttles that would bus people from Cal State Fullerton to Fullerton College, to Downtown Fullerton galleries, to the Hunt Branch and elsewhere for a night of pure creativity and community.  In an effort to better understand this history, I've been talking to Dorian Hunter and Marjorie Kerr about their recollections of the heyday of "A Night in Fullerton."  Today I visited the library and scanned documents from their extensive collection of "A Night in Fullerton" things.  I am currently working on writing a more extensive history of "A Night in Fullerton" with hopes that the current Downtown Fullerton Art Walk, and all its many members, might draw inspiration and ideas of what is possible, what has been done, historically.  In the meantime, here are all the flyers the library had, beginning in 1964 and ending in 2009.  Ironically, the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk started in 2010, one year after A Night in Fullerton ended.  I feel as though I am part of a larger history I didn't even know existed.  Anyway, check out these flyers.  They start out with awesome designs, and then, well, you'll see...

1964


1965


1966


1967


1969


1971


1972


1973


1974


1975


1976


1977


1978


1979


Early 80s graphic design lull...

1980


1981


1982


1983


1984


And now for something completely different...

1985


1986


1988


1989


1990


1991


1992


In 1994, the co-founder of A Night in Fullerton, Florence "Flossie' Arnold, passed away at 94.


1997 (Costco?!)


1998 -- 34 years so far...


1999


2000 


2001


2002


Around 2004, the year I moved downtown, they just printed paper flyers.  Looking over these flyers, and the pale shadow the event had become, it's no wonder I never took it seriously...


Around 2006...


And in 2009, A Night in Fullerton came to an end, not with a bang, but with a Chevron-sponsored whimper.


Tune in for a more in-depth history of A Night in Fullerton!  If you are interested in the arts in Fullerton, here's a question to ponder...what lessons can we learn from the past?  On Saturday, Dorian Hunter and I will be hosting a very special event called "LIFE & FRIENDS & ART."  Our goal is to promote dialogue across the generations of artists, gallery owners, and patrons of the arts in Fullerton.  Visit the facebook event HERE.


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