This Side of the 405


Freeway Studies #1: This Side of the 405, an exhibition at Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery, begins an extensive survey of the neighborhoods and networks of Los Angeles artists.

Freeway Studies #1: This Side of the 405  opens to the public on Saturday, April 13 with a public reception from 4pm to 6pm and features work by Charles Arnoldi, Natalie Arnoldi, Alex Becerra, Larry Bell, Karen Carson, Meg Cranston, Greg Colson, Tony de los Reyes, Steve Galloway, Joe Goode, Scott Grieger, Deborah Hede, Tom Knechtel, Lies Kraal, Rachel Lachowicz, Lauren Marsolier, Renée Petropoulos, Phranc, Vincent Ramos, Lucas Reiner, Liza Ryan, Kim Schoenstadt, Kiki Seror, Alexis Smith, Barbara T. Smith, Jim Starrett, Jon Swihart, Shirley Tse, Sam Watters, Chris Wilder, Pontus Willfors, Suzan Woodruff, and Jody Zellen.

Freeway Studies #1: This Side of the 405 features work by 33 contemporary artists whose studios are west of the 405, north of the 105 and south of the 10 freeways in Los Angeles. The impetus for this curatorial endeavor was and continues to be an effort to survey, one studio at a time, the neighborhoods and networks of artists working in Los Angeles. Over a six month period Linton and Dawson visited 85 studios and met with more than 100 artists in the designated area, documenting each visit on a blog. They will update the blog as they visit more artists to plan the subsequent Freeway Studies exhibitions focusing on other neighborhoods. This exhibition is funded in part by the Otis Board of Governors.

Exhibition Programming includes:

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 13, 4pm-6pm, Free
Reception for the artists with SOUNDSCAPESSSSSZZZZZ by Paige Tighe and musical selections by MX Farina, Robots and Friends

Festival: Sunday, April 14, 10am-4pm Free
Otis 2nd Annual Kite Festival, directly north of Santa Monica

Open House: Sunday, April 14, 2pm-5pm, Free
Graduate Studios Open House, 10455 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, 90232

Bus Tours: Saturdays, April 20 (#15416) & June 1 (#25439), 9am-3pm, $25
Curator led bus tours of local studios: Peter Alexander, Angie Bray, Carla Danes, Chris Danes, Drew Dominick, Marc Fichou, DJ Hall, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Jeremy Kidd, Linda King, Cindy Kolodziejski, Blue McRight, Tia Pulitzer, Sarah Vanderlip. To Register: (310) 665 6950 or

Reading: Saturday, May 18, 4pm-8pm, Free
Writing This Side of the 405: a live online reading curated by Guy Bennett with Kathy MacPherson.

Art Walk: Sunday, May 19, $50
Venice Art Walk & Auctions: A benefit for the Venice Family Clinic. To Register:

Billboard Project:
Scott Grieger
, TOO MANY:, 2013 (Lincoln Blvd northbound, north of Venice Blvd)
Scott Grieger Billboard - 2
Jeremy Kidd, Chrysler 2, 2006 (Jefferson Blvd westbound, at Centinela Ave)
Jeremy Kidd Billboard - 2
Sandy Rodriguez
, Fire Tornado, 2007 (Centinela Ave northbound, at Jefferson Blvd)
Sandy Rodriguez Billboard - 2
Billboard locations may change in early May 2013; check for updates at:  Billboard project sponsored by Summit Media LLC.

Gallery Information
Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Parking & Admission: Free. Visitor parking in structure on La Tijera.
Hours: Tue-Fri 10-5 / Thu 10-9 / Sat-Sun, 12-4. Closed Mondays and major holidays.
Gallery Tours: 310.665.6909 to schedule tours for schools, museums or other groups
Gallery Info: 310.665.6905,,
Project Blog Page:


  1. Diane Calder says:

    The ever increasing number of gallery listings and area maps published locally make it apparent that expectations of seeing all the art that greater Los Angeles has to offer in one night on the town is no longer a reality. Otis gallery director Meg Linton comes to the rescue, devising a plan to divide the pie into manageable bites. Linton and Jessica Dawson dedicated themselves to making 85 studio visits, resulting in the selection of 33 artists working in a designated area west of the 405 for the first of what will be a multi-year series of Freeway Studies. Each artist is restricted to showing one or two works, so viewers may walk away craving more John Swihart, Alexis Smith or Meg Cranston. There is no perceivable theme, other than diversity, but several entries, including “Highway 2” by Lauren Marsolier, Joe Goode’s “3 Easy Places” and Greg Colson’s “Beverly Hills,” aptly address the title of the show. Works in two and three dimensions contain media as low tech as cursive writing on index cards in “Hot Peppers” by Barbara T. Smith to apps available on your iPhone for gallery or online participation in 4 computer games created by Jody Zellen. The masterful installation of the show results in several hilarious juxtapositions of work including the gravitational pull of Charles Arnoldi’s heavy weight “A.A.R.P.” on Phranc’s kraft paper “Raft”.

  2. What is really extraordinary about Freeway Studies #1: This Side of the 405 is how it both presents a ground level view of how the art world in LA functions in groups but it also hangs together like a single entity. Doing a group show with so many artists should by all rights be a mash-up of sorts, but Freeway Studies #1 meshes just fine. It is an interesting premise to divide LA into sub-sets defined by roadway geography which it seems to me has a very specific parallel with how the art world builds itself into communities anyway in historical retrospective. If you look at pre-WWII Paris or post-WWII New York it is hard not to see how physical proximity in certain neighborhoods created an interplay of creative agencies, just as it is happening in the present day. We’ll have to wait 20 years or so to see if the 405 was the demarcation line or if it was more of a downtown vs the west side delineation, but that is how art history works and, in the meantime, the results of Meg and Jeseca’s speculative visual thinking is well worth a visit, to see the art.

  3. Liza Ryan says:

    Curator Meg Linton and Jeseca Dawson deserve kudos for the generosity they have shown the Los Angeles art community by embarking upon this ambitious Freeway Studies series. Their research has taken them on an ambitious journey around the vast and potentially overwhelming population of artists in Los Angeles. I believe they asked all of the artists they knew for lists of all the artists they knew who then supplied even more artists’ names and so on and so on. They visited EVERY artist who would have them. WOW! The sincerity and openness of their quest is both unusual and praiseworthy.

  4. i thought this show was so strong, i was really happy to come to the opening. i loved getting to see some work i already was very familiar with, like jody zellen’s digital pieces and shirley tse and greg colson, alongside artists who are new discoveries for me. I loved how pontus willfors and kim schoenstadt’s pieces made use of the space, i have been thinking of their really terrific works since i came home from the show.

    my favorite thing about ben maltz gallery is, even though i have seen dozens of shows there, i never feel like i am at the same old gallery, there is always a sense of transformation and even though there’s a consistency in some aspects of the aesthetic (i feel like i am guaranteed that work i see at otis will always be well made as well as conceptually intelligent,) there is such a range from, for example, an ambitious scholarly project like the women’s building exhibition, a completely new community (for me) of artists i met through homeboy industries, to the juxtaposition of approaches to contemporary practice in meticulosity and west of the 405.

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