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    Artful Teaching

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    School of Art Education alumnus Ryan Kurada with his first grade class at University Elementary School at La Fiesta. Photo courtesy of Ryan Kurada.

    Sitting in his history of art education class at the Academy of Art University, Ryan Kurada was inspired by a philosophy that would shape his future as a teacher. Kurada graduated from the School of Art Education in Fall 2013 and has been a full-time teacher at University Elementary School at La Fiesta in Rohnert Park, California, for two years.

    It was at the Academy where he learned about an education philosophy that originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy. A philosophy that integrates art across the curriculum to teach all types of learners.

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    Army Lifestyle Suits Photography Student Garrick Morgenweck & His Family

    Icy Dawn

    An image from Garrick Morgenweck’s series Dustoff. An HH-60 MEDEVAC Blackhawk with C 3-10 GSAB sits ready to respond as the sun rises during a Lake Effect Storm Warning. Photo and caption by Garrick Morgenweck.

    Some might view devoting years of one’s life to military service as a sacrifice. But Garrick Morgenweck considers his lengthy Army career a boon for him and his family. Along with providing financial stability for his wife and three daughters, the military has given him the means to pursue personal dreams—such as studying photography—that likely wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

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    Photography Helps Ronni Mae Knepp Heal From PTSD

    For Ronni Mae Knepp, joining the military in 2004 fulfilled a lifelong goal to follow in the footsteps of the father she admired. She spent nine years in the Air Force, working as a communications intelligence analyst and rising to the rank of staff sergeant. 

    “I thrive on structure and like that chain of command the military provides,” Knepp said. “It’s very methodical, so you always know what’s going on. I also liked the camaraderie and knowing that we could depend on each other.”

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    A 'Lovely' World of Inclusivity

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    An image from Jess Hong’s children’s book, Lovely. Image courtesy of Jess Hong.

    For many of us, our first introduction to art and storytelling is through children’s books. Most of them featured favorite characters, taught us the alphabet and how to count to 10. Others were nursery rhymes our parents used to lull us to sleep. Some of the most memorable books were the ones that conveyed basic, but important, life lessons: How to get along with each other, learning to share and appreciating what you have. 

    Jess Hong, a graduate of the School of Illustration at Academy of Art University, recently debuted her own children’s book, Lovely. The New York Times’ Sunday Review included Lovely among its preview of picture books inspiring empathy and with good reason: The picture book explores a world of differences—big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly—all to say that every single person is, indeed, lovely. Academy Art U News spoke with Hong on her inspiration for Lovely and how she discovered her art through the Academy.

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    Brett Amory Debuts New Art in Bi-Coastal Exhibitions

    Earlier this month, artist and Academy of Art University graduate Brett Amory unveiled two new collections in simultaneous exhibitions on the West and East Coasts. It’s Wonderful Your Demons Came Today kicked off with a reception at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Sept. 8 and will be on display through Oct. 7. His second exhibition, This Too Shall Pass, opened at San Francisco gallery The Luggage Store on Sept. 15 and will run until Oct. 21.

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    Illustration Alumna Opens New Surrealist Painting Exhibition in the Big Easy

    When we first wrote about Anne Faith Nicholls, School of Illustration alumna from the Academy of Art University, she was coming off of a successful exhibit called Neosurreal, displayed at the San Francisco Martin Lawrence Galleries location in 2015. We recently caught up with Nicholls again as she opens a new show at the Martin Lawrence Galleries in New Orleans this month, where she explores the Big Easy’s art, culture and history through her surrealist paintings. 

    Nicholls’ work is stark with symbolism that touches upon one’s subconscious, and how it relays to ideas of identity, truth, power and especially, feminism. We were eager to know more about how Nicholls’ ideas meshed against the rich heritage and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana in her art, so we spoke with Seattle-raised painter on her creative thought process, what parts of New Orleans inspired the paintings and where she finds continuous inspiration, both in the United States and outside of it.

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