• Otis College alumni in the New York/Tri-State area are invited to a reception welcoming visiting Otis College fashion students at Global Brands Group headquarters in the Empire State Building. Join fellow alumni to celebrate the culmination of the Fashion Design Department's annual trip to Manhattan. This special event - open to all alumni from both undergraduate and graduate departments - is a great chance to reconnect with friends, welcome new Fashion Design alumni from the Class of 2017, and meet Otis College leaders including Fashion Design Interim Chair Jill Higashi-Zeleznik.

  • In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney


    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak


    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.


LA County supervisors want more diversity in LA arts

By Los Angeles Daily News
At least two Los Angeles County supervisors want more diversity in the exhibits, shows and displays at Los Angeles arts institutions to attract a more varied audience.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Mark Ridley-Thomas will ask their colleagues on the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to approve a motion that will establish an advisory group that will make recommendations to enhance participation and leadership from “underrepresented communities” in the arts.

Solis, who was elected to the board a year ago, said that as she examined the ethnic composition of different governing bodies she saw a lack of minority representation, especially considering that nearly half of L.A. County residents are Latino.

“I could see there was a need to have a more robust representation that really looks at the diversity of the county,” Solis said Monday in an interview.

Both Solis and Ridley-Thomas said they hope to expand audiences in order for arts institutions to become sustainable as the county’s demographics change.

The advisory group will be formed within the L.A. County Arts Commission under the proposal.

“Not only do I want to encourage participation by Latino and African-American arts organizations, I also want to encourage ‘mainstream’ arts organizations to recognize the importance of expanding the participation of underrepresented communities on their boards and in the types of programs they offer,” Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. “This will make all organizations responsive to the changing demographics in Los Angeles County.”

In their motion, the supervisors point to a study from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, described as the first-of-its-kind demographic survey of art museum staff in the United States. The survey showed that African-Americans, Latinos and Asians were widely underrepresented in high-level positions within the 181 museums surveyed. Eighty-four percent of leadership jobs were held by whites, 4 percent of museum staffers who had these jobs were black, 3 percent were Latino and 6 percent were Asian.

Solis said she hopes the advisory group would conduct a survey of Los Angeles art institutions. She pointed to a similar effort underway in New York City .

One in seven jobs in Los Angeles County are in an arts-related field, according to a 2013 study by Otis College of Art and Design on the creative economy.

The issue of the lack of minority representation in Hollywood has been widely discussed.

The Hollywood Diversity Report issued by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies in February showed that minorities remain underrepresented in Hollywood on every front — although some gains have been made — from leading roles to directors, writers and studio executives.Rachel Moore, who was named president and CEO of the Music Center last month, said it is an “economic imperative” for the performing arts to diversify.

“What is onstage, in the audience, backstage and in the board rooms should look like America,” Moore said Monday in an interview. “It’s extremely important for the arts to be relevant.”

Moore said about 25 percent of the Music Center’s board members have diverse ethnic backgrounds. She said the center conducted a survey of its audiences, and it was “clear that nationally, as well as locally, the performing arts have not addressed the diversity issue.”

The Music Center is conducting strategic planning to diversify its board and staff as well as programming and audiences.

“If we don’t look like America, we can’t expect to have ticket buyers and patrons in the future,” she said.

The Broad’s founding director, Joanne Heyler, said in an email that providing free admission “is one way we strive to reach a wider and more diverse audience.” She said the Broad is also producing programming targeted to underrepresented audiences.

There are some efforts underway to create a pipeline for minorities to leadership positions in the arts. The Mellon Foundation gave a $2 million grant to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and other museums to provide fellowships to students from diverse backgrounds for specialized training in the curatorial field.

The Otis College of Art and Design is working toward further diversifying its teaching staff by participating in a teaching fellowship program for minority students who graduate with a Master of Fine Art degree.

Solis said there is a need to diversify offerings to bring the arts to minority communities.

She pointed to a free performance by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela that brought nearly 1,000 people to a Pomona church last month.

She said attendees told her they “had never been to anything like that before in their life.”



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