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  • 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.

O-Tube

Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud, Common Studio

Dec 16, 2013
Guerilla Gardening
Spotlight Category: Alumni

Daniel Phillips (’08 Architecture/Landscape/Interiors) and Kim Karlsrud (’07 Product Design)
 of COMMONstudio


Daniel and Kim created Greenaid, a Los Angeles-based social enterprise that makes guerilla gardening efforts easier and more accessible to the general public.  Seedbombs are the weapon of choice -  small nuggets of clay, compost, and native seeds that are thrown (and grown) in otherwise neglected corners of the urban landscape.  The Greenaid vending machine offers the public instant and affordable access to seedbombs at over 100 locations (and counting) worldwide, and Greenaid seedbombs are hand-rolled in Culver City using local materials, sustainable packaging, and socially responsible labor.  Working in partnership with Chrysalis, a local non-profit, Greenaid offers employment opportunities and a living wage to formerly homeless or economically disadvantaged men and women.


It happened organically and a little accidentally – it didn’t start off as a entrepreneurial ambition, but a means of realizing a design idea in the face of a recession. After experiencing the frustration and lack of opportunities within our fields we tried to stay proactive and engaged through collaborating (together and otherwise) on projects we found interesting. We’ve found that when you start with local issues and needs, rather than clients, the projects are way more relevant, meaningful, impact-oriented and fun. Sure the economy is bad right now, but that means there’s huge opportunities for new types of creative and responsible industries to emerge – and if you’re willing to take a risk for something you believe in, there’s always a way to make it happen.

What we soon realized was that it’s relatively easy to do one copy of something, and it’s a whole new ball game when you suddenly have to think about doing more.  Our breakthrough moment was when we were introduced to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com. We raised $10,000 through Kickstarter which enabled us to establish an initial presence in L.A. To date, we’ve over 100 Greenaid dispensers across the U.S. Mexico, Canada, and Europe.  We estimate that we’ve distributed about 75 million native seeds into the world using seedbombs.

Otis provided a curriculum that was rigorous without being too rigid.  It was flexible enough and small enough to nurture the passions and unique approaches of the individual.  There was a lot of room to find your own way.  No school can completely prepare you for what everyone faces after graduation, but it was at Otis that we learned to combine our creative instincts with the ability to act upon them in strategic ways, and that’s made the difference for us.

 

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