• Otis College’s Fine Art Department presents:

    “How to Live?”

    Otis College of Art and Design
    Undergraduate Fine Arts Critic-in-Residence, 2016 – 2017


    7:30pm, Thursday, October 20, 2016
    In Otis College's Goldsmith Campus Forum
    Free and open to the public

  • Otis Family Night

    Oct 21| Special Event

    Be a student for an evening.
    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016
    4:00 – 8:00 PM

    • Hands-on studio workshops taught by Otis faculty

    • A guided exhibition tour of the Ben Maltz Gallery

    President Bruce W. Ferguson and Trustee Kirk Hyde (Otis Parent '00 & '14) invite you to join them for dinner.

    Register by October 14th at

    Cost (includes all activities and dinner)

  • Alumni Open House at The Brewery Art Walk
    October 22, 2016 
    2-6 pm
    Join Otis College of Art And Design for a Brewery Art Walk Open House at the studio of Albert Valdez ('10). Catch up with faculty and fellow alumni, artists, and designers. The Brewery Art Walk is a twice annual open studio weekend with over 100 participating resident artists. Stop by while touring the studios, open 11am-6pm, and enjoy light refreshments. 

  • Todd Gray

    Oct 25| Lectures

    Todd Gray was born in 1954 in Los Angeles. Gray received an MFA and a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and is currently a professor at California State University, Long Beach. He has shown performance work at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater), Los Angeles (2010); California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2009); the Commons, New York University (2008); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica (2008); New Renaissance Theater, Syracuse, NY (2007); and Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (2004).

  • Ruby Neri is a sculptor, painter, and former street artist from San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, known for her evocative portrayal of horses.

  • Otis in NYC
    October 27, 2016 
    6 - 8 pm 
    Franklin Parrasch Gallery
    53 East 64 Street
    New York, NY 10065

    Otis College President Bruce W. Ferguson is coming to NYC! 
    Please come say hello and visit with your fellow alumni and friends of Otis College of Art and Design.
    Drinks and hors d'oeuvres.


  • Lecture takes place at 356 S. Mission Rd., co-presented with Ben Maltz Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Polly Apfelbaum: Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

    New York-based critic and independent curator Bob Nickas presents his musings on one hundred paintings, choosing one from each year from 1915-2015.


Matt Lifson ('12 MFA) LA Times Review

Jan 21, 2014
LA Times Review
Spotlight Category: Alumni

(MFA '12 alumnus) Matt Lifson's paintings pregnant with possibilities at Angles Gallery

December 5, 2013 by Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times art critic

Five large paintings by Matt Lifson all show virtually the same enigmatic subject -- what appears to be a makeshift tent in the woods at night. But slight differences in tonality, lighting and paint-handling among the five generate unexpected responses.

Serial imagery, given its origins in Claude Monet's repeated studies of grain stacks and an imposing cathedral facade under different conditions of light and weather, tends to have a rather sunnier disposition than what turns up in Lifson's solo debut at Angles Gallery. Grim, even inexplicably creepy, his blue-black “Tent” paintings get you to scrutinize them like a detective at a crime scene.

As a cop would do, you try to create a narrative from pictorial fragments. Is that romantic moonlight illuminating the tent or a police helicopter's piercing searchlight?  Does the tent belong to a vacationing camper or, given what appears to be its improvised nature, a homeless person? Is it shelter from an impending storm?

What's that jagged, sharp-edged but indecipherable whitish object just beneath the fallen tree limb? And speaking of the limb, why do its branches appear to have been stripped?

Going from canvas to canvas (each is around 6 feet by 7 feet), distinctions that at first seem slight steadily grow more stark -- and inexplicably ominous. Spots of white light in the deep, dark indigo woods could be anything from fireflies to nocturnal stalkers. Subtitled with fragmentary musical phrases -- “Sleep in heavenly...” “Lay down my bones with the rocks and roots...,” etc. -- the bleak paintings firmly resist disclosure.

That's their strength: Lifson underscores the degree to which, encountering a picture, we project meanings onto it. These paintings are pregnant with possibilities, horrific or benign, which shift in and out of view across a wide range of emotional registers depending on a viewer's drifting thoughts. In today's picture-saturated world, no wonder things seem so daunting.

The show also includes a floor sculpture composed of 217 gilded bricks, each stamped with a cryptic symbol and laid out in a curve, plus three small folding tables with a depiction of a black jacket painted on peeling paper across each top. More compelling is a wall text in clear, nearly invisible vinyl, its Hebraic font style readable only as fleeting light falls across it. A description of a demon lurks in the text -- if not on the wall, then surely in your head.