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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.


Wilfred Jackson

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Born in Chicago in 1906, Wilfred Jackson ('28) one of cartoon's greatest directors, worked in a formative period for the budding new medium. Working long hours through the heydays of early animation, Jackson is widely judged to have set the standard for subsequent cartoon directors. At Disney, he was integral to the creation of feature classics like Snow White, and was also a technical innovator in terms of merging sound to pictures.

“Jaxon,” as he was called by Walt Disney, attended Otis in 1925. Three years later, after “hanging around the Studios,” he volunteered to wash cels and assist animators at Disney until — in the same year that Mickey Mouse was born — he “found himself holding a paycheck,” later joking that "I'm the only guy [at Disney] who was never [actually] hired."

Jackson claims to have gotten into directing, too, by accident. After being asked by Walt to work out a sound-picture synchronization problem for the early sound cartoons, Jackson successfully devised a metronome to mark time that could be converted to a music track (a method still used in contemporary animation). The innovation, featured in Mickey Mouse's debut film "Steamboat Willie," revolutionized the entertainment medium, and Walt quickly promoted him from animator to director. Jackson garnered a reputation among Disney studio directors as “easily the most creative of the directors, but also the most ‘picky.’”

Among his other feats, Jackson contributed to the "Silly Symphony" shorts, and went on to direct 35 Academy Awards®-winning shorts: The Tortoise and The Hare, The Country Cousin, and The Old Mill. Probably the greatest example of his skill in developing action to music, however, was The Band Concert starring Mickey Mouse.

 Jaxon also applied his talent to other animated features, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, Melody Time, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp. He directed such memorable sequences as "The Night on Bald Mountain" in Fantasia. During the war years, he produced and directed government films for the U.S. Navy.

 In 1954, as Walt entered the new television medium, he asked Jaxon to produce and direct animated shows on the "Disneyland" series. His career at Disney spanned 35 years.