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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.


Academic Excellence: Rachel Kaminer

Something Unusual/idiosyncratic?
I lived in a wilderness setting for about two years facilitating experiential education and therapy. I can carve a bow-drill set and bust a coal.


I was born in San Luis Obispo [California] and grew up in the mountains around Asheville, N.C.

Why Otis?
I decided to pursue an MFA in L.A., and Paul Vangelisti conveyed to me that Graduate Writing is about reading and writing and making and translating, in what we might call the “Un-American Tradition.” I knew I wanted to be in the company of writers and artists who conducted themselves as colleagues, who brought diverse life experience to their practices. I remember reading the book list Jen Hofer posted online for one of her courses with such excitement. That’s when I knew I would apply. And the web page had such lovely design. I guessed that meant Otis was a good fit for students who pay attention both to form and content.

Your thesis project?
A book-length work of poetry—this means the poetry is talking to itself across the breadth of the whole work. The book is about listening. Or, put another way, it’s the joy and
responsibility that we have in language; that we make meaning; that it’s musical. Then again, it recently became apparent to me that I may complete an entire book of poetry with these philosophical ideas as an influence—and then it will turn out to be about heartbreak. The joke is on me for being the last one to get it.

Interesting things that you did outside of school?
I’ve done all sorts of interesting things through WriteGirl, a nonprofit based in my neighborhood. My favorite has been facilitating writing workshops for incarcerated young

Most influential faculty member?
Impossible to say. I worked with and for Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Dr. Carol Branch, and they are supremely influential role models, personally and professionally. I have to point out how influential my poet-colleagues have been, along with Jackie Young, the mastermind of two graduate departments and my supervisor, in shaping my time here.

Favorite place in L.A.?
Walking in my neighborhood is pretty great: the 6th Street Bridge, the channelized L.A. River, La Reyna taco stand at 7th and Mateo, and my neighbors at Factory Place, who have become hearth and home.

What’s next?
Writing, teaching, editing, choosing additional rent-paying professions. Publishing. Going to the desert when the Perseids fall.

Information/tips for future students?
The poetry alums have an ongoing conversation in poetry and in life, and that’s the best reason to attend. Choose your community of colleagues. And explore every neighborhood you can.