Drive for Success Helps Automotive Design Students Win Phil Hill Scholarships


    (L–R) Student Brett LaBar, IND Executive Director Tom Matano, student Sean Wilson, Pebble Beach Concours Chairman Sandra Button, Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens and IND Director Antonio Borja. Photo courtesy of the Pebble Beach Company.

    Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design (IND) students Brett LaBar and Sean Wilson have a few things in common: They are friends who share a passion for automotive design. And last summer, they were both awarded Phil Hill scholarships at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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    Shaping the Future With Stories

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    Illustration by Eda Kaban.

    There’s not an adult who doesn’t remember a children’s book that vividly captured their imagination as a child and connected them to literature. A book whose illustrations brought that story to life. This is the role of a children’s book illustrator and this year, four connected to Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration (ILL) were honored for their excellence in the impactful art of visual storytelling. 

    “Children’s books shape the future of every young reader,” said Chuck Pyle, ILL director. “Our artists are very driven, smart and passionate storytellers whose work is being recognized as the best of the best.”

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    Celebrating Student Excellence in Design


    The site of Ridge Lane Park. Graduate student Nahal Sohbati won ASLA’s 2017 Excellence in Student Community Service for her work on the Ingleside street park. Photo courtesy of Nahal Sohbati.

    In its seven years of existence, the School of Landscape Architecture at Academy of Art University has had a slew of successful prominent wins in the last few years. 

    In 2015, a group of students swept the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show for the design and installation of their Sublimation garden.

    Last year, graduate student Eric Arneson—who was involved with the Sublimation project—took home a Student Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for his Bendway Park design, which aimed to restore the riverfront into a multi-use park in the Sonoma county river town of Healdsburg. 

    This year, the School of Landscape Architecture celebrates Nahal Sohbati, a graduate student who is taking home ASLA’s 2017 Award of Excellence in Student Community Service for her work on Ridge Lane Park, a sustainable, community-collaborative street park in the Ingleside area of San Francisco. To no surprise, Sohbati was a Sublimation designer as well.

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    School of Graphic Design Leadership Changes


    (L-R) Phil Hamlett and Mary Scott. Photo by Sean McGuire (B.F.A., 2006).

    Academy of Art University announces the transition of Mary Scott, who has served as Director for the School of Graphic Design for 17 years. In her new role as Director Emeritus, Mary will serve as senior advisor to the school, provide portfolio design guidance to students and work closely with her successor, Phil Hamlett, to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.  

    Phil Hamlett has been promoted to Director of the School of Graphic Design. He began his career at the Academy as Graduate Director and, during his 13 years of service, established a strong industry affiliation for the school.  His professional associations have provided wonderful opportunities for our alumni at many companies known throughout the world.

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    Pre-College Art Experience to Hold Final Project Exhibition on July 29

    Come visit the Art Experience Final Exhibition on Saturday, July 29. The event is for students, family, friends and Academy staff to view the final projects from the Summer 2017 Art Experience students. The exhbition will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Cannery.

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    Meet the Academic Steering Committee

    Statement of Purpose

     The Academic Steering Committee will identify what is needed to ensure that the Academy constantly remains at the forefront in preparing students to develop portfolios that are relevant to meet the needs of the global marketplace: 

    1. Contribute ideas for Academy-wide curriculum initiatives and improvements.
    2. Identify innovative curricular and cross-departmental opportunities.
    3. Engage in future thinking on the curriculum. (i.e. Where are we going to be in the next five years?)
    4. Serve as a think tank on the intersection of art and technology and identify emerging technologies and trends to enable the Academy to stay ahead of the curve.

    The Academic Steering Committee will hear issues dealing with department and curriculum concerns as well as brilliant new ideas for the University. Feel free to contact any member listed below or e-mail us at:

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