Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
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    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
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    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
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    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • Renee Gladman

    Oct 19| Lectures
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    Renee Gladman is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, including the Ravicka triology, published by Dorothy (Event Factory, The Ravickians, and Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge). Other titles include Arlem, Not Right Now, Juice The Activist, A Picture Feeling, and Newcomer Can't Swim. Since 2004, she has been the publisher of Leon Works, a perfect bound series of books of experimental prose, and also has edited the Leroy chapbook series.

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Academic Excellence: Lilit Garibian

Why Otis?
Seeing the display of student work convinced me. Also, I was really excited about working on mentor projects!

 

Hometown?
Glendale, California

 

Your thesis project?
In my senior year I worked with two mentors—Cynthia Vincent (’86) and Betsy Heimann of Western Costume. The process includes developing material boards, illustrations, sketch selection, pattern drafting, draping and sewing, and several fittings. We create all the garments from scratch.

 

Interesting things you did outside of school?
Last summer I interned in New York. I knew I’d love the city, and it was everything I thought it would be.

 

Most influential class?
Design/portfolio, especially the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) project. We had to complete the project in a very intense and short few weeks, and for the first time we were working on our own concepts and ideas.
I learned a lot about myself as a designer, as I was allowed almost total creative freedom.

 

Most influential faculty member?
I had the pleasure of working with many great instructors, but I have to say that Jill Higashi had a huge impact on me. Her work ethic and the discipline she instills are a big part of the success of Otis fashion design! She continually inspired me, believed in me, and molded me into
a much better designer!

 

Favorite place in L.A.?
I’ve been going to the Getty since I was a kid. Other than the beautiful art, I love the architecture and the tram. My favorite part is the garden. Also, the view of L.A. is wonderful!

 

Impact on your work/life?
My three years were a life-changing experience. Many difficult times seemed impossible to overcome, but I always came through; every time I accomplished something, I proved to myself that I could do it. After surviving Otis, there is no
task that I cannot handle. Bring it on! Also, I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. We were like crazy family members who loved and sometimes hated each other. We couldn’t have done it without each other’s support.

 

What’s next?
I am living in Seattle and working as an associate designer for women’s knits at Eddie Bauer. I was a bit hesitant at first about moving to Seattle, but I really love it here. It’s perfect for me!

 

Something unusual/idiosyncratic?
I usually have extreme feelings about things/people.

 

Information/tips for future students?
Go to Otis only if you are very serious about becoming a professional artist/designer. Take it as the greatest challenge of your life, and set your mind to believing that you will get through it no matter what and see it to the end. I focused 98 percent of my life on school. It was extremely challenging, but in the end it was so worth it. If you are really passionate, then it shouldn’t feel too much like work.

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