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

Laton Live

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Sheri Mobley (323) 668-0874

smobley@mobleymarketing.com

laton-live

 

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY FARM TOWN INSPIRES URBAN ART STUDENTS (AND VICE VERSA)

Los Angeles-based Otis College Creates Public Art Together with Residents of Laton, CA 
Laton LIVE! on March 21 To Showcase Creative Collaboration

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 2, 2009 -- A small farming community in the San Joaquin Valley is the focus of a multidisciplinary art and design project developed by Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.  Laton, California will be the subject of a unique art installation - celebrating the town and its residents - premiering on March 21, 2009.

Led by Suzanne Lacy, noted artist, author and Chair of the Otis  Graduate Public Practice program, Otis students traveled to Laton in August 2008 to explore how art could support local agendas and contribute to the small and struggling rural community.  The San Joaquin Valley is known for having some of the highest poverty and school drop-out rates in the nation, as well as poor air quality.  Lacy, born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley, was familiar with both the problems and opportunities in the Central Valley.  Consuelo Velasco, Manager of Otis Graduate Public Practice, grew up on a small farm in Laton and has focused her own Master’s research on art in rural contexts.

Otis students accustomed to life in a large metropolitan area found them selves examining global problems in an unfamiliar rural setting.  “This is an immersion course leading our students to a consideration of the cultural, economic and identity issues in one of the most misunderstood and “invisible” areas of the Golden State,” said Samuel Hoi, President of Otis College of Art and Design. 

Working with Laton residents (population 1,200), local organizations, and public schools, Otis students and faculty identified two important concerns: supporting youth in civic engagement, and building community pride.  The collaboration resulted in art projects that will soon be seen all over town, including:
 

Signs of Welcome 

When Otis student Bosuel Kim arrived in America, the first town she saw outside of Los Angeles was Laton.  After meeting Laton High School Metal Shop teacher Dale Costa, she learned that the     Welcome to Laton sign had been removed by vandals, and she set to work designing a unique new sign, now under construction by high school students.  
   

Picturing Laton
A series of photographic projects are in motion, including free family portraits taken at Christmas by Otis student Shatto Light. Raul Vega, Los Angeles-based fashion and celebrity photographer, is also     working to create a series of portraits of local residents.  Vega, born and raised in nearby Reedley, California, says “Now that I’ve been away I have a different perspective. I can see an austere beauty in Laton, a naturalness between the people and the land, creative people with vision and good intentions.“
   

Painting the Town 
Enlivening the center of Laton, student and muralist Roberto Del Hoyo has decided to literally paint the town. Local merchants are cooperating in the colorful “face lift,” all done by volunteer labor. In exchange, local residents are given coupons for exchange at another artist/community project, the Laton Free Store.
 

The Town is a Stage

“If there is a blank wall on the main street, expect it to be alive with large scale scenes of life in Laton, from dancing to cooking, working to welcoming,” says Kate Johnson, Otis faculty member and video producer who is working with students and residents on a site-specific installation: 8 wall- sized video projections of Laton residents who are, in effect, opening their doors to the surrounding region. 

The culmination of this public practice project is a free, one-time art event, Laton LIVE!, to be held in downtown Laton at sundown on March 21, 2009.  Laton’s main street will be closed to traffic, and the two-block-long downtown will be transformed with lights, live music, art displays and food, including a local favorite - grilled Portuguese sausage.  In addition, the Lions Club will sell tickets to the Laton Rodeo, and the all-volunteer fire department will celebrate its 100 Year Anniversary.

“In the face of the Wall Street meltdown, the help-your-neighbor values of rural life and the resiliency of local Main Streets gives us hope,” says Lacy of the project.  “We are getting as much, or more, out of this association as the residents,” says Otis student Nathalie Sanchez, who has worked with farm workers near Bakersfield as part of an earlier college service project.  “Through programs like this, students learn how to address complex social relationships—after all, creativity is an important part of community development.”

Otis Connects: San Joaquin Valley is part of Otis College’s Public Practice Graduate Program and the Integrated Learning Program. The San Joaquin Valley project has been partially funded by a planning grant from the Ford Foundation.

Otis Connects: San Joaquin Valley is part of Otis College’s Public Practice Graduate Program and the Integrated Learning Program.  The San Joaquin Valley project has been partially funded by a planning grant from the Ford Foundation.

 

 

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