Otis College of Art and Design is one of 15 art institutions awarded a $130,000 grant from The Getty Foundation to participate in the largest collaborative project undertaken by museums in the region.
Otisâ€™ project, A Public Center of Oneâ€™s Own: The Womanâ€™s Buildingâ€™s Contribution to the Arts in Los Angeles is part of the Getty Foundationâ€™s larger initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 which highlights the post-World War II Los Angeles art scene. The Womanâ€™s Building was recognized as a major site of activity especially during the 1970s and forms a significant role in the history of feminist art and art history.
Research for A Public Center of Oneâ€™s Own will begin in 2009 and will culminate in a scholarly exhibit and catalogue in 2012. Roundtable discussions will be organized between scholars and artists who were involved with the Woman's Building; a timeline of Woman's Building activities will be created along with a list of artists involved; and Otis faculty will assist in developing educational programs to connect to the exhibition. â€œThe Getty Foundation has recognized the rich tapestry of cultural influences that make up the art of Southern California,â€ says Terry Wolverton, author of Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building . â€œThe breadth and scope of this project will ensure that a complete history of the art of this region is presented and preserved.â€ Leading the project are artists Sue Maberry, Director of Library and Instructional Technology at Otis and Meg Linton, Director of Otisâ€™ Ben Maltz Gallery and Public Programs. They will work closely with scholars Vivien Green Fryd, Ph.D., Alexandra Juhasz, Ph.D., Jennie Klein, Ph.D., Michelle Moravec, Ph.D., and Jennifer Sorkin, Ph.D. in designing an exhibition about the role of the Womanâ€™s Building and the feminist art movement of Southern California.
â€œA Public Center of Oneâ€™s Own will highlight the participants, contributions, and works of art that contributed to the formation of feminist art history, something that needs to be considered in the broader scheme of western art history,â€ says Fryd. â€œToo frequently, approaches are taken that privilege New York, but, the movement in Los Angeles was quite different and equally influential,â€ adds Moravec. Also participating in the project are Sondra Hale and Terry Wolverton, who are current members of the Womanâ€™s Building Board of Directors and co-editors of From Site to Vision: The Womanâ€™s Building in Contemporary Culture ; and Otis professors Meg Cranston, Marlena Donohue, Parme Giuntini, Suzanne Lacy, Kali Nikitas, and Kerri Steinberg.
â€œThere has never been an exhibition or scholarly exhibition catalogue that has fully explored all the contributions of The Womanâ€™s Building to art history,â€ says Maberry, who was involved in the Womanâ€™s Building as a Program Director. Artist Suzanne Lacy echoes the significance of the project, â€œAs critical as the WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution exhibition, curated by Connie Butler has been in the recent recognition of a completely under-explored era in art history, this exhibition proposed by Otis will be even more central in revealing the radical political and pedagogical impulses of this important art movement.â€