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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.


Norman Zammitt

Norman ZammittNorman ZammittNorman Zammitt


Norman Zammitt was (1931-2007) raised on the Mohawk [Caughnawaga Indian] reservation near Montreal. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he returned to America, graduated from Pasadena City College in 1957, and earned his MFA ('61) from Otis in 1961. He taught art at California Institute of the Arts, USC, and UCLA during his long career as an artist.

His often mural-sized works can now be found in private collections as well as at the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirschhorn Collection, and the Corcoran Gallery. His straight-edge style suggested mathematics and engineering, some reviewers observed; others posited that the ethereal element in his art seemed to rise up out of the geometry by intention. Often his work was said to create a “meditative mood.”

“Zammitt crafted meticulous bands of color in subtle gradations and shades in his paintings,” noted the Los Angeles Times. “Many of them evoke sunsets, deserts and other scenes in nature. And according to Carol Eliel, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “[Zammitt] translated the light and landscape of California to paint. He wanted to include the more spiritual aspects of the California landscape in his work.”

Still, Eliel notes that Zammitt’s art didn’t fit neatly into a single school or movement, though his interest in capturing light and space related his work to that of such artists as Larry Bell and Robert Irwin (’50). At the same time, his precision and a preference for sleek surfaces related his creations to the art of Billy Al Bengston (‘57), among other Otis-trained California artists who rose to prominence in the 1970s.

Of his art, Zammitt once wrote to an Otis colleague: “The artist’s first responsibility is to his own truth. For me, art is a responsibility to myself, to my own sincere thoughts. To keep in contact with that is a constant struggle. […] To recreate an old form or create a new form is not necessarily the most important concern. Form should be a result, a sincere statement of integrity; form happens as part of a desire to make a statement straight from the heart. Form seems to always be there, and the need to express it becomes stronger and stronger. Each expression does not slowly exhaust the source, but on the contrary, the artist cannot keep up with what he has to say. […] For me, this has become a way of life. I never planned it to be this way, but I am glad about it. Nothing else makes me feel more right, more my own self.”

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