Orange County Great ParkIRVINE, Calif. /California Newswire/ — History and art collide to provide a unique interpretive experience at the Orange County Great Park’s Palm Court Arts Complex with a pair of exhibitions that contrast first-person story-telling and historical perspective with emotional interpretations of a time gone by. Contemporary Artists Conceptualize the Year 1942 showcases the work of 19 contemporary Southern California-based artists who have each artistically conceptualized the year 1942.

The exhibition addresses themes such as life on the home front and family memories of a world at war and offers an artistic complement to its sister exhibition Farmers to Flyers: Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and Mid-Century Orange County.

Visitors can experience both exhibitions at a special reception this Saturday, September 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Palm Court Arts Complex.

“This is an opportunity to explore themes that reflect the year 1942 and the impact of World War II on American life, through the imagination of these contemporary artists,” said Beth Krom, Chair of the Orange County Great Park. “The Great Park enjoys exposing visitors to history of the land through different art forms and with this exhibition we are both exhibiting art and inspiring thought.”

The 1942 exhibition includes paintings by artist Bradford Salamon that show scenes from a simpler time, including old friends sharing stories, an old-fashioned barbershop quartet belting out a tune, and a gentleman catching up on the news. Artist Caleb Morris depicts common objects, such as an old fashioned typewriter and record player from the 1930s and 40’s designed to transport viewers back in time. Artist Jeff McMillan’s graphite on paper paintings showcase the technically advanced World War II fighter planes, such as the P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang that were often decorated with customized, hand-painted art works and logos.

Visitors to the 1942 exhibition can explore Farmers to Flyers: Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and Mid-Century Orange County, a thought-provoking exhibition that memorializing Marine Corps Air Station El Toro’s 50-year tradition of service and sacrifice opening reception directly across the Palm Court in the Great Park Gallery.

Farmers to Flyers is a carefully curated site-specific exhibition of historical photographs, documents and artifacts recounts MCAS El Toro’s profound impact on Southern California. Based on 400 oral history interviews with El Toro veterans, it preserves the memories of those who served on the base. It also explores related topics, such as agriculture, dramatic urban growth, industrial expansion, freeway construction, parks and master planned cities.

Both the 1942 and Farmers to Flyers exhibitions run through March 31, 2013. Admission and parking are free. Special reception this Saturday, September 22, 7-9 p.m. For more information, visit, please visit or call 866-829-3829.