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Events
  • Otis Radio: Hot News

    May 02| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 5:00 - 6:00 pm is Hot News with DJs Cindy Ho, Ana Molina, and April Oh who cover all the trending NEWS!

     
    Listen online at KLMU.

    All shows will be simulcast on 96.1FM in the Otis Cafe and archived on otisradio.tumblr.com

  • Otis Radio: flashback

    May 02| Special Event
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    Creative Action and the Otis Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

    This week from 5:00pm - 6:00pm is flashback: nostalgic static with DJ's Alix, April and Dane. Come listen and chat about nostalgic representations that make us who we are, from music, accessories, to fashion mistakes.


    Listen online at KLMU.

  • Graduate Fine Arts presents

    Now What?

    Class of 2016 Final MFA Exhibition  

     

    Family and Friends Night Celebration: Saturday, May 14, 6-9pm

    Ashton Allen

    Amanda Benefiel

    Ok-Young Choi

    Janet E. Dandridge

    Melany Dierks

    Elif Erkan

    Kathryn Kert Green

    Elizabeth Medina

    Kristin Moore 

    Jeisung Oh

    Zachary Roach

    Regine Rode

     

  • Learn about the Teacher Credentialing process with:

  • Otis Radio Olympics

    May 03| Special Event
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    Otis Radio students Bree Miller, Natasha Carovska and Rania Ann Zahir present Otis Radio Olympics.

    Play Games and Win Prizes!

    Come join them outside to relieve your stress from finals by playing Musical Chairs, Red Light Green Light, Simon Says, and other beloved childhood games.

  • Graduate Public Practice 
    2016 MFA Degree Presentations

    Henderson Blumer
    Jeanette Degollado
    Margarethe Drexel
    Tonya Ingram
    Jenny Kane
    Shefali Mistry
    Beth Ann Morrison
    Catherine SCOTI Scott
     

    EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS:

     
    Tuesday May 3, 7 – 9:00 p.m. 

    Shefali Mistry leads Michelada Think Tank event on artists of color

  • For decades, the Los Angeles–based artist Lita Albuquerque has blurred distinctions between Land art and Light and Space on increasingly grander scales, whether it be building installations surrounding the pyramids in Egypt or placing sculptures across Antarctica to mirror the formation of the stars. Her cosmic explorations continue with two new bodies of work that are currently being shown at Kohn Gallery in Hollywood, from January 9 through February 27, 2016, and at USC’s Fisher Museum of Art, from January 26 through April 10, 2016.

O-Tube

Planet First

Aug 25, 2013
Wanda Weller and Modern Folk Living
Spotlight Category: Alumni

by George Wolfe

When it comes to sustainability, there’s virtually no line between Wanda Weller Sakai’s home life and business life. After eight years as Patagonia’s director of design, and teaching fashion design part-time at Otis, she now runs her own sustainable business, Modern Folk Living, in Ojai, Calif. And her freshly remodeled sustainable home abuts the mountains, where she lives with her footwear-designer husband and their son. 

Though she’s branched off on her own in recent years—something she attributes to her decade-long cyclical yearning to do something different—she notes the deep influence that Patagonia still holds on her: “You drink the Kool-Aid there (in a good way) and you keep wanting more … you’re compelled to keep going in that direction.” 

From a property that required extensive resources for upkeep, Wanda’s family downshifted to a Cliff May-styled mod ranch home with reflective white stucco, solar panels, south-facing double walls, whitewashed interiors to disburse the light, extended patios to keep cool, low-E windows, permeable exterior gardens with native plants, and garden boxes adjacent to the kitchen. Throughout are favorites like Heath ceramics and other hand-picked items she also sells in
her store.

At Modern Folk Living, Wanda finds that “the goods I curate are an extension of what I did at Patagonia. I pull together a line of items with a common language that reflects my point of view—brands like NAU, Prarie Underground, Stewart+Brown, Coral & Tusk, Heath Ceramics, and Pi’lo.

“According to Wanda, customers don’t want to be hit over the head with the notion that something is ‘sustainable’—which has become overused. Rather, I focus on simply telling the item’s story, which appeals to people. Prior to World War II, most “farming practices” were done in an organic, sustainable way, as part of the culture. But the war’s excesses left us with the need to make use of those ‘pesticides and chemicals,’ and we’ve kept making more things ever since. Now, instead of fixing a TV, we throw it out and buy a new one. By contrast, at our store we carry a handkerchief that’s been repurposed (thoroughly cleaned, of course) with added handmade embroidery that says ‘Bless You.’ So it’s ironic that we’re returning (and in many ways longing for) a way of life that our grandparents and great grandparents lived so naturally.

As a retail business owner, what I often struggle with is the simple fact that I’m selling stuff and contributing to the ongoing dilemma of consumption.  I try to provide a sustainable business, but in reality, to be truly sustainable I wouldn’t be in this business—so the way I ‘rationalize’ it is by focusing on products that are local or domestic; organic, recycled or recyclable; handcrafted, fair trade, and timeless. I try to tell the stories behind the items I’ve curated for the store, to offer some awareness of and a deeper connection about my clients’ purchasing decisions. And with those connections, there is perhaps a reduced likelihood of thoughtless disposability. That was a big lesson from my years at Patagonia. The relationship people have with their Patagonia products goes with them everywhere ... they held memories —how could you possibly get rid of them? !”  

How to balance the sustainability ethos of running a profitable business while adhering to her values? She looks no further than her own backyard. Her ex-boss in nearby Ventura, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, noted recently: “I know it sounds crazy, but every time I have made a decision that is best for the planet, I have made money.” And Patagonia brings in $540 million in annual revenues.

If she keeps the faith, Wanda may find her own way to make a light but substantial footprint as her own legacy.    

 

Above: Wanda Weller Sakai (’88 Fashion Design) with family in their Ojai house, which embodies sustainable practices 

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