Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching

City Rising

Start watching

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement and Special Events teams.


Artist Diane Gamboa

Around this month sixty years ago, horror movie actor Vincent Price took a drive to the eastside--not sure if he cruised down Whittier Blvd with the radio blaring--to give a graduation speech at East L.A. College. Karen Rapp, the college's museum director says Price talked about the divide in L.A. between the haves and the have nots. "That on this side of town, so to speak, the opportunities to see works of art were very minimal," she said.

This weekend Rapp saw hundreds of people walk through the brand new, four story, state of the art Vincent Price Museum of Art on the East L.A. College campus. If you're between 30 to 50 years old you remember Price's voice in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. If you remember seeing a Vincent Price film in a movie theater when it first came out you're... cool.

The facility's named after the actor because he donated about two thousand works of art to back up his wish that people have art in the middle and working class neighborhoods around the campus. There were no Rembrandt or Van Gogh oils in the collection but lots of pre-Hispanic, African, and South Pacific sculptures and prints by Picasso and works by Rufino Tamayo. That sets this community college museum apart from most others. The previous museum was a shoe box-sized gallery. Painter Diane Gamboa, while an ELAC student in the mid 1970s browsed through the Price collection in storage. Her work is part of the museum's inaugural exhibit of alumni artists.

Pencil drawing of Vincent Price by Rico Lebrun

"Little did I know back then when I was ditching class and running around, you know with African sculptures in my arms, as I'm rustling through other things, that I would be here as part of the inaugural exhibition in a museum that I consider a very important place in this time," Gamboa said as she stood next to her paintings depicting punk rock, androgynous figures.Kent Twitchell, whose hyper-realist murals lay moribund under tagging along L.A.'s freeways, was an ELAC grad. His work's in the inaugural show. As is the work of Gronk , Clement Hanami, Will Herrón III, Judithe Hernández, John Valadez, and Patssi Valdez.

In 1966 Judithe Hernandez was an art prodigy just out of Lincoln High School. She resolved to take a few classes at ELAC before she enrolled at Otis Art Institute, at the time L.A.'s top art school. She found that the ELAC classes were no walk in the park. "They demanded of us the very same kind of professionalism and thoughtfulness and creativity that you would have encountered in an art school," she said.

One of the museum's upper floor galleries is called Hoy Space and is reserved for emerging artists. Artist Sonia Romero is showing her consumption and overabundance-themed work in the gallery now.

Museum director Rapp says some of the cultural inequalities that existed when Vincent Price spoke to ELAC graduates decades ago still affect neighborhoods. "I'd like to think that we're going to be one of the most important venues for students to not have to travel so far to see things that mean a great deal," Rapp said.

Museum board member Pete Galindo

Poet and Journalist Adolfo Guzman-Lopez writes his column Movie Miento every Tuesday on KCET's SoCal Focus blog. It is a poetic exploration of Los Angeles history, Latino culture and the overall sense of place, darting across LA's physical and psychic borders.

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
un mazo de juez de madera

Justicia retrasada: tribunales abrumados por el atraso de la pandemia

Desde la manutención de los hijos hasta el fraude de seguros, los casos judiciales se retrasan en todo California. Solo la mitad de los casos civiles y penales se resolvieron el verano pasado en comparación con las cifras anteriores a la pandemia. “La justicia no se ha cerrado. La justicia se ha ralentizado”, según un grupo de abogados.
A gavel on a table

Justice Delayed: Courts Overwhelmed by Pandemic Backlog

From child support to insurance fraud, court cases are delayed throughout California. Only half as many civil and criminal cases were resolved last summer compared with pre-pandemic numbers. “Justice has not shut down. Justice has slowed down,” according to an attorneys’ group.
People pull up in their vehicles for Covid-19 vaccines in the parking lot of The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 19, 2021. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

L.A. County Expands COVID Vaccines to Residents 65 And Older

L.A. County began scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for those aged 65 and older today, but limited supplies and uncertainty about future allocations has left the inoculation effort shrouded in doubt.