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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.


History of Photography

Since the invention of photography, ordinary images have had a profound impact on defining culture.  The assignment for the Term Project is to investigate Vernacular snapshot Photography, using a variety of sources, in preparation for creating a digital photo album, with accompanying text, to be presented in class, and posted to both your e-portfolio.

Snapshot photographs designed for the public realm as well as those most likely intended for private viewing by family and friends. Be sure to consider photographs that express a sense of informality and intimacy, and the unusual - fiction and fantasy. And, of course, the clichéd vernacular snapshot image.

Find a Database Article

Your best bet for finding articles about photographers would besome of the Otis Databases: Art Source. ProQuest and JSTOR as they cover the history of photography.

Finding articles about subject matter such as "vernacular photography" will be more challenging. You can simply enter those terms in a database and find something. but you can also think of terms that an author of an article might use in a title of an article, such as "snapshots." Be sure to also check the SUBJECT field of an article you find helpful and see how the people who index/catalog the articles classify it. For instance, "Amateur photography" and "Vernacular photography" are both used. See also: How to Clarify Your Topic.

Books of Interest

The Snap-Shot edited by Jonathan Green

Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album by Barbara Levine, Stephanie Snyder, Matthew Stadler

Snapshot Versions of Life by Richard Chalfen (e-book)

Snapshot : New Art from Los Angeles organized by James Elaine

The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888-1978

African American Vernacular Photography

Jo Spence : Beyond the Perfect image : Photography, Subjectivity, Antagonism by Jo Spence

Camera and Community : Photographs from the Collection of the Institute for Arts and Media

Family Snaps by Jo Spence


Exhibitions/Websites of Interest

Close to Home: An American Album - Getty

Shades of L.A. project at LAPL Photo Collection

Lens Blog - New York Times






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