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  • 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
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Business Titan Teaches Art Students How To Be Unreasonable

Please contact John Axtell for inquiries and photos:
310-665-6857 / jaxtell@otis.edu

Eli Broad, founder of two Fortune 500 companies, offers life lessons in unconventional thinking to graduating students at Otis College of Art and Design.

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 31, 2012 - Civic leader, philanthropist, and art collector, Eli Broad spoke to an audience of over 2000 people, including over 300 young creative professionals and their families, during commencement ceremonies at Otis College of Art and Design. Viewers around the world tuned in from 20 different countries to watch the live video stream. "Civilizations are not remembered by their business leaders, but by their artists," he said. "You have a different way of looking at the world . . . You enrich our world through your creativity and vision."


"Artists and designers are truly master problem-solvers," said Broad. "It's how you approach every project, client, assignment, or challenge. Apply those same critical skills to the broader world outside your door."

Admitting he did not remember much about his graduation in 1954, being "so eager to get out into the working world," Broad offered a quote from the great playwright George Bernard Shaw as his guiding inspiration for over 50 years:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

Distinguishing between what it means to be artlessly unreasonable and artfully unreasonable, Broad confessed he started out in life artlessly unreasonable, relaying an amusing story of how he was fired from his first job after asking for more money.

Broad emphasized three guiding principals for those wishing to master the art of being unreasonable:

  1. Ask a lot of questions.
  2. Take risks.
  3. Give back.


"The most powerful question is why not?" he said. "That's what you need to ask when someone tells you it can't be done. By definition artists and designers are 'why not' thinkers. You do what no one else would think to do. You tackle with brutal honesty the social issues of your time."

Broad underscored his conviction that clinging to safety is more irrational than taking risks, and he urged students to be proud of betting on themselves.

In closing, Mr. Broad stressed how important it is to give back. "You don't have to have money to give back. You have time, expertise, skills, ideas, and other resources that can serve others . . . We need your creative vision, your unconventional thinking, and your unreasonable approach to solve the world's social, economic, and political challenges. And I promise you, the more involved you are, the richer the rewards, and the more satisfying your life will be."

Eli Broad's rules to live by:

  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Pursue the untried.
  • Revise expectations upward.
  • Take risks.
  • Seek out the best of everything—the best in your work… the best talent… the best in yourself.
  • And always be artfully unreasonable.


Otis College of Art and Design graduated 285 B.F.A. students and 36 M.F.A. students with expertise in disciplines ranging from Architecture, Graphic Design, Digital Media, Writing and Communication Arts, to Product Design, Toy Design, Fashion Design, and Fine Arts. The 2012 class had the highest number of graduates with honors to date in the nearly 100-year history of Otis.

Class Marshal, Javier Meabe (Toy Design), is now working at Mattel; and Valedictorian, Alexandra Vay (Digital Media), is now working at Disney Interactive Media Group.

"After graduation," said Vay, "I'm going to be working on online games, and for anyone who doesn't know, video games are serious business!"

Likening her experience at Otis to a video game, she said, "We work hard getting experience in our respective fields to level up and unlock achievements and new skills as we grow. Otis feels like a well-designed game because in every video game the main character has a quest and a story, a call to action. The Hero hears the call and takes it, growing and transforming over the course of his or her journey . . . the journey to the essence of ourselves was through our art, and we've slowly learned who we are and who we were meant to be. It couldn't have been achieved without our calling, but it wouldn't be possible without our peers and teachers too. If Otis were a video game, it would be the best one I ever played, because the multiplayer is where it's at! The sense of community and kinship I have experienced with my classmates has taught me countless lessons about myself and my art, and I'm better for being a part of it."

Otis President, Samuel Hoi, expressed his pride and admiration for the stellar graduating class. "There is no question in my mind that you will succeed in your chosen fields," he said. "If only I could tell you all the accolades that have come my way from visitors to your superb B.F.A. and M.F.A. showcases here on campus, and also to the spectacular fashion show last weekend."

"You are a community of creatives, who, through a rigorous curriculum and influential faculty mentorship, have experienced phenomenal personal transformation . . . With your journey of discovery at Otis, you have learned how to combine professionalism with joy and curiosity to launch a life of possibilities for yourselves and for others . . . As emerging artists, designers, and writers you are at a special time and place to bring renewal to old ideas and old practices, and to identify and solve problems in fresh ways . . . For nearly 100 years Otis graduates have embarked on their own journeys, each creating an individual, positive, and lasting mark on the world. Now it's your time."


Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. Alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, and design stars at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Adobe, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney.

Otis enrolls approximately 1,100 full-time students, and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Digital Media (Game and Entertainment Design, Animation, and Motion Design), Fashion Design, Communication Arts (Graphic Design, Illustration, and Advertising Design), Fine Arts (Painting, Photography, and Sculpture/New Genres), Product Design, and Toy Design.  Otis also awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing.

The five-acre main campus is located on L.A.’s Westside near the beach and LAX; the Graduate Studios are in nearby Culver City, and in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

2,700 adults and children participate in Continuing Education art and design classes and workshops.