Events
  • Margo Victor

    Sep 29| Lectures
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    Margo Victor lives and works in Los Angeles, California and received her BFA at the California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Happy Lion in Chinatown, Los Angeles, California; Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles; Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York.

  • Shila Khatami

    Oct 04| Lectures
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    Shila Khatami has had solo exhibitions at:
    Autocenter in Berlin, Kunstverein Dillingen, 
    Galerie Samy Abraham in Paris, 
    Galerie Susanna Kulli in Zurich, 
    Clages in Cologne and Treize in Paris.
    Group exhibitions include:
    “00ooOO - holes, dots, balls“ with Davide Bertocchi at Hopstreet, Brussels ; 
    “Punkt-Systeme,Vom Pointilismus zum Pixel“ at the Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen; 
    „BYOB“ at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; 
    “Dorothea“ at Ancient & Modern, London; 
    “Ambigu“ at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen.

  • 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.

  • Leonardo Bravo is an artist, curator, and educator and the Founder of Big City Forum. Big City Forum is an interdisciplinary project designed to explore the intersection between design-based creative disciplines (Design, Architecture, Urban Planning, etc) that take into account public space and the built environment. Big City Forum facilitates the exchange of ideas through gatherings, symposiums, exhibitions, and special events that promote forward-thinking projects and the individuals at the forefront of this vision.

  • Chris Coy

    Oct 11| Lectures
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    Chris Coy is an artist and filmmaker. His work has shown at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Sundance Film Festival, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, the Netherlands Media Art Institute, and numerous international art festivals and exhibitions. He received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 2012. He is represented by Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles.

  • Professor Karen Tongson joined the USC faculty in English and Gender Studies in fall 2005. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to USC, Tongson held a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship in Literature at UC San Diego, and a UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) Residential Research Fellowship at UC Irvine.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

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Toy Design Academic Excellence: Dustee Womack

Hometown?
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.


 

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