Class and Faculty Notes Spring 2021
What Otis College Alumnx Have Been Up to This Spring
Karen Silverman, ’75 MFA Design/Printmaking
Silverman writes: “I am newly retired after working in corporate. Currently, I am returning to my fine arts roots and Otis training, and participating in Zoom life drawing sessions, which I am enjoying very much. I hope to develop my dormant skills and find that, fortunately, my Otis training is ingrained in my brain and my soul. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity now to explore my full potential.”
Judy Coates Perez, ’85 BFA Communication Design
During the pandemic, Coates Perez designed a COVID mask pattern with a line of fabric that is designed using her paintings. Her fabric can be bought from the print-on-demand site Spoonflower. She also has a tutorial for making the masks on her website. Follow Coates Perez on Instagram, @judycoatesperez.
Russell Jacobs, ’96 BFA Sculpture
Jacobs is based in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be found at RussellJacobsArt.net.
Michelle (Chipres) Bates, ’07 BFA Communication Arts
Bates writes: “After pursuing graphic design after graduating, I landed jobs in the automotive industry. After close to a decade of working with one of the leaders in the aftermarket world, I started my own marketing agency: www.bates-design.com.
Victor Yates, ’14 MFA Writing
Yates writes: “I received a grant from the city of West Hollywood through the Artful Distancing program, created in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. I created a digital Black Lives Matter project titled Death Sentence. Death Sentence is a spoken-word performance commenting on Blackness, police violence, queerness, and survival. The goal, through the project, is to help viewers work through and heal from the trauma of police brutality against Black bodies. Death Sentence premiered on the city of West Hollywood’s website on October 23, 2020. I also received a grant from the city of Glendale for the Death Sentence project for its virtual Black History Month programming. For the video performance, I centered African fabric, history, and Black bodies along with six spoken-word poems to create a visually haunting viewing experience. I also won the 2020 George Floyd Honorarium for Poetry from the Los Angeles Press and have an essay published in Unheard Voices from IAP Press in March 2021.
I spoke on the panel, “How We See Us: Black Artists in Conversation,” which was sponsored by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commision, on February 25th. I was accepted into the 2021 West Hollywood Artist Bootcamp Cohort, a group that allows artists to transform their art practice into an art business. I also was featured on the website Pride LA for Death Sentence.
Jacqueline Vigil, ’20 Communication Arts, Graphic Design
Vigil writes: “Since graduating from Otis in May 2020 I have been working as a freelance graphic designer and running my small business, Muchas Flores Studio. I aim to spread self love and positive vibes through colorful and inspiring designs. I screenprint merchandise for my online shop out of my home in El Paso, Texas and also create stickers, keychains, and prints. I hope that one day my small business will be my full-time job and I am working on that every day!” Follow Vigil on Instagram, @muchasflores_studio.
Alexandria Wallace, ’20 MFA Fine Arts
Wallace is participating in a two-person exhibition titled Soft Architectures at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Wallace’s works employ formal and conceptual gestures that underscore the malleable and impossible endeavor of concretizing formidable events through mental recollection, while simultaneously exploring how perceptions of time and memory shape notions of place and being. The exhibition may be viewed online, from February 1-May 8, at this link. Read more about Wallace’s recent work in this Alumnx Spotlight.
Are you an Otis alumnx who would like to submit a Class Notes update on what you’ve been up to? Please use this form!
See What Some Otis Faculty Worked on During the Pandemic
Lisa Adams, Extension
Adams’s painting, Drowning Out All Birdsong, is currently featured in a group exhibition, Decade by Decade: Women Artists of California, at the Long Beach Museum of Art, where it is also part of the museum’s permanent collection. Decade by Decade is a small selection of the art by California women in the collection. The artworks are presented chronologically by the dates they were created, rather than the dates that they were acquired by the museum. Each artwork tells a story about the museum’s history, the history of our time and place, and the artists’ personal visions.
Angela Alcerro, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Toy Design
Aside from the courses Alcerro teaches at Otis College, she is an educational consultant working at the intersection of arts, special needs, and international/multilingual education. This past year, COVID-19 restrictions brought new challenges for all levels of instruction, as well as unique opportunities to make a difference. Alcerro mentored and supported special needs students at art schools across the country—such as Savannah College of Art and Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Fashion Institute of Technology—to help bridge gaps in their learning due to the online platforms they were using. She also worked with students who were mild to moderate on the autism spectrum at Southern New Hampshire University and College of Marin in their quests to become graphic designers. Early in the pandemic, months before Otis went remote, there was an urgent need in China to help students online to bridge gaps due to school closures. She built and implemented comprehensive educational programs for three companies that included English, Spanish, and Social Studies for upper secondary level, as well as International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), A Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) exam prep, and college application essay coaching.
Guy Bennett, Liberal Arts and Sciences, MFA Writing
Bennett took part in a “telepoetry ritual” in late February, traces of which were presented in video on Monday, March 22, the opening day of La semaine du son de L’UNESCO Canada (“UNESCO’s Week of Sound, Canada”). The annual event, which brought together composers, dancers, musicians, and writers from around the world, was curated by Alain Joule et Pascale Goday in Montréal.
In March, Wiersze zrozumiałe same przez się, Aleksandra Małecka’s Polish translation of his 2011 book, Self-Evident Poems, was published by Korporacja HA!ART in Kraków. Bennett participated in a panel on COCKPIT voice recorder, a Paris-based journal of contemporary poetry and art. The event was curated by Entr’revues, a group specializing in the study and promotion of scientific and cultural journals. A new book, Remerciements, and essay, “Initial Thoughts,” are forthcoming later this year from Éditions de l’Attente (Bordeaux) in Experimental Praxis, an anthology of contemporary exploratory writing, from Dostoevsky Wannabe (Manchester).
Anne M Bray, Extension
Bray is working on a crowdsourced embroidery project called “Stitching the World 2,” for which she is asking the public these four questions: Where were you born? Where do you live now? Where do you dream of visiting? What color is your journey? She will be stitching the answers on a rearranged map of the world.
Parme Giuntini, Liberal Arts and Sciences
Giuntini was appointed to the College Board Development Committee for Advanced Placement in Art History 2020/2021.
Pamela Smith Hudson, Extension
During the beginning of the pandemic, Smith Hudson’s print, Confirmation (Sonny Stitt, Alice Coltrane, Jackie McLean), was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She also was filmed at Otis College for this educational video for The Getty that was recently finished. She is participating in this year’s Venice Art Walk and Auction, as well as a group show at the Craig Krull Gallery, which is opening on May 1. You can follow Smith Hudson on Instagram, @pamsmithhudson.
Michele Jaquis, Interdisciplinary Studies and the Artists Community Teaching Program
Last year, when the pandemic forced her to work remotely without childcare, Jaquis took Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Maintenance Art Manifesto” as inspiration and accepted the fact that most of her creative practice had become collaborating with her son (or, in many cases, helping him fabricate what he art directs). Over a year later, “Collaborating with my five/six year old son while social distancing” continues and is documented on Instagram and her website.
Postcard reproductions of two of these projects, Green Ninja and Aardvark Mom were included in HINDSIGHT IS 2020: Dispatches from the Edge of an Apocalypse, an exhibition in a box curated by James MacDevitt for Cerritos College Art Gallery—now part of the Otis Library’s special collections. The exhibition was reviewed by Carol Cheh for KCET’s Southland Sessions: “Hindsight Is 2020 Offers Visceral (Not Virtual) Art Experiences in a Box,” on Dec. 16, 2020.
Patricia Kovic, Product Design, Artists Community Teaching (ACT), Creative Action Integrated Learning (CAIL)
Kovic and Blanka Domagalska Deroko were included in the social practice platform BEYOND THE NOW: Social Art Practice For A Post-Pandemic World. The instructors share their experimental pedagogy from the CAIL course, Neighbor Gap Bridge, and argue for “a New Model for Art and Design Education and Self-Organization of Syncretic Practice” in their season one article, “KNOWLEDGE KITCHEN,” which can be read here.
Jacquelyn Morie, Digital Media
Morie is currently serving as an advisor to the prestigious ANA Avatar XPRIZE. This $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE challenges global teams to create an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location in real time. Teams will bring their robots to a semifinals testing event in September 2021. They will be judged on how well their avatar serves to connect two people from remote locations. Morie’s extensive background in digital avatar usage is critical to the goals of this XPRIZE challenge.
Stephanie Sabo, Foundation
Sabo presented two papers at the recent Foundations in Art: Theory and Practice (FATE) conference, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her presentations, entitled “Aesthetics for Inclusion” and “Racially Insensitive Student Projects: Leading Classroom Critique to Foster Awareness,” will be viewable through the end of the year. Otis instructors Emma Kemp and Marshall Astor were also featured in the panel, “Radical Imaginings: Envisioning and Enacting Foundations Pedagogy,” which Sabo co-chaired at the 2019 conference. Her paper, “Transcending Fan Art: Popular Culture in the Diverse Foundations Classroom,” was published in the FATE in Review journal this year.
Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Ceramics, Product Design, CAIL
Takayama-Ogawa’s artist talk on climate change for the Craft in America Center last February can be viewed here. On April 21, she gave a virtual lecture, “Avoiding Climate Disaster, Getting Ceramics Studios to Zero Emissions” with Peters Valley Craft School. In July, she will present again at Craft in America Center on “Ceramic Innovations Necessary to Get to Zero Carbon Emissions.”
Are you an Otis faculty member who would like to submit a Faculty Notes update on what you’ve been up to? Use this form!