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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.


Toy Design

Alumnus Kris Paulson

Kris Paulson ('03) and a four-person team of young designers at Big Monster Toys in Chicago stormed the toy design world during the 2005 holiday season with their wildly popular animatronic MP3 player named 'iZ'. Time magazine listed the iZ as one of 2005's top inventions. The alien eyes of iZ echo with the music's rhythms, and its horn pulses in rainbow colors. Users can create their own rhythms and tracks by twisting and turning the alien's ears or pressing its belly to change the beat.

Alumna Meleina Mayhew

Since graduating from Otis in 2000, Melaina Mayhew (’00, Toy Design) has worked with many of the leaders in the toy industry, including Mattel, Lego, Applause, and Equity Marketing. She also worked on an array of character licenses such as Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo, Finding Nemo and other Disney properties.

Toymaker Brittney Crump's Bold Style

As a child, Brittney Crump was asked the standard question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?” She consistently replied that she wanted to be an artist.
Prior coming to Otis Brittney expressed her creativity in several ways - drawing comics, designing t-shirts, and sewing plush toys. She says that she had her hands in too many pots, but eventually found her focus after receiving pictures from parents of their children with her creations.

Toy Design Alumnus Raphael Bencosme Shines at Razor

Toy Design alumnus Raphael Bencosme graduated in 2013 and has been working at Razor USA located in Cerritos, CA as one of their key designers. While he was still a student in Toy Design he had the great opportunity to intern at Razor and made such a positive mark that directly after graduating he was offered a position as designer in their advancing New Brands group.

Toy Design Chair Deborah Ryan in Long Beach Press Telegram

Designers came to toys from varied careers

By Jordan England-Nelson
Actively seeking a career in toys is a relatively new phenomenon. Toy design schools didn’t exist a generation ago, which means most veterans of the toy industry got into the business by accident. Product and industrial design is a common background for toy designers, as is fashion, illustration and animation.
Here are the stories of six designers who never could have predicted they would be working in toys as adults:

Feature on Otis Toy Design's Unique Program

Toy design student Arthur Grygoryan wants to create Lego play sets like the ones he tinkered with as a kid.

“I originally wanted to do robotics and engineering, but then I realized I was more creative ... and not that good at math,” Grygoryan said between classes at Otis College of Art and Design in Westchester.

With hundreds of design schools in the United States, only Otis and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology offer programs tailored specifically to toys.

Apollo Crowe Designs All-in-One Clip SnapLNX

Apollo Crowe (’07 Toy Design)
SnapLNX is the “All in one clip” made in the U.S.A. and working hard and looking good as it holds your tie, sleeves, cuffs, or cash. We have a growing line of SnapLNX designs on our website, and a cool custom feature that allows you to upload your own design.
Starting up