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Goodbye, but not Goodbye

By Michael Buss, 2013-12-18

Saturday night (December 14th) and the industrial unit in Embassy, which is normally a sign shop, is transformed into an ad hoc art exhibition. It’s 6pm, but as time passes an eclectic collection of art lovers and artists crowd into the space. A wide assortment of pictures hang on the walls and movable display panels. There’s a bar, the food is pot luck and free, the music emerging for the high tech assortment of keyboards, amps and decks expertly manipulated by zoned out DJs becomes an acoustic gravy melding the crowd into a homogenous in-the-moment body of arts enthusiasts. Outside, art videos flicker on a rear projection screen, a canopy booth glows with iridescent colors as the UV light picks up the images painted on the walls.

This is WOCA – the Warehouse Of Contemporary Art.

For the last ten years one of the power-artists behind this remarkable event has been Robert Holton, known by many in Anaheim for his “drizzle-art”. Nobody present at WOCA that night did not know Robert. They had come to honor him and wish him well on his move to Laguna Beach.

Mid-evening everyone was called to order in the largest (but still small) space available to present Robert with a  monster size slab cake, and hear the recognitions that had poured in from as far afield as Washington DC, Sacramento and Anaheim. Yes, I did hear one from our own Mayor Tom Tait. Andrea Manes, bubbly and energetic as ever, waved the various recognitions and handed then over to Robert, himself dressed in an indescribable jacket and glittering with wearable LED colored lighting.

Apparently Robert is “retiring”. But do artists ever retire? He has in fact already moved to Laguna Beach where, after some 15 months residency, he will qualify to exhibit in the various and very famous art shows.

So it was Goodbye to Robert with an emotional tide to send him on his way. But will he ever come back? Oh yes. I’ll be back. So maybe it’s not a final Goodbye.


Robert Holton has always cut in impressive figure. He made his mark in Anaheim in so many ways, including his being on the Board of the Anaheim Arts Council, and his leadership in setting up fundraising arts shows. He was to be seen in other art shows far and near; always happy, smiling, taking in his stride whatever came his way. His paintings have been in many an auction and exhibition. Some of us have them in our homes.

WOCA will continue. It is way too important an event simply to fold. It is evolving in a new constant (says their promo material; Art, Music, Vision, Inspiration, Creativity and Community. Synergy for all. Now.

The next show will be on Saturday March 8th from 6-10pm. Location: 1566 W. Embassy St., Anaheim, CA 92802.

WOCA is always looking for new artists to join them. And maybe if you go, you’ll become a buyer.

Photos by iPhone5S



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