SF Bay Area

    When Talents Come Together

    Academy schools collaborate to create a float celebrating art and culture for the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade


    An illustrated mock-up of the Academy’s float for this year’s Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. Image courtesy of Bob Toy.

    The cultural landscape of San Francisco has undergone many changes throughout the years, but one event has annually celebrated culture and diversity for 160 years. The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade will once again welcome thousands of people on Saturday, Feb. 24, to San Francisco for one of the largest celebrations of Lunar New Year in the world.

    As a place where people from around the globe come to study art, Academy of Art University is a proud supporter of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. This is the fifth year in a row that the Academy has created an elaborate float that unites students and instructors from across a variety of departments.

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    Animation in Motion

    On Dec. 12, Academy of Art University Principles of Animation instructor Dave Facchini brought in visual effects and lighting specialist Ray Gilberti to provide advice to students and feedback for the class’ final film review. Gilberti is a film industry veteran with 27 years of experience beginning with his work on Dragonslayer for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), with whom he worked for 23 of those years.

    Gilberti has worked on massive feature films including Star Wars Episode I, Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Planet of the Apes. Now he is retired, but occasionally works on independent films, including a 25-minute stop motion short film slated for pre-production in 2019, called Crickets Would Sing.

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    Modern Day ‘Mad Man’ Thrives on Mentoring Advertising Students

    In his more than two decades in advertising, Academy of Art University alumnus and instructor Terry Jones has built a portfolio of high-profile clients Mad Men’s Don Draper would envy. Just a few examples include GMC Trucks, Buick and Cadillac, Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, the Walt Disney Corporation, California Lottery, AARP and General Mills. But Jones claims he wasn’t set on a career in advertising when he enrolled at the Academy. The award-winning creative director half-jokes that advertising chose him.

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    Talent on Display

    School of Graphic Design graduates’ final portfolios and thesis projects were packed with innovative, unique ideas at 2017 Winter Show


    Photo by Bob Toy.

    Over 30 combined B.F.A. and M.F.A. recent graduates from the School of Graphic Design at Academy of Art University showcased a bright variety of final portfolio and thesis projects for the department’s annual Winter Show, on Monday, Dec. 18. The show, which was held at the Atelier Gallery, served as a conversational setting for the new alumni to showcase and discuss their work with family, friends and industry professionals, some of whom were fellow alums.

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    Human Stories From the Streets


    School of Photography alumnus GyuHo Park stands with his photographs at his recent exhibit, Dreamers. Photo by Alex Madison.

    As of January 2017, there were 7,499 homeless people living on the streets of San Francisco, according to the city. Anyone who travels along South Van Ness Avenue, or through the Mission and Tenderloin districts, walks past the homeless. Most people stroll along looking at their cell phones, continuing a conversation with a friend, or just simply not noticing the homeless at all.

    This is not the experience GyuHo Park expresses in his photography exhibit, Dreamers. Instead, his photographs evoke a different kind of experience. One that is up close and personal. One that brings humanity to the homeless population. One that tells their story.

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    Stories from Florence


    Florence Streets by Laine Renfro. 12 x 14, oil on canvas.

    There might not have been any gelato served, but the amorous sights and sounds of Florence, Italy, came to life at the 688 Sutter Gallery on the opening of the 2017 Study Abroad Exhibit. For more than 10 years, the summer study abroad program at Academy of Art University has been influencing the life and art of students.

    In the dimmed lighting of the gallery on the evening of Dec. 7, guests circulated around the art that was on display. The works included photography, fine art, printmaking and book arts. Attendees looked at scenes of bustling piazzas on a hot summer day, romantic gondola rides down a river, and the soothing pastels of the Tuscany countryside. Each piece told the story of the students’ unique experience spent at the birthplace of the Renaissance.

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