28 August 2008

In Memoriam- Dominic Ambriz

Otis is beginning it's 90th year it has not surprised me to find more than a few stories recently of our earliest alums and faculty members passing away. While the news is sad, I expect such things and can understand them.

When I heard the news about an alum that was only 28 however, I was caught off guard, and it does not make sense.

Dominic Ambriz ('02) passed away on August 16th from brain cancer. He was a graduate of the Toy Design program and had most recently worked as a Senior Designer at Mattel. I did not know Dominic, he graduated shortly after I arrived at Otis, but after reading a tribute to him in the Bakersfield Californian, I wish I had the opportunity.

Described as a rising young star in the toy industry, Dominic was also an active "weekend" athlete- completing in many events including finishing a marathon after he got sick...He coined the phrase "Bring It" as a rallying cry for battling his illness, a battle he fought for nearly twice as long as most people with his form of cancer. He illustrated a book, and the list of accomplishments goes on. You get the idea. Dominic did more while fighting a life threatening illness than many of us ever will.*

You can find a tribute piece to him on YouTube here and a blog here.

Otis is certainly fortunate to count Dominic as one of our family.

*Information about Dominic's accomplishments gleaned from Herb Benham's article

21 August 2008

Home is Where the Art is

It's that time of year when students go back to school and the media is full of stories about moving away from home, adjusting to life at college and many more tales of transition.

One of those stories was a piece in the Long Beach Press-Telegram about decorating your dorm room and it included interviews with two Otis students- Rebecca Gottesman '09 and Danielle Camilo '10 who are RA's in the Otis housing program.

The article's bent was one of style and function, making your space your own while keeping in mind cost, content and size limitations.

Rebecca talked about her love of photography- "I like finding random ones and putting them up, even if I don't know the people. Photos are such keepsakes and they're things that people keep forever, so I really like finding them and having them in my room. I love filling up wall space, so I'm constantly finding inspiring things to decorate my room with."

Danielle discussed her use of mobiles-
"One of my teachers from when I was younger actually traded me a $50 mobile for one of my creations," she says. "It's one of the most important things in my room because of what it means to me - inspiration."

The entire article can be viewed here.

14 August 2008

Pardo Provides Passionate Perspective

This past spring artist Jorge Pardo was on campus for a conversation with Fine Arts Department Chair Alex Coles.

Their wide ranging dialog touched on everything from the state of Fine Arts education, the intersection of design and art and perhaps of most interest to the audience- what can be called "art" and why.

The conversation was filmed for Otis' YouTube channel and now it has been featured on Artforum.com.

Take a look!