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Academic Excellence: Wendy Silva

INFORMATION/TIPS TO SHARE WITH FUTURE STUDENTS?
Do it all! There is so much to learn and explore. Take advantage of every course you take. I regret not taking more classes
but I ended up taking 18 units almost every semester. It is ok to be different, because that is what sets you apart as an artist.

 

Hometown?
Los Angeles

 

Why Otis?
It always seemed to be the school I was headed towards. I was accepted into the Ryman Arts Program in high school. My art teacher encouraged me to go to art school, and said that Otis was one of the top local schools. I also won a Gold and Silver Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and the Award Ceremony was held at Otis. After high school, I helped my parents out with rent by working and going to school part-time at Santa Monica College, where I took my first painting course with (Otis faculty member) Nathan Ota, who is an amazing teacher and mentor. I also had the privilege of meeting Bob Dob, and found out that he studied
with Nathan at Otis.
 

Your thesis project?
We completed both a thesis project and a paper. Writing my thesis paper helped me understand my work better. I examined culture, tradition, and the idea of becoming a figure for future generations to look up to, as my grandmother was for me.
 

Interesting things that you did outside of school?
I worked on side projects, creating small handmade objects.
 

Most influential class?
Christine Fredrichs’ “Extended Painting Techniques” sparked my infatuation with different mediums and techniques.
 

Most influential faculty member?
Chris Wilder was a great mentor who made me question my ideas and use different perspectives, and try new things.
 

Favorite place in L.A.?
Culver City born and raised, but currently living in Torrance.
 

Impact on your work/life?
At times it was overwhelming. The workload was fair, but I tend to be very detail-oriented and meticulous. It was inspiring to share a studio space with two other artists. I was usually the first to arrive and the last to leave.
 

What’s next?
Getting a studio space, where I have the freedom to experiment. I’m currently an artist assistant and I’m really enjoying the creative atmosphere.
 

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I can work on paintings for hours, and feel like I spent ten minutes. And I will never walk away from a work that I feel is unfinished.