Events
  • Bring family and friends to reconnect with fellow alumni at the studio of Albert Valdez ('10) following Brewery ArtWalk, an open studio weekend with over 100 participating resident artists.

    Parking is located inside the Brewery campus.  

    Visit www.breweryartwalk.com for directions and other information. 

  • Otis Radio: Our Story`

    May 01| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 4:00 - 5:00 pm is Our Story. Join DJ Wormlord (Maggie Gilbert), DJ Ace (Grace Kanchana), and DJ Mango (Stacy Li) as we have real talk in real time. Don't miss out!

     

    Listen online at KLMU.

    All shows will be simulcast on 96.1FM in the Otis Commons and archived on otisradio.tumblr.com

  • Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 5:00 - 6:00 pm is The Girls Room with DJ Lonesome (Jaclyn Arellano), DJ Filth (Mady Preece), DJ Duchamp’s Urinal (Carly Goldstein). In this political climate, it is finally time to take charge of our own bodies and image. No more housewife norms to determine what a woman should look like. Join us in conversation with the tools of music and noise to express what it means to be a woman. We will challenge the definitions and misconceptions about masculinity and femininity, creating a space where women can feel free to ask questions and get answers from other women.

    Listen: http://edg-ord-kxlu.streamguys1.com/klmu

  • Zeal Harris is known for contemporary, seductive, colorful, caricaturesque, political, urban-vernacular, story paintings. She is a Los Angeles based visual artist and has been in exhibitions in Port Au Prince at Haiti’s Ghetto Biennale; in New York at the Caribbean Culture Center of the African Diaspora; in Arizona at The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum; and in Los Angeles at the California African-American Museum, The Makeshift Museum, 18th Street Arts Center, Launch LA, and EXSLA at The Brewery.  Zeal has an MFA in Studio Art from Otis College of Art & Design. She occasionally teaches, works on public art projects, and works with community arts organizations.

  • Jocelyn Casas presents a solo exhibition for her Graduate Thesis at The Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art & Design, on view May 1st - 7th, 2017. There will be a closing reception on Thursday, May 4, 6-9pm.

  • Each year, the Benefit black-tie gala features Los Angeles' largest fashion runway show with more than 70 professional models in 125-plus fashion designs for women, men, and juniors. Approximately 800 guests— a creative crowd of leaders in fashion and entertainment— get a glimpse of the future of fashion design from those who invent it, Otis College fashion students.

  • Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us
    Jesse Fleming / Pat O
    'Neill

    A two-person exhibition of recent large-scale video installations from Los Angeles-based artists Jesse Fleming and Pat O’Neill. Each artist raises questions in his work about the self in relation to others, collective norms, and the built environment. They direct us to see the links and fissures in our lives and the larger systems that we attempt to grapple with—from science to spirituality, and the spaces they straddle.

O-Tube

LEWIS MACADAMS

May 13, 2014
Spotlight Category: Faculty

From Confrontation to Cooperation

Lewis Macadams, Senior Lecturer, Graduate Writing

 

In the late 1930s, in response to a pair of deadly floods, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors called in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control the unruly L.A. River. The mission was to get the water to the ocean as fast as possible. The idea that it might make sense, in a city that gets less than 15 inches of rain a year on average, to conserve some of those hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater seems to have never occurred to the Army Corps.

It took many years, thousands of workers, and some 3 million barrels of concrete to bring the river to heel. By some measures, the project was a triumph: floodwaters have not topped the river levees since. But it was also an ecological holocaust.

Within a very few years, important native species were largely gone. Yellow-billed cuckoos and least bell's vireo no longer sang in the watershed. Red-legged frogs, which hibernated by burrowing into the river bottom’s mud, couldn‘t penetrate the concrete.

For half a century after the work was finished, the river was little more than a concrete scar, separated from the city by chain-link fences topped with razor wire and signs warning visitors to keep out or face fines and/or jail.

In 1986, Roger Wong, Pat Patterson and I borrowed some wire cutters, snipped the fence that separated the river from the city, and declared the river open. We asked the river if we could speak for it in the human realm. We didn't hear it say no, and Friends of the L.A. River was born. FoLAR began life as a performance piece in a basement theater on Skid Row as a "40-year artwork to bring the river back to life." I donned a white suit and painted myself green as if i were the ghost of William Mulholland.

In the mid-1980s, a lawsuit by Heal the Bay forced L.A. to build a water reclamation plant that would ultimately send millions of gallons a year of reclaimed water through the Glendale Narrows. For the first time since the last Ice Age, the river was year-round. Willows and sycamore trees began to reappear.
In preparation for a predicted El Niño, the County and the Army Corps decided to bulldoze everything growing in the river's natural bottom. Standing in front of the machines, I nearly got myself killed. But the action got FoLAR its first meeting with the head of the L.A. County Department of Public Works. Every time he said the words "flood control channel," I interrupted him and said "river." I had planted the linguistic seeds. Today nearly everybody calls it a river.

In recent years, more and more Angelenos have discovered the river. FoLAR's annual Gran Limpieza, the Great Los Angeles River Cleanup, has grown from 10 people to several thousand. Two former railroad yards are now state parks, half a dozen riverfront pocket parks were created, and a bike path continues to grow.

Every one of these victories was the result of patience, willpower, and perseverance. Yet none of them opened up the channel itself. In 2010 it was still a crime to stick your toe in the river. Then, this fall, after seven years of work and almost $10 million, the Army Corps released a study with a range of alternatives for the river's future.

It was a stunning development. FoLAR could now work hand in hand with the Army Corps to restore miles of habitat, eliminate miles of concrete, restore wetlands, and reconnect the main stem of the river to the mountains.

As I look back on a lifetime of poetry and politics, on 27 years of working on the river, I see a journey from confrontation to cooperation. It has created a wider and deeper community not just of humans but of flying, swimming, and four-legged creatures as well.

 

 

Editor’s Note:
A longer version of this Op Ed piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2013.

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