• 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.

  • Bob Nickas

    Oct 31| Lectures

    Bob Nickas is a critic and independent curator based in New York, having organized more than ninety exhibitions since 1984.
    He was Curatorial Advisor at P.S.1/MoMA in New York between 2004-07, where his exhibitions include: 
    Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life; 
    William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night; 
    Stephen Shore: American Surfaces; 
    Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom From The Known. 

  • Looking at the recent works of Sebastian Stumpf one finds an interplay between performance and the recording of performance, between the execution of a physical act and the documentation of it by means of a camera. [He] operates in two distinct realms: in the empty spaces of contemporary art institutions and in urban settings with their preexisting orders. […] An inconspicuous architectural detail suddenly becomes the catalyst for a physical exploit…. The art gallery becomes a space for action.

  • Passionate Voices Expressed in Sound Bearing Plastic: An Evening with Collector Richard Shelton


Business Titan Teaches Art Students How To Be Unreasonable

Please contact John Axtell for inquiries and photos:
310-665-6857 /

Eli Broad, founder of two Fortune 500 companies, offers life lessons in unconventional thinking to graduating students at Otis College of Art and Design.

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 31, 2012 - Civic leader, philanthropist, and art collector, Eli Broad spoke to an audience of over 2000 people, including over 300 young creative professionals and their families, during commencement ceremonies at Otis College of Art and Design. Viewers around the world tuned in from 20 different countries to watch the live video stream. "Civilizations are not remembered by their business leaders, but by their artists," he said. "You have a different way of looking at the world . . . You enrich our world through your creativity and vision."


"Artists and designers are truly master problem-solvers," said Broad. "It's how you approach every project, client, assignment, or challenge. Apply those same critical skills to the broader world outside your door."

Admitting he did not remember much about his graduation in 1954, being "so eager to get out into the working world," Broad offered a quote from the great playwright George Bernard Shaw as his guiding inspiration for over 50 years:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

Distinguishing between what it means to be artlessly unreasonable and artfully unreasonable, Broad confessed he started out in life artlessly unreasonable, relaying an amusing story of how he was fired from his first job after asking for more money.

Broad emphasized three guiding principals for those wishing to master the art of being unreasonable:

  1. Ask a lot of questions.
  2. Take risks.
  3. Give back.


"The most powerful question is why not?" he said. "That's what you need to ask when someone tells you it can't be done. By definition artists and designers are 'why not' thinkers. You do what no one else would think to do. You tackle with brutal honesty the social issues of your time."

Broad underscored his conviction that clinging to safety is more irrational than taking risks, and he urged students to be proud of betting on themselves.

In closing, Mr. Broad stressed how important it is to give back. "You don't have to have money to give back. You have time, expertise, skills, ideas, and other resources that can serve others . . . We need your creative vision, your unconventional thinking, and your unreasonable approach to solve the world's social, economic, and political challenges. And I promise you, the more involved you are, the richer the rewards, and the more satisfying your life will be."

Eli Broad's rules to live by:

  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Pursue the untried.
  • Revise expectations upward.
  • Take risks.
  • Seek out the best of everything—the best in your work… the best talent… the best in yourself.
  • And always be artfully unreasonable.


Otis College of Art and Design graduated 285 B.F.A. students and 36 M.F.A. students with expertise in disciplines ranging from Architecture, Graphic Design, Digital Media, Writing and Communication Arts, to Product Design, Toy Design, Fashion Design, and Fine Arts. The 2012 class had the highest number of graduates with honors to date in the nearly 100-year history of Otis.

Class Marshal, Javier Meabe (Toy Design), is now working at Mattel; and Valedictorian, Alexandra Vay (Digital Media), is now working at Disney Interactive Media Group.

"After graduation," said Vay, "I'm going to be working on online games, and for anyone who doesn't know, video games are serious business!"

Likening her experience at Otis to a video game, she said, "We work hard getting experience in our respective fields to level up and unlock achievements and new skills as we grow. Otis feels like a well-designed game because in every video game the main character has a quest and a story, a call to action. The Hero hears the call and takes it, growing and transforming over the course of his or her journey . . . the journey to the essence of ourselves was through our art, and we've slowly learned who we are and who we were meant to be. It couldn't have been achieved without our calling, but it wouldn't be possible without our peers and teachers too. If Otis were a video game, it would be the best one I ever played, because the multiplayer is where it's at! The sense of community and kinship I have experienced with my classmates has taught me countless lessons about myself and my art, and I'm better for being a part of it."

Otis President, Samuel Hoi, expressed his pride and admiration for the stellar graduating class. "There is no question in my mind that you will succeed in your chosen fields," he said. "If only I could tell you all the accolades that have come my way from visitors to your superb B.F.A. and M.F.A. showcases here on campus, and also to the spectacular fashion show last weekend."

"You are a community of creatives, who, through a rigorous curriculum and influential faculty mentorship, have experienced phenomenal personal transformation . . . With your journey of discovery at Otis, you have learned how to combine professionalism with joy and curiosity to launch a life of possibilities for yourselves and for others . . . As emerging artists, designers, and writers you are at a special time and place to bring renewal to old ideas and old practices, and to identify and solve problems in fresh ways . . . For nearly 100 years Otis graduates have embarked on their own journeys, each creating an individual, positive, and lasting mark on the world. Now it's your time."


Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at
Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist