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    Stories from Florence

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    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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    Living One's Dream

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    Raffaela Lan Pellegrini. Photo by Roberto Palermo, professional photographer, Florence, Italy.

    Raffaela Lan Pellegrini completed her B.F.A. in painting with a double minor in etching and art history at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. This school was founded in 1784 as a result of a reformation of the former Accademia delle Arti Disegno, founded in 1563 by Cosimo I dei Medici. Pellegrini’s B.F.A. degree was followed by a year and a half specialization at the private international printmaking school Il Bisonte, also in Florence.

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    Summer Study Abroad Program in Florence Welcomes Students From All Majors

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    Each year, Academy of Art University’s School of Fine Art organizes a summer study abroad program welcoming students from all majors to become immersed in the history, culture and art of one of the world’s most historically stunning Renaissance cities—Florence, Italy. While the seven and a half week program is centered upon instruction, coursework, day trips and three-day weekends, there’s plenty of room for spontaneity.

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    Fashion Campaign Brings Gladys Perint Palmer & Alumna Zhangchi Wang Full Circle

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    Gladys Perint Palmer’s illustration of former student Zhangchi Wang’s design adorns a tram in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Gladys Perint Palmer.

    Some coincidences are so amazing that it’s hard to believe they happened by chance. The series of events linking Academy of Art University Executive Vice President of Artistic Development Gladys Perint Palmer and her former student, Zhangchi Wang, to a promotional campaign for Asia-based retailer Joyce, falls into this category.

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    Kristin Abbott Carves Successful Career Designing Fantastic Walk-Through Worlds

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    A scene from one of Abbott’s worlds for the Forår Festival in Copenhagen (2014). Photo courtesy of Kristin Abbott.

    You wouldn’t find dollar store gift wrap at Kristin Abbott’s house when she was growing up. “If we wrapped a present, it wasn’t just wrapped—we made the paper and decorated it like crazy,” said Abbott, who graduated from Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration with a B.F.A. in 2006.

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    Strength Through Diversity

    Academy of Art University has always valued diversity. It’s a quality that’s evident in the work of School of Photography international students, whether they’re pursuing their education in San Francisco or online. Many of them use their art to tackle social issues affecting their countries or document traditions and lifestyles that are in danger of disappearing.

    “In my first semester teaching on campus, I had students from Russia, Turkey, China and other countries in my class,” said School of Photography Associate Director Adrienne Pao. “It was an amazing group of people who brought different sets of inspirations and resources based on their backgrounds. We always encourage students to highlight what is unique and individual about the places they’re from—the diversity of our international students’ work is simply stunning.”

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