Otis College of Art and Design logo
  • Rendering female models and celebrities on large-scale canvases and with quick, expressive brushstrokes, painter Katherine Bernhardt examines representations of beauty in mainstream media and fashion photography. She paints her subjects with severe, exaggerated features and emaciated limbs that sometimes morph into abstraction, recalling the works of Pablo Picasso. “Some people ask if I hate the models I paint,” she says. “I say no, I don't hate them.

  • UpCycle Day 2014!

    Sep 03| Special Event

    Join us for the 3rd Annual UpCycle Day!

    Learn about the Resource Exchange

    Bring your excess supplies and materials to share and trade. 

    Stock up for the school year with Free supplies and materials. 

    Help divert our collective waste from ending up in landfills.


  • Forrest Gander

    Sep 03| Lectures

    Otis Books/Seismicity Editions is pleased to publish Panic Cure: Poetry from Spain for the 21st Century, an anthology of poems from eleven contemporary Spanish poets, active from the 1960s through the present. Selected and translated by Forrest Gander, Panic Cure is notable for its impressive range of poetic voices.

  • Jan Brandt

    Sep 04| Lectures
  • Joel Kyack

    Sep 09| Lectures
    JOEL KYACK Lives and works in Los Angeles.


  • A dynamic portrait of the life of computer prodigy Aaron Swartz who championed free speech and data sharing, this must-see documentary premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and was the opening night film at the 2014 Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. 

    We're excited the film’s director Brian Knappenberger will be our special guest speaker for the Q & A moderated by Movies that Matter series producers Judy Arthur and Perri Chasin after the screening. 

  • Koenraad Dedobbeleer lives and works in Brussels.



Integrated Learning Studio

Integrated Learning Studio
An upper-division interdisciplinary studio course offering unique core content that shifts from term to term. This studio affords students the opportunity to engage with professionals from various fields and expand their notion of problem solving beyond their major in public site realworld challenges. A limited choice of ILMS300 courses will count for the Sustainability Minor. Please see the Interdisciplinary Studies Director.
Examples of previous and planned
ILMS 300 courses:
Ban the Bottle Abolish the Bag
Students learn ways to reduce plastic pollution in oceans, starting by conducting research on the impact plastic trash has on our local oceans, wildlife, and communities. They will then work in multidisciplinary teams to develop proposals to educate and encourage the reduction, reuse, and refusal of plastic bags, bottles, and containers.
Mobile Local: LA’s Food Truck Revolution
Mobile Local will focus on issues of social sustainability and cultural inuence through systemic under- standing of Los Angeles and its unique pedestrian culture. Qualitative, ethnographic research techniques, interviews, site visits, and eating will be used as primary research methods. 
Comic Heroes: From 2–D to 3–D
This class is an exploration of comics and their 3–D counterparts. Students’ work in the course could result in an intriguing marketing promotion or perhaps a “final product,” which could range from a virtual world, to an action figure, a digital game, or even a user-created and edited website.
Partner: Top Cow / Hero Initiative
Student teams learn about FM, AM, and Internet radio production, producing content that reports, engages, and rediscovers the Westchester community. Students gain hands-on experience in the audio production studios at both Otis and Loyola Marymount University (LMU), while learning to listen, record, and edit the sound around them. In class, students will produce a creative, fun, and informative radio show to be available online at Otis and rebroadcast on the LMU radio stations. Partners: KXLU, KLMU
Community Crossover: Identity-Based Projects in the Public Realm
Conceptualize and produce art and design interventions in collaboration with partners Breathe LA. Research their rich history, identify core values, and help to convey their unique character to intended audiences. Outcomes may include digital and graphic media campaigns, unique product development, physical space alterations, or experiential events and exhibitions. Partner: Breathe LA
Neighborgapbridge: Changing the World, One Neighborhood at a Time
Can artists and designers collaborate and assume the role of ethnographers to investigate our Otis neighbors? Can they identify “gaps” in communication, interests, and values, and propose ”bridges” to connect them? Creative. Blue Sky. Out There. Walking Distance. Elementary School, and The Custom Hotel
Otis Goes Green—Global Green USA
This course provides art and design students with the knowledge and tools needed to make ecodesign an integral part of the design process. Students in this course will have an opportunity to help Otis become Green, discuss Green Design with top Green Designers, and attend a Green Design Show. Partner: Global Green International 
Made for Kids: Childhook Learning and Development Studio
Otis students from all departments will develop tools, toys, clothing, and learning spaces for the students and faculty of a local elementary school. Collaboration with Catastrophe: Disaster Design Are we ready for the unexpected? If the Big One or another catastrophe hits Los Angeles tomorrow, how can artists and designers help to mitigate the crisis and participate in the rebuilding of the city? Results will range from preventative design, to survival design, to design for a postcatastrophic future. Partner: City of El Segundo 
Junior Blind
Multidisciplinary student groups engage in research and exercises, interacting with the students of Junior Blind and working blind artists, in an attempt to understand what it is to be visually impaired or blind. Art and design projects will be developed from collaborative “visually impaired” experiences to enable and enhance the creativity and imagination of the students at Junior Blind and to encourage Otis students to rethink the ways in which the nonvisual world engages with art and design disciplines.
Design Challenge: Ningbo, China
Students will learn about bamboo in an integrated context. Industrial: growing, harvesting, processing, physical properties, and sustainable attributes. Design: develop a toy that is in compliance with regulatory product safety laws, and of course, “fun.” Practicum: students will attend a monthlong “Bamboo Workshop” near Ningbo, China. Each student will design and fabricate a toy made of bamboo. **This course will take place every other Monday during the spring semester, with one month in China during the summer.
Design for Social Impact:
Students will be introduced to the complexities of social design leadership and will be taught to design local product systems that can be validated and scaled to fit different contexts. Engaging directly with local communities in need, students will conduct hands-on research and develop actionable social design strategies, with an emphasis on systems and tools. Partner: Urban Compass.