25 April 2008

Twenty Questions with Trine

Well it's 18 questions actually...

Art blogger Claudio Parentela recently interviewed Otis alum Trine Wejp-Olsen ('94) about her studio practice, her path to art school and what advice she would share with the next generation of artists.

Some of my favorite responses include:

(as to why she wanted to become an artist)-
"My Dad is a cartoonist (Werner Wejp-Olsen), and as he had his studio at home, growing up I watched him do his cartoons, and I guess the idea of becoming an artist for a living never seemed difficult or daunting…Being naive sometimes is a good thing."

(describing her first year at Otis)-
"The school has a bit of a boot camp first year, where they load a lot of work on you, and in as many disciplines as possible. I discovered within this first year that what I meant to do was to express my voice through imagery. I found it to be too limiting to be hired by someone else as an illustrator to express his or her point of view or need. And therefore I ended up in the fine art department concentrating on painting instead."

(the materials she uses when making work)-
"I work with oil on canvas + watercolor, color pencil and sometimes milk paint on paper. For sculpture work I use all kinds of materials, fabrics, plaster, and my last sculpture was a bronze."

(what she would tell a young artist)-
"There is no right or wrong in art, so don’t be afraid of mistakes, they often turns out as successes."

The complete interview is available at Parentela's blog- Elvis in Hawaii

image- Blue Monkey, 2007 oil on canvas 16" x 20" from the Trine Wejp-Olsen website

22 April 2008

Gains Through Greening

Happy Earth Day! Otis has been working toward being a leader in sustainable living. Some of the efforts to date include the incorporation of environmental projects into many of the Integrated Learning courses, the hosting of the Do it Now: Live Green exhibition in the Ben Maltz Gallery last summer and student clubs in both Fashion and IPD that are focused on sustainability.

Beyond college-wide efforts, many Otis folks making sustainable living a part of their daily lives. A good example is Fine Arts Associate Professor Holly Tempo. She was one of several Brewery art colony residents featured in a LA Times article on gardening. The story chronicled the efforts of the artists to create urban gardens, often with found plants. Describing Tempo's own garden writer Paula Panich said "She presides over a small but aesthetically balanced and ordered garden of specimen plants in well-chosen metallic containers. Her flowering palette begins with yellows and oranges and reds and moves to purple as the seasons change."

In citing one of the environmental benefits of her garden Tempo commented "It's a great way to unwind. Plus, plants absorb toxic air- and they are (a) really visible joy."

So recycle a bottle, turn off a light or carpool today, every little bit helps.

09 April 2008

An Eddy for Mounger

Otis Foundation Associate Professor Christian Mounger was honored along with other local teachers last night at the 2008 "Eddy" awards, which where held at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton. Sponsored by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, the annual awards recognize outstanding educators from each of the schools in the Chamber's area.

Mounger, who has been teaching at Otis since 1994, was recognized for his contributions to the Foundation program's curriculum and his dedication to his students.

06 April 2008

Saar Says Come Hither

Noted Otis alum Allison Saar's latest solo show "Hither" at L.A. Louver, which closed yesterday received a lot of attention including a strong review from Leah Olman in last Friday's Los Angeles Times.

In a nod to Saar's influence on the local art scene Olman said "...Saar is one of the most significant sculptors working today, and her shows tend to be serious occasions." The review concludes with "Saar's forms register immediately in the body as well as the soul. For all their wonderous physicality, they are elegantly poetic; for all their knowing eloquence, they endow silence with presence."

You can find another substantial write up about the show in the March issue of ArtScene.

Image of Hither detail from L.A. Louver website