The Ben Maltz Gallery supports the artistic/cultural production of creative professionals and connects their work to the Otis community and the public at large through exhibitions, presentations, and publications. The Gallery—equal parts public forum, classroom, laboratory—is an active academic partner on and off campus. Its expansive curatorial initiatives provide direct experience with artists/designers/curators/scholars and their work within an environment that fosters conversation, curiosity, visual literacy, critical thinking, individuality, collaboration, and social responsibility. Engaging in a wide range of contemporary art and ideas, the Gallery highlights work that pushes the frontiers of traditional form and subject matter while providing a contextual framework for interpretation, reflection, and understanding. Open free to the public year round, the Gallery serves Los Angeles’ vibrant art community and the City's diverse population, while acting as an important educational resource for students, faculty, and staff. It also reaches beyond the region by both originating and participating in national and international touring exhibitions and programs.
Attentive visitors from the student body, campus community, and general public will be able to:
- Attend, experience, and identify the work of emerging and established creative practitioners first hand and be exposed to the visual language of contemporary cultural production from the region and beyond.
- Distinguish a range of genres, media, and creative practices from the traditional to the contemporary including sculpture, painting, printmaking, installation, time-based media, and emerging practices.
- Identify and articulate the primary themes, concerns and/or context (aesthetic, social, political or historical) of an exhibition after viewing it.
- Engage with public programming and creative actions like lectures, symposia, workshops, and performances led by artists, designers, curators, writers, scholars and other creative practitioners.
The Otis Gallery was the vision of artist Millard Sheets and opened in 1957 at MacArthur Park campus in downtown Los Angeles. When the College moved to Westchester in 1997, the Gallery was temporarily housed on the bottom floor of the Ahmanson Building until the Bronya and Andy Galef Fine Arts Center was completed in 2001. Los Angeles Architect Frederick Fisher designed a stunning 3,200 square foot exhibition space and it was christened the Ben Maltz Gallery.
In his 1993 obituary, the L.A. Times noted that Benjamin N. Maltz was a prominent broker and distributor in the liquor industry in Chicago and Los Angeles, and founding Director and former Chairman of City National Bank in Beverly Hills. Ben Maltz had a strong belief that those who are successful have an obligation to give back to the community and he was a generous benefactor of many local and national charities. He passed this philosophy on to his children, one of whom is Elaine Goldsmith, a longtime member of the Otis Board of Trustees, and one of the College's major supporters. Otis celebrated the involvement of the Goldsmith and Maltz families by naming its gallery in their honor.
Director of Galleries and Exhibitions
Gallery Manager and Outreach Coordinator
Gallery Sponsors and Partners
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation
Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Contemporary Collectors-Orange County
Corita Art Center
The David Bermant Foundation
Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles
Fellows of Contemporary Art
Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara
The Getty Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
The Jewish Federation Los Angeles/Tel Aviv Partnership
The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
OTIS Board of Governors
Pasadena Art Alliance