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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

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Danny Phillips and Kim Karlsrud

Danny Phillips and Kim Karlsrud

 

Phillips ('08 Architecture/Landscape/Interiors) and Karlsrud ('07 Product Design) met when they were students, and started their Greenaid project, Guerrilla Gardening, shortly after graduating. “Johnny Appleseeds for the 21st Century” is how Fast Company described their seed bomb project, a grass roots campaign to raise public awareness as well as reveal and remedy issues of spatial inequity. Across Los Angeles and in Europe, Greece, Canada and Mexico, residents find repurposed gum ball machines that dispense seed bombs (a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds), for 25 cents, and toss them into derelict urban spaces such as vacant lots and median strips. Karlsrud and Phillips co-founded COMMONstudio, a design practice that has "an interdisciplinary approach to objects, systems, tools, and spaces, with an emphasis on urban ecology, social enterprise, and adaptive reuse."

They returned to Otis to teach “Design for Social Impact,” in which students sourced local materials and industrial scraps, conducted lifecycle analyses, and creatively employed the ethics and aesthetics of “doing more with less.” Site partners included TOMS Shoes and the Boys and Girls Club in East L.A. As Karlsrud explains, “It’s no longer about designers going into third world countries and working with craft communities to make $3,000 coffee mugs.” Instead, students used reclaimed materials from the garment district or bike shop inner tubes, and transformed them functionally and aesthetically.

In 2011, they collaborated with classmate Aaron Maninang ('07 Fashion Design), a designer at Brooklyn Industries, to create the Seed Dress and Seed Bracelet for Earth Day. They received a Core 77 award for their Educational Initiative D3 (Dream It, Design it, Do It) at Nightingale Middle School, Cypress Park, L.A.