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L.A. Summer Residency Programming

The inaugural 2017 L.A. Summer Residency featured excursions to local museums and art galleries, including GEMINI G.E.L., Craft and Folk Art Museum, California African American Museum, and more. The residency also featured keynote lectures with Bruce W. Ferguson, Oliver Wasow, Dan Cameron, Jeffrey Stewart and Kate McNamara. The residency also facilitated studio visits with guest curators and artists, including Connie Butler, Meg Cranston, Sam Durant, Rita Gonzalez, Suzanne Isken, Jo Lauria, Kate McNamara, Shamim M. Momin, Aram Moshayedi, Eve Schillo, and Jennifer Steinkamp.

Artist Nights

During the residency, participants are invited to share their work with fellow artists in an informal and intimate setting on select evenings. Artist Nights are run by program participants and encourage artists to share their work and talk about their practice and creative goals. Critiques are offered in a supportive environment and artists have the opportunity to inspire each other. 

Previous Keynote Speakers

The residency will feature talks addresses by trailblazing individuals who have shown creative leadership in art and design. The full list of featured speakers will be announced in February 2018.

Shirin Neshat

Shirin NeshatShirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker living in New York. Neshat’s early photographic works include the Women of Allah series (1993–1997), which explored the question of gender in relation to Islamic fundamentalism and militancy. Her subsequent video works departed from overtly political content or critique in favor of more poetic imagery and complex human narratives. Neshat continues to explore and experiment with the mediums of photography, video and film. Her most recent bodies of work include the photographic series The Book of Kings (2012), The Home of My Eyes (2015) and the trilogy Dreamers comprised of three video installations: Illusions and Mirrors (2013), Roja (2016), and Sarah (2016).

Neshat has held numerous solo exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide, including the Museo Correr in Venice, Italy, to coincide with the 2017 Venice Biennale; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Doha; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, Michigan; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Serpentine Gallery, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, among others.

Neshat has participated in major international group exhibitions, including the 48th Venice Biennale of Art (1999), the Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002) and LACMA (2015). Neshat was the recipient of the Golden Lion Award - the First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennial (1999), the Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005), The Crystal Award (2014), and the Praemium Imperiale (2017). Her work is included in the collections of museums and public institutions around the world. In 2009,Neshat directed her first feature-length film, Women Without Men, which received the Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. She has recently completed her second feature-length film, based on the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. Neshat is represented by Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Panel Discussions

New to the residency this year, you can expect fascinating discussions that will contextualize your time in Los Angeles. The residency will feature panel discussions with artists, designers, curators, and creative professionals with special panels that focus on the local arts community will be held.


Participants will have the opportunity to attend several full-day excursions, focusing on L.A.’s cultural iconic institutions such as the Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Broad Museum, etc.. There will also be excursions showcasing local esoteric and hidden institutions. Last year’s residency included visits to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Craft and Folk Art Museum, California African American Museum, Gemini G.E.L., and Los Angeles Nomadic Division.

Confirmed excursions for the 2018 L.A. Summer Residency:

The California African American Museum: "Founded in 1977, the California African American Museum has a long and rich history. The first African American museum of art, history, and culture fully supported by a state, CAAM was the direct result of a sustained, multiyear campaign of activism undertaken by visionary founders and community members. Its creation was an early and tangible recognition by the State of California of the critically important role African Americans have played in the American West’s cultural, economic, and political development. Today, CAAM sits among the many major institutions transforming Exposition Park and South Los Angeles, including the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum, and the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art."

Previous Guest Speakers

During your residency, Otis College will bring guest curators and artists for a one-on-one studio visit to discuss participant's work. Our artists and curators will listen and offer their guidance towards participant's creative and professional goals. Our guests span across disciplines in Los Angeles and include art critics, gallerists, curators, artists, and academics. Please see the below list of confirmed guests. 

Aram Moshayedi

Aram MoshayediAram Moshayedi is a curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and has curated recent projects with Simon Denny, Avery Singer, Maria Hassabi, and Mario Garcia Torres. He was formerly Associate Curator at REDCAT (2010-2013), where he organized exhibitions and oversaw the production of new works by The Otolith Group, Slavs and Tatars, Jordan Wolfson, Tony Cokes, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Ming Wong, and Geoffrey Farmer. In 2016, he co-curated the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition Made in LA.

Bruce W. Ferguson

Bruce W. FergusonBruce W. Ferguson is a proven arts and academic leader with extensive experience in entrepreneurial leadership and institutional development, with a demonstrated passion for facilitating artists and intellectuals and their work and research. Bruce is devoted to producing institutional measures to generate new works of art, new knowledge and new forms of intellectual presentation. He has a lifetime engagement in the arts and academia. Bruce has specialized in discovering and nurturing artistic talent internationally; creating arts organizations from the ground up; and working with boards and cultural partners. Bruce has been an external advisor to the University of Cincinnati, University of Toronto, Penn State, and ALBA in Beirut as well as Montclair University in New Jersey. Bruce continues to actively publish, maintain relations with colleagues worldwide and be involved on institutional boards i.e. The Drawing Center in New York City, the Bergen Assembly in Norway and SAHA, an artists’ foundation in Istanbul, Turkey. Most recently, in 2012, Bruce was Distinguished Professor at the Institute of Arts and Humanities at Penn State in Pennsylvania, a consultant to the Bergen Triennial in Norway, a consultant to a new curriculum at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in Beirut, Lebanon as well as to the Department of Arts and Design at Montclair University in New Jersey. Bruce is currently the President of Otis College of Art and Design.

Connie Butler

Connie ButlerConnie Butler is currently Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. From 2006-2013, she served as the Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art (New York City). Prior to that, she was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) from 1996-2005. Butler also held curatorial positions at the Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, New York), Artists Space (New York City), and the Des Moines Arts Center (Iowa). Her multimedia exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution dealt with international feminist art of the 1970s.

David Pagel

David PagelPagel is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and has written nearly 500 articles since 1997. He serves as a Professor of Art Theory and History at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Pagel has written several artist books and essays. He was the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Contemporary Arts Criticism in 1990 and was a Macgeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2002.

Eve Schillo 

Eve SchilloEve Schillo, Curatorial Assistant in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has been with the museum over 15 years, and has worked on such exhibitions and accompanying publications as Ports of Entry: Williams S. Burroughs and the Arts, Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000, Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography after the Revolution, Made in California, 1900-2000, Trajectories: The Photographic Work of Robbert Flick, A Story of Photography: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, and The Sun and Other Stars: Katy Grannan and Charlie White. Among the exhibits she co-curated: Long Exposures: Contemporary Photo Essays, Camera Pictorialists’ in America, Re-SITE-ing the West: Contemporary Photographs, and Fracture: Daido Moriyama.

Iman Issa

Iman Issa is an artist based in Cairo and New York. Recent solo and group exhibitions include MoMA, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 21er Haus, Vienna, MACBA, Barcelona, the Perez Museum, Miami, the 12th Sharjah biennial, the 8th Berlin Biennial, MuHKA, Antwerp, Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, New Museum, New York, and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin. Her book Common Elements was published by the Glasgow Sculpture Studios in 2015 and Thirty-three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places was published by the SculptureCenter in 2011. She has been named a 2017 DAAD Artist in Residence and is a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise (2017), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2015), HNF-MACBA Award (2012), and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2013). Issa teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art.

Jennifer Steinkamp

Jennifer SteinkampJennifer Steinkamp is a world re-known installation artist and a professor in the Department of Design Media Arts at UCLA. She has been the subject of numerous exhibitions at such venues as: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California; the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; MassMoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; and the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah. Her art has toured worldwide with the band U2. She has received many awards and recognition, she was the J. Paul Getty Artist in Residence, Getty Artist program in 2010-11, she was the US representative for the 11th Cairo International Biennale, Egypt; she received an Honorary Doctorate from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Steinkamp is featured in many prominent public art collections. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Jo Lauria

Jo LauriaJo Lauria is a curator, writer, educator, and museum consultant specializing in design and decorative arts. Formerly she held the position of assistant curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Lauria is the organizer of several national touring exhibitions as well as numerous museum-based surveys of craft, design, and decorative arts. Most recently, she organized two design exhibitions for 2015 and 2016, one showcasing the exquisite ceramics of Ralph Bacerra for Otis College of Art and Design (LA), and the other featuring the visionary architecture of William F. Cody for the Architecture and Design Museum (LA). Ongoing, she has consulted with museums and private clients on acquisitions for their permanent collections and/or portfolios. Additionally, for the last five years Lauria has served as Mentor Faculty at Otis College of Art and Design.

Lara Baladi

Lara Baladi is an Egyptian-Lebanese-French artist, archivist and educator, internationally recognized for her multidisciplinary work. In her investigations into archives, personal histories, socio-political narratives and myths, Baladi’s work spans a wide range of mediums, photography, analogue and digital, collages, immersive video, sound and mutlimedia installations, architectural spaces, sculptures, tapestries and perfume.

Within her artistic practice, Baladi is active in socially engaged projects. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt and the Arab Image Foundation (AIF) in Lebanon. In 2006, she founded the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert. During the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath, Baladi co-founded two media initiatives, Tahrir Cinema and Radio Tahrir. Along her other artworks, Baladi has initiated the ongoing project, Vox Populi, an archive and interactive timeline of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath.

Borg el Amal (Tower of Hope), Baladi’s ephemeral construction and sound installation, won the first prize at the 2008-09 Cairo International Contemporary Art Biennale. For Ukraine’s 2012 first Contemporary Art Biennial, she collaborated with the Kiev Kamera Orchestra to perform the Donkey Symphony —Borg El Amal’s sound component. Her work is part of several institutional and private collections. In 2014, she was a Fellow at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab. In 2015-16, she was the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at MIT’s Centre for Art, Science and Technology (CAST). Since 2015, she has been a Lecturer in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).

Shamim S. Momin

Shamim MominShamim M. Momin is an American art director and curator of contemporary art. Momin is Founder and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Nomadic Division, a non-profit art organization that curates site-specific public art exhibitions in Los Angeles and beyond. She is an Adjunct Curator for the Whitney Museum of American Art where she co-curated the 2008 and 2004 Whitney Biennial exhibitions. Other projects include PavilioM. at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), a commissioned solo exhibition of video artist Alex Bag (2009) at the Whitney, a group exhibition entitled Nothingness and Being (2009) at Colección Jumex near Mexico City, and The Station, an independent group exhibition which took place in approximately 14,000 square feet (1,300 m2) of unoccupied raw space in a mid-town Miami development during Art Basel 2008.

Suzanne Isken

Suzanne IskenSuzanne Isken serves as Executive Director of the Craft and Folk Art Museum where she has renewed initiatives to educate the public about craft and folk art and support the creation of contemporary craft and folk art. Under her direction, CAFAM has presented landmark exhibitions including This is Not a Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists, Timothy Washington: Love Thy Neighbor, and Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters and Paperworks. Previously she served as the Director of Education for ten years at The Museum of Contemporary Art, following 10 years of service as coordinator of school and teacher programs and gallery educator. Awards include recognition as the 2004 Pacific Region Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association. Isken currently serves as a Museum Assessment Program evaluator through the American Alliance of Museums.