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Otis Art and Design Tours

Explore the world of art and design with travel study programs for the general public.

Otis Art and Design Tours offer exceptional travel study experiences for the general public and campus communities. These special programs enable unique access to world-class artists, museums, and cultural treasures.

Upcoming Tour:
Japan 2018: Art, Design, & and Culture

  • May 12 Depart from Los Angeles (LAX)
  • May 22 Return to Los Angeles (LAX)

Join Otis College Undergraduate and Extension instructors Chris Eckardt and Mayuka Thaïs for this 10-day travel study program exploring the captivating art, design, and culture of Japan – from its renowned Buddhist temples and Shinto Shrines, through illustrious textiles and papermaking, incredible architecture and landscapes, to Japanese style animation and popular culture. Through tours, group discussions, and hands-on art and design workshops, students develop an understanding of how Japanese culture and its unique art forms have inspired creative pursuits around the world.

In addition to touring Tokyo, participants visit Kyoto and Hiroshima including a visit to the Golden Pavillion Temple and the Peace Memorial Museum.

Group Leaders

Chris Eckardt, BFA in Fine Arts, Washington State University; additional studies at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Mr. Eckardt is an Associate Professor in Otis College’s Digital Media department and is currently the VFX/CG Supervisor at Framestore, a collective of visionaries working across film, advertising, and content, known globally for visual effects. Across his almost 25 years in the industry, Mr. Eckardt has worked on major motion pictures, commercials, motion rides, experiential music videos, and more. Additionally, he is an acclaimed commercial photographer focused on product and architectural photography, and is also very passionate about his pursuits in figurative sculpture using bronze and wood.

Mayuka Thaïs, BFA, Otis College of Art and Design. Ms. Thaïs began teaching at Otis College of Art and Design in 2014. As a bilingual multi-cultural artist, edutainer, and art educator, Ms. Thaïs specializes in teaching multi-national students. She has led songwriting classes for at-risk youths involved in San Fernando Valley's NPO Youth Speak Collective Program. At the age of ten, she won her first Art Award from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. A published Art Educator, she is the recipient of Eco Arts Awards for her songs and music videos on animal conservation and ecology. In 2016, Ms. Thaïs was one of the two finalists on Skin Wars: Fresh Paint episode 2, hosted by RuPaul.

Japan 2018: Art, Design, & Culture is open to current Otis College Extension and Undergraduate students. Please see our Travel Study site to review tuition fees and register.

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