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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.



What you learn will serve you for a lifetime

During your first year, known as Foundation, you will experience an immersive program that promotes your success in college. Through inspiring studio and Liberal Arts and Sciences courses, you will acquire skills that are fundamental to all visual arts and the construction of meaning.

As adept, well-informed makers, you will examine new ideas, learn new ways of thinking, and ask new questions that will enhance your creativity, expression, and innovation. Visual and idea-oriented research will support your pictorial and 3-D compositions. Collaborative experiences in a learning community will ignite a spirit of investigation that will propel your education and practice. Frequent workshop demonstrations will help you to realize ideas you never knew you had. Close dialogue with faculty members will allow you to visually resolve your work, and discover working methods that will carry you into a major, serve you through college, and last a lifetime.

Foundation Forward This spring event helps you select a program of study. You may elect to pursue a Minor by entering one program of study and taking a number of elective courses outside that program.

Paris Trip Each spring break, a group of Foundation students travel to Paris for nine days to view art and design in an extraordinary urban environment. 

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By the end of the Foundation Year, students will have acquired these skills and concepts:

Fundamental Skills

  Mindful making and improving of work by manipulation of art and design media.
Thinking Skills   The ability to distinguish between and use rational, intuitive, and critical thinking processes, and to construct meaning using visual information.
Visual Quality   The ability to identify visual strengths and weaknesses to promote aesthetic resolution and clarity of intention.

Strategies for success such as attentiveness, time-management skills, and the ability to commit to a personal vision in the endeavor of art making.

Quantitative Skills  

The ability to use sound principles of proportion to measure, calculate, and transfer dimensions of the observed and built world.

Inventiveness and Spirit of Investigation    

The ability to develop problem solving skills utilizing visual and idea oriented research, the spirit of play, and the sequential application of process.

Awareness of Social Responsibility   An awareness of the social and environmental impact of art and design.


Learn more about undergraduate degrees offered by Otis in our view book, open with Page Viewer or Download (PDF).