Events
  • Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California.

  • Gallery 169 will be hosting the Otis College of Art and Design Communication Arts Graphic Design Junior Show, "5328," displaying a selection of work made over the five thousand twenty eight hours that make up the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. Work will include collected posters, publications, and typographic projects.
  • Clay, Body is a solo exhibition from artist Sydney Aubert: Unapologetically fat, crass, and sexual, a ceramics artist who also works in video, and whatever other materials arouse her in the moment. Exhibition will be on view from Monday, April 24 - Friday, April 28 at the Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design. On view by appointment only, please contact the artist at sydney.aubert@gmail.com Reception: Thursday, April 27 | 6pm-9pm Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design

  • Audrey Wollen is a feminist theorist and visual artist based in Los Angeles. Wollen uses social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, as platforms for her work on Sad Girl Theory, a theory which posits that internalized female sadness can be used as a radical and political action, separate from masculinized forms of protests such as anger and violence. She introduces this form of protest as an alternative to masculinized anger and violence.
  • Bring family and friends to reconnect with fellow alumni at the studio of Albert Valdez ('10) following Brewery ArtWalk, an open studio weekend with over 100 participating resident artists.

    Parking is located inside the Brewery campus.  

    Visit www.breweryartwalk.com for directions and other information. 

  • Otis Radio: Our Story`

    May 01| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 4:00 - 5:00 pm is Our Story. Join DJ Wormlord (Maggie Gilbert), DJ Ace (Grace Kanchana), and DJ Mango (Stacy Li) as we have real talk in real time. Don't miss out!

     

    Listen online at KLMU.

    All shows will be simulcast on 96.1FM in the Otis Commons and archived on otisradio.tumblr.com

  • Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 5:00 - 6:00 pm is The Girls Room with DJ Lonesome (Jaclyn Arellano), DJ Filth (Mady Preece), DJ Duchamp’s Urinal (Carly Goldstein). In this political climate, it is finally time to take charge of our own bodies and image. No more housewife norms to determine what a woman should look like. Join us in conversation with the tools of music and noise to express what it means to be a woman. We will challenge the definitions and misconceptions about masculinity and femininity, creating a space where women can feel free to ask questions and get answers from other women.

    Listen: http://edg-ord-kxlu.streamguys1.com/klmu

O-Tube

Nourishing Craft

Aug 25, 2013
Tanya Aguiñiga, Product Design faculty member
Spotlight Category: Faculty
By Mimi Zeiger

 

Editor’s Note: 

Aguiñiga is one of five designers featured in the current PBS series “Craft in America: A Journey to the Artists, Origins, and Techniques of American Craft” 

Tanya Aguiñiga, Product Design faculty member, is an acclaimed textile artist, a craft activist, a sculptor, and a self-described “maker.” Her Atwater Village studio overflows with skeins of wool, yards of rope, and fabric remnants—the materials she uses to make her handcrafted accessories and furniture. Aguiñiga’s dyed rope necklaces are museum and design store staples, and the colorful, animal-like chairs and benches recently exhibited at JF Chen’s gallery charmed the crowds. She is not content to simply produce readily consumed objects, however; at the root of her work is a larger goal—the desire to build community and activism around craft. Her hope is to transform the perception of craft from a solo domestic art to a means of public engagement.

To do this, Aguiñiga weaves her own personal narrative into the history of craft. Born in Tijuana, she grew up taking a bus across the border every day to go to school in San Diego. As an undergraduate, she studied furniture design at San Diego State University, and received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. In 1997 she became a member of the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF), a binational collective dedicated to bringing attention to the U.S/Mexico border through arts-based programming. 

“My time with BAW/TAF was the foundation for who I am today as an artist,” says Aguiñiga, reflecting on the six years she spent actively involved with the organization. “It taught me how to use tools for the first time, how to work as a collaborative, how to engage with communities, how to create work that is both personal and political, and how to produce installation and performance art. As clichéd as it sounds, BAW/TAF changed my life.”

For Aguiñiga, BAW/TAF’s influence led her to work with marginalized communities and encouraged her to consider craft a radical practice. It taught her to be both an activist and a mentor, values she instills in her students at Otis. “It’s my job to preserve this history through making something personal,” says Aguiñiga. 

To illustrate her point, she selects a heavy leather strap from a basket brimming with colors and textures. The piece is a backstrap weaving belt, worn smooth in places from use—the kind of loom used by women artisans in Chiapas, Mexico. The leather belt wraps around the weaver’s waist and is used to create tension in the loom, which is then attached to a fixed object. 

Last summer, Aguiñiga used the belt to stage an outdoor weaving performance in Beverly Hills. Dressed in traditional Mexican garments, she attached the belt first to a parking meter and then, when asked by police to move, to a tree in front of the sign reading “Welcome to Beverly Hills.” Aguiñiga’s street performance of weaving brightly colored yarn was educational and political, publicly exposing the often unseen physical labor, artistry, and technique that is required to create textiles in one of the world’s richest zip codes. “Craft has been malnourished,” she says. “The origins of the materials need to be told.”

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