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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Hideo Date

Hideo DateHideo DateHideo Date


Hideo Date was born in Osaka, Japan, and emigrated to California in 1923. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Otis but left after a year to pursue the study of traditional ‘nihonga’ brush painting in Japan. This style melded the strong use of line in Japanese painting with Western techniques of perspective and modeling.

Date returned to L.A. where, during the late 1920s and 1930s he says that he and his fellow artists “were influenced by Orient across the Pacific just as N.Y. was influenced by Europe across the Atlantic. He was part of the so-called "Independents," a group of L.A.-based artists who rejected modernism and described their work as “Linear-composition.”

Date and his colleagues fell under the influence Stanford MacDonald-Wright, who oversaw the Los Angeles Art Students League and was one of the originators of Synchronism, the “orchestration” of colors in paintings based on “major” and “minor” color scales —as well as the avant-garde art scene. Macdonald-Wright’s works impressed Date, who admitted: “I was flabbergasted, such colors I had never seen before.”

Date spent the 1930s creating art and exhibiting through groups such as the College Art Association, the Foundation of Western Art, the Los Angeles Oriental Artists Group, and the Los Angeles Art Association. Because he held onto nearly all of his work, he had to make his living from odd jobs, once working on a mural at Mary Pickford’s mansion. He also depended on the generosity of friends, the occasional commission, and private teaching.

Art exhibitor Hammond Sadler once described Date’s work as being “primarily interested in linear movement and color. Combining these elements in a manner never attempted by the older Japanese painters, he has scorned the strictly traditional for ‘Datean.’ Particular note of his work in watercolor must be made. The finish, developed by him, is unsurpassed in its jewel-like surface.”

The outbreak of World War II sent Date to Wyoming’s Heart Mountain concentration camp, where he taught art privately to other Japanese-American inmates. After the war, he went to New York and traveled extensively, including trips to Italy and France.

“Over his lifetime,” writes Japanese-American National Museum curator Karin Higa, “Date had preferred not to sell his artwork even when he had the chance.” But in 1999, Date finally decided to donate more than 190 works to the L.A.’s Japanese American National Museum.