• 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.

  • Emily Raboteau’s nonfiction work Searching for Zion was named a best book of 2013 by the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and was a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and a winner of a 2014 American Book Award. She is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter, and her fiction and essays have been published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Buzzfeed, LitHub, The Guardian, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly, The Believer, and Salon. Other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the NEA, the Lannan Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. Raboteau teaches creative writing at City College in New York.


Otis Recognized for Community Engagement by Carnegie Foundation

Jan 15, 2015
Spotlight Category: College

Otis College of Art and Design is honored to be among the select group of colleges and universities in the United States designated this year to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s prestigious 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Of this number, 83 institutions are receiving the classification for the first time, while 157 are now re-classified, after being classified originally in 2006 or 2008. These 240 institutions join the 121 institutions that earned the classification during the 2010 selection process. 

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation's other classifications that rely on national data, this is an "elective" classification - institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

"The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities," said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. "These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions."

Since its founding in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design has served a highly diverse student body. Otis leads among its national peers of independent colleges of art and design in students’ ethnic and racial diversity, as well as the percentage of socio-economically disadvantaged students who are Pell-grant eligible. The educational promise at Otis College is that art and design training will help transform students into thriving professionals and contributing citizens, and with the evidence of alumni success, that result has been consistently realized. For the College, educational and social missions have always been intertwined. Community engagement is second nature to Otis in this context. In fulfillment of its mission to “prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision,” Otis has taken a whole-College approach to its commitment to community engagement.

Among a wide range of community engagement initiatives are the following:

Creative Action: Integrated Learning (IL), a required sequence for all BFA students that places them in cross-disciplinary teams and with community partners to address site-based assignments in Los Angeles and around the world. The goals are to infuse professional preparation with civic participation through community engagement, enabling students to develop in social and personal responsibility and vision, the ability to work across sectors, and the ability to collaborate with others.

Artists, Community, and Teaching (ACT), an innovative program that prepares students for careers in art and design education and socially engaged art and design practices, through undergraduate minors in Teacher Credential Preparation and Community Arts Engagement, and two concurrently enrolled CE Certificates.

MFA in Public Practice, a graduate program that explores new artistic strategies and practices based on observation, research, social commentary and activism, and visual and performance arts productions in the public realm. Community engagement is central to all program projects.

Continuing Education (CE) and Pre-College Programs offers adult certificate programs, personal and professional development courses, as well as programs for children and youth ages 5 through high school. The department is committed to providing scholarships to youth with financial needs from underserved communities, as well as tuition-free professional development opportunities for full time K-12 teachers.

Ben Maltz Gallery: Exhibitions and related Public Programing, a diverse program of exhibitions, catalogues, and public events that serves Los Angeles' vigorous art community and the city's diverse public at large, while acting as an important resource for Otis students and faculty.

Industry Engagementa corporate engagement program that includes corporate sponsorship for in-class projects with professional mentors and internships for workplace experiences by students. This program serves to prepare Otis students for the professional world as well as maintain a strong connection with the industries Otis serves.

Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California and the Los Angeles Region, which Otis has commissioned and published annually since 2007 (statewide coverage began with the 2013 edition), is the only report to focus on the arts, design and entertainment industries as a combined economic force in Southern California and California. The data and analysis have been widely used by cultural organizations, foundations, schools, and public policy makers.

Through these initiatives, and more, Otis’ diverse community partners have included local city governments, school systems, cultural non-profits, corporations, philanthropic foundations, neighborhood and national non-profits, environmental groups, and after-school programs. The College’s partnership network permeates throughout the City of Los Angeles and the Southern California region, including international organizations and schools as well.

The values and practices of community engagement have been institutionalized at Otis for the long-term across multiple dimensions:  mission statement, horizontal and vertical curricular programs, and institutional behavior and initiatives. The Board of Trustees has fully embraced and supports this whole-College strategy of community engagement. College communications, both internal (for campus culture expression and reinforcement) and external (for field dissemination), are intentionally consistent on the priority status of community engagement. The sum total is a College-wide alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices.

Otis has embraced, taught, and celebrated community engagement, because it is central to the College’s educational philosophy, which is based on the belief that art and design matter socially, culturally, and economically.

The Carnegie Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others. 

Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist