issue 10 - Otis College of Art and Design



issue 10 - Otis College of Art and Design
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90045
310.665.6800 / OTIS.EDU
Non-Profit Org
U.S. Postage
Los Angeles, CA
Permit No. 427
Spring 2011
in this issue:
No Finish Line
Proving the Power of
Art and Artists
Magnet for Controversy
310.665.6800 / OTIS.EDU
A Foundation for the Future
This issue of OMAG highlights the Foundation
Program, a beloved first-year educational
experience that generations of Otis alumni have
credited for much of their success and penchant
for lifelong learning. Otis is the only college of
art and design on the West Coast that offers a
full Foundation Year curriculum. The program is
also unique in its approach to preparing students
for the competitive, fast-paced 21st century while
continuing to honor time-tested fundamentals.
Throughout Foundation, students learn
aesthetic fundamentals, sharpen their visual
acuity, develop their cultural and information
literacy, begin a connection with the larger
community as emerging artists and designers,
and hone the essential “thinking and making”
skills required for creative professionals who will
enjoy career success. The faculty—all of whom
are working artists and designers—serve as role
models. Talented, passionate, and thoughtful
professionals, they are accessible to students
both inside and outside the classroom.
The holistic and forward-looking philosophy
that underlies Foundation is based on educational
research. Through courses such as Critical
Analysis and Semiotics, students learn both to
question everything and to see that everything is
connected. Through the Foundation Integrated
Learning course, freshmen work with an
external, real world “site partner.” The sitepartner project focuses on sustainability and
the environment, and embodies another
tenet of Foundation: Knowledge carries with
it a responsibility to use it mindfully within
the community.
Students share their first-year engagement
within a learning community of 18 peers.
Research shows that students are more creative,
motivated, and willing to stretch academically
when bonded with a cohort group. At the close
of Foundation, Otis students emerge as creative,
skilled and collaborative individuals, ready
to continue focused study in the upper levels.
Strong friendships with peers and faculty,
combined with the accomplishments of the
past year, give them confidence that, after three
more years of intensive and rewarding study,
they will lead a fulfilling life as art and design
professionals and engaged citizens.
An Otis education cultivates students’ capacity
to reach their full potential. The Foundation Year
provides the solid first steps on that path.
President Hoi with NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and James Irvine
Foundation President and CEO, James Canales
Samuel Hoi, President
Editor: Margi Reeve, Communications Director
Co-editor: Sarah Russin, Assistant VP, Institutional Advancement
Photography: Photography: Kristy Campbell, Lee Salem,
Artie and Kent Twitchell
Creative/Design: Mark Caneso (‘04)
Otis prepares diverse students of
art and design to enrich our world
through their creativity, their skill,
and their vision.
Contributors: Rose Brantley, Fashion Design Chair; S.A. Bachman, Graduate Public
Practice faculty member; Scarlet Cheng, Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty member;
Linda Hudson, Foundation faculty member; Randy Lavender, Interim Provost; Meg
Linton, Ben Maltz Gallery Director; Kali Nikitas, Graduate Graphic Design Chair; Katie
Phillips, Foundation Chair; Linda Pollari, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Chair; Rush
White, Foundation faculty member; Jackie Wickser, Fashion Design faculty member;
Alexandra Pollyea, Media Relations Manager; George Wolfe, freelance writer
Founded in 1918, Otis is L.A.’s first
independent professional school of
visual arts. Otis’ 1200 students pursue
BFA degrees in advertising design,
digital media, fashion design, graphic
design, illustration, interactive product
design, painting, photography,
sculpture/new genres, and toy design.
MFA degrees are offered in fine arts,
graphic design, public practice, and
writing. Otis has trained generations of
artists who have been in the vanguard
of the cultural and entrepreneurial life
of the city. Nurtured by Los Angeles’
forward-thinking spirit, these artists
and designers explore the landscape
of popular culture and the significant
impact of identity, politics, and
social policy at the intersection of art
and society.
Front cover: Lauren Barnette (’12),
College News
Makers + Thinkers
Do it Now - Think Different: Profit,
People and the Planet
Designing for Atheletes and the Planet
The Clay’s the Thing
Splendid Entities: 25 Years of Objects by
Phyllis Green
Figuration and Configuration:
Donghia Designers in Residence
Nader Tehrani and Sharon Johnston
Proving the Power of Art and Artists
Only the Beginning:
Graduate Graphic Design
A Magnet for Controversy:
Kent Twitchell (’77)
After the Fall: From Punk From
Punk to Pornetration to ‘Let’s Be
Facebook Frendz!!
Alumni Around the World
Mei-Lee and the Art of Legacy
Chatard in Cannes
Akashi in Berlin
Class Notes
Featured Alumni
Alumni Connect
Doin it in Public
Otis in the Art Scene
of Southern California
© Otis College of Art and Design
Foundation Form and Space,
Publication of material does not necessarily
“Meaning of Form” project
indicate endorsement of the author’s viewpoint
Back cover: Sarmista Pantham (MFA ’10)
by Otis College of Art and Design
detail from Weekend Crafts poster
Otis College of Art and Design
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
Spring 2011
I learned things I never thought I’d
have opportunity to, I tried things that
Kelly Dawn
Hopkins (’13)
I never thought I would, and honestly,
I’ve turned into someone I never thought
I’d be. I went from being a distant
wallflower to being a bold, confident
nutcase. The people I’ve met along the
way have been incredibly inspiring,
unbelievably annoying, simply beautiful,
and everything in between.
In the first semester, students take
two drawing courses (Life Drawing,
and Drawing and Composition) and
two design courses (Principles of
Design, and Form and Space). They spend
eighteen hours in these studio classes
and nine hours in Liberal Studies classes
each week. In the second semester, they
continue in Life Drawing or select Creative
Practices and Responses. They also
choose an elective, which is based on one
of the upper-division majors. In addition,
students can also select the elective
class to travel to Paris where they study
French art, history, and culture during
spring break.
Students’ choices allow for varied
experiences; a student who chooses
creative practices and the sculpture/new
genres elective will have a very different
experience than one who continues with
the core and takes an advertising design
elective. Each choice helps to define a path
of personal vision. In the spring, students
take their first Integrated Learning (sitebased team project) class. Because of
the focus on sustainable practices in the
professional world, most students work
with community environmental groups
such as Friends of Ballona Wetlands.
In the Foundation year, students learn
skill sets that support the informed making
of art and design, as well as thinking skills
for all visual arts. Very basic to the creation
of art and design is “construction of
meaning.” Students learn that each visual
choice they make in constructing their
work carries meaning. They ask what their
choice means in the context in which it
is meant to be seen or used. Why select a
certain color? Why choose a jagged rather
than a curved line? What does the choice
of scale imply?
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
6 hrs
per week
In Drawing and Composition, students
develop the ability to confidently
organize and construct a drawing
(and drawing-driven painting) in
which spatial organization is supreme. They
visually communicate from a chosen point
of view and construct the perspective that
goes with it. By observation of increasingly
complex still life set-ups, they develop
the ability to depict the three-dimensional
world in roughly three zones: foreground,
middle ground and background. On field
trips, they sketch and create mixed
media drawings. Media experiences shift
from initial graphite line, to charcoal tone,
pastel color, Adobe Ilustrator, and mixed
media water-based painting. In the final
landscape project, they create a threedimensional illusion of the world through
diligently rigorous observational accuracy
synthesized with their own unmistakable
personal mark-making.
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
students blend information,
blur boundaries, and expand domains
6 hrs
per week
Form and Space is a uniquely
challenging course for many
students because it focuses on
three-dimensional design, or
composition in-the-round, a method of
visual organization that manifests clearly
from all angles and perspectives. This
demands visual sensitivity that counters
today’s highly pictorialized experience.
Form and Space introduces students
sequentially to the exciting possibilities
of form-making. They investigate primary
building blocks of Western form such as
cubes, tetrahedra, and polyhedra as a basis
for composition, use negative and positive
volume interactions to activate forms and
the spaces between them, and develop
relationships between liner, planar, and
volumetric elements to engage all three in
complex, visually organized, and beautifully
constructed compositions.
Students then apply the fabrication, visual
organization, and spatial skills gained from
early compositions to more individualized
and expressive works: connotations of
meaning in form result from themes
that inform visual and media decisionmaking, the human body is used as a
basis for design in fabrics and fibers, and
architectonic scale is achieved by means
of modular construction, or multiples. By
the end of the 30-week course, students
transfer compositional, fabrication, and
meaning-making skills to all endeavors of
art and design to heighten the visual and
expressive quality of their work in any
discipline or media.
Spring 2011
6 hrs
per week
Learning to draw from the human
figure is at once natural and
overwhelming. Each successive
layer or mark translates the 3d
skeleton to the 2d picture plane, and
then the figure is depicted in a system
that indicates perspective and volume.
Life drawing is based on the principle
of structural drawing as students
analyze the figure in order to plot visual
relationships and positions in space.
They begin drawing from the inside out—
starting with the gesture, and considering
proportion and scale. As they develop the
drawing, they add muscular structure.
They gain an understanding that the Otis
system of life drawing is transferable
to any object they wish to record by
observational drawing.
6 hrs
per week
Developing facility in twodimensional design is fundamental to
the study of visual arts. We live in a
three-dimensional world, so
translating that world into reductive twodimensional forms is basic to constructing
a visual language. Although paint is the
most-used medium in two- dimensional
designs, other mediums as well as digital
skills such as Photoshop are introduced.
Students learn basic organizing
principles based on visual patterning, and
study and apply symmetries, compositional
weightings, rotations and tessellations,
as well as value, color, and scale to enhance
meaning in their compositions. They
examine line, form and value, and the
stylistic attitudes of design.
During the first semester, students visit
a museum for a lecture on the semiotics of
visual construction. In the second semester,
Connections through Color and Design,
they begin the Integrated Learning
sequence, in which they solve problems
presented by their community partner.
They also participate in an intensive study
of color theory and continue developing
Photoshop skills.
I went to business school for two years, and
the entire time I was painting and creating
things. Then I decided that’s what I wanted:
to do what I love as a career.
Kyle O’Malley,
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
6 hrs
Spring 2011
per week
Creative Practices and Responses
is an individual educational
adventure. In this second-semester
elective, students respond to two
prompts: the first involves line and the
development of iterations in the creative
process, the second considers pattern,
research and project development.
Students are free to create their own
projects using any material and process.
They identify and question individual
assumptions to break out of familiar
ways of making and thinking. As they
move beyond their comfort zones, they
become increasingly aware of the value
of observing their thinking process
to develop a creative practice that is
constantly refined, and redefined.
Otis' Foundation Program integrates
critical thinking with aesthetic practice.
As Chair Katie Phillips explains, "Aesthetic
fundamentals have not changed, but
the way we teach them has." Foundation
faculty members have been working on
the problems associated with teaching
and learning for many years, and consider
education their life’s work. They have
developed a research-based first-year
curriculum that promotes individual
expression by helping students to move
from solving problems posed by instructors
to defining and solving problems for
themselves. Students learn to become
successful students of art and design by
critiquing their own work and pursuing a
spirit of investigation.
The alignment of Foundation and Liberal
Arts and Sciences leads students to examine
how meaning is constructed during the
creative process. The program supports
students in the development of strong
critical thinking skills through courses
such as Critical Analysis and Semiotics and
Introduction to Visual Culture, in which
they learn both to question everything and
to see that everything is connected. It is
important that future artists and designers
recognize the relationship and interplay
between text and image, making and
thinking. In the spring semester, the Form
and Space project, “The Meaning of Form,”
reinforces critical thinking in preparation
for more individualized final projects.
After the Foundation year, students have
built a strong and broad base on which to
continue developing their individual voices
in the major of their choice.
“Aesthetic fundamentals
have not changed, but the
way we teach them has.”
Tips from the Pros
Several Foundation faculty members,
Gary Geraths
Chris Mounger
many of whom have been teaching for
Structural Life Drawing
Graphite Pencil
Value Drawing
more than 30 years, have created YouTube
“how- to” videos that have attracted
Portrait Drawing
thousands of viewers.
Planar Head Drawing
Barry Fahr
Cross Contour Drawing
Randy Lavender
Building a Six-Inch Cube
Gouache Color Harmony
Gouache Value
Step Scales
Chris Warner
Digitally Photographing
2d Art
Spring 2011
College News
Do it now
Think Different:
Profit, People
and the Planet
Rosemary Brantley with Scott Williams (’90), Design
Director for Olympic Apparel at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon
No Finish Line
Designing for Athletes and the Planet
Where do I start? asked Fashion Design faculty member Jackie Wickser
during a visit to the Nike cafeteria in the first week of her two-month
sabbatical. The company’s commitment to sustainability in everything
they do was evident in the variety of clearly labeled recycling bins and the
eco-friendly cutlery, plates, bowls and cups. She quickly became part of
the flow of ideas, meeting designers in the Advanced Innovative Technology Group. Their Considered Design Project, led by Rick MacDonald,
represents Nike’s ongoing commitment to sustainable design innovation.
For the Hurley Nike project,
students produced sketches that
incorporate reversible fabrics and
detachable elements
“Now that I know more about the importance
of sustainability, I approach design differently,”
says fashion designer Rosemary Brantley, Chair
of Otis Fashion Design. “The new ‘triple bottom
line’ is profit, people and the planet. If you take
care of people and the planet, profit will follow.” She believes that we have no choice, that
tomorrow is the new now, and that the whole
fashion system has to change. Brantley is
certain that sustainability is the megatrend
that will dominate the fashion industry for
years to come.
Working with Isabel Toledo and Patagonia,
students designed multi-functional garments
such as this jacket that becomes a parachute
Over the last seven years, Brantley has introduced design problems that address
issues of local traditions and production; building supply communities; recycled,
vintage, and found materials; and reuse, with mentors such as Alabama Chanin,
Todd Oldham, Anthropologie and Yeohlee Teng. Last year, working with industry
leader Patagonia and avant-garde designer Isabel Toledo, students designed
multi-functional, fashionable garments, with the goal of doing the least harm to
the environment.
Otis students are on the front line of these changes in the industry. “Regeneration—Revolution,” their current project exemplifies this shift. As Brantley explains, “For the past twelve months, with support from Nike and Hurley, we have
retooled our curriculum to teach the Whole System Change—a business model
that considers profits, people and planet altogether. What can we create that reduces waste, uses less resources, and is more respectful of human life? Because
of Nike and Hurley’s generosity, not only are talented and deserving students
receiving scholarships for an innovative design education, but those students will
eventually make our world a much better place.”
Students are working in three teams in collaboration with Hurley Senior VP of
Design John Cherpas and design team members Nimma Bhusri and Nadid Barienbrock; Nike VP of Apparel Product Creation, Diana Crist, and Director of Design
Connections at Nike/Hurley/Converse/Umbro, Betsy Parker. The teams consider
garment design in terms of its regenerative, heirloom, and sustainability aspects,
with a focus on youth appeal. They explore personalization, self-expression, consumer participation, and input. Using reversible fabrics and clean stitching, they
create garments with a “second life” rather than a “closed look.” Their designs
incorporate seasonless looks; wrapping, tying and folding for flexible fit, detachable collars and cuffs; educational care labels; and repair kits. Youth leads the way,
as Hurley’s tagline “Microphone for Youth” proclaims.
Convinced that consumer habits are changing, Otis fashion design students
intend to educate shoppers about the environmental issues that design and fabrication pose, including washing, excessive consumption of low-priced clothing,
and the value of “heirloom” and multipurpose clothing. Their goal is to design
investment-quality garments with sustainable materials and methods, always
considering the global impact. Some were inspired by last June’s clothing diet, the
“Six items, 31 days” web-based experiment in which people all over the world
selected six garments, wore only these garments for a month, and blogged about
their experiences. As one student states, “There is much more consumer awareness of ecological impact, and multifunctional fashion is becoming a trend.”
As they phrase it, “When it comes to finding the best solutions for both
athletes and the planet, there is no finish line.” For example, Nike has
recycled the ground-up soles of 21 million shoes for flooring in 285 sports
courts. Their football jerseys for South Africa 2010, made from 100%
recycled polyester, diverted 13 million plastic bottles from landfill.
Wickser soon began working with Nike’s Advanced Innovative Technology and Materials team, experimenting with woven fabric rather than
knits, to come up with high-performance garments. Woven fabric is more
eco-friendly than knits because it uses less yarn.
Nike’s “Whole System Change” approach depends on changes in
technology. Using 3d software, their tech designers create patterns and
sew them together, place the garments on an avatar, and motion-test
them with the 3d figures, all within virtual reality. They send the virtual
designs to Nike offshore prototype centers so that the contractors can
more closely execute their prototypes.
For the last six years, Scott Williams (‘90) Design Director for Olympic
Apparel, has worked with industrial and fashion designers to meet Nike’s
goals of performance and sustainability. Designed and built over seven
years with a six million dollar investment, Nike’s environmental apparel
design tool measures and reduces the impact of their products on the
environment. Their designers evaluate new sports apparel design based
on the “considered index,” which measures pattern marker efficiency
(waste), garment treatment (dyeing, laundering, distressing), and materials (chemical and energy consumption, water use).
As CEO Mark Parker stated, “We’re equally committed to leading our
industry in climate change and sustainability. We’re entering a new era
of open-source collaboration that commits to sharing intellectual and patent property. It’s the kind of behavioral change that can help lower carbon
emissions, reduce waste, and close the loop on the resources required by
product manufacturing.” Nike’s invitation to Wickser and Department
Chair Rose Brantley to visit their Oregon campus and present “old school”
hands-on techniques such as draping was one step in the whole system
change that is now firmly implanted in Otis’ curriculum. This collaboration and sharing of ideas will inspire others in the fashion design industry
to move more quickly toward a sustainable future.
The Clay’s
the Thing
by Alexandra Pollyea
“Clay in L.A.,” a one-day symposium, drew several hundred
ceramics fans to Otis on March 12. Panelists included
Adrian Saxe, Peter Shire, Jo Lauria (MFA ‘90), and Boardman
Visiting Artists Ruby Neri and Adam SIlverman.
“I never took ceramics and I really want to learn,” says painting
major Marcela Gottardo. “I want to see how I like the materials
and how I feel I can send my message through this medium.”
“It’s a totally different mindset from painting,” explains Carlos
Ochoa, painting major. “It helps me out as a painter to think in
three dimensions.”
Boardman Artist in Residence
Adam SIlverman works with fine
arts students
(inset, student in Ruby Neri’s
ceramics class)
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
The experiences of these students and many more signal the rebirth of clay at Otis over the past five years. Long revered for artist/
teachers Peter Voulkos and Ralph Bacerra and their students who
revolutionized clay as art, Otis now reflects 21st-century realities.
All students can take clay electives—and focus on studio ceramics
if they wish—but the possibilities of clay in the context of product
design as well as fine art are significant new developments. Several faculty members have spearheaded this resurgence, with the
generosity and vision of the Boardman Family Foundation, which
has funded a Visiting Artists series, the “Clay in L.A.” symposium,
and the purchase of kilns and other key resources. Clay was also
integral to many of the sculptures in the elegant retrospective
“Splendid Entities: 25 Years of Objects by Phyllis Green” at Otis’
Ben Maltz Gallery through March.
“Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts
and Sciences and I started talking a few years ago about wanting
our students to work in clay again,” notes Fine Arts Department
Chair Meg Cranston. “It’s a natural for a young artist because it’s
plentiful, inexpensive and malleable. And of course we have this
wonderful history at Otis.”
The goals for the return of clay at Otis were much larger. “We
decided that we would develop a program that looked at clay’s
industrial and fine arts uses, and maybe discover a middle ground,”
explains Cranston. “One student could use rapid prototyping to
make ceramic tiles for interiors or other industrial purposes, and
another could hand-build a sculpture; and they could be working
together in the same room. We’ve shown that students using clay
in different ways can live peacefully together.”
Fine Arts now offers at least one clay/ceramics course every
semester. “Ultimately, the palpability of working with clay is
profoundly rewarding,” observes Cranston. “If you grew up playing
video games and pushing buttons, it feels good to work with clay.
You use your body in all media but in clay in particular because it
has weight. It is a body; it doesn’t want to stand up; it doesn’t want
to do things; it is very much itself.”
In the inaugural Boardman Visiting Artist series last fall, students
in painter/sculptor Ruby Neri’s class made large-scale sculptural
objects, primarily hand-built. This semester, Adam Silverman, an artist
who is studio director of Heath Ceramics, is working with students
to understand clay as a material that can be used on its own or in
combination with other materials. He aims to have students broaden
their scope, in keeping with the name he has given the course, Clay:
Thinking and Making. “In a lot of schools, you take wheel throwing
101, learn how to throw a cylinder, how to throw a bowl, and how to
throw a closed shape form. I want this course to be in the service of
something greater. The end isn’t a cylinder.”
Silverman asked students to choose a piece of music and
respond to it. Some based their project on the title or the lyrics;
others focused on the rhythm, beat, or timing; one is doing a
political critique. In the first few classes, Silverman demonstrated
slip casting, wheel throwing, slab making, and hand making,
presenting the range of methods. “So now they’re all slogging
through the reality,” he notes. “I try to keep them realistic.” On
a recent field trip to a group exhibition by artists (primarily painters)
working in clay, Silverman observed that the students “all had
some ‘aha’ moments.”
Joan Takayama-Ogawa came to Otis as as a Continuing
Education student intent on learning glaze chemistry. She became
a ceramics major, and joined the faculty, teaching over the years
in several departments. Her ceramics classes include a Product
Design elective, where students use 3d software and render by
rapid prototype, then cast in plaster and create multiples. “We are
making things that I would not be able to make by hand,” says
Ogawa. Learning the process helps students become much more
informed designers.”
One aspect of clay she has noticed over the years is its capacity
to help students develop fine and gross motor coordination. “I can’t
think of any material but clay that can give feedback as to how good
your hands really are, and how well your hand and your mind work
together,” says Ogawa. “Within the first class I can see growth in
students’ abilities; their hands actually start talking with their brains.”
She has also observed that clay builds the capacity of students to
withstand disappointment. “We say fail and fail often; just do not fail
every time. Clay creates a tight community. We share the triumphs
that come out of the kiln.”
Lois Boardman, of the Boardman Family Foundation, has a
long association with clay. Her interest began when she was living
in Lausanne, Switzerland, and took classes in ceramics at a grocery
store below the apartment where she and her family were living.
After she returned to Los Angeles, she worked in a studio downtown run by Dora De Larios and Cliff Stewart, and went on to
Chouinard, where she studied with and became good friends with
Ralph Bacerra. She continued her studies with him when he moved
to Otis.
Although she terms herself now a “talking potter,” Boardman is
as captivated as ever with the material that delighted her many years
ago. “To be able to see the possibilities and then do something
about it immediately is a really a big thing. Working with clay is the
link to going into art, because it’s a tactile experience. It’s the bridge
if you want to do something with your hands.”
Boardman and her husband Bob felt compelled to step up for
the burgeoning clay program at Otis. She appreciates the contemporary approach of the offerings. “It’s invaluable the way it is being set
up. If you want to go into studio ceramics, that’s fine. But to be able
to know contemporary technology is very important as well.”
No discussion of clay at Otis would be complete without
mention of the kiln in the parking structure. Explains Joan TakayamaOgawa, “When we moved from downtown to the our current location, by accident we put one of the kilns that Pete Voulkos,
who started Otis’ ceramics program in 1954, built in the core
of the structure. It’s entombed. I look at it now and then and say,
‘We’ve come a long way.’”
Spring 2011
Phyllis Green, Bonnet, 2001,
ceramic and acrylic with steel base
Phyllis Green, Lulu, 2003,
ceramic and acrylic
Splendid Entities:
25 Years of Objects by Phyllis Green at the
Ben Maltz Gallery, January 18 - March 19
I’ve never had the chance to see all my work together before. I can
remember the excitement of making them. Twenty-five years is a long
time but it seems shorter to me. When I embraced ceramics again it
was particularly to challenge the notion that considers clay and other
materials made out of craft as women’s work or second class. It’s privileged in the art world now. There’s a lot of interest in clay from students.
Phyllis Green, Artist
Read full interview
with Phyllis Green at
installation view of “Splendid
Entities” at the Ben Maltz Gallery
It’s unusual to see a show with so
much ceramics, and wonderful that
Otis is exhibiting Phyllis’ work. She
is a great example for our students.
The world has come around to her.
Meg Cranston, Chair, Fine Arts
She has spent 25 years finding her
voice, expressing herself, and finding
the issues that interest her. The exhibition reveals a dedicated self-investigation that included clay as well as
flocking, velvet and concrete polymers.
What she has done in her own work is
what we at Otis do—help students find
their voice and discover the media they
need to project their ideas.
Meg Linton, Director of Galleries and
Exhibitions, Ben Maltz Gallery
Phyllis’ show is a great springboard –
her work bridges the gap between the
decorative and the contemporary art
worlds. It was an enriching experience to work with an artist who has a
definite vision of who she is and what
her work says.
Jo Lauria (MFA ’90), Independent curator,
art and design historian, and co-curator of
“Splendid Entities”
Phyllis is a good example of an artist
who employs clay in a thoughtful and
meaningful way.
Adam Silverman, Studio Director of Heath
Ceramics, Boardman Artist in Residence
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
Figuration and
Tufting, Darting, Pleating, and Tucking
Bachman and Krista Caballero to present DISMANTLED, an innovative
visual arts collaboration. As students across California faced tuition
hikes, emerging artists from Otis participated in an exploration of public
education, critical pedagogy, and the privatization of our school system.
This statewide project acknowledges California’s unique history while
simultaneously questioning what the future holds if our institutions of
learning are no longer shaped by the core principles of accessible and affordable education for all. It was shown in San Diego in November and in
On display in downtown Fresno
Fresno in early December.
DISMANTLED employs outdoor projection and performance to
– Neda Moridpour, Graduate Student
It was important to bring DISMANTLED to Fresno, CA
because there is a struggle for education in the Central
Valley. By projecting onto the city’s vacant Metropolitan Museum of Art, DISMANTLED not only brings this
struggle to light, but calls for action from every person
on the street.
What are the limits and supports from
the university of art practices that
function as institutional critique?
– Ricardo Dominguez, Educator
The goal of action is not to preserve
public education, but to wrest public
life from private powers, with the
educational sphere being one arena
for that effort.
– Ken Ehrlich, Artist and Author
Her father told her that they built
the University walls higher than the
prison because guarding thoughts is
much harder than guarding crimes.
–Community member
– Teresa Flores, Graduate Student
Sherry said, “I heard the most beautiful
music; it made me cry. It was his first
lesson—he’s in prison for murder, age
15. What if he had met the piano before
the gun?”
– Community member
For the first exercise, they investigated
the techniques of tailoring, upholstery,
and weaving, and explored various ways
in which these techniques may evolve
three-dimensionally at the scale of interiSharon Johnston and Nader Tehrani with Donghia master
class students
of assembly.
In the second half of the Master
tradition to contemporary techniques. His
Class, the five teams of students proposed
most recent projects include the Macallen
interventions between two buildings
Building in Boston, the first Leadership
on Otis’ campus, producing form and
in Environmental and Energy Design
structure using the upholstery techniques
(LEED)-certified condominium building
of tufting, welting, pleating, darting, and
and the first phase of the Tongxian Art
tucking. The interventions included cano-
Center in Beijing.
pies, a wall transforming into a canopy
Sharon Johnston, partner of John-
and an eroded tunnel-like form (with
stonMarklee, presented projects ranging
portions of floor, walls and roof) squeezed
from residences in Santa Monica, Kauai
between the two buildings.
and Buenos Aires to a winery in Tuscany
Tehrani and Johnston concluded
and an art foundation in Rome. She spoke
about working with artists, fabricators,
Combined Perspective on Geometry and
and engineers to customize and integrate
Perspective, a lecture at the Museum of
formal, material, and component-building
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Though
systems, and explained the office’s engage-
Tehrani and Johnston work on opposite
ment with sustainable design incorporat-
coasts, they had collaborated on the
ing environmentally-friendly materials
Brown vs The Board of Education raise awareness and incite questions.
award-winning eco-conscious design for
and construction techniques.
Audience members can participate in the project’s ongoing interviews as
Helios House, a BP gas station in L.A.
students and families burdened by debt, financial aid, and access to education. Highlighting populations the government and media often ignore,
DISMANTLED integrates interviews from a cross-section of Californians
DISMANTLED opened my eyes to different challenges
of education in California and how access can be
blocked by systems of power. I learned that one should
take action for her/his belief rather than neutrally sit
around and watch the failure of the system. As an immigrant, this project was a launching point for my own
education in a new environment as well as an imperative source of new methodologies for teaching.
inquiry: figuration and configuration.
their residency with Nip Tuck Diptych, a
frame key issues such as the severe cutbacks in funding, charter schools,
Graduate students installing at UC San Diego
considered two modes of architectural
geometry, material behavior, and methods
Architecture/Landscape/Interiors students
in this year’s Donghia Master Class, led
by Nader Tehrani and Sharon Johnston,
investigated adjoining practices—between
furniture, upholstery, and tailoring—“as a
way of expanding our domain, challenging
the way in which the industry is accustomed
to build, and speculating on how techniques
from digitization to the handmade may
offer new opportunities for fabrication, and
imagining design methodologies beyond the
fundamentals taught in the academy today.”
Class participants, working in teams,
ors and architecture, developed through
by S.A. Bachman
In 2010/2011, MFA Public Practice students worked with artists S.A.
Spring 2011
with provocative visual analysis. In addition, images of blowing bubble
gum and superhero school uniforms, along with historical footage from
—Nader Tehrani and Sharon Johnston
The Angelo Donghia Foundation has
well as contribute to the creation of a site-specific installation. Projection
that is the first LEED-certified gas station
supported the Designer-in-Residence Pro-
sites serve as gathering spaces for sidewalk conversations and run the
in the U.S. Its canopy of 90 solar panels
gram for three years. Previous Designers-
gamut from neighborhood storefronts to museums, colleges and libraries.
supplies energy for the station, landscape
in-Residence were Eva Maddox, a princi-
California educators including Peter McLaren, Gilda Haas, Janna Shad-
planting is drought tolerant, and recycled
pal of Perkins+Will, Chicago, in 2008-09,
dock Hernandez and Ricardo Dominguez have informed this project. The
glass is mixed into the concrete pavement
and LTL Architects, New York, in 2009-10.
Scan-Tron Video animation was courtesy of Jen Schmidt.
to stem heat gain.
As a component of the Residency, the
Tehrani, currently principal of
Angelo Donghia Foundation initiated and
NADAA and Professor and Head of the
has supported the Donghia-Otis Portfolio
Department of Architecture at the MIT
Awards. Master class students prepare
School of Architecture and Planning,
portfolios in advance of the course, and
spoke of his exploration of material quali-
the Donghia Designers review and select
ties in conjunction with both traditional
the winners. This year four students were
and digital techniques of design and as-
presented with Portfolio Awards, includ-
sembly. He showed projects from around
ing the first-place $3,000 scholarship won
the world that marry local craft and
by Senior Sam Tanis.
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
Spring 2011
The Creative Economy
web site, funded by the
James Irvine Foundation,
was designed by hello
design of Culver City
Proving the Power
of Art and Artists
2010 Otis Report on the Creative Economy
stills from “Share the Facts”
animation. See the full presentation
Resounding applause greeted the message “Creativity cannot be outsourced.
Innovation stays onshore,” at the
release of the third annual Otis Report
on the Creative Economy of the Los
Angeles Region. The capacity audience at Zipper Hall, Colburn School,
gathered on November 11 to hear
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman,
University of Minnesota Professor
Ann Markusen, and Irvine Foundation President James Canales speak
about “The Power of Art and Artists.”
Days before the event, gubernatorial
candidate Jerry Brown stated that
“creativity and imagination are what
California needs.” The data produced
by the LAEDC for this report provided
real numbers to support his assertion.
Creativity is serious business in Southern California: one of six jobs in the
region are in the creative sector; it is
the second largest business sector in
the region; impact amounted to $286.3
billion in 2010; the average salary in
digital media is $136K, and this sector has the highest growth prospect
through 2014 (10.4%). In fact, despite
manufacturing downturns, employment in the creative sector is projected
to grow faster than other sectors in the
next five years.
Creativity provides a long-range
and sustainable competitive edge for
the U.S. economy. As Rocco Landesman stated, “When you bring arts
organizations and arts workers into a
neighborhood, the place changes to
a vibrant and sustainable community.
The arts complement and complete
other sectors of the economy.” Ann
Markusen’s policy brief, Los Angeles:
America’s Artist Super City, demonstrates that artists are L.A.’s hidden
developmental dividend, and offers
policies and programs to make the
region a more supportive place for
artists. Her analysis indicates that L.A.
has the largest pool of artists of any
U.S. metropolitan area; gained two
artists for every artist who left from
1995-2000; and has a concentration of
artists that is eight times as prominent
as in the U.S. as a whole.
According to President Hoi, “The
Otis Report measures more than the
impact of the creative economy. It is
the story of possibilities made real by
a combination of education, talent, entrepreneurial drive, and opportunities.
The lives, work, and achievements of
creative professionals, such as Otis
alumni, illustrate the power of the arts
and artists in our economy, culture and
The Otis Report focuses on Southern California and its role as a global
cultural capital. As arts sector leaders
increasingly understand, acknowledge,
and champion their financial value, they
will influence policy makers, business
leaders, and other key constituencies.
Otis’ advocacy role for the creative
economy is consistent with the spirit
of innovation that guides the College’s
approach to 21st century education.
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
Spring 2011
by Kali Nikitas, Chair,
Graduate Graphic Design
Sarmista Pantham was
Only the
selected as one of “20 under 30”
in PRINT magazine’s annual
international competition,
New Visual Artists Review.
For the last thirteen years, the
magazine has identified the
most promising rising talents
in graphic design, advertising,
illustration, digital media,
photography, and animation
under the age of 30 from
and industry professionals.
Diane O’Rourke
Sam Anvari
UC Irvine
“The MFA program opened my mind
to new ways of thinking about design
and entirely new ways of making work.
It probably sounds cliché, but I truly
feel that a new world opened up to me
as a result of my experiences with my
classmates and instructors. Much to
my surprise and delight, my studies
at Otis have led me to continue as an
artist and pursue a second MFA, this
time in studio art at UC Irvine where
I am focusing primarily on drawing
and painting.”
Ramon is in New York, working in
his studio, teaching, and skiing through
the snow. The rest of his time
has been spent doing work for the
Brooklyn Philharmonic.
Hazel Mandujano
“The MFA Graphic Design program has
really shifted my point of view on the
possibilities of all design and how it is
defined. Currently I am doing post-graduate studies at The Sandberg Institute
in Amsterdam with instructors Daniel
van der Velden and Rob Schroder. It’s
great to be surrounded by different
perspectives. During my time at The
Sandberg I will develop a project that I
began in my final summer in the MFA
program, a free arts educational program for young girls in under-resourced
areas of Los Angeles.”
Gilbert Garcia
“During the past two years I’ve learned a new meaning for the word “design.” I’ve learned that a designer can use any material at hand to establish communication and engage with society. The MFA program
has helped me to build my self-confidence and make
quick judgments based on thorough research.
Last year I began working under the supervision of professor Dr. Erik Spiekermann, studying
“P-English” (Persian-English) and researching the
phonetic usage of the Latin alphabet used by Persians
to communicate in Farsi over the Internet. This is
a typographical (typo-grapheme) approach to write
a non-Latin language that has no standard yet. My
internship at Edenspiekermann AG in Berlin also involves an info-graphic poster design, and micro website designs, as well as the design for an exhibition in
March 2011 at the Bauhaus archive in Berlin.”
Los Angeles
“A distinct characteristic I particularly
enjoyed about the MFA program is the
bond between the students. We were
actively involved with one another
in a shared environment, creating a
true sense of “family.” During these
eight weeks, we grew and developed
as creators.
I currently work at LACMA on
a number of projects, ranging from
website banners, installation graphics, special event brochures, and the
monthly film series posters.”
Sarmishta Pantham
Ramon Tejada
directors, designers, critics,
New York
nominations made by art
The MFA Program in Graphic Design graduated its
first class in the summer of 2010. I am happy to say
that I could never have anticipated so many
successes from a newly formed program.
Several of the alumni and current students
have already begun their careers and post-graduate
adventures that speak to the spirit of diverse
practices that are embraced in our curriculum.
Coursework, visiting artists, workshops, hosting
international symposia, and field trips have all been
major contributors to defining our graduate program.
Students have lectured nationally and
internationally; published texts; won national and
international awards for their work; been selected as
top talent and won prestigious scholarships. It is with
great pride that I introduce to the reader a selection
of stories.
We trust that it’s only the beginning...
“As an independent design consultant, my current practice
includes print design, apparel design, identity, graphics
and illustration for fashion as well as personal work such
as souvenir design. My clients are the fashion brand
Bebe, Otis (poster above), and a yet-to-be-launched cultural
non-profit organization. I am also doing further research
and collaboration on my thesis project, a design-based
schooling system for a “globalized” India.
Having been an apparel designer for almost seven
years, it was extremely exciting to have spent the last
two-and-a-half years at Otis, experiencing the crossovers
between different design disciplines with my classmates
while adding several layers to my interests such as education and culture. I have discovered that the parameters of
these disciplines, whether through real-time projects or in
theory, are sometimes in collision, sometimes in harmony
and at other times mutually exclusive.”
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
Spring 2011
by George Wolfe
A Magnet
for Controversy
In 1992, Kent Twitchell (‘77) was awarded damages for the destruction of his
mural The Freeway Lady, making him the poster boy for the protection of
murals as public art. In 2008, using innovative legal tactics, he settled a landmark lawsuit for the painting-over of his mural portrait of artist Edward
Ruscha. Over the years, Twitchell has been on the front lines of public art
activism, steadily carving a niche in the history and legal matters of mural
art. You might think he’s a natural rabble-rouser with a bulldog-like persona.
But the mild-mannered artist simply notes: “I don’t think of myself as an activist at all. Sometimes you’re forced to respond because not to do so would
result in even worse conditions for yourself and/or others.”
“The Mural Conservancy of L.A. was born out of the
Freeway Lady’s demise. Bill Lasarow, publisher of
Art Scene (and founder of MCLA in 1987), and arts
attorney Amy Nieman (one of its original board
members) raised their voices to get me to see the
importance of standing up for artists’ rights. She
made me understand that although property owners
have the right to do as they wish, the law states
that they must be civilized and perhaps notify the
artist, who may want to remove the mural, or at least
document it one last time. It hit me that all good laws
simply keep us at least acting civilized, even during
times when we don’t feel like it.”
Years later, when the Ruscha case came to
light, Twitchell had legal experience under his belt.
Even though pushing the boundaries—for art’s sake
—is something that he’s proud of, he nonetheless
acknowledges “it wasn’t a very productive time for
my art. It’s hard getting into and then staying in the
art-making zone while pursuing a lawsuit, but it’s
good that we did it.”
And although his 2009 Berlin Wall project didn’t
involve activism, he ended up in the middle of a slight
controversy—this time about art censorship. The
Wende Museum of the Cold War, which sponsored
the project, requested that Twitchell complete only
the Kennedy half of his Kennedy-Reagan diptych, due
to space limitations. To quell the firestorm, Twitchell’s
solution was to include portions of both presidents,
each on a single wall panel.
“Originally, Thierry Noir and I were asked to
paint on an exact replica of the wall that was to be
made, to cover ten segments (approximately 12’ x
4’ each). Thierry was possibly the first artist to paint
on the Berlin Wall. He could see the ugly face of
tyranny each time he looked out his kitchen window.
One night in the mid-‘80s he painted a cartoon face
on it so it wouldn’t seem so intimidating. It’s kinda
like picturing a mean boss wearing long underwear.
Eventually he and other artists painted more and
more. Justinian Jampol, Wende Museum founder
and City Councilmember Tom LaBonge invited me to
paint on an exact replica of the Wall as part of L.A.’s
celebration of the 20th anniversary of its tearingdown. Berlin then offered to ship pieces of the actual
wall. I found out that ten segments were coming,
and decided to paint half faces, leaving segments
for other artists. Artists Farrah Karapetian and Marie
Astrid Gonzalez were selected to join us. I requested
a particular photograph of Kennedy from the Wende
and visited the Reagan Library to study a chunk of
the real wall and look for Reagan images that had the
same lighting and perspective as my JFK portrait.”
These days, Twitchell is working on a mural
that includes George Washington, James Madison,
Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin in the
main lobby of the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in
downtown L.A. He also plans to paint a new and
larger version of the The Freeway Lady, slated for
a new building at L.A. Valley College. And his Steve
McQueen Monument is almost fully restored,
having been painted over by accident. Twitchell has
been working on it with Fresco School, which now
oversees most of his mural projects, allowing him
to spend more of his time doing the art.
Twitchell also wants to paint a monument to
his mentor Charles White (on the south wall of the
original Otis Art Gallery, overlooking Wilshire Blvd).
As part of Twitchell’s graduate thesis project, he
drew a twelve-foot version of White that is now part
of LACMA’s permanent collection. “That’s the pose
I want to use for the mural, casting a shadow off to
the west,” says Twitchell. “The school is now
the Charles White Elementary School. Seems like
a good fit.”
Reminiscing on how he got to the present,
Twitchell recalls, “Before Otis, I was considered a
leading street artist, but that meant nothing serious
then (1975). Today it’s all the rage, but in the late ‘60s
and early ‘70s when the LA Fine Arts Squad (Terry
Schoonhoven and Vic Henderson) worked in Venice
and Ocean Park, and I worked in Downtown L.A. and
Hollywood, we were considered second-class by
most of the ‘artworld.’ Rozelle and Roderick Sykes
and Alonzo Davis (‘73) painted amazing murals in
South Central L.A. Alonzo, both artist and administrator at his Brockman Gallery Productions, changed the
face of South Central. In East L.A., the Goez Gallery,
David Botello, Willie Herron and Los Four (Carlos
Almaraz, (‘74) Judithe Hernandez (‘74), etc.) did
street art of another kind. Judy Baca came along,
carved out the Citywide Murals Program and later
Right: mock up; Above: Twitchell at work on Kennedy portrait; Left: final
Berlin Wall mural, sponsored by the Wende Museum to commemorate the
20th anniversary of the removal of the Wall
SPARC, and was instrumental in getting grants and
government funding for mostly Latino murals. Jane
Golden started painting murals under Citywide in
the mid ‘70s and is now in Philadelphia running the
most successful murals program in the world. Baca’s
murals programs brought large numbers of artists
into the murals movement, and all these traditions
together made L.A. the ‘Mural Capital of the World.’
One reason I decided to attend Otis was to get
scrubbed down with an MFA. I’d continue doing my
street art afterwards, but maybe with a chance of
being considered as serious as the artists painting
pictures for galleries. I remember while putting the
finishing touches on my Steve McQueen Monument in 1971, someone came by and told me there
was a picture of it on the Otis bulletin board. I was
elated. To think someone at Otis actually liked it! So,
four years after the McQueen mural and one year
after the Freeway Lady, I decided I needed a shot of
seriousness and applied to Otis’ grad school. I didn’t
take myself seriously enough to explore and push.
Otis had successful artists who also taught, wrote
books, etc. and I needed to be accountable to people
like that in order to get to the next level. At Otis I
met Charles White, who started my love for drawing.
His love for and experience with murals gave me
more confidence that I was on the right track, just
doing what was natural for me—street art—but then,
suddenly, I wanted to master color, to paint in the
streets as if it was for a museum. I may not have
done that on my own.”
Otis had successful artists
who also taught, wrote
books, etc. and I needed to
be accountable to people
like that in order to get to
the next level.
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
College News
Spring 2011
After The Fall:
From Punk to Pornetration to
‘Let’s Be Facebook Frendz’!!
Editor’s Note:
These are excerpts from
a lecture given by Visiting
Critic in Fine Arts, Dick
Hebdige, at the Broad
Stage in November.
See video excerpt
and read entire lecture
Or how contemporary art and media
culture, ideas about and attitudes toward
youth and youth culture, consumerism,
embodiment and bonding, the power of
perversion, the politics of insubordination,
friendship, sex and love have changed
in the three decades since punk first
exploded on the scene
Many 21st century
cultural phenomena
I’d like to end by
shifting the focus to the
would probably have remained unthinkable if UK punk hadn’t come along to
violate what used to be called ‘good
taste’ and ‘good manners’ to wage
war on what Norbert Elias called ‘the
civilizing process.’ Such a list would
definitely include, somewhere near the
top, reality TV shows like Jersey Shore
and Jackass along with indiscriminate
public disclosure and what I call pornetration—the penetration of the public
sphere by pornography via the internet.
place where I live a lot of the time now
in the States—with some remarks on
the subcultures I’ve become affiliated
with or have been living alongside for
the past ten years or so in the Mojave
Desert, because I believe that continuities and discontinuities with ‘70s punk
are discernible there, too. North of my
house is Joshua Tree, 800,000 acres
of protected wilderness, some of it
sacred territory to the nomadic bands
of Cahuilla Indians who’ve inhabited
the region for hundreds of years—a
pristine New World paradise. Nearby
is the 29 Palms Marine Base—960
square miles of military-owned desert
—an area larger than the state of
Rhode Island on which the military test
weaponry and rehearse for engagements with the enemy in other deserts
on other continents. I’m situated
geographically, ideologically, spiritually
in a sense in a place that’s somewhere
near the current epicenter of what I
like to call the apocalyptic drama of
American becoming. I always say if the
wind is in the right direction I can stand
on the edge of my property and lean
out into Armageddon.
I know this sounds
curmudgeonly and I’m
Why punk? Because punk is
in a sense how I got to this country,
thanks to a skinny little book (Subculture: The Meaning of Style) published
in 1979, when I was young, that’s
shaped the way I live and what I am.
A moment’s reflection is enough to establish
that so much, in fact, has changed
since 1979 that we might as well
be living on a different planet. In the
intervening decades we’ve witnessed,
among other things, the fall of the
Berlin Wall, the World Trade Center
and the organized Left; the global
spread of Starbucks and smoking
bans; the rise of neo-tribalism, ethnic
cleansing, the internet, the cell phone,
iPod, iPad, MySpace, mega-churches,
and the War on Terror. We’ve seen the
rise and fall (or maybe just the rise and
stall) of financial derivatives, sub-prime
loans and beyond-our-means easy
credit consumerism. We’ve witnessed
the return with a vengeance on a
possibly unprecedented scale of high
seas piracy, slavery and child soldiers.
We’ve seen the global spread of fun-
damentalisms of every stripe, the rise
and fall—at least the rise and stall—of
U.S. global economic dominance and
during those three decades we’ve also
witnessed, at a somewhat lower level
of world historical significance, the
stabilization to permanence of punk as
fashion statement (or alternatively as
anti-fashion) statement, as marketable
music genre, as casual leisure option
and secessionist lifestyle choice. That
same period has also witnessed the
invasion of the international art-andfashion conscious mediascape by
Japanese digital imagery and narrative forms—anime and manga (visual
novels), video game scenarios—the
digital tooning—as in cartooning—of
self-presentation, social networking
and self-imagining protocols and the
associated rise within the globally
expanded confines of the art world
of Japanese Business Art superstar
Takashi Murakami.
not saying that punk is singlehandedly
responsible for the global jihad but I
don’t think it would be stretching the
point to suggest that UK punk offered
one or two quite pointed and heavy
duty provocations to the international
community of the modest, the pious,
the God-fearing and authority-bound.
But the economy of scale that really
seems to count from the interested
vantage points of the multitude of
monitoring agencies that cluster on the
internet is the individual user: the cookie cut-up on-line user profile that gets
updated, tracked and monitored with
each keystroke, download, posting,
purchase, Google search or credit card
application. Make no mistake, when
we gaze up in wonder at the night sky
while out there in the wilderness on a
camping trip or into the clear blue light
of the cell phone as you upload a text
while sitting in your car stuck in traffic,
something beyond human, something
post-human, something alien (if you
like) that couldn’t care less about
our individual welfare is looking back
unblinkingly at us.
Beyond servicing the
military there is very little real
punks were always positioning
themselves at the awkward point
of intersection between the politics
of identity and the politics of
consumption and consumerism
economy this far out in the upper
desert. There are a lot of artists and
musicians drawn to the scenery and
low property prices. There are bikers,
recreational vehicle enthusiasts, Vietnam vets, Native Tribes people, tweakers, second home owners, retired
military personnel and a lot of people
who washed up here simply because
they had no place else to go. There’s a
growing nucleus of neo-homesteaders,
eco-pagans, secessionists, home
schoolers and burners (as in Burning
Man desert counter-cultural survivalists)
that congregate round a thriving local
music scene.
The desert is where
both the buck and
the bucks stop in terms
of consumption and consumerism.
It’s where people with few resources
make do and mend, get by and
entertain themselves. It’s where you
can see laid out as in a diagram the
unsustainable consequences of spendand-burn consumerism. For instance
there’s a mountain of garbage growing visibly higher week by week out
at the municipal dump on the Joshua
Tree Mesa. You haul your garbage up
there and they just rake it in, cover it
with dirt and add another layer the next
day. It’s in your face, not out of sight
and out of mind. The deserts of the
American southwest are on the front
line of suburban sprawl and it’s here
that the sub-prime mortgage crisis has
hit deepest and hardest. In places like
Las Vegas and Phoenix and Riverside,
foreclosure rates are running at more
than 30%.
1970s punk was
never just about appropriating
commodities to construct new social
identities—repurposing utilitarian
designs, for instance, as some kind
of purely decorative arts project—
making safety pins and bin liners into
fashion statements. It was also always
about the politics of consumption and
consumerism, not just the politics of
identity. To put it more precisely, punks
were always positioning themselves
at the awkward point of intersection
between the politics of identity and the
politics of consumption and consumerism. ‘70s punk as a prophetic End Time
discourse always involved an ethically
based critique of and resistance to
late capitalist spend-and-burn disposability and waste. It staked its claim
in the dirty unwanted and unwashed
remainder of hippie Utopianism—in
everything the organic movement
defined itself against—in plastic and
industrial detritus. They stuck their face
in the mess we’ve made of things,
then stuck their face in your face.
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
Spring 2011
by George Wolfe
Mei-Lee Ney
and the
Art of Legacy
Some work at developing their art. Others
work at developing their business. Rare are
those such as Mei-Lee who are committed
to bridging the chasm between the worlds
of business and art.
soul by connecting us to the universe and
And with regard to Mei-Lee’s
to each other in the global community in
philanthropic involvement, she adds,
which we share similar thoughts and feel-
“Including Otis as part of my Living
ings, no matter how different our cultures.”
Trust, via the Legacy Society, is my way of
Mei-Lee has never been content to
sit on the sidelines, even while making
to a better world, of giving back and being
significant contributions to the College
on the side of what’s good in life. What’s
via Otis’ Legacy Society. Her multi-leveled
good in life is what makes you happy. I
involvement with the College runs deep.
don’t mean the happiness that comes from
The Saturday art history class with teacher
transient experiences (although I have
Bill Kelley changed the way she looks
nothing against them). There is a happi-
at art. She eagerly awaits Otis’ annual
ness that sticks with you from the joy of
Creative Economy Report event, which
learning and understanding and feeling at
she believes just keeps getting better. She
peace with yourself and the world. While
has also enjoyed Otis-sponsored lectures,
this is always a work in progress, the arts
in particular the one by French intellectual/
facilitate that process like nothing else
philosopher/journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy.
can. My gift to the Otis Legacy Society
She looks forward to activities with the
is one of the ways I can give meaning to
Patrons Circle, which she joined in 2010.
my own efforts and life. I enjoy thinking
Other annual events on her calendar
whom I’ll never know, but whose lives
Show and the annual year-end exhibition
I’ve been able to touch and influence by
by graduates.
supporting Otis. Small stories can have big
me feel that I can leave something behind
different departments and to share in the
that will continue to benefit mankind and
excitement of the students whose work is
make the world a better place.
know that he always advocates for the
ity. The students’ excitement rubs off on
Legacy Society to think about what the
greater good, not for his own benefit. He
all the visitors. I love to ask students ques-
arts mean to society and how graduates
arts. Five years ago, at a dinner party
embodies what the arts aspire to do—to
tions about their work and hear what they
of art colleges can and do make contribu-
hosted by friend Lyn Kienholz, she met
make us better human beings.
have to say. I still enjoy two paintings by a
tions to our society. Donors should take
senior that I bought three years ago— even
the time to learn more about Otis and its
more so now than when I first saw them.”
leadership, and evaluate for themselves
to tour the Otis campus.
“I was so impressed by the energy I
I would encourage those thinking about becoming involved with the Otis Legacy Society
to consider what the arts mean to society
and how graduates of art colleges can and do
make contributions to our society.
about becoming involved with the Otis
is an investment adviser who loves the
“I was drawn to the concept that Otis
educates and hones the talents of young
artists who will contribute toward making
Alumni participation affects Otis in many
ways. Your gifts to Otis underscore the value
of your education.
Every gift, no matter the size, makes a
significant difference in the lives of Otis
students. Your contribution also helps us
increase our alumni participation rate—
a key statistic used by corporations and
foundations for awarding grants.
“I would encourage those thinking
ity! Every floor of Otis is abuzz with activMei-Lee Ney, who hails from Hong Kong,
Otis President Samuel Hoi. He invited her
New initiatives, such
as Integrated Learning
impacts. And on a larger scale, it makes
work of the graduating classes in the
on display. The air is filled with electric-
Campus upgrades
about the lives of the students, most of
are the Scholarship Benefit and Fashion
“It’s always very inspiring to see the
Technology for
teaching and learning
participating and making a contribution
“And the Scholarship Benefit, with
whether this is an art institution that can
felt as I observed classes in progress and
the world a better place because the arts
its fashion show and silent auction, is a
fulfill its mission. I believe that if they do,
saw work by students,” recalls Mei-Lee.
have simply made my life richer and given
knockout every year—nothing short of
they will discover—as I did—that Otis is a
“As Sammy and I became better friends,
me greater balance. I firmly believe that
spectacular. The highlight is the fashion
place bursting with creativity, a vision for
I learned more about Otis and admired
societies would wither and die without the
show, in which student designs are
a better future and a deep love for the arts
its mission—and also developed great
arts. They express and reveal not only the
displayed on the runway by professional
with the kind of leadership that can chan-
confidence in its ability to execute it under
best of humanity, but also the worst. The
models who really help bring the fashions
nel this spirit into creations that will ben-
his leadership. Sammy is one of the most
beauty found in art, including art that’s
to life. The designs are sophisticated,
efit us all. By leaving something behind
effective leaders I’ve ever met, this sounds
interwoven into everyday objects, gives
hip, and in many cases, stunningly beauti-
that helps make the world a better place,
like an overstatement, but it’s not. Every-
us great joy. If we didn’t have the arts, and
ful. The entire evening is quite a blast.
donors will receive in return the lasting
one who knows Sammy likes and respects
places like Otis, we’d lose the link to the
I also love seeing the excitement of the
happiness of making their own lives a lot
him, and wants to follow his lead. People
essence of our humanity. Art feeds the
winners of the student design awards.”
more worthwhile.”
For information on the Legacy Society, please contact Sarah Russin, Assistant Vice
President, Institutional Advancement, (310) 665-6937 or [email protected]
The easiest and
most convenient
way to give is by
visiting our secure
giving site at
By Mail
Call in your gift to the
Annual Giving office
at (310) 665-6869.
Your participation makes a difference.
It doesn’t matter how much you give.
Alumni Around the World
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
A Cinematographic
Olivier Chatard | Fine Art (’07)
Alumni Around the World
Spring 2011
Yet Familiar
Kelly Akashi | Fine Art (’06)
In June 2008, I moved with Nate Hess (’06) from my
exceptionally free class structures, enjoying the social
hometown of Los Angeles to Berlin, both of us in search
lessons behind the regular monthly class dinners and
of something different from L.A. The super-low rent and
frequent bar nights, as well as the customary studio
abundance of galleries (traditional, phantom, and DIY in
dinners, breakfasts, and lunches, where we would often
spades) were of interest, not to mention the abstract novel
attempt to make Mexican food in Germany, and drink
concept of starting a new life, one detached from ours as
espresso in between, and with, every meal. It goes without
college art students. Many of the most visible contempo-
saying that I ended up taking quite a liking to the notably
rary artists in Europe reside in Berlin but Nate and I began
international student body. I respect them immensely as
to long for a more centralized art community, eventually
artists, and some have become my closest friends.
applying to the most visible and experimental fine art
Do we intuitively connect our actions to something bigger?
How spontaneous and determined must we be to achieve
and create what we feel?
My four months back in Los Angeles have been
academy in Europe, Städelschule, in Frankfurt am Main,
extremely busy. I immediately began writing, and was
which was originally suggested to me by my Otis mentor,
awarded a Durfee ARC grant for my recent show at 3001
Alex Slade. It goes without saying that we were both utterly
Gallery at USC. Artist Morgan Cuppet (’08), with whom I
floored when we received our acceptance letters from our
have been in close conversation during these past few
respective professors.
years, along with artist and professor Sharon Lockhart,
In the ensuing year, I adapted to the harsh, hyper-
invited me to install my first solo L.A. show at USC, and
critical Städel environment and came out of it with a more
later invited Nate to exhibit in the neighboring space,
As a creative artist, these two questions have always resonated with me. The definition of
clear and confident understanding of what I want from life
Station. I was able to pursue a project long under
“to create” is “to bring into being.” And that is exactly what drives me — consistently
and why I make art. Being back in school was very familiar
development on southern California pastiche architecture,
pushing my boundaries to pursue and effect innovation.
to me. The feel of the institution, its cold white walls and
working with artist and designer Aida Klein (’05) on the
exposed construction, the mentorship, the peer competi-
design and fabrication of six elaborately joined frames.
topic for my senior thesis. I researched the pressing issues concerning water on our
tion and air of anxiety all reminded me of my past
Life back in L.A. has been eventful, and I’m happy to be
planet, and created an interactive visual tool to convey that information. My efforts were
experiences inside these sorts of spaces. I navigated the
driving around my hometown again.
Possessing a keen interest in environmental issues, I selected water awareness as the
successful, and I was honored by 1st prize in an artistic design competition sponsored by
the gaming company Electronic Arts. It was then that I decided to create a film one day
that would represent our everyday life in relation to water.
After graduating from Otis and working at Yahoo! for two years, I decided to produce
and film this short film. Although I had no prior movie production experience, I had a
specific vision in mind; guided by my intuition, I set forth to transform “Awareness” into
“The Grand Elegance,” exhibition by
reality. (The best advice I can offer any artist is to trust in and connect with yourself and
Kelly Akashi at the Beige Cube, run
your artistic visions, no matter what hurdles may seem to exist).
by Philip Zach, Frankfurt, July 2010
I began work on a storyboard, cast two amazing actors, Zoi Kottas and Olivier
Riquelme, and asked my very good friend Laurent Vizzacchero to work on editing. With
less than $1,000, I filmed “Awareness” in just four days. After several months of editing
and many hours creating the 3d effect at the end, I was finally pleased with the result.
My friends who saw it encouraged me to submit it to various film festivals.
“Awareness” was pre-selected for the International Green Film Festival in Seoul,
South Korea, and the Awareness Festival and the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles.
And, much to my surprise, it was selected for screening at the Short Film Corner of the
internationally prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
The journey was an extraordinary one. In addition to walking the red carpet and
screening “Awareness” to many industry professionals, we attended workshops and
Chatard in Cannes with
actress Zoi Kottas
conferences, and met some of the world’s most intriguing and talented producers,
directors such as Woody Allen, and actors such as Benificio Del Toro. The world-class
festival-related nightlife in stunning Cannes topped off the experience.
My experience in Cannes taught me a great deal. The most important lesson for me,
however, was just how critical it was to me to convey the message embodied within
“Awareness.” My insistence on following my goals and belief in what I created sustained
me. We all possess hopes, dreams and ideas that need to be expressed in some artistic
form. “Awareness” was, for me, an inimitable opportunity to give a voice to my vision of
the crucial role water plays in our lives.
We are water. It is our common bond, uniting us as human beings and as citizens of
this planet. “Awareness” celebrates life and describes what water means to us. It acts as a
bridge between people and their emotions. I wanted to make people vibrate with their
inner choir, as if they are seeing and experiencing the beauty of life. (We all deserve seven
minutes 19 seconds of good in our life).
Presenting “Awareness” at Cannes was more than just a personal and professional
coup; it was an opportunity to share my vision of the intersection between beauty and
advocacy. And it has also inspired a new film, which is currently in production. But that,
as they say, is another story…
I adapted to the harsh, hyper-critical
Städel environment, and came out
of it with a more clear and confident
understanding of what I want from
life and why I make art.
Class Notes
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
Class Notes
Spring 2011
The Otis Times, the new alumni blog, launched in October as a forum
and format for alumni to share news and opportunities, post images and
video, and connect with fellow alumni. Please continue to use the Otis
Alumni Facebook page to keep in touch with us. Go to
for links to both The Otis Times and Facebook. Let us hear from you at
[email protected]
Edith Beaucage (’10 MFA Fine Arts) in her studio
Annetta Kapon
Joseph Sola
Andy Manoushagian ’09 MFA Public
’85 Fine Arts
’99 MFA Fine Arts
Practice, Paige Tighe ’10 MFA Public
“The Measure of Value”
“I found some Bic pens by the
Practice and Hataya Tubtim ’10 MFA
Las Cienegas Projects, L.A.
railroad tracks”...
Public Practice as Pedestal & the All
The Happy Lion, Chinatown, L.A.
Girl Band
Lawrence Gipe
“A Little Louder: Performance in
’86 MFA Fine Arts
Juan Capistran
Tucson Museum of Art
’99 Fine Arts
Kristi Engle Gallery, Highland Park
Hespe Gallery, San Francisco
2010 California Biennial
Orange County Museum of Art
’89 Fine Arts
Lee Clark
“First Month Free”
“The Word of God: Sandow Birk’s
’01 Fine Arts
Extra Space Storage, L.A.
American Qur’an”
Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura
Jonathan Stofenmacher
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Karen Nakashima
’10 Fine Arts
David Gallup
’02 MFA Fine Arts
“Walks Through Walls”
’90 Fine Arts
James Gray Gallery, Santa Monica
Highways Performance Space,
Santa Monica
“Channel Islands”
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art,
Tofer Chin
Pepperdine University, Malibu
’02 Fine Arts
Edith Beaucage
“Courtesy Valley Phone”
’10 MFA Fine Arts
Reserve L.A.
James Thegerstrom
CB1 Gallery, L.A.
’91 Fine Arts
(‘96, Fine Arts)
Untitled, 2010
acrylic, acrylic ink and embossed
drawing on duralene
John M. White
’69 MFA Fine Arts
“Lifelines: A Retrospective Exhibition of
Performance, Installation, Sculpture,
Painting and Drawing”
Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena
Harrison Storms
’72 MFA Fine Arts
“John’s Canyon”
Thomas Paul Fine Art, LA
Judithe Hernandez
Myrna Katz
’74 MFA Fine Arts
’80 MFA Fine Arts, ’78 Fine Arts
“La Vida Sobre Papel/Life on Paper”
National Museum of Mexican Art,
Ann 330 Gallery, L.A.
Mineko Grimmer
Kerry James Marshall
’81 MFA Fine Arts, ’79 Fine Arts
’78 Fine Arts
Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia
Koplin del Rio, Culver City
Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle
Main Gallery, Irving Arts Center, TX
Bruce Yonemoto
’79 MFA Fine Arts
Mark Dean Veca
Alexander Gray Associates, N.Y.
’85 Fine Arts
Matthew Warren ’09 MFA Fine Arts and
Sergio Bromberg ’10 MFA Fine Arts
Sandow Birk
Sandeep Mukherjee
Deborah Sabet (’05 Fashion Design)
“Glee” star Darren Criss wore Sabet’s label
District Homme to the 2011 Grammy Awards
Kirk Von Heifner (’06 Fashion Design)
Design Director, Fall 2011 collection for
eco-conscious brand Vicarious by Nature
Mary Younakof
Gallery 825, L.A.
’06 MFA Fine Arts
“The Chromatic Convergence Project”
Camille Rose Garcia
Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood
’92 Fine Arts
“Snow White and the Black Lagoon”
Kuger Peterson
Michael Kohn Gallery, L.A.
’06 Fine Arts
Dana Montlack
Urban:Sanctuary, L.A.
’94 Fine Arts
Joseph Bellows Gallery, Art San Diego
Alexander Kroll
’08 MFA Fine Arts
Trine Wejp-Olsen
’94 Fine Arts
CB1 Gallery, L.A.
“Volcanic Puffs and Other Tales”
George Billis Gallery, L.A.
“When the Shit Hits the Fan”
Suzanne Caporael
’79 MFA Fine Arts
“The Memory Store”
Western Project, Culver City
Scott Derman (‘05, Toy Design)
Porkchop Spaceship from “Toy Story 3”
Class Notes
Otis College of Art and Design Alumni Magazine
Class Notes
Spring 2011
Read entire essay at
Aaron Kupferman
Ruben Ochoa
’05 Digital Media
’97 Fine Arts
Compositing Lead, Sony Pictures
One of 21 shortlisted artists for the Future
Imageworks team for “Alice in
Generation Art Prize (Victor Pinchuk
Wonderland,” winner of Academy Award
Ashkahn Shaparnia
’00 MFA Fine Arts, ’93 Fine Arts
’06 Fine Arts
Completed documentary, “Red Hope?
Designed skate shoes as a guest artist for
The Blacklisting of Hope Foye: Her Story,
Circa Skateboards
Her Songs”
Chin Ko
Ben Go
’06 Digital Media
’00 Digital Media
Visual Development Artist, Dreamworks’
Director, Brand New School “Honda
CVR-V” ad featured in Regional Super
Bowl Spot
’10 Digital Media
Kenneth Cowan
3D stereoscopic compositor, “Chronicles
’06 MFA Fine Arts and
of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
Whitney Stolich
Seleted for “Jeunes Talents” Project,
Alonzo Davis
Jules Rochielle
’73 MFA Fine Arts, ’71 Fine Arts
’09 MFA Public Practice
The Bamboo Muse, Blurb
LACE Residency, “Portable City Projects”
Terrance Zdunich
Hazel Mandujano
’98 Communication Arts
’10 MFA Graphic Design, ’03 Fine Arts
5th issue of The Molting, “Mother’s Day”
and Sergio Bromberg ’10 MFA Fine Arts
Residents at Sandberg Institute,
MFA) and based on her book. Work by
Tami Demaree (’03 MFA), Rashell George
(’05), Fay Ray (’02), and Liz Young (’84)
was featured. Marco Rios (’97) is Gallery
Curator, and the book was designed by
Hazel Mandujano (’10 MFA, ’03).
New York
At Haunch of Venison, alumni and
members of Otis’ Patrons Circle heard
from architect Steven Learner (’86), who
designed the gallery.
San Francisco
Masami Teraoka (’68) spoke to alumni at
the Catharine Clark Gallery’s exhibition of
his work.
Blaine Fontana
Eduardo Lucero
Amalgamate, Zero+Publishing, Inc.
’89 Fashion Design
Fall/Winter 2010 Collection at BOXeight’s
“Fashion: Refocus” for L.A. Fashion Week
Derek Thompson
’02 Communication Arts
Andrew Clinico
’10 Fine Arts
Aaron Philip Clark
Member of Incan Abraham band,
’08 MFA Creative Writing
described on NPR as “Deftly infusing
The Science of Paul: A Novel of Crime,
generations of rock music into a graceful
New Pulp Press
and subtly innovative product”
’94 Communication Arts
Pixar story artist lectured and led workshops on creature design and storytelling
at Otis
Eloy Torrez
Paul Soldner
’77 MFA Fine Arts
’56 MFA Ceramics
Documentary “Eloy: Take Two” follows
Ceramics pioneer passed away in his
the L.A.-based artist in his journey to cre-
home in Claremont, CA in January. Paul
featured in Fashion Week N.Y.
ate art and music
was Otis’ first ceramics student and stud-
Zoe Hong
Kim Gordon
Consuelo Asper Valdes
’01 Fashion Design
“Coco Lancellotti” Spring 2011 line
’02 Fashion Design
Collection featured in “Project San
Francisco” runway show
Hillary Coe
’04 Digital Media
Art Director, ad campaign for “Call Of
Duty: Black Ops”
ied with Peter Voulkos.
’77 Fine Arts
Karly Kojimoto
Solo show, “The Noise Paintings” at John
’09 Digital Media
McWhinnie Gallery, N.Y.; designed three
Passed away in Hawaii, June
limited edition pieces for Italian luxury
Beginning in October 2011, Pacific
an artist and still work in clay. It was that
Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980,
vision that made the difference. If you
a Getty initiative, will explore and
think about innovation, it’s always about
celebrate the legacy of contemporary art
that—it’s about a contextual shift. It’s not
in Southern California. For far too long
in the old linear progression.”
The gravitational pull of Voulkos’
and art movements—some of which have
energy was powerful. Billy Al Bengston
spread far beyond its geographic borders
(’57) remembers the moment he and
—have been under-recognized and under-
fellow Otis student Ken Price (’57)
witnessed a demonstration Voulkos
Critic Arthur Danto has defined
gave when he first arrived in L.A.
the “art world” as composed of artists
Bengston found his own medium as one
and “certain curators, dealers, critics,
of the leading lights of the Finish Fetish
Left: Feminist Art Workers (Cheri Gaulke), Heaven or
collectors.” Here in Southern California,
movement in the 1960s, which used new
Hell?, 1979 (photo from performance)
we would add a handful of colleges and
materials such as paints designed for the
Images © Feminist Art Workers (Nancy Angelo, Candace
universities that have contributed to
automotive and aerospace industries.
Collection of Woman’s Building Image Archive at Otis
’04 MFA Fine Arts
by John Souza and Annie Buckley (’03
when he met Voulkos, who arranged a
Angelica Furiosa), Nothing to Say?, 1977, (photo from
Compton, Cheri Gaulke, Vanalyne Green, Laurel Klick),
Brian Cuartero
the exhibition Psychic Outlaws, curated
scholarship. “The main thing for me was
minimally equipped. He returned to Otis
the achievements of this region’s artists
Above: Feminist Art Workers (Nancy Angelo as Sister
At the Luckman Gallery, alumni viewed
By Scarlet Cheng
and decorative, and the classroom was
“Voulkos’ vision was that you could be
Christopher Rowland
Los Angeles
At the time ceramics was craft-oriented
to get off the craft track,” Mason says.
for Outstanding Visual Effects
Otis in the Art Scene
of Southern California
the essential strength and vitality of our
Another landmark for the school
cultural universe—with Otis College of Art
was when Ralph Bacerra took over the
and Design key among them.
ceramics department in 1983, with an
Since 1918 Otis has served as an
aesthetic as precise and deliberately
incubator for innovation. In the post-
exquisite as Voulkos’ was rough-hewn
war era, pivotal was the arrival of Paul
and spontaneously expressive. Bacerra
Voulkos in 1954 to set up the ceramic arts
covered smooth surfaces with eye-
department at the Los Angeles County
popping geometric forms created through
Art Institute (later Otis). His work with
multiple layers of over-glazing. He
ceramics had quickly moved into
drew freely on both Asian and Western
the sculptural. Assembling, tearing and
motifs. He, too, touched the lives of
gouging pieces of clay, he created an
many students, including Paul Soldner
On October 1, Otis’ Ben Maltz Gallery will open the exhibition Doin’ it in Public:
Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building, a project directed by Meg Linton,
Director of Galleries and Exhibitions, and Sue Maberry, Director of Library and
Information Technology. The Woman’s Building (WB) was a public center of
women’s culture founded by artist Judy Chicago, art historian Arlene Raven,
and designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville in 1973. Others who were part of
this pioneering institution are Leslie Labowitz-Starus (’72) and Chair of Graduate
Public Practice Suzanne Lacy. Doin’ it in Public contextualizes and pays tribute
to the groundbreaking work of feminist artists and art cooperatives at the WB
from 1973-1991. The WB was an epicenter of explosive art making and political
activism that reverberated across the nation and continues to effect the art
world today.
The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980,
an unprecedented collaboration that brings together more than 60 Southern
California cultural institutions for six months to tell the story of the birth of
the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The
presenting sponsor is Bank of America. Additional support for Doin’ It in Public
has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, The Henry
Luce Foundation, Supporters of the Woman’s Building and the Barbara Lee
Family Foundation.
aesthetic that paralleled the Abstract
(’56), who went on to make ceramics or
Expressionist movement in painting
teach or both. Although they made very
on the East Coast. The work was
different art, Voulkos and Bacerra shared
revolutionary, especially because clay
the ethos of hard work, combined with a
was generally considered more craft
fearlessness in using any and all material
than art in those days.
that served their expression.
Pacific Standard Time:
Art in L.A. 1945-1980
Hammer Museum, UCLA
Doin’ it in Public: Feminism and
Art at the Woman’s Building
American Museum of
Ceramic Art, Pomona
Paul Soldner (’56), Billy Al
Bengston (’56), John Mason
(’56), Ken Price (’57)
label Sportmax, and performed at the
John Hebard
As plans for the fall Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A.
Hollywood Bowl with Sonic Youth
’71 Fine Arts
1945-1980 exhibitions unfold, Otis has learned about
Passed away in August, 2010
many institutions that will feature alumni. Keep your
eyes open for alumni and faculty work in many other
Carlos Almarez (’74),
John Mason (’57), Ken Price
(’57), Billy Al Bengston (’56),
Norman Zammitt (’61)
museum and gallery shows!
Getty Research Inst.
Getty Museum
John Baldessari (’58)
Through his own work and its
exposure in art galleries, Voulkos
Lynn Zelevansky, former LACMA
challenged this concept and
curator, wrote “But even under the
revolutionized the practice of ceramics.
best of circumstances, museums only
He also deeply influenced a generation
provide part of the support needed for
of students, among them John Mason
contemporary art. In the absence of a
(’57) and Ken Price (’57), two of the most
diverse critical press and a strong art
respected ceramic artists today. While
market, since the 1920s the [art] schools
their work is very different from Voulkos,’
have been the glue that has held the Los
they internalized the lesson that an
Angeles art world together.”
artist can harness any materials to his or
her expression.
Yes, the glue, and the spawning
ground and laboratory for new ideas and
Mason had been interested in
ways of working, as well as the incubator
ceramics the first time he attended
of the young talent that will lead us
Otis, travelling from Nevada in 1949.
through this new century.
Alonzo Davis (’73)
Museum of Contemporary
Art, San Diego
Santa Barbara Museum
of Art
Robert Irwin (’50)
John Altoon (’49)
Leslie Labowitz-Starus (’72),
John White (’69 MFA)
Museum of Latin American
Art, Long Beach
Scripps College Williamson
Gallery, Pomona
Carlos Almarez (’74),
Gil de Montes (’74)
John Mason (’56),
Ken Price (’57)
Norton Simon Museum,
UCLA Fowler Museum
Patssi Valdez (’85)
Laguna Art Museum
Robert Irwin (’50),
John Mason (’56)
Museum of
Contemporary Art
Bas Jan Ader (’65),
Billy Al Bengston (’56)
John Altoon (’49),
Ken Price (’57)
Patssi Valdez (’85),
Carlos Almarez (’74)
Pomona Museum of Art
Vincent Price Art Museum,
Robert Irwin ’50),
Bas Jan Ader (’65)
Tyrus Wong (’32),
George Chann (’42)
Wendy Given
’02 MFA Fine Arts
“Wake, 2010”
C print
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90045
310.665.6800 / OTIS.EDU
Non-Profit Org
U.S. Postage
Los Angeles, CA
Permit No. 427
Spring 2011
in this issue:
No Finish Line
Proving the Power of
Art and Artists
Magnet for Controversy
310.665.6800 / OTIS.EDU