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Otis: Nine Decades of Los Angeles Art:

The names “Otis” and “Barnsdall” are bound to turn up in any chronicle of art in Los Angeles, which is why the new exhibition, “Otis: Nine Decades of Art” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall, is so significant.

It opened last week and will run through April 2.

The exhibit includes works by 77 artists who span 88 years of art in L.A.

A survey of Los Angeles art is, by definition, a wide-ranging and complex venture. Like the city itself, L.A.’s expansive art scene reflects the dicersity of cultural influences that sets it apart from the work found in other cities.

One of the principal sources of art in L.A. has been Otis Art Institute, now Otis College. It was located near McArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles, until it moved to Westchester and became part of Loyola Marymount University a couple of years ago.

The new exhibit, co-presented by the L.A. Dept. of Cultural Affairs, provides a trans-generational survey of some of L.A.’s most enduring, as well as some of its latest artworks – paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, mixed media, installations and video projection.

The artists with works in the show range from emerging to established to eminent, from 25 to 95, and they’re all Otis College of Art and Design alumni. Among them are Camille Rose Garcia, Gajin Fujita, Ruben Ochoa, Alison Saar, Sandeep Mukherjee, Kim Fisher, Kevin Hanley, Timothy Tompkins, as well as Barry Le Va, Bryan Hunt, Masami Teroaka, Ken Price, Robert Irwin, Billy Al Bengston, Kent Twitchell, John Mason, Richard Pettibone, Jeffrey Vallance and Bruce Yonemoto.

“Over the last 88 years, Otis has prepared a diverse student body to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill and their vision,” said Samuel Hoi, President of Otis College of Art and Design. “Otis is everywhere in the city everyday—from freeway murals and art in public transportation hubs to works in world-renowned museums and galleries.”

Founded in 1918, Otis was the first independent school of art in Los Angeles.

On a hill overlooking Hollywood, the 11-acre Barnsdall Park was donated by Aline Barnsdall to the City of L.A. with the proviso that it be devoted exclusively to arts and cultural activities. Barnsdall’s house, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was restored to pristine condition some years ago, is located in the park, along with the Art Center, which stages exhibitions and other events, and holds art classes.

The exhibition was curated by Mark Greenfield, Director of L.A. Municipal Art Gallery, Scott Canty, curator, and Meg Linton, director of Otis’ Ben Maltz Gallery. It was organized by Sarah Russin, Otis Alumni Director.

The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m., first Fridays, noon – 9:00 p.m. (free). Admission: general $5, seniors and students, $3.

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