26 March 2009

Viva la Photograph!

As a country we have had a long (and at times tense) relationship with France. There have been the highlights (Thomas Jefferson once said "France is every man's second country") and the lowlights (Freedom Fries anyone?) but through it all the connection between our two countries has continued.

One effort to link the two through art is the Jeunes Talents program sponsored by the French Government Tourism Office. Now in its third year, the program brings young American artists to specific cities in France so that they may "freely express their feelings and impressions on the cities' cultural heritage, its quality of life and its people."

This year 8 photographers were selected from throughout the United States and two of them are from Otis! Amanda Keller-Konya and Tasha Moore are both enrolled in the Graduate Fine Arts program. Amanda photographed the city of Biarritz (along France's Atlantic coast) and Tasha shot in Montpellier (in Southern France).

Their work, along with the work of the other six photographers can be seen locally at Louis Stern Fine Arts beginning tonight with an artists reception from 6 to 8PM. The exhibition will remain on view through 11 April, 2009.

If you cannot get out to see the work in person then you can also view it (and vote for your favorites!) at the France Guide website.

Meilleurs voeux Amanda et Tasha!

*Image of Tasha Moore's untitled photo from Jeunes Talents section of France Guide website

19 March 2009

Going Second is Going Places

When I am talking to students and their families about what it means to choose art school and deal with the constant tension of "doing what they love" versus "being able to make a living" I try to hit it head on. The fact is that you may have to doing one thing to pay the bills so that you can have the freedom do to what you are driven to do. Sometimes this resonates with them and sometimes it doesn't but the longer I am at Otis the more certain I am of this idea. We have a lot of very successful alums some of whom are making a living by doing what they love and others who do something else in order to attend to their passion in life.

Then there's Josh Alfaro who is doing a bit of both. A graduate of the Communications Arts program (and former Admissions office Intern), Josh is the Art Director at Emm Studio, which has developed an impressive client list that includesboth "big" names (Sony, Pioneer) and boutique operations (Green Dot Films, Space Magazine).

Emm's success is great to see but its Josh's burgeoning music career that is grabbing the headlines. As lead vocalist of the Salt Lake City based group Going Second Josh and his band mates have been receiving great reviews including recent write ups on Salt Lake's CityWeekly.net and In Utah This Week, which praised their release Wake Up saying- "Local boys Going Second could teach a class on pop/punk songwriting. They've got all the right moves -- the verses are crunchy, the choruses are big, and the vocal harmonies are tight throughout."

Going Second is playing gigs in and around their home base in preparation for a full blown summer tour. If you are in the LA area you can catch them at Molly Malones on April 15th and you'll find extensive coverage of their performances on YouTube.

*Image of Going Second from CityWeekly.net

10 March 2009

Riff on Recycling Results in Reflection

Carrie Ungerman's solo show at Otis' Ben Maltz Gallery opens on April 18th and she, along with Otis received a nice plug in the March 9 edition of The Daily Breeze.

Each of the three solo projects included in the show will have some relationship to the topic of natural resources. Ungerman's piece will be a sculpture made up of over 30,000 used water bottles and according to the Breeze article she hopes that it will cause "...the viewer to walk through the environment and think look at all those water bottles...what does that mean in my life?"

The artist has been collecting bottles for months in order to construct the piece and she still needs more in order to hit her target of 30,000. At Otis we've been doing our part, saving bottles from major events and asking community members to bring in their own bottles from home. In the Admissions office we've been donating on average about 50 bottles a week.

The exhibition opens in just over five weeks but there is still time to help out. Clean used bottles (with caps still on) can be delivered to the Ben Maltz Gallery. For additional information call 310-665-6909 or email galleryinfo@otis.edu.

Come see the finished sculpture on Saturday April 18 from 4 to 6PM!

*image from The Daily Breeze