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

Four Otis Alumni in Whitney Biennial

OTIS ALUMNI SELECTED FOR 2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL Patrick Hill, Rubén Ochoa, Eduardo Sarabia and Mario Ybarra to participate in major survey

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 12, 2008) - Four alumni of Otis College of Art and Design - Patrick Hill ('00, MFA), Rubén Ochoa ('97, BFA) Eduardo Sarabia ('99, BFA), and Mario Ybarra ('99, BFA) - have been selected for the 2008 Whitney Museum Biennial. From March 6 through June 1, this exhibition of 81 artists is the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the U.S.


Mario Ybarra draws attention to forms of culture that exist in the margins of the mainstream, examining hidden cultural histories and alluding to or parodying the street culture of the West Coast. His references range from the activities of inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison to a social exploration of the expanding numbers of barbershops across the African-American community. When pegged as a Chicano artist, Ybarra demurs. “I make contemporary art that is filtered through a Mexican-American experience in Los Angeles. It’s not my goal to learn Nahuatl but to speak Cantonese.”


In 2000, after receiving his MFA, Patrick Hill was working to pay the rent, setting up a studio, and surfing. Driving home on the freeway one day, he blacked out and awoke in a hospital, disoriented. The diagnosis: brain tumor. After undergoing invasive brain surgery, and enduring more than a year of intensive chemotherapy, he started over. His work began to take on the immaterial and formless, as well as issues of ghostly shadows, reflection and translucency.  Using materials such as ink, dye, and bleach along with blackberries and blueberries, he creates paintings that seem to release primordial forms and energy. He searches for “the littoral between here and nowhere.” (Bruce Hainley, Artforum)


San Diego native Rubén Ochoa is no stranger to borders and the controversies that surround them. He transformed the tan 1985 van his parents used for their tortilla business into “Class: C,” a nomadic art gallery. Challenging traditional exhibition methods, he brought struggling artists' work to the masses, literally removing art world barriers. More recently, “Class: C’s Vancade, “a 2-D video game inspired by the artist’s van, allows players to sell tortillas and fund art exhibits as they navigate L.A.’s streets. Ochoa’s work was included in the recent 2004 Orange County Museum of Biennial among many other exhibitions.


Eduardo Sarabia smuggles ideas into culture. Highly influenced by the intricate poetics of the black market and northern Mexican folklore, he creates romantic visual narratives that conflate illegal contraband, fine arts and commerce. He hires Mexican craftspeople in Guadalajara to fabricate his work, and smuggles it across the border. The newest entry into his product line is Tequila Sarabia, a line of three kinds of tequila in hand-blown glass bottles with a Guadalajara ceramic stopper. His white Talavera pottery vases, packaged in their own silkscreened box, are decorated with images of cash, parrots, marijuana leaves, prostitutes and other contraband.


Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Associate Director for Programs, comments about the upcoming Biennial, "In dealing with the art of the present, there are no easy assessments, only multiple points of entry." President Samuel Hoi concurs, adding that “The social and cultural insights of these four Otis alumni demonstrate their ability to successfully compete in a global environment increasingly built on innovation and creative thinking. Since its establishment in 1918 as Los Angeles’ first independent professional school of art and design, Otis has trained generations of artists who have been in the vanguard of the cultural and entrepreneurial life of the city. Nurtured by Los Angeles’ forward-thinking spirit, the College has produced artists who explore the landscape of popular culture and the significant impact of identity, politics and social policy at the intersection of art and society.”


Otis alumni painters were also well represented in Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight's Sunday, December 2nd piece "45 Painters under 45: Painting gets a Broader Brush." Knight asserts that painting is alive and well in L.A., and features Timothy Tompkins (’03, BFA) and Steve Roden (’86, BFA), along with Kevin Appel (’89, BFA), Michael Brunswick (‘05, MFA), Gajin Fujita (’97, BFA), Sandeep Mukherjee (’96, BFA), and Chad Robertson (’91, BFA).

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