22 January 2009

Otis Influences the Obamas Part Two

The other day I wrote about Otis trustee and former student Michael Smith and his appointment to design the interior spaces of the White House residential quarters but that wasn't the only Otis connection to our new President and his family.

On inauguration day the dress that Michelle Obama wore was designed by long time Fashion Mentor Isabel Toledo. The Los Angeles Times ran a complete review of her wardrobe that included comments from Fashion Chair Rosemary Brantley who described Toledo style this way- “She’s about flattering the figure and she’s curvaceous herself. Everything she does is thoughtful."

There was also a short piece about the Toledo dress and the ball gown Mrs. Obama wore that ran on CNN.

Here is a piece from Otis' Inside the Designer's Studio series where Rose interviews Isabel and her husband, noted Fashion Illustrator Ruben Toledo.

20 January 2009

Otis Influences the Obamas

Type "President Obama" into Google and you'll get back 59,600,000 (as of a moment ago anyway) results. It's extraordinary how many things can be linked to our new President and I'm about to add one more.

Last week it was announced that Otis Trustee and former student Michael Smith had been selected by our new First Lady to decorate the White House living quarters. Mr. Smith, who studied Environmental Design, has a thriving practice in Santa Monica and is well known for his work with celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Cindy Crawford and Dustin Hoffman. Despite his high profile client list, he has been known to keep a low profile so the vast amount of media coverage about his selection has not included many quotes from him but plenty is being said about him.

Here is a sample:

Los Angeles Times
Domino (includes a video tour of his own home)
Washington Post
New York Times
Huffington Post
The Guardian

And a segment that ran on the Today show (embedded)


14 January 2009

Ayeroff Assesses the Situation

Many of my posts center on others writing about our alums and students. But what about when Otis folks are the ones writing? Alum Tucker Neel (MFA '07) has written for several publications including Artillery. Faculty member Marlena Donahue writes extensively for Art Scene and Meg Linton (Director of the Ben Maltz Gallery and Public Programs) has authored many pieces for Juxtapoz magazine.

These are just a few examples and now I'm glad to add Fine Arts junior Anna Ayeroff to the list. She's been a frequent contributor to ArtSlant since the fall and you can find her latest take on the LA art scene in this week's edition of their LA "gallery hop."

When I am working with students during the enrollment process I talk about the importance of being able to talk about art, not just make it. Anna and the others I cited are all good examples of why it matters. Enjoy!

08 January 2009

In Memoriam- Clio Chafee

The Otis community was saddened to learn about the death of Communication Arts alum Clio Chafee last weekend. The Rhode Island native returned to the east coast after finishing her studies and had been working for an architectural firm in Boston according to a story in the Providence Journal.

Sarah Russin, our Alumni Director shared with me how Clio's friends described her as a "brilliant woman and gifted designer." Her family said she was very committed to the environment and global issues. She was involved with bringing the exhibit "Darfur/Darfur" to Boston in 2007.

Funeral services are being held in her hometown next week.

06 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from The "O" Observed!

I took a bit of an extended break at the end of 2008 but I'm looking forward to brining you many more Otis mentions in the coming year. As always if you see something about Otis and its alums in the media (very broadly defined), please give me a shout- otiscollege@otis.edu