29 April 2009

Times Twofor

Last Sunday's Los Angeles Times contained not one but two full page articles about Otis!

Fashion Forward covered the recent Juried Show and how it impacts our Fashion students' end of year participation in the Fashion Scholarship Benefit Show at the Beverly Hilton- "The competition is intense, and this year's seniors, weeks away from entering the least favorable job market in decades, are keenly aware that a Silver Thimble -- or even a noteworthy garment in the show -- could vastly improve their chances of scoring that all-important first job. In the last three years, John Varvatos, Nike and Monique Lhuillier have all hired top-ranking students to become assistant designers." The print version of the story carried several great pictures but the online version just one, though it is a great portrait of Chair Rosemary Brantley with four of our students.

Laton: The little California town that served as a muse
provided a really nice summary of March's Laton Live! Reunion Reunio'n, a culminating event for the Graduate Public Practice program that I blogged about last month. One of my favorite descriptions in the article was- "The normally blank walls of the buildings were alive with video projections of local couples two-stepping in their Wranglers and ropers, and shots of the nearby walnut groves. Video monitors tucked into the few commercial storefronts played interviews with the citizenry. Throughout, a team of artists and MFA students from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles scurried about with walkie-talkies and video cameras, orchestrating and documenting the night’s events under the close watch of veteran artist and educator Suzanne Lacy."

Both are still available at the LA Times website to take a look!

*Images from Fashion Forward and Laton: the little town from Los Angeles Times website

17 April 2009

In Memoriam- Dick Baker

Otis Board of Trustee and surf wear industry legend Dick Baker passed away this past Tuesday after battling cancer for the past two years. Dick became part of the Otis community first as a mentor and wise counsel for our Fashion Design program. In 2002 he was honored by the College with its Creative Vision Award and subsequently joined our Board of Trustees, putting an amazing amount of energy and dedication to the last days of his life.

In the Otis Community email notifying us of Dick's passing President Hoi commented "He remained a most dedicated Otis Trustee to the end. In fact, he called to check on the Otis Scholarship Benefit just a couple of days ago." He went on to remark "In addition to being grateful for his support to the College, we will remember Dick for being a warm, positive, generous, and inspiring friend."

Founding Fashion Chair Rosemary Brantley remembered him this way ""Dick himself was a man of great integrity and could make anything happen he believed in. He remains a hero to all of us at Otis Fashion and will always be remembered as one of the truly greatest guys ever!"

The website Shop-Eat-Surf has set up a tribute page where you can read many more accounts of how Dick Baker touched so many lives. He will be greatly missed.

*Image of Dick and Una Baker from Otis/Quicksilver benefit via SES website

14 April 2009

Otis Nominated for a Webby!

Just learned this morning that the Otis website has been nominated for a Webby Award! Our site, which was created for us by Hello Design, has been nominated in the School category. We've received a lot of great feedback since it was launched last summer but this is a truly amazing endorsement!

In addition to the School category we are candidates for a People's Voice award. You'll find us under the School/University section. Registering takes just a second to complete and then you can cast your vote. Just click on the Webby logo to the right to sign up. Voting ends on April 30th so don't delay and thanks for your support!

03 April 2009

Wilkins' Windows Worth Thousands of Words

Each spring one of the things I look forward to is the series of MFA Thesis Exhibitions in the Bolsky Gallery at Otis. Every couple of weeks a new pair of Grad students present their work and as is fitting for a an MFA program, the content is varied and often thought provoking, including the show that just closed, which included the work of Crossman Wilikins.

Among the pieces in Crossman's show was a series of three posters mounted on the windows of the Galef Center, that provided a visual commentary on the state of our economy. Earlier this week the Shop Talk blog from Reuters picked up on his work as prominent part of the post "Picture the Economy: L.A." The story leads with "A picture is worth a thousand words-and some Californians have a lot to say about the worst financial crisis in decades." Crossman's work provides an extended commentary on the subject.

You can meet Crossman and see more of his work at the MFA Open Studios this Sunday (5 April from 2 to 5PM). More information is available here.

Image of Crossman Wilkin's work by Amanda Keller-Konya by way of Reuters blog Shop Talk