• In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney


    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak


    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

  • Emily Raboteau’s nonfiction work Searching for Zion was named a best book of 2013 by the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and was a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and a winner of a 2014 American Book Award. She is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter, and her fiction and essays have been published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Buzzfeed, LitHub, The Guardian, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly, The Believer, and Salon. Other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the NEA, the Lannan Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. Raboteau teaches creative writing at City College in New York.


History of e-Learning @ Otis

Otis has a long history of supporting e-learning activities, including many that were experimental pilots designed for capacity building that later became programs.



With the creation of Otis’ first website, the Library began to provide web support for learning through pathfinders and webpages. By 2005, the library maintained approximately 670 web pages with 6,972 visits per month. An extensive micro-site was developed in 2013 for the Library and TLC to support technology-enhanced courses. Additionally the Library provides 24/7 access to 100,000 e-books and millions of articles in subscription databases to support learning. Peak times of access are between 10 pm to 1 am.


The Library customized and offered a self-paced open source course to teach Information Literacy call TILT (Texas Information Literacy Tutorial) that was required of all foundation students.


Otis was the first of all the AICAD schools (and most of the colleges and universities) to move away from teaching with slides to the use of digital images. The Digital Image Database (DID) offered technology enhancements, such as students being able to view slide-shows online. The DID was particularly beneficial to the Art History faculty. A photographic technician was subsequently hired to help create the image bank, which is currently at 45,000 images.
Otis continued investment in providing smart classroom technologies (digital projectors and computer classrooms). We now have a total of 9 smart classrooms. All are being upgraded through an Ahmanson grant Summer 2014 and additional technology will be added to studio classrooms as well.


The Otis Learning Management System was purchased. The e-portfolio module was added a year later.


One of the most significant developments was the receipt of a 3-year grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation in 2005. The purpose of the funding was to develop a dedicated space for faculty, the Teaching/Learning Center (TLC) and to provide direct support to faculty to learn technologies as well as financial incentives to create learning objects - all with the goal of improving student learning. Two months after the award letter was received, the Foundation awarded Otis an additional unexpected $100,000 to support our project. A new position was added and funding for the new TLC position continued after the grant. The TLC was recognized with a “Centers of Excellence Award” for its outstanding service to faculty from the NMC in 2007.
Videographers were also added and continued after the grant funding. To date, in addition to supporting all kinds of e-learning developments, the TLC has uploaded 556 videos + 84 audio podcasts to YouTube with 2,643,512 views since fall 2007. Similarly, we maintain an iTunesU site with videos organized into “courses.” We were among the first colleges to participate in those web spaces.


Many faculty and students began experimenting with blogging and wiki creation in their courses. Implementing the software in courses demonstrated the pedagogical best practice that students often take more care in their writing when they know it will be viewed by others. Ultimately, the e-portfolios proved more popular. However, the blog software remains installed and is now used by departments to feed into the redesigned Otis website.


Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) began offering 2-3 fully online classes every summer to allow for students to make up required classes and graduate on time. 


In fall 2011, Debra Ballard began teaching a core LAS Foundation English course where all students received iPads provided by the Library. The course subsequently involved other faculty in other semesters. In 2013-14, the course was linked with one section of a Foundation drawing course (taught by Bill Eckert) and students also experimented with drawing apps. With assistance from the Ahmanson grant for Academic Computing, new iPad Airs were purchased for the fall 2014 ipad course.


An online course about e-learning pedagogy (Bricks & Clicks) was developed and offered as part of faculty development. Faculty received stipends for completion of the course and for development of blended courses.
In fall 2012, a new position for Instructional Designer was added, increasing our capacity to support faculty in technology-enhanced, blended, and online classes. The preferred method of assistance by faculty is drop-in. For 2013-14, there were 581 individual assists to faculty + 145 to staff in addition to 110 workshops for faculty.
Art History faculty, Jeanne Willette, developed over 30 podcasts for an art survey course in iTunesU.


The TLC has supported faculty in the creation of MOOCs and other online self-paced courses. Dr. Parme Giuntini developed and taught a MOOC called “The Modern Genius” once in summer and again in fall 2013. 
A “Blended-Learning Initiative” was begun under the Direction of Randy Lavender, Vice-Provost.


Jean-Marie Venturini (Instructional Designer) organized and iPad learning community with 19 faculty to experiment with iPads for teaching.
Gary Geraths, a Foundation and Digital Media faculty, has begun collaborating with the Provost office in experimenting with teaching drawing online to High School students. 
During the fall of 2013, Otis applied for two grants of $100,000 each-- one from the National Endowment for the Arts and another to the Keck Foundation. Both were written to fund 20 learning objects in foundational studio skills that would then be incorporated into a MOOC, offered for free and targeted towards high school students in particular. The NEA grant was turned down, but praised for its innovative approaches. In June 2014, the Keck grant was awarded. It will be completed by June 2015.


A collaborative effort between the TLC and Foundation successfully developed and launched an art and design fundamentals MOOC targeted toward High School students, supported by a KECK grant. Over 21 learning objects were filmed to showcase Otis faculty expertise for use in the MOOC as well as to support Otis coursework. The MOOC was facilitated by Roni Feldman. The MOOC was run for 12-weeks in March 2015 and a second, condensed 5-week version was run July 2015. Approximately 3,334 students enrolled in both MOOCs.
Otis launched "The Modern Genius" MOOC taught by Dr. Parme Giuntini (Liberal arts and Sciences) on a new platform, Kadenze, summer 2015 with around 526 students enrolling. Two summer online courses were also offered through Kadenze to pilot Kannu, their brand new Course Management System. The two courses were: Digital Photography taught by Eugene Ahn (Continuing Education) and Time Travel Narratives taught by Jean-Marie Venturini (Liberal Arts and Sciences). Amy Bond (Fashion Design) is developing a fashion-focused MOOC to be launched through Kadenze this upcoming fall.
Gary Geraths (Foundation and Digital Media) will be teaching two synchronous, online drawing classes, Portraiture and Landscape, fall 2015 and spring 2016 as part of a unique partnership between Standford Online High School and Otis College of Art and Design. 
Otis has entered the realm of Digital Badges to highlight student achievment and participation in various Academic and Co-Curricular activities.
The first e-Portfolio Excellence Award was developed to showcase and recognize quality work among student Learning e-Portfolios. The winners were selected April 2016.


Judging for the first ever annual ePortfolio Excellence Awards was conducted, with seven students receiving recognition for outstanding work. 

In the fall, the Otis Community was surveyed to collect feedback on the college's current Learning Management System (LMS), O-Space. This was the first step in preparing for updates to the O-Space ePortfolios. 


Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist