Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
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    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Steven Ehrlich and Frederick Fisher will present their firms’ collaboration as EHRLICH | FISHER on Otis College’s new Goldsmith Campus Academic Building and Residence Hall. The campus-wide expansion and renovation project includes a new academic building, 300-seat Forum (the venue for this lecture), café and dining commons, Student Life Center, and residence hall.

     

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
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    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
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    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

O-Tube

Ford Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
CONTACT: Rose Anne McCants, rmcants@otis.edu, (310) 665-6859 

Ford Foundation Awards San Joaquin Valley Planning Grant

NEW OTIS PROGRAM LAUNCHING IN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY WITH GRANT FROM FORD FOUNDATION
Los Angeles, Calif. (May 12, 2008) – – Otis College of Art and Design was awarded a $150,000 planning grant from the Ford Foundation to help create a project in which students will collaborate with community members in the San Joaquin (Central) Valley to find creative solutions to some of the vast and growing problems facing the region. This project is a pilot for the Otis Global Public Service (GPS) program.
As part of Otis’ continued success in community engagement, the mission of Otis GPS is to expand opportunities for artists and designers to serve communities worldwide, and to instill within them a lifelong responsibility and commitment to public service. Recently, Otis was one of seventy-six institutions qualified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its new Community Engagement classification, and is the only art and design college in this inaugural group.
Beginning in summer 2008, Otis MFA and BFA students will travel to three counties of the San Joaquin Valley: Kern, Tulare, and Fresno. The program will be lead by Suzanne Lacy, noted artist, author, and Chair of Otis’ Master of Fine Arts Program in Public Practice. 
“As someone who was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley area, I am intimately familiar with its problems and its opportunities,” stated Lacy. “For a professional college of art and design such as Otis, in a large metropolitan area, the opportunity for our students to explore global issues in a rural setting is tremendous. The project will bring forward all kinds of issues, from the environment to food production, from housing to the loss of farm land.” 
Although the San Joaquin Valley is rich in resources and recognized as one of the most productive agricultural regions, it is also one of the most challenged. For example:
* Six counties are among the 52 counties with the highest poverty rate in the U.S.
* Lowest reading rates among third graders; highest drop-out rates among high school
students; and low college attendance rates compared to the rest of the state. 

* The region is one of only two in the nation to be identified by the U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency for repeatedly failing to meet air quality standards.

 

According to the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, a partnership created under executive order by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Improving the economy and the well-being of the people of the San Joaquin Valley requires a concerted, coordinated and creative response from leaders at all levels of government and from community members.” 

Otis students will participate in field trips to the Central Valley, and will undertake research into the ecological, sociological and economic factors that contribute to the region’s problems. Students will also work with local leaders to identify regional strengths, and work with residents, and community leaders on ways in which they can effectively support the area. Students will learn cross-cultural communication and community organizing skills, root cause analysis and big picture thinking, all within the context of making art and design contributions to communities in the San Joaquin Valley.
“Artists worldwide have both the ability and responsibility to transform the quality of life for people living in unfortunate conditions,” stated Orlando Bagwell, Director of Media, Arts, and Culture at the Ford Foundation. “The Otis GPS project in the San Joaquin Valley is innovative and can positively impact lives in the region. It promotes collaboration among the nonprofit, government, and business sectors; and encourages participation from diverse communities at all levels of society. Scholars from colleges and universities in the region, members of the farming community, local artists, and K-12 teachers and students will contribute to this project. The Ford Foundation exists to support projects like Otis GPS.”  
“Otis is a socially committed institution that takes a proactive role in its communities,” stated Samuel Hoi, Otis’ President. “It’s part of Otis’ tradition and ingrained in the culture of the College. We are honored that the Ford Foundation recognizes Otis’ efforts. The San Joaquin project will make a lasting impression on students and will undoubtedly inform their artistic and community work for years to come.”

 

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ABOUT OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at www.otis.edu.
Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist