19 July 2009

CERT Certainly Was Interesting

One of my responsibilities at Otis is serving on the College's Emergency Response Team (ERT) and this past week a group of ERT members along with some of the College's floor safety wardens and student Resident Assistants took part in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.

The program was created in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department in recognition of the fact that in a major disaster professional response resources will be stretched beyond demand and community members, if trained could help with their safety and the safety of their families, neighbors and friends. The course included instruction in disaster survival and basic rescue skills. We learned about how maximize our safety during and after a major disaster and how to help others. The program has trained over 60,000 members of the community in the Los Angeles area and has been so successful that since 1994 it has been taught nationwide.

It was enlightening to realize that even some basic preparation- food and water, extra clothing, first aid kits and the like can make a big difference. Having a personal disaster safety kit in your office, your car and a larger kit for you and your family at home will ensure that you will be more prepared when a major event occurs. To learn more about the CERT program in Los Angeles, click here.

I would be remiss if I did not extend a big thank you on behalf of all of us who completed the training to our LAFD firefighter instructors- Curt, Jennifer, Alex and Sue. They were all really great and we learned a lot from them.

*image from last day of CERT training- learning to safely deal with a small fire. Click on the image for a link to more

17 July 2009

Going Below the Surface of Superficiality

The Ben Maltz Gallery exhibition "Superficiality and Superexcrescence" which opened to a great crowd a couple of weeks ago, has received a good review from Los Angeles Times art critic Holly Myers.

After beginning the piece with the observation that shows dealing with "surface" have been going on in LA for a long time, and therefore more shows would be unnecessary, Meyers points out how the Superficiality show does stand out and why it is definitely worth a visit. She said (in referencing the accompanying catalog) "If the result feels at times like a graduate seminar, it is only in the best way: sound in its argument, rich in its examples, with plenty of room left for debate. She made particular note of the work from artists Elliot Hundley, Rebecca Campbell and Joel Morrison.

In addition to the review the article includes a nice installation shot by Otis faculty member Chris Warner.

Superficiality and Superexcrescence remains on view through September 12. Gallery hours and info can be found here.

Image- Installation shot by Chris Warner that appeared in LA Times review

10 July 2009

Donghia Foundation Honors Otis Senior

We recently learned that Architecture/Landscape/Interiors senior Joem Sanez has been selected by the Angleo Donghia Foundaiton as one of just 13 students nationwide to receive a Foundation Senior Student Scholarship Award! The prestigious award will provide Joem with a $30,000 scholarship to pay for his final year at Otis.

Donghia has been a valued supporter of our A/L/I program. In addition to honoring a senior this year they have provided support to establish the Donghia Designer-In-Residence. The residency brought noted designer Eva Maddox to campus this past year.

Congratulations to Joem!

07 July 2009

Otis Alums Honored by California Community Foundation

The California Community Foundation has announced their selections for the 2009 Visual Arts Fellowships and Otis is very well represented! Of the 14 artists honored, two are alums-

Sandeep Mukherjee was honored in the mid-career artist area (one of 10), receiving a $20,000 fellowship and Juan Capistran received a $15,000 fellowship as an emerging artist (one of just four).

The CCF site itself is pretty thin but there is a nice write up on the LA Times Culture Monster blog that features an image of Juan's work.

*image from Juan Capistran's website

02 July 2009

Props for Otis Publications

The AIGA recently announced the honorees for their annual 365 Competition and I was thrilled to see that both the undergraduate and graduate Viewbooks were included (full disclosure I was the "client" for both of these books in my role as Dean of Admissions)!

Communication Arts faculty members Ana Llorente-Thurik and Jessica Fleischmann collaborated on both pieces and it is great to see them being recognized for their hard work.

There were over nearly 4000 entries into the competition and only 182 selections so for us to have two was exceptional.

Congratulations to Ana and Jessica!