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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 Academic Excellence: Dustee Womack

Visalia, California

Why Otis?
I had a degree in business from SDSU [San Diego State University] and worked various jobs in marketing and sales. It was great experience but I was not creatively satisfied. While my husband was in Iraq with the Army, I took art classes at night at OCC [Orange Coast College] and focused on painting and ceramics. Much of my work looked “toylike,” and my painting teacher noticed this. He mentioned Otis’ program, and I immediately got excited! The moment I saw the toy design online that night, I was determined to go. My husband reenlisted in the National Guard in order to transfer his GI Bill to me so we could afford it.

Interesting things you did outside of school?
Making earrings; camping and hiking; bicycling; scavenging around swap meets to find cheap, weird, little treasures; and having all these adventures with my husband and my little puggle, Odashi.

Most influential class?
Preschool with Joyce Mesch, sponsored by Spin Master. Our class had a unique bond together and with our instructor. We worked as if we were at a toy company.
We shared ideas, provided feedback, collaborated and improved our concepts each week, and shared them with the Spin Master team. It was challenging, intimidating, and fun all wrapped into one. This class was the foundation of my confidence in my design ability.

Most influential faculty member?
Mike Andrews’ model-making knowledge opened my eyes to the idea that if you can think of it, there is more than likely a way to make it. I have always made little sculptures and dioramas but many times hit a wall when I didn’t know how to make them work. He also showed us the value of making a quick model to test out an idea. Jeannie Hardie, my games theory instructor, taught my most challenging class, and I worked myself to the bone. She told it like it is, was honest, and let us know where to improve. Learning game theory helped bring out the logical thinking I tucked away in my brain, and has helped me in all aspects of design. If you can explain how to play a good game well, you can explain almost anything.

Favorite place in L.A.?
The Barcade on Western has old arcade games for 25 cents, affordable drinks, and good music. . . .It’s a good “end of your day” treat!

Impact on your work/life?
I had been working for the last ten years and completed a business degree. At Otis, I learned how to make the work enjoyable.

What’s next?
I landed an amazing job as a designer for Disney Planes at Mattel. It is much more rewarding, challenging, and fun than anything I have ever done.

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I eat popcorn almost every night, make earrings out of almost anything, I am drawn (like a bug) to anything that glows, and I have a special voice that my dog understands.

Information/tips for future students?
Extend yourself past what’s offered in your major. Seek out the class that can help you improve. I knew I needed help with Photoshop and drawing, so I took special classes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and pinpoint where you need to improve.