From the Cover

    School of Fashion Alumnus Makes a Statement on 'Project Runway'

    Brandon Kee, 2016 B.F.A. menswear design graduate, spoke candidly with Academy Art U News about his Project Runway experience


    Brandon Kee stars in Project Runway season 16, airing on Lifetime. Photo by Barbara Nitke. Copyright 2017.

    Out of the 16 hopefuls on the 16th season of Lifetime series Project Runway, Brandon Kee was the quietest. Just a year removed from school, Kee, a 2016 B.F.A. menswear design alumnus from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University, kept to himself and stayed above the drama of the show. Working with a “tunnel vision” focus, Kee’s designs dominated the catwalk and awed judges week after week. Kee didn’t need to use words to say anything – his clothes already said plenty for him.

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    Molding a Legacy

    Sculpture instructors and alumni are creating a street-level monument of famed social activist Norman Lear


    Schifrin works on getting Lear’s expression just right for the monument. Photo courtesy of Peter Schifrin.


    The values of Academy of Art University are not simply rooted in fostering artists who make art, but in artists who make a statement. There may not be a better person who emulates that value than legendary television producer and social activist Norman Lear. So what better sculptors than instructors and alumni from the School of Fine Art - Sculpture at the Academy to create the first Lear monument of its kind in the country.

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    Managing the Creation of Stories

    Film producer Chris Moore shares the story of his journey through Hollywood with MPTV students and staff


    Film producer Chris Moore, in conversation with MPTV Executive Director Jana Memel, speaks to students about his experiences in Hollywood on Oct. 30. Photo by Bob Toy.

    During his visit to the School of Motion Pictures & Television at the Academy of Art University (MPTV), producer Chris Moore hoped to deliver a heavy dose of reality to his audience. 

    Mostly made up of MPTV students and faculty, the Good Will Hunting and American Pie producer, who received a Best Picture Oscar nomination this past year for Manchester By The Sea, spoke at length with Executive Director Jana Memel about his impromptu beginnings in production and film.

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    Bringing the Community Together

    More than 400 pieces of art were on display at the annual fine art auction


    Guests take part in the live auction, emceed by Raul Castro, at this year's Faculty + Alumni Fine Art Auction. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Like every year, conversations at the 22nd Annual Faculty + Alumni Fine Art Auction flowed as easily as the wine. The afternoon sun poured into The Cannery plaza on Saturday, Nov. 4, as guests trickled into the gallery to admire over 400 pieces of art from abstract to contemporary realism. Beneath the laughs and everyday conversations, however, was an underlying emphasis on the importance of supporting the arts community and emerging artists.

    “The primary purpose of starting this 22 years ago was to raise money for our students,” said Craig Nelson, executive director of painting and printmaking for the School of Fine Art at Academy of Art University. With the support of Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens, and the assistance of Serita Sangimino and Dana Sornstein, the auction has grown to its current stature.

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    Celebrating the Art of Veterans

    The Veterans Art Exhibit brings a plethora of creativity to the Cannery Galleries


    Army Resting Place by Don Veverka, on display at the Veterans Art Exhibition at the Cannery Galleries. Photo by Bob Toy.

    October in San Francisco signifies Fleet Week. Though most heralded for the large Navy ships docked at the piers and the Blue Angels air shows, the Academy of Art University, in partnership with San Francisco Fleet Week Association (SFFWA), hosted the Veterans Art Exhibit at the Cannery Galleries, near Fisherman’s Wharf, to celebrate the veterans who have looked to art as their next calling. 

    This year’s exhibit was the fifth of its kind since the Academy and SFFWA partnered in 2010. According to Susan Toland, the association was looking for ways to connect with the San Francisco community when they reached out to the school seven years ago.

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    Helping Veterans Transition to Life on Campus


    (Back row, L–R) Undergraduate Admissions Administrator John Belardo, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Military Relations Lamar Johnson and Undergraduate Admissions Administrator Justin Hewelt. (Front row, L–R) Accessibility Representative with Military Specialization at the Academy Resource Center Stella Dacy and Undergraduate Admissions Administrator Rick Pellum. Photo by Bob Toy.

    The Academy of Art University is proud to embrace the country’s military population by helping those transitioning into aspiring artists and professionals. By being approved to accept benefits administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are several options and services for prospective students—whether active duty, veterans, reserves or vocational rehabilitation—to consider when deciding if the Academy is the right place for them to pursue the next chapter in their lives.

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