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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

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Benji Okubo

Benji OkuboBenji Okubo

 

Born in Riverside, CA in 1904, Benji Okubo (‘29, Fine Arts) became renowned as a noted painter of Japanese ancestry. He was active in L.A. from the ‘20s through the ‘40s. As one of many American-born children of immigrants, Okubo expressed himself through art and enterprise. in 1935,the epicenter of this activity was the Dragon's Den, a Chinatown restaurant for which owner Eddy See commmissioned a remarkable mural painted by Okubo, Tyrus Wong ('32) and Marian Blanchard, that depicted the Eight Immortals and a dancing dragon. Celebrities like Walt Disney and the Marx Brothers came to see the murals, and See opened a small gallery to sell his friends’ work.

During the ‘30s, the WPA brought students together with nationally-known artists such as Stanton McDonald-Wright.

During WWII, Okubo continued painting despite his internment at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. In his most active period, Okubo exhibited at Mission Inn (Riverside), 1933; See Gallery (LA), 1933; “Southern California Artists” at the San Diego FA Gallery, 1934; “Painters & Sculptors of LA,” 1935; “Oriental Artists of LA,” 1936; and Foundation of Western Art, 1937.

Today the Japanese American National Museum in L.A., through an NEA grant, supports the conservation of Okubo's paintings.