Events
  • Tim Walsh, is the inventor of the board game Blurt!, which sold more than a milion copies. Tim has lincesned toy and game concepts to Hasbro, Mattel, Brio, Educational Insights, Imagine Entertaiment, and others. Be inspired and entertained by the stories behind the creation of blockbuster toys and games.

     

  • James Hannaham

    Jan 25| Lectures
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    James Hannaham is the author of the novels Delicious Foods, which won the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award, and God Says No, a Stonewall Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

  • Opening Reception and Acoustic Event: “Tuning the Room” lead by Gregory Lenczycki and Ken Goerres. Gastronomic tuning tastings and elixirs provided by Eden Batki.
     

  • The measure and alterations of Craycroft’s “room tuning” are framed in relation to its setting within the art gallery of an art school. In the wake of the U.S. presidential election, and in anticipation of the exhibition runtime falling during the first months of the new administration, Tuning the Room is a proposal to pay attention to the role that art and art education play in how voices are heard.

  • Robin Coste Lewis won the National Book Award for Voyage of the Sable Venus. Her writing has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition: Women in Literary Arts, VIDA, Phantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review. She has taught at Wheaton, Hunter, Hampshire, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis is a fellow of Cave Canem and of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, as well as a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at USC.

  • Artist Anna Craycroft, of the current exhibition Tuning the Room in Ben Maltz Gallery, in discussion with artist and curator Micah Silver.

  • Solmaz Sharif

    Mar 01| Lectures
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    Solmaz Sharif’s first collection, Look, was recently published by Graywolf Press and is a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Her poetry has appeared in the New Republic, Granta, Poetry, and other journals. Her first collection, Look, was recently published by Graywolf Press. A former Stegner Fellow, she is currently a lecturer at Stanford University and lives in the Bay Area.

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Marjan Vayghan '06 Fine Arts

Dec 16, 2013
Contemporary art in Tehran
Spotlight Category: Alumni
After graduating from Otis, I packed four suitcases, two carry-ons and a computer bag full of art, and traveled to MOCA Tehran in 2007 to curate “Manifestation of Contemporary Arts in Iran.” The exhibition featured works from 67 Iranian and American artists, including Chair of Graduate Public Practice Suzanne Lacy, Masami Teraoka (’68 MFA), Co-founding Director of Artsts, Community and Teaching program Jerri Allyn, and honorary degree recipient Bill Viola. Former Prime Minister and reformist politician Mir Hossein Mosavi’s name appeared in the exhibition catalogue.
 
During the Green Revolution, I returned to Iran to curate a solo exhibition of Masami Teraoka’s watercolors. On August 5, 2009, my partner and I took a cab towards the gallery. Police presence mushroomed on Vanak Square as forces on foot, motorcycles, and vans lined the street. Suddenly I was pulled out of our cab while a man foaming from the mouth lunged his upper body into the moving taxi. Arrested, blindfolded and hooded, we were interrogated into the early hours of August 6. On August 7, I attended my first childhood friend’s funeral, where his mother grabbed my inner knee, pleading for her son. Speechless, I disconnected from all I knew. I didn’t leave my aunt’s home again until August 18, when I was assaulted by two men on a motorcycle. My cries were quickly silenced, as I was informed that it is unladylike to cry in public. My only remaining impulse was a need to articulate creatively.
 
On August 29, I opened Masami Teraoka’s solo exhibition. Everything I had to say about the taboo topics of globalization, Westernization, sanctions, fundamentalism, HIV, prostitution, and the trafficking of young girls as Iran’s biggest export could be found in Masami’s controversially bold paintings. Masami’s work embraced and visualized the aesthetics of the green movement in a complex subversive plateau just beneath the governing factions of the Islamic Republic’s radar of genocide and oppression. The paintings were done in the 1970s with traditional Japanese brushstrokes but they were perfect for the “Jumong”-obsessed Tehran of 2009. The 2009 uprising was inspired more by “Jumong” (an extremely popular South Korean soap opera) than by Mir Hossein Mousavi.
 
These days I find myself working on the two time zones of Tehran and Los Angeles. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm bears a plethora of emails, and an endless search for regular curating and writing gigs to support my many art and activism obsessions. 10:00 pm - 5:00 am is spent curating and organizing Rooftop Projections and Exhibits throughout Iran. Updates from family members and friends include: “Grandma was hit by a motorcyclist. Grandpa is losing his sight and memories. You shouldn’t come back to Iran this summer. Strangers are coming by the gallery and asking for you.” I continue shifting my consciousness towards collecting subversive literature and art for our Rooftop Exhibits. 
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