Centennial: 100 Years of Otis College Alumni

[NOTE: Victoria Delgadillo is not a graduate of Otis College, but her collaborative film project with Raul Baltazar called “Califas” was screened as part of this exhibit celebration.]

September 7 to December 7, 2019. Celebrating Otis College’s one hundredth year, Centennial is a group exhibition of selected works by notable alumni spanning the 1920s to the 2010s. Centennial offers a glimpse into both the range of artists who attended Otis College, as well as work that has come to represent a specific historical moment, focus, and aesthetic engagement. While the exhibition brings together artists working within diverse histories, places, and experiences, each work has a relationship to the present. Centennial is a nod to artistic process, as well as the 100 years of artists’ work sharing space in the Ben Maltz Gallery.

Alumni artists in the exhibition include the following: Bas Jan Ader, Mary Sue Ader Anderson, Kelly Akashi, Michelle Andrade, John Baldessari (in collaboration with Meg Cranston), Raul Baltazar, Billy Al Bengston, George Chann, Katy Cowan, Kohshin Finley, Kim Fisher, Teresa Flores , Kristen Foster, Gajin Fujita, Kio Griffith, Judithe Hernandez, Dakota Higgins, Noah Humes, Sara Hunsucker, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Dorothy Jeakins , Joseph Mugnaini, Sandeep Mukherjee, Alan Nakagawa, Ruben Ochoa, Rick Owens, The Perez Bros, Kour Pour, Ken Price, Pamela Ramos, Vincent Ramos, Steve Roden, Alison Saar, Forouzan Safari, Eduardo Sarabia, JT Steiny, Masami Teraoka, Daveion Thompson, Kent Twitchell, Jeffrey Vallance, Mark Dean Veca, Tyrus Wong, John Weston, Bruce Yonemoto, Liz Young, Milford Zornes.

The MexiCal Biennial presents: CALAFIA (el fin del parai­so) / Final Round

“Know then, that due east of the Indies there is an island called California, very near to the locale called the Terrestrial Paradise. It was populated by Black Indigenous women, without men among them. They possessed strong and firm bodies of ardent courage and great strength. Their island was the strongest in all the world, with steep cliffs and rocky shores. Their arms were decorated with gold, as were the harnesses of the wild beasts they tamed and rode.” Garci Rodri­guez de Montalvo, Las Sergas de Esplandián

Thus began the creative narration for Mexicali Biennial’s 2 year project called CALAFIA: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise. Raul Baltazar and Victoria Delgadillo’s film collaboration for this exhibit with the title of Calafia was called dystopian in the press and at the University of Paris a student asked, “Is it ok to laugh while watching this film?”

In the end, the Mexicali Biennial closed the 2 years of programming and exhibits with echos between Calexico, California and Mexicali, Baja California. There, among the historical exhibits of bones and time elapsed graphs at the Institute for Cultural Research Museum in Mexicali, was an installation of all the props and costumes used in the filming of Calafia.  The Cultural Research Institute’s Director was elated.

Below are the border event offerings and locations during the closing of CALAFIA: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise in Calexico and Mexicali

Friday, January 17, 2020
Steppling Art Gallery, SDSU, Imperial Valley Campus
CALAFIA: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise. Visual Arts exhibition

Friday, January 17, 2020
Planta Libre Galería Experimental
Mexicali, Baja California MX
Films screenings, followed by Q&A

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Institute for Cultural Research Museum (IIC Museo)
Mexicali, Baja California MX
Installation and film screening of Calafia by Victoria Delgadillo and Raul P. Baltazar
Runs through February 2, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Workshop: “My face hurts from being so white”
A metaphorical intervention process of internal and external whiteness using colored t-shirts

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Tianguis del Caballito, I21 Art Space. Local I21
Mexicali, Baja California MX
A site specific solo project to connect diverse Mexicali audiences to multidisciplinary art practices.

Sunday, January 19, 2020
In front of Toyota Car Dealership, Calzada Cetys
Mexicali, Baja California MX
A billboard project

Sunday, January 19, 2020
A border fence performance
Calexico Side: Parking lot at 426 E. 1st St, Calexico, CA
Mexicali Side: Heroes de Chapultepec Park Avenida Madero, Mexicali, B.C.

Images: Courtesy of the MexiCali Biennial and the artists.