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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.


Ralph Bacerra Tribute


Renowned ceramist Ralph Bacerra passed away on June 10, 2008 at his home in Eagle Rock. He was a long time member of the Otis Community, chairing the Ceramics program from 1983 to 1996. His Los Angeles Times obituary included the following quote in reference to his piece Teapot (part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection): “The piece was not created to brew tea but to be enjoyed as a purely visual and tactile experience...” Long represented by Frank Lloyd Gallery, Bacerra made work to be enjoyed rather than analyzed. In an interview for the Smithsonian oral history project he said, “I am not making any statements—social, political, conceptual, or even intellectual. There is no meaning or metaphor. I am committed more to the idea of pure beauty. When it is finished, the piece, should be like an ornament, exquisitely beautiful.”1

Apart from his own words, the idea was probably best described in a 1999 New York Times review by Ken Johnson—“To look at Ralph Bacerra's gorgeous ceramic vessels is to wallow in visual hedonism. Mr. Bacerra, an immensely skilled craftsman based in Los Angeles, does not try to express any important meaning, social, psychological, philosophical or otherwise. His works are witty and sophisticated in their manipulation of influences ranging from Japanese to early modernist to Pop, but mainly he wants to delight the eyes of his viewers.”

Ensure the artistic legacy of Ralph Bacerra. Make your gift now to support the exhibition Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

Art is What I Do: The Life of Ralph Bacerra, a film by Jo Lauria (’90), was produced by The Boardman Family Foundation in cooperation with Otis. Lois and Bob Boardman are longtime friends of Ralph Bacerra and collectors of his work.

As a one-time graduate student, a longstanding friend, and a life-long admirer of Ralph Bacerra, I wanted to pursue making this film to document Ralph's life. Viewed through the eyes of those who knew him, and heard through the voices of those strongly compelled to speak, this portrait presents the man, the mentor, the artist whose light burned brightly and its brilliancy shone through his spectacular ceramics. Film is the medium that lives both in the moment and perpetually. This documentary on Ralph Bacerra evokes memories of a life that did not last long enough, and celebrates a legacy that will last forever.

—Jo Lauria (’90)

Thanks to family, friends, gallery owners, museum directors, curators, collectors, colleagues, and former students of Ralph Bacerra who kindly agreed to be interviewed for the film.

David Armstrong
George and Connie Baccera

Cindy Bass

Ken Deavers

James Durney ’86

Sidney B. Felsen
Keiko Fukazawa ’86
Jim Hinkley ’89

Joanne Horton ’94

Bonnie Ikemura
Christy Johnson

Gloria B. Kamm

Solomon M. Kamm (Sonny)
Sue Keane ’96
John Kimmelmann
Yumi Kiyose ’91
Cindy Kolodziejski ’86
Jo Lauria ’90
Elaine Levin
Frank Lloyd

Ricky Maldonado
Tricia McGuigan ’97
Robert Miller ’90
Rich Mudge ’93

Kevin A. Myers ’91
Merry Norris
Lance Ogata ’91

Elsa Rady

Steve Rivers ’90
Leslie Rosdol ’88
Joan Takayama-Ogawa ’89
Porntip Sangvanich ’87
Adrian Saxe
Peter Shire

Anna Silver

Lin Werne