• Otis Family Night

    Oct 21| Special Event

    Be a student for an evening.
    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016
    4:00 – 8:00 PM

    • Hands-on studio workshops taught by Otis faculty

    • A guided exhibition tour of the Ben Maltz Gallery

    President Bruce W. Ferguson and Trustee Kirk Hyde (Otis Parent '00 & '14) invite you to join them for dinner.

    Register by October 14th at

    Cost (includes all activities and dinner)

  • Alumni Open House at The Brewery Art Walk
    October 22, 2016 
    2-6 pm
    Join Otis College of Art And Design for a Brewery Art Walk Open House at the studio of Albert Valdez ('10). Catch up with faculty and fellow alumni, artists, and designers. The Brewery Art Walk is a twice annual open studio weekend with over 100 participating resident artists. Stop by while touring the studios, open 11am-6pm, and enjoy light refreshments. 

  • Todd Gray

    Oct 25| Lectures

    Todd Gray was born in 1954 in Los Angeles. Gray received an MFA and a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and is currently a professor at California State University, Long Beach. He has shown performance work at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater), Los Angeles (2010); California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2009); the Commons, New York University (2008); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica (2008); New Renaissance Theater, Syracuse, NY (2007); and Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (2004).

  • Ruby Neri is a sculptor, painter, and former street artist from San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, known for her evocative portrayal of horses.

  • Otis in NYC
    October 27, 2016 
    6 - 8 pm 
    Franklin Parrasch Gallery
    53 East 64 Street
    New York, NY 10065

    Otis College President Bruce W. Ferguson is coming to NYC! 
    Please come say hello and visit with your fellow alumni and friends of Otis College of Art and Design.
    Drinks and hors d'oeuvres.


  • Lecture takes place at 356 S. Mission Rd., co-presented with Ben Maltz Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Polly Apfelbaum: Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

    New York-based critic and independent curator Bob Nickas presents his musings on one hundred paintings, choosing one from each year from 1915-2015.

  • Bob Nickas

    Oct 31| Lectures

    Bob Nickas is a critic and independent curator based in New York, having organized more than ninety exhibitions since 1984.
    He was Curatorial Advisor at P.S.1/MoMA in New York between 2004-07, where his exhibitions include: 
    Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life; 
    William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night; 
    Stephen Shore: American Surfaces; 
    Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom From The Known. 


Example: Beginning Your Research

Using the topic of Matt Groening and the Simpsons, let's find information that provides academic viewpoints related to the cultural significance of this artist and his work.

1. Start with the OPAC (the Library catalog) to find books.

Because this database is relatively small, try a key word search to see the broadest range of what's available.

Simpsons - OPAC header

You'll get 27 items, a reasonable number to look through. Look carefully at each title. Some are comics written by Matt Groening, some DVDs, some are electronic books. There are one or two items that may provide an academic treatment of the subject.

   Simpsons - Complete Guide (cover)

Leaving Springfield :The Simpsons and the Possibilities of Oppositional Culture is around #11 on the list. Click on the title which is a link to the full record for this book. You'll find clues about its scope. Notice that the publisher is Wayne State University. Read the Table of Contents. From chapter titles, you'll easily see that this is likely a scholarly or academic source.

   Simpsons- Leaving Springfield (cover)

2. Next, try the databases.

Click on the link to EBSCO Art Source.



Enter your search term in the search box.

This database is much bigger than the OPAC. A keyword search on the Simpsons will result in more than 7000 results.

ebsco simpsons

3. Look carefully at the first 40 results or so.

Many are "false hits" for this topic. That means that they aren't about Matt Groening's Simpsons. They are about other people named Simpson.

Notice that you can check the boxes for Full Text and Scholarly/Peer Reviewed and hit update. That will limit the number of hits to about 1600. But there are still way too many false hits.

So, add another term to the search box, like "tv."

You will then see only 31 results. MUCH better!



Simpsons - EBSCO result

If you click this title, you'll see that it's a link to the complete  ABSTRACT or  summary which says:

Reading the interplay between text, audience, and institutional context, this article critically examines the distinctiveness of The Simpsons. It explores how the animated series uses textual strategies that are interesting to and challenging for both (postmodern) critical theory and processes of interpretation , including existing critical writing on the program.

From this ABSTRACT you can tell that this article contains a critical or theoretical analysis of the Simpsons.

4. Compare the results from database with what you find through Google.

Because the web is so enormous, using more terms is wise. Even so, the results are over 1.5 million hits.

Notice that a lot of fan sites come up. Most of these will not be useful for an academic paper.

Wikipedia comes up. Fine for background information, but it's really very superficial and fact-based. Look at the article and compare it with the scholarly articles that were retrieved through the database. Nothing in Wikipedia comes close to that level of writing.

The web is good for getting ideas and basic background information. But, you need more than facts for college level research papers. Books and journal articles with scholarly writing will be necessary.

 LIB simpsons google


Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist