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  • 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.

O-Tube

Los Angeles and Tijuana Converge in Ni Chana Tijuana Exhibition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Please contact John Axtell for inquiries and photos 310-665-6857 jaxtell@otis.edu

Otis College of Art and Design’s Public Practice program teaches students to engage community and explore cross-cultural connections with fieldwork across the border.
Public Practice Students in Tijuana
Public Practice Students in Tijuana - Photo by Carmen Uriarte

Los Angeles, CA - November 27, 2013

Exploring artistic and social connections between Los Angeles and Tijuana, the Exposición Ni Chana Tijuana unpacks what happens when a group of graduate students in Social Practice must, for the first time, develop fieldwork within a border community that they have previously encountered only through theoretical frameworks and discussions. What happens when these students encounter that community in reality, and learn first-hand about its problems and questions? What types of cross-cultural connections can be created with residents, artists, and activists given the complex nature of their surroundings? Not one or the other, neither here nor there, ‘ni Chana ni Juana’ is an expression used in México to emphasize the ambiguous nature of a given situation. In that spirit, this exposición explores the contingent relationship between these artists and the Camino Verde neighborhood of Tijuana.

‘Exposición,’ the Spanish term for exhibition, refers both to the idea of exhibition and to the idea of being in an exposed and vulnerable position. This ‘exposición’ focuses on the ethical and practical dimensions of entering and engaging a community. Some students expose the underlying power structures and their own feelings of vulnerability while others bypass the larger governing structure. Their efforts focus on small-scale moments of relation that activate a shared human experience across numerous borders.

Elements of the controversial bi-national Merida Initiative have funded community development projects in 13 hot spots throughout Mexico designated “at risk” for high incidences of violence and crime. One of those sites is the neighborhood of Camino Verde. Artists are deeply involved in these developments and working to create programming for community organizations such as Casa de las Ideas (House of Ideas) for media production, La Granja (The Farm) for environmental and food justice, and the Camino Verde Community Center. “We took students into this complex environment where local artists and activists are working and asked them to think about how community connections operate,” says Bill Kelley Jr., Otis Graduate Public Practice Program faculty member. “We wanted them to learn how you approach community, learn about the various community and institutional interfaces and begin to make connections. We asked them to focus their research on how to enter and engage in a site like this, and what types of questions should be asked rather than presume that they are going to swoop in and solve problems.”

The ‘exposición’ Ni Chana Tijuana opened at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, on November 16 and runs through December 7, culminating with a conversation at the Otis Graduate Public Practice studios on December 7, 2013 at 12PM. Additional information can be found at http://www.otis.edu/graduate-public-practice.

The research projects have been facilitated by Otis faculty member Bill Kelley Jr. and Cog•nate Collective, with the assistance of Polen Audiovisual and in collaboration with Centro Comunitario Camino Verde, Casa de las Ideas, and community organizers Don Polo, Alma López, and Tico Orozco.

 

About Otis Graduate Public Practice MFA
The only educational program in the Southern California region dedicated exclusively to providing artists with advanced skills for working in the public sphere, the Program focuses on both collaborative and individual art production. Public practice – also called participatory art, community art, public art, situational art or social sculpture – consists of video, performance, drawing, photography, sculpture and web-based projects. The Program, under the leadership of Suzanne Lacy, the renowned author and artist, educator, theorist of socially engaged public art, prepares students to re-invent traditional media-specific ways of thinking about art making. 

 

ABOUT OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at www.otis.edu.
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