New Faculty at USC Roski

USC Roski School of Art and Design Welcomes New Faculty

Jason Ellenburg, Dr. Karen Moss, Ruben Ochoa, Brian O’Connell

The USC Roski School of Art and Design announced the hiring of four new faculty members who will teach in the critical studies, sculpture, and design disciplines at the institution. Each new hire brings extensive experience in diverse professional practices as well as years of teaching in higher education.

“With the arrival of these educators—all with prominent contributions to the art and design fields—Roski continues to be a force in the arts and education,” stated USC Roski Dean Haven Lin-Kirk. “As artists, designers, and curators, Jason Ellenburg, Karen Moss, Ruben Ochoa and Brian O’Connell all subscribe to a pedagogy that advances art and design as an essential component to bettering society through creative thought and actions. Our students will no doubt benefit greatly from their mentorship.”

JASON ELLENBURG, Designer, Educator
Assistant Professor of Teaching, Design

Jason Fowler Ellenburg’s pedagogical emphasis is in graphic design and material studies in design. At USC Roski, he instructs courses in advanced design projects, typography, digital tools and also teaches rapid visualization at the USC Iovine Young Academy.

Ellenburg is a visual artist and art director who has worked in the creative industry of Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He served as L.A. Weekly art director from 2008-2012, while also contributing stories for the publication’s Arts and Culture section. His latest professional position was as art director at the University of New Orleans Marketing and Public Relations department. He has taught 3D and graphic design at the University of Oregon, the Art Institute Hollywood, and was Graphic Design instructor at Los Angeles City College prior to his appointment at USC Roski.

He has had exhibitions at 18th Street Arts Center and Highways Gallery in Santa Monica and Press Street Projects in New Orleans; and is currently preparing for an upcoming exhibition at Arena1 Gallery in Santa Monica, curated by China Adams.

KAREN MOSS, Curator, Scholar, Educator
Director of USC Roski MA Curatorial Program
Professor of Teaching, Critical Studies

Dr. Karen Moss is the new director of the Master of Arts in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere. Moss has taught at Roski for many years and last year served as Acting Vice Dean for Critical Studies. In her new position, Moss will direct the MA Curatorial Program (including advising, curriculum, and public programs) as well as teach courses in curatorial practice and critical studies.

Moss is an art historian, curator, and educator whose expertise includes contemporary art, curatorial studies, and social practice. During her curatorial career she has organized exhibitions, artists’ residencies, performances, public programs, and pedagogical projects locally, nationally, and internationally. Moss has held senior curatorial positions at Orange County Museum of Art; San Francisco Art Institute, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Earlier in her career she was director of programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (now ICA/LA) assistant curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Currently, Moss is curating a retrospective of Alison Knowles, the last living core member of Fluxus, which will tour in the US and Europe. She is consulting curator for Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism (2017-18), part of Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles/Latin America (PST LA/LA), an initiative of the Getty Foundation, now touring nationally. Moss co-curated State of Mind: New Art from California Circa 1970 for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles (PST LA) initiative, which toured in the US and Canada from 2010 to 2013. She has also curated recent public projects with artists Mel Chin, Kori Newkirk, and Rirkrit Tiranvanija for CURRENT: the LA Public Art Biennial (2016), and with Lucy and Jorge Orta at Otis College of Art and Design (2014). Moss has a BA in studio art and art history from University of Santa Cruz, received her MA and PhD in art history at USC, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program.

RUBEN OCHOA, Artist and Educator
Associate Professor of Practice

Beginning this fall, Ruben Ochoa is an Associate Professor of Practice, Art, within the Roski sculpture department. Ochoa’s interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, site-specific installations, photography, drawing, and public intervention. His work touches upon the urban surrounding of the city, the tension between social classes, urban architecture, and nature. Often produced with material forms associated with construction, Ochoa’s works expose the ideological and broader sociopolitical and economic relationships that facilitate and assemble the spaces we inhabit and move through are assembled.

His art has been showcased in exhibitions that include the 2008 Whitney Biennial, The Future Generation Art Prize Exhibition, Venice, Italy, a collateral event of the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Palazzo Papadopoli, Venice, Italy.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2016); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2010); and Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM (2009), amongst others. Ochoa’s work has also been included in a host of group exhibitions at venues from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Menil Collection, Houston to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. Ochoa’s public art projects include Fwy Wall Extraction (2006-2007) and CLASS: C (2001-2005). Ochoa’s work is included in the collections of the Perez Art Museum, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Smithsonian Museum of Art; the Orange County Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a California Community Foundation Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design and his MFA from UC Irvine.

BRIAN O’CONNELL, Artist, Educator
Assistant Professor of Teaching, Design

Born in Leuven, Belgium, Brian O’Connell is a multidisciplinary artist who works in technologies both old and new. Educated at Columbia University (BA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA), he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute for Media Studies at the University of Siegen, Germany (1995–96).

Brian has exhibited institutionally and in galleries throughout the United States and abroad. His public projects include a semi-permanent installation at the Central Library in Leuven, Belgium; a 13-foot concrete boat produced on the beach in Malibu, California; and a 30-foot concrete hull cast from an abandoned fishing boat in Istanbul, Turkey. Brian has been included in the Hammer Museum’s 2014 Biennial, Made in L.A., and MoMA PS1’s 2010 Greater New York.
In 2016, Brian and Deirdre O’Dwyer founded Rakish Light, an experimental press that produces and publishes offset print projects and collaborations among artists, writers, and thinkers using refurbished small scale commercial presses.