Otis College of Art and Design was established in 1918, and named after its founder, General Harrison Gray Otis, who also founded and published the L.A. Times newspaper. General Otis bequeathed his home in MacArthur Park to start the first public independent professional school for art in Southern California. In 1997, the school relocated to the former IBM headquarters in Westchester, after extensive renovation.
The mission and vision of the Otis College of Art and Design is to be an educational leader in an array of artistic fields that range from the fine and graphic arts, to fashion design, to modern commercial arts, such as toy design, digital design, and even production design. The fashion division has been honored with visiting critiques from noted fashion designers including Vera Wang, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Bob Mackie, Diane von Furstenberg, and many others. “Otis prepares diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision.”
Otis College of Art and Design is currently located in the urban setting of Los Angeles, California, at 9045 Lincoln Boulevard, in Westchester near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and the 405 freeway. The Fashion Design facility is located at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles, and the graduate studio facilities are on the creative corridor in Culver City, and in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.
Otis offers housing facilities two blocks from the Westchester campus at Playa del Oro. Playa del Oro provides a lush condominium setting with a pool, spa, barbeques, fitness center, and resident lounge. Life at Playa del Oro provides students the opportunity to participate in interactive programs, workshops, and events; in addition to 24/7 guidance and support from Residence Life Staff.
Otis College of Art and Design offers BFA degrees in illustration, fine arts, graphic design, architecture, landscape design, interior design, fashion design, digital design, toy design, and production design. Otis offers MFA degrees for fine arts, graphic design, public practice, and writing. Undergraduate students choose a major in their second year of courses after completing an assortment of classes in traditional painting, drawing, and composition in their first year. In addition to studio based classes, standard liberal arts classes are a part of the curriculum, with art history classes being substituted for regular history classes.
The athletes of Otis College of Art And Design are the models who perform costumed and figure poses daily for the art students in service of the instructors.
Tuition & Financial Aid
Tuition for the 2013 – 2014 school years is $39,430. There are a variety of financial aid opportunities that are available for students at Otis College of Art and Design, whether they are entering at the freshman level straight out of high school, or transferring from another institution, including:
• Scholarships and Grants
• Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Loans
• Federal Plus Loans
• Private Bank Educational Loans
• Work/Study Program
The programs at Otis College of Art and Design are accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design and by WASC.
The deadline for admittance for the Fall semester beginning in November is May 1. Prospective students must submit their application online and submit a valid email address for further contact. The application process involves submitting an essay, portfolio, transcripts, test scores, and other items that will be requested by email. These items will be uploaded though a link that will be provided through email correspondence.
Prospective students are invited to contact a school counselor in advance and during the process of application, and are welcome to arrange a tour of the campus, and participate in an on-campus Open House, and National Portfolio Day events that are scheduled at art institutes throughout the country.