Otis College of Art and Design logo
  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Join Otis’ new President Bruce W. Ferguson and new Director of Galleries and Exhibitions Kate McNamara at a special reception for alumni and friends at the historic National Arts Club.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015
    7:00 – 9:00 pm

    National Arts Club
    15 Gramercy Park South
    New York, NY 10003
    Business Casual attire is required by the National Arts Club
    For dress code information, visit: www.nationalartsclub.org (under About Us/FAQs)

  • 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.

  • Adam Linder is a choreographer based between Berlin and Los Angeles, working both in theatre and visual art contexts. He has been developing a dance based  format he calls Choreographic Services since 2013. This aspect of his work is focused on underscoring real time and economic conditions that are integral to the discipline of  choreography. At Otis Linder will introduce this format both conceptually and practically, discussing why 'servicing' is the relevant way for his work to publicly engage.  

  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Oliver Payne, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Kimberli Meyer trained as an architect and an artist, and has been the director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood since 2002. She has initiated and curated many programs there, including the exhibitions How Many Billboards?

  • Industry Spotlight

    Oct 15| Special Event
    An advertising creative director for more than 25 years, Otis alumnus Josh Weltman was the Mad Men co-producer responsible for Don Draper's credibility as an advertising genius.
    Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the hit series, plus hear key insights from Weltman's new book Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling.
    October 15, 6:30 - 9:30 pm


Wilfred Jackson

Wilfred JacksonWilfred JacksonWilfred JacksonWilfred Jackson


Born in Chicago in 1906, Wilfred Jackson ('28) one of cartoon's greatest directors, worked in a formative period for the budding new medium. Working long hours through the heydays of early animation, Jackson is widely judged to have set the standard for subsequent cartoon directors. At Disney, he was integral to the creation of feature classics like Snow White, and was also a technical innovator in terms of merging sound to pictures.

“Jaxon,” as he was called by Walt Disney, attended Otis in 1925. Three years later, after “hanging around the Studios,” he volunteered to wash cels and assist animators at Disney until — in the same year that Mickey Mouse was born — he “found himself holding a paycheck,” later joking that "I'm the only guy [at Disney] who was never [actually] hired."

Jackson claims to have gotten into directing, too, by accident. After being asked by Walt to work out a sound-picture synchronization problem for the early sound cartoons, Jackson successfully devised a metronome to mark time that could be converted to a music track (a method still used in contemporary animation). The innovation, featured in Mickey Mouse's debut film "Steamboat Willie," revolutionized the entertainment medium, and Walt quickly promoted him from animator to director. Jackson garnered a reputation among Disney studio directors as “easily the most creative of the directors, but also the most ‘picky.’”

Among his other feats, Jackson contributed to the "Silly Symphony" shorts, and went on to direct 35 Academy Awards®-winning shorts: The Tortoise and The Hare, The Country Cousin, and The Old Mill. Probably the greatest example of his skill in developing action to music, however, was The Band Concert starring Mickey Mouse.

 Jaxon also applied his talent to other animated features, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, Melody Time, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp. He directed such memorable sequences as "The Night on Bald Mountain" in Fantasia. During the war years, he produced and directed government films for the U.S. Navy.

 In 1954, as Walt entered the new television medium, he asked Jaxon to produce and direct animated shows on the "Disneyland" series. His career at Disney spanned 35 years.