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Art and Activism in the Americas

Ben Maltz Gallery: Kathy MacPherson,, 310.665.6909

Otis College of Art and Design: Jeffrey Perkins,, 310.665.6857

‘Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas’ at Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery, part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative
BijaRi, Contando con Nosotros, 2011. Digital photo.

BijaRi, Contando con Nosotros, 2011. Digital photo.

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design will present Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, an exhibition and publication that investigates contemporary, community-based social art practices in the Americas curated by Bill Kelley, Jr. with Karen Moss as consulting curator. Talking to Action, on view September 17 through December 10, 2017, is part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. A public opening reception featuring a curator and artist-led walkthrough, will be held on Sunday, September 17 from 3-5pm.

Talking to Action addresses critical issues such as migration and memory, spatial mapping, environmental issues, gender rights and legislation, indigenous knowledge, and racial violence in work created by contemporary social practice artists and collectives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States. Major support of this exhibition and publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

In addition to a diverse array of projects, the exhibition builds upon the educational imperative found in many of the artists’ practices as well as Otis College’s academic commitment to social practice through curricular programming and studies.

Artists in the exhibition include Liliana Angulo Cortés, Efraín Astorga Garay, BijaRi, Giacomo Castagnola, Cog•nate Collective, Colectivo FUGA, Sandra de la Loza and Eduardo Molinari, Dignicraft, Etcétera..., Frente 3 de Fevereiro, Grupo Contrafilé, Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva, Iconoclasistas, Kolectivo de Restauración Territorial, Suzanne Lacy, Alfadir Luna, Taniel Morales, Andrés Padilla Domene and Iván Puig Domene, Polen Audiovisual, Gala Porras-Kim, and Ultra-red.

Bill Kelley, Jr. is Lead Researcher and Curator of Talking to Action, and is a writer and scholar of community-based practices in the Americas, and assistant professor of Latin American and Latino Art History at California State University at Bakersfield. Karen Moss is Consulting Curator, and is adjunct professor of Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design. Kelley led the two-year research phase for the exhibition, coordinating the efforts of a team of researchers from six different cities in the Americas to inquire into the issues and artist methods that connect the various cities in the hemisphere.



Opening Reception
Sunday, September 17, 3-5pm.
Curator- and artist-led walkthrough at 3:30pm
More programming to be announced, visit for an updated schedule. 


Exhibition Tour

The Talking to Action international tour, managed by Independent Curators International (ICI), includes: Ex-Teresa Actual, Mexico City / Winter 2017; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona / Winter 2018; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois / Summer 2018; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California / Winter 2019.



The exhibition is accompanied by the bilingual publication Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, co-published by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and distributed by University of Chicago Press. The publication encompasses the exhibition, programmatic, and pedagogic imperatives of the Talking to Action project, and includes an introduction by Karen Moss, and essays by the Talking to Action research team María Fernanda Cartagena, David Gutiérrez Castañeda, Andre Mesquita, Bill Kelley, Jr., Jennifer Ponce de León, Paulina Varas, and UC San Diego scholar Grant Kester.


Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018.

Pacific Standard Time: LA / LA


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