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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.


Global Ecology, Sustainability, and Next-Generation Toy Design in the Bamboo Forests of China

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


Otis College of Art and Design teams up with eco-forward Hape International in Ningbo, China to produce new sustainable toy designs.

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 28, 2012 - Furthering its commitment to eco-conscious education, Otis College of Art and Design partnered with German toymaker Hape to create an international think tank and integrated learning experience.

Otis faculty members and students joined Hape employees and members of the China Academy of the Arts to study the complexities of sustainable business practice and associated manufacturing challenges while developing new product designs that will move into formal production at Hape in the coming year.

The group traveled to China for a 29-day journey through the bamboo forests of Zhejiang Province, to the city of Hangzhou and the Ningbo-Zhoushan Harbor, one of the largest ports in the world. There they observed and exchanged ideas with local craftspeople, manufacturers, educators and students from distinguished design schools such as Bauhaus University, Weimar, Shenkar College of Art and Design, Israel, and KaosPilot, Denmark.

The international team participated with Hape step-by-step in research, development, idea generation, production, and testing of new products. Students learned firsthand what it takes to bring sustainable products to market.

"This kind of collaboration is invaluable for industry and academia," said Otis Toy Design Professor Drew Plakos. " It's real-world learning for next-generation designers and smart R&D for industry leaders."

Experimenting with sustainable materials and renewable resources such as bamboo and soy-based pigment, the student designers produced a number of projects from role-play toddler games and construction sets, to nested drums for a new Hape instrument line. Several of their final designs were chosen for formal development.

Designing For Sustainability is Designing for the Future
Both Otis and Hape work to develop strategies and systems that meet the needs of current generations without compromising those of future generations. The theme of sustainable design is woven into the curricula of all academic disciplines at Otis. A Minor in Sustainability is available to all undergraduate majors, providing students with a broad understanding of social, political, economic, and environmental issues, and teaching them how their work impacts society and the environment. As a leading multinational manufacturer, Hape strategically considers surface treatment, energy consumption, and packaging options to minimize environmental impact and maximize efficiency; materials, production, by-products, waste, shipping, and transport are all factors.


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.