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Otis College of Art and Design Debuts Presidential Lecture Series with Focus on Critical Cultural Issues

Please contact John Axtell for inquiries and photos 310-665-6857

Inaugural lecture, Not in the Age of the Pharaohs, by Bruce W. Ferguson, will be held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on November 12, 2015 at 7PM
Inaugural lecture, Not in the Age of the Pharaohs, by Bruce W. Ferguson, will be held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on November 12, 2015 at 7PM

LOS ANGELES – October 28, 2015 – As part of its long-standing commitment to advanced critical thinking and civic engagement, Otis College of Art and Design is proud to announce the new In Focus Presidential Lecture Series, a semi-annual public forum for distinguished scholars, practitioners, critics, and luminaries in the many varied disciplines of contemporary art and design. The series will include a variety of related programming to encourage discourse and exploration of the most pressing issues and topical subjects of our time through the lenses of art, design, and education.

“Otis has been deeply involved in the intellectual life of Los Angeles for nearly 100 years,” says President Bruce W. Ferguson.  “It has always been keenly focused on social action with an enduring mission to employ art, design, and creativity in the service of addressing complex social issues, and advancing and expanding the cultural paradigm. It is only fitting that we should be launching such an important initiative and leading the efforts to create a public forum for creative thinkers to convene regularly.”

The inaugural lecture, “Not in the Age of the Pharaohs,” by President Ferguson, will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA.

This lecture, accompanied by striking visuals, takes as its starting point the assumption that works of art can be symptomatic of larger cultural and political issues without necessarily using them as their content.

President Ferguson will discuss in detail the present day issues of Egypt through an investigation of works by four artists in the two years prior to the now-famous 18 Days of Revolution, begun in January of 2011. Prior to joining Otis College of Art and Design, President Ferguson served as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American University in Cairo, as Vice Chairman at Louise Blouin Media, and as the founding director and first curator of SITE Santa Fe, N.M.

Dick Hebdige, cultural critic, theorist, and Professor of Film & Media Studies and Art Studio at UCSB, will deliver opening remarks. Hebdige has published widely on youth subculture, contemporary music, art and design, and consumer and media culture. His books include: Subculture: The Meaning of Style (Methuen, 1979); Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music (Methuen, 1987); and Hiding in the Light: On Images and Things (Routledge, Methuen, 1988).

In Focus: The Presidential Lecture Series Presents:

Not in the Age of the Pharaohs
Inaugural Lecture by Bruce W. Ferguson, President, Otis College of Art and Design

November 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm – Admission is free - Register Now:
Pacific Design Center (Silver Screen Theater)

8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Please enter the Pacific Design Center parking garage on Melrose Ave. Parking is $10.)



Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at