Archive for 'February 2015'

    Behind the Scenes with the School of Fashion's M.F.A. Designers

    Earlier this month, 15 M.F.A. fashion designers and textile designers from Academy of Art University's School of Fashion showcased their talented work at Lincoln Center in New York City during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Prior to making their trip out to the Big Apple, we caught up with the designers, who spoke with us about their collections, inspirations and design process. 


    Read More »

    Lights. Camera. Catwalk.

    The School of Fashion's finest debuted their Fall 2015 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York City's Lincoln Center

     Saturday, February 14, M.F.A. designers from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University presented their Fall 2015 thesis collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York. Since 2005, the School of Fashion has helped foster the careers of students and recent graduates by premiering their collections at New York Fashion Week. For the Fall 2015 season, 15 designers presented 10 collections, four of which were collaborations between fashion design and textile design students. 

    “We are committed to helping our students launch their careers, and we are thrilled to give them the platform to present their work to fashion industry professionals,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of Academy of Art University. “It is an incredible opportunity for our student designers to debut their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.”


    Read More »

    Resource Center Director Lynda España Inducted into Marietta College Athletic Hall of Fame

    2 Team

    Members of the 1989–90 Marietta College Women’s Basketball Team honored at the Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony. (L–R) Kileen Kertesz, Laura Walker, Lynda España, Head Coach Debbie Lazorik, Cathy Clark, Kelly Gillard and Kerry Gilligan. Photo by Jeffrey Schaly.

    As the Director of Student Academic Support for Academy of Art University Resource Center—a department she’s been a part of for nearly 10 years, Lynda España helps students tackle things they might be struggling with, like study habits or time management. But back in the early 1990s, España was shooting hoops with an all-star team at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio. Last month, that team was inducted into her alma mater’s Athletic Hall of Fame for holding the record for the “greatest season in school history with a 20–7 record,” according to the school’s website.

    Read More »

    Campus Safety Joins Forces with SAFE

    Academy of Art SAFE photo

    Irina Chatsova, Morgan St. Clair and Luke Spray. Courtesy of the Department of Campus Safety.

    Academy of Art University’s Department of Campus Safety has joined forces with Safety Awareness For Everyone (SAFE), a San Francisco community-based organization to enhance the personal and property safety of our students, faculty and staff.

    SAFE brings community members together to improve their neighborhoods through community building, education and collaboration.

    Director of Campus Safety Mike Petricca and I have had two meetings with members of SAFE to improve our university safety. We met with SAFE Program Director Irina Chatsova; Public Safety Specialist/SAFE Bikes Manager Morgan St. Clair and Public Safety Coordinator Luke Spray.

    Read More »

    Academy Wins a Pair in Lead-up to PacWest Play

    Softball Team - center is Jasmine Dickenson, Samantha Klune, Hallie Curtis (by Rob Garcia)

    Softball team. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    With five games complete prior to a Southern California trip that will see the start to Pacific West Conference play, Academy of Art University softball split its first two home games of 2015 on Feb. 10, then came from behind to defeat San Francisco State in dramatic fashion on Feb. 11. Against Cal State Stanislaus, sophomore outfielder Jessica West (Web Design + New Media) delivered a pair of run-scoring hits while freshman pitcher Brenna Mitchell (Interior Architecture & Design) came in for her second relief win of the year with 2.2 scoreless innings in the circle.

    Read More »

    ART U Gets First Win in Doubleheader Split at Cal State East Bay

    Baseball - Nate Gercken (by Rob Garcia)

    Nate Gercken. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    In the middle of a four-game series with Cal State East Bay, the Urban Knights’ relentless attitude lifted them to their first win of the season and head coach Dan McDermott’s first victory with the program.

    Junior third baseman Brett Adami (Multimedia Communications) continued his offensive roll with a go-ahead two-RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning, putting ART U ahead for good at 3–2. Sophomore right fielder Daniel Gutierrez (Multimedia Communications) gave the Urban Knights their eventual winning run in the sixth with a two-out RBI single that drove home senior first baseman Daniel Skinner (Multimedia Communications) and made it 4–2.

    Read More »

    Urban Knights Sweep Dominican in Opener

    Getting back to where they want to be will be a tough task, but the Academy of Art University women’s tennis team made it all look easy on Feb. 14 when it opened its season with a 9–0 sweep over Dominican University of California at the Castellucci Family Tennis Center.

    The Urban Knights (1–0) are looking to make it back to the NCAA Division II West Regional at season’s end, a tournament they made an appearance in for the first time in program history last season. Competition in the West is no slouch with nine Pacific West Conference teams ranked among the preseason top-30, including No. 14 ART U, but Saturday was smooth sailing.

    The only real challenge the Urban Knights faced was at No. 1 singles, where senior Nina Gajdosikova (Graphic Design), ranked No. 43 in the nation, faced Dominican’s Rickmae Torres, ranked No. 36. Torres took the first set from Gajdosikova 6–2, but the ART U veteran returned the favor with a 6–1 victory in set No. 2.

    WTennis - Jenny Johansson (by Rob Garcia)

    Jenny Johansson. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Read More »

    ART U Beats FPU in Overtime

    MBasketball - Herman Pratt (by Rob Garcia)

    Herman Pratt. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Close games are nothing new for the 2014–15 Academy of Art University men’s basketball team. And winning them isn’t anything new lately, either.


    The Urban Knights used clutch free-throw shooting on Feb. 11—including making two with 5.2 seconds left—and stout defense down the stretch to earn the program’s first-ever win over Fresno Pacific, a 90–88 Pacific West Conference victory in overtime at Kezar Pavilion.

    The two-point win was ART U’s third straight in games decided by 10 points or less and second in a row after a 79–71 win at Holy Names on Feb. 7. It was also the program’s first-ever win in overtime. The Urban Knights’ all-time record against FPU improves to 1–2, while their record in games decided by 10 points or less this season improves to 5–7.

    Read More »

    Women's Hoops Fends Off FPU in 80-71 Victory

    WBasketball - Sha'Nice Storey (by Jason Harrel)

    Sha’Nice Storey. Photo by Jason Harrel.

    A season-high 17 steals and four Urban Knights scoring in double figures pushed Academy of Art University’s women’s basketball past Fresno Pacific 80–71 on Feb. 11 inside Kezar Pavilion. Hitting their free throws down the stretch, ART U persevered through a late 12–0 run by their opponents and it was junior guard and fashion styling major Sha’Nice Storey’s team-high 23 points (including five 3-pointers) that led the way.

    Read More »

    Numerous Highlights From Track & Field's Bi-coastal Weekend

    Known for playing a starring role in My Week with Marilyn alongside Michelle Williams and singing his way through Les Misérables as rebel student Marius, English actor Eddie Redmayne is rising quickly through the acting ranks. 

    His new role as world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything was both physically demanding, as he portrays Mr. Hawking’s battle with motor neuron disease, and emotionally challenging, as the film centers on his love story with first wife Jane.

    In order to better understand the techniques through which Redmayne carried out the monumental feat of portraying Mr. Hawking’s physical limitations, as well as his disarming sense of humor, we sat down with the actor himself.

    Read More »

    PayPal Sheds Light on Company’s Innovative Work Process


    (L–R) Francesco Fogu, Darwin Lui, Emma Hoare, Tony Amidei and Damon Bakun. Photo by Bob Toy.

    On Thursday, February 5, Academy of Art University hosted e-commerce company PayPal during a panel event in front of a packed house at the 79 New Montgomery theatre. The panel consisted of Darwin Lui, executive producer; Damon Bakun, art director for business products; Tony Amidei, art director for consumer products; Colin Grigson, senior visual designer for foundations; Francesco Fogu, visual designer and Emma Hoare, interaction designer. 

    Read More »

    Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens Named to Haute 100 List

    Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, has been named one of the Haute 100 most influential Bay Area residents in Haute Living magazine’s annual list of “Billionaires, Philanthropists, Power Couples, Entrepreneurs, Athletes and Tech Titans.”

    Dr. Stephens, who makes a repeat appearance this year, was named a top “Commander” in the education realm in the January/February 2015 San Francisco issue, which also includes a separate “Day in the Life” profile on Stephens. She holds the distinction of being part of a very small number of female university presidents nationwide, and one of only 23 women on the Haute list. Other high profile women in the Top 100 include Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice and Sheryl Sandberg.

    Haute Living has issued its Top 100 list for the past six years and Dr. Stephens has appeared four times. Since her last inclusion in 2014, Dr. Stephens has received a number of additional honors, including her recent appointment to the Smithsonian National Board and, closer to home, the “Community Hero” award from the SF Firefighters Local 798 for her invaluable contributions to the SF Firefighters Toy Program.

    Elisa Stephens1

    Dr. Elisa Stephens. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Read More »

    Film Review: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' - A Seductive Adaptation Packed with Depth and Nuance


    In the phenomenon 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson step into the iconic roles of billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey and curious college student Anastasia Steele. Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnick. Copyright: © 2015 Universal Studios and Focus Features. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    The highly anticipated cinematic release for the film adaptation of New York Times Best Seller Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James could not come at a better time than this past Valentine’s Day weekend. Reveling in the premise alone; the fulfillment of every lovesick fantasy come true. Who wouldn’t want an insanely gorgeous person with millions upon millions of dollars to lavish you in a quick succession of expensive gifts, private aircrafts and a sexual revelation to boot? 

    Read More »

    General Motors Lauds Academy's School of Industrial Design


    GM meets with Dr. Elisa Stephens at the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum. (L–R) Nan Yu, Sculptor, GM Advance Concept Center, California AAU Alum; Dr. Elisa Stephens; Travis Campbell, Sculpting Group Manager, GM Design Center, Warren, MI; Heidi M. Bliss, Creative Talent Recruiter, GM Global Design, Warren MI; Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design Tom Matano. Photo by Bob Toy.

    This past December, representatives from General Motors visited Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design for one-on-one student portfolio reviews. GM was so impressed by the student work, that they offered three Academy students contract positions to work at the General Motors Design Center in Warren, Michigan. Two students accepted the offer for clay sculpting positions and the third accepted an offer for a digital modeling position.

    Read More »

    IDS Thrilled with Surprise Endowment for New Scholarship Competition

    Faculty and students from the School of Industrial Design were pleasantly surprised, and even a bit shocked, by a recent generous endowment from the Edwin T. Meyer trust. The school will use the endowment funds for an annual design competition and $10,000 scholarship award to be called the Edwin T. Meyer Automotive Design Competition Scholarship. 

    “I just couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe someone would approach us with that kind of a proposition,” said Tom Matano, executive director of the School of Industrial Design. “We appreciate this opportunity to nourish the creativity for our department.”

    Read More »

    Chantal Saperstein Celebrates 20 Years Teaching Illustration 1

    Twice a week Chantal Saperstein stands at the helm of a room full of hopeful illustrators. During the 6.3 hour class, she buzzes about energetically, remarking on shading and perspective in her authoritative French accent. She has been doing it for 20 years. And Chuck Pyle, director of the School of Illustration counts that as quite the feat. 

    “ILL 232 is the bedrock skill class for learning how to think, be and do as a professional artist,” he said. “Eighteen students, two sections, twice a year for 20 years. That is a lot of talent shaped on their way to being illustrators. All of us are deeply grateful for her service thus far.”

    During the class, students go through intensive development as they work through the process of creating an illustration. Witnessing this growth, Saperstein said, is what she loves most about teaching. “Some students are very clear—that’s what they want to do, and it’s wonderful, and we support them—their path is very clear all the way, but some of them are struggling and uncertain, and I love to see those students grow and blossom.”



    (L–R) Associate Director Lisa Berrett, Chantal Saperstein and Director of the School of Illustration Chuck Pyle. Photo by Dax Santi.

    Read More »

    Instructors Gear Up for Spring at Teaching Essentials Conference


    Courtesy of Faculty Development.

    On Wednesday, Jan. 21, instructors, directors and staff from across Academy of Art University, gathered at 180 New Montgomery for Faculty Development’s annual Teaching Essentials Conference to share and brush-up on teaching skills.  

    Workshops focused on core areas of teaching, such as lesson planning, facilitating critiques and creating rubrics. There were also panels led by faculty and staff on topics ranging from “First Semester Lessons Learned” to “Maintaining High Standards.” 

    Read More »

    Alumna's Non-profit Promotes Health and Wellness Through Exercise App

    Mobile App Flow-01

    The Synergia app. Courtesy of Breanna Dobbe

    In 2011, Breanna Dobbe was one of seven students in the Academy of Art University’s School of Web Design + New Media’s collaboration class, taught by Greg Mar and Megan Enright. A year after graduation, Dobbe was able to fully realize the class’ semester project, turning her group’s idea for an exercise app into the Synergia Effect, a nationally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit. 

    “The process of becoming an official 501(c)3 non-profit took a little over a year,” Dobbe said, “but during that time we’ve come across several people that have volunteered their time helping with design, writing and even some local businesses that are helping with our outreach.”

    Read More »

    Women's Hoops Routs Dixie State 83-61

    Converting a season-high 31 opponent turnovers into 36 points, Academy of Art University women’s basketball led wire-to-wire in an 83–61 victory over Dixie State on Saturday, Jan. 31 inside Kezar Pavilion. Five Urban Knights scored in double figures led by junior animation & visual effects major Jasmin Guinn’s 21 points along with 10 apiece from junior guard Regina Camera (Multimedia Communications) and sophomore forward D’Andree Galipeau (Multimedia Communications) off the bench.

    Following a pre-game ring ceremony honoring the 2014 ART U’s Pacific West Conference regular season and tournament championships, the Urban Knights came out strong with four quick points and soon an eight-point lead five minutes in. On back-to-back trips down, Galipeau scored a layup and Camera drained her first shot from long range. Camera then found Guinn after a steal and the Urban Knights led 19–9.

    WBB - Regina Camera (by Varun Kapoor)

    Regina Camera. Photo by Varun Kapoor.

    Read More »

    Track & Field Spends Weekend in Alabama

    WTRK - Atiya Harvey (by Amanda Odesjö)

    Atiya Harvey. Photo by Amanda Odesjö.

    It was an exciting return for Academy of Art University track & field to the Birmingham Crossplex for two University of Alabama-Birmingham meets (Vulcan Invite, Green & Gold Invite) on Jan. 23–24. On the women’s side, Atiya Harvey (Multimedia Communications) was a top performer, delivering NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 60m and 200m. At the site of his event debut in an Urban Knights uniform, Jordan Edwards (Photography) lit up the track Friday with a new ART U program record in the 200m.


    Read More »

    Harrison Dubbed "Freshman of the Week" for Third Time

    MBB - Jase Harrison (by Rob Garcia)

    Jase Harrison. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Academy of Art University men’s basketball freshman guard Jase Harrison (Advertising) was named the Pacific West Conference Freshman of the Week for the second straight week, this time for the week of Jan. 19–25.


    Read More »

    Students Find Love Through Shared Interest in Modern Technology

    IMG_7112 (1024x683)

    Yina Fan and Michael Witzel. Photo by Jennifer Blot.

    They met on the fifth floor of the Bluxome Lofts dormitory. He was a shy, studious former Marine who spent most of his time on the computer; she was an outgoing animation student, a recent arrival from China determined to communicate with him despite poor English. Thanks to Academy of Art University and a love of modern technology—from video games to the invaluable Google Translate and Skype—the two first-year students embarked on a friendship that led to a large-scale wedding celebration in Las Vegas last month.  

    Michael Witzel, 27, and Yina Fan, 25, giggle when remembering their first encounters in the dorm in 2010. The clean-cut, blue-eyed vet caught Fan’s eye immediately, but to her frustration, was “always on the computer” and didn’t acknowledge her often.

    “Out of the corner of my eye, I’d see her looking at me even though she says she can’t see anything without her glasses,” Witzel recalled, smiling.

    Read More »

    Distinguished Alumnus Brett Amory to Release First Book in April


    Courtesy of Vivant Books.

    Brett Amory, who was honored at Academy of Art University’s spring commencement last year with the Distinguished Alumni Award, is proud to have published his first book of artwork titled Brett Amory: The Complete Works and Selected Essays

    Among other works, the book presents subjects from his acclaimed Waiting series, in which he explores the humanity of people doing the most mundane tasks or simply just waiting to get somewhere else. Alongside four-color reproductions of the artwork, the book includes a biography and selected essays from art world luminaries and patrons.  


    Read More »

    Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble's New Book Details Early Illustration Career

    Laurence NobleBW

    Lawrence Noble. Courtesy of Lawrence Noble.

    Walking into Lawrence Noble’s Berkeley art studio, you get the feeling that magic happens there. Yoda greets you at the door near a sculpture of a woman growing wings, and a model of a boy dressed like Batman stands beside a pile of clay on the worktable. He’s “Batkid,” the cancer survivor who joined Batman on a rescue mission around the city in 2013. Once finished, the statue will stand outside the new San Francisco Public Safety Building, joining dozens of Noble’s other monumental sculptures on display across the country.

    But before he became an award-winning sculptor, Noble was an illustrator, designing posters for movies like Flash Gordon, album covers for artists like Artie Shaw and magazine covers featuring icons like Princess Diana. Some of his drawings join his Star Wars statues and female figures from his Strength of Women sculpture series in the bright, mystical space of his studio. Original relics from Noble’s early career, they testify to his immense talent and fill the pages of his new book, The Film & Entertainment Art of Lawrence Noble (Dreams & Visions Press, 2015).


    Read More »

    Student Work Celebrated at Intensive English Courses Art Expo

    On Thursday, Dec. 18, Intensive English Courses held its end-of-semester art expo, a morning-long celebration of students’ artistic creations and a chance to reflect on their English progress.

    The expo featured four student speakers, student-crafted “how-to” resource videos for those just arriving to Academy of Art University and awards for best video and best artwork. Extremely promising students were also honored with the Outstanding Student in English award.

    Read More »

    Toan Lam Inspires Goodness Through Storytelling and Teaching


    Photo by

    Telling stories is Toan Lam’s talent. But after eight years as a TV reporter covering so much death and destruction, he realized it was time for a change. So Lam, an instructor at Academy of Art University’s School of Multimedia Communications, founded “Go Inspire Go,” a nonprofit dedicated to sharing the work of “everyday heroes” across the country.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Emmanuelle Ciara Jones & Ghazaleh Khalifeh


    Fashion design by Emmanuelle Ciara Jones and textile design by Ghazaleh Khalifeh. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Emmanuelle Ciara Jones, M.F.A. fashion design, and Ghazaleh Khalifeh, M.F.A. textile design, are set to present a collaborative Fall 2015 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this month. Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Egungun Secret Society of Africa served as inspiration for this colorful runway collection. The silhouettes are heavily influenced by hip-hop street culture with many baggy, layered pieces. The printed cotton textiles are evocative of traditional African patterns. Working with Jones’ inspiration of African textiles and Voodoo, Khalifeh complemented that in her textiles by incorporating elements of the culture, spirit and graffiti in New York’s Lower East Side in the early 1980s.

    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Christian Willman

    CMW - Lineup - High Res

    Sketch of Christian Willman's lineup. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Inspired by the work of Matt Calderwood, an installation artist from Northern Ireland, M.F.A. fashion design student Christian Willman has created a Fall 2015 collection that examines the relationship between power and strength. Playing on friction and gravity through the use of wool, eco-wool and cotton, Willman’s collection is both structured and minimalistic.

    Willman is a top-notch student as well as designer. She received highest honors when she graduated with her B.F.A. in fine arts from Angelo State University and is maintaining that same academic excellence at Academy of Art University. Willman was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and has taken on many challenging internships, including one for Christian Dior.

    This fashion design student seems determined to be at the top of her game in everything she does, so it seems only fitting that she will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, one of the most covetable opportunities for any fashion designer.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Erin A.F. Milosevich


    L-R: Erin Milosevich’s lineup. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.


    Erin A.F. Milosevich, M.F.A. fashion design, is proof that big inspiration can come from the tiniest moment.

    Born in Champaign, Illinois, Milosevich grew up in Carmel, Indiana, before returning to her birthplace to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There she received her B.F.A. in fashion design before coming to San Francisco to pursue her master’s degree at Academy of Art University.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Farnaz Golnam


    Farnaz Golnam. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Farnaz Golnam, M.F.A. fashion design, was born and raised in Kermanshah, Iran. Before coming to Academy of Art University, Golnam earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in her home country.

    For her Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week collection, Golnam drew inspiration from the natural and incorporated 3-D details from flowers into the garments. The collection has a sculptural quality, which is enhanced by voluminous panels and seam detailing used throughout. The collection is executed in solid grey and black wool and features needle felting details that play with viewers’ perception of depth and dimension.

    What is fashion to you?

    Fashion to me is making wearable beauty.

    What is your style motto?

    My design identity is “creativity plus simplicity” (CPS) and my hands are trained to transfer imagination into beautiful reality.

    Who are your favorite fashion icons and why?

    Alexander McQueen, because of his amazing creative talent.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Xiaowei Liu

    Xiaowei Liu line up high

    Xiaowei Liu’s lineup, in collaboration with Stella Xingyu Hu. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    M.F.A. fashion design student Xiaowei Liu has been passionate about design her whole life. Born and raised in Wuhan, China, Liu graduated from the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts and worked as a fashion design assistant and a drawing assistant before coming to Academy of Art University.

    Liu has always had a gift for color and cloth structure; which can clearly be seen in her collection for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Using a combination of denim, cotton and leather, Liu’s inspiration behind her collection is Boro, which is a kind of indigo patchwork seen in Japanese culture. Her collection is comprised entirely of indigo fabrics that she dyed herself. The basic silhouette is a bomber jacket paired with Liu’s blue color scheme. The collection creates a pure and fun spirit. Her designs take denim from basic to high fashion.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Stella Xingyu Hu


    Inspiration for Hu's Knitwear. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Piecing together a Rubik’s cube is close to impossible, but Stella Xingyu Hu, M.F.A. fashion design, found the inspiration for her knitted garments from the elusive three-dimensional puzzle.

    For Fall 2015, Hu collaborated with Xiaowei Liu, M.F.A. fashion design, on the menswear portion of a menswear and womenswear collection. Hu designed the knitwear included in the collection. Her inspiration can be seen clearly in the knits—corner-like design details, faux leather tape and a rainbow palette are all evocative of a Rubik’s cube.

    Hu was born in Nei Monggol, China and grew up in Dalian, Liaoning Province of China. Fascinated by the beauty of art since childhood, Hu received a B.F.A. in fashion design from the Hainan Normal University in China and is now pursuing an M.F.A. in Fashion Design from Academy of Art University. Hu’s knitwear was shown in the Academy’s Graduation Fashion Show in May 2014.

    Hu is prepping for New York Fashion Week, but still had time to sit down with the School of Fashion and provide some insight into her collection.



    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Tam Nguyen & Han Tang


    Han Tang and Tam Nguyen's collaborative collection lineup. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    This collaborative collection from M.F.A. textile design student Tam Nguyen and M.F.A. fashion design student Han Tang explores the beauty behind mold and peeling paint and examines how the natural weathering of surfaces can inspire the creation of beautifully textured clothing.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Andrea Nyberg & Kevin C. Smith

    Line Up2

    L-R: The result of the collaboration between Andrea Nyberg and Kevin C. Smith. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Line Up1

    Kevin C. Smith, M.F.A. menswear design, and Andrea Nyberg, M.F.A. textile design, are putting the final preparations together for their collaborative menswear collection that will show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

    Smith, a California native who was born in Walnut Creek and grew up in Sacramento, has created menswear designs based around the ideas of light and volume. He used Christo’s Running Fence as well as vintage light bulbs and candle smoke for inspiration. The clothes are layered pieces that are engulfed by sheer, flowing overcoats. Smith has a B.F.A. degree in art studio from the University of California, Davis.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight Designer Spotlight: Ozanhan Kayaoglu


    Ozanhan Kayaoglu’s lineup. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Ozanhan Kayaoglu, M.F.A. fashion design, credits the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s description of power as the inspiration behind his collection. Foucault said, “Power is everywhere,” and described power and social order through examples of architecture in a Panopticon prison. Kayaoglu researched the prison and was immediately drawn to the rusty metal pieces located inside. His inspiration can be seen directly on the runway—Kayaoglu actually used rusty metal to dye the fabric. His collection features a metallic color scheme that is showcased through a variety of fabrics including thick wool, lightweight wool and cotton.


    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Paulina Susana Romero Valdez


    Paulina Susana Romero Valdez. Photo by Bob Toy.

    To say Paulina Susana Romero Valdez, M.F.A. fashion design, put a lot of thought into her Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week collection would be an understatement. Her collection, It’s Only Heritage, has Romero Valdez examining where she came from and how that has influenced her as a designer. The central concept around which the collection is built is an examination of the fluidity of life and family, looking at your current position in life through the eyes of ancestors and visualizing how cultural roots lead us each in our future lives.



    Paulina Susana Romero Valdez’s traditional Mexican embroidery. Courtesy of the School of Fashion.

    Read More »

    MBFW Fall 2015 Designer Spotlight: Xue Yang & Oom Terdpravat


    Xue Yang's lineup. Courtesy of the School of Fashion

    Xue Yang, M.F.A. fashion design, and Oom Terdpravat, M.F.A. fashion design and textile design, will present a collaborative collection at New York Fashion Week that has all the beauty and hope of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

    Yang was born and raised in Jilin, China. It’s not surprising that she was inspired by vintage Chinese fabric. The vintage fabric not only serves as inspiration, but is also used as a main textile throughout the collection. Notable is the unique sleeve design featured in the collection, which has been coined as “the attitude.” Yang believes that clothing has the power to change how people move and act.

    Read More »

    What I Learned During My First Semester at Academy of Art University - Part 2


    General living:

    • College is stressful. Know what you’re getting into, and know how to defuse yourself when things get to be too much.
    • Spend time exploring the city. There are so many beautiful places less than a mile away where you can retreat to when you feel stressed.
    Read More »

    Bantucentric: "Our Roots Run Deep"



    William Rivers. Courtesy of William Rivers.

    The month of February is Black History Month. Since 1976, Black History Month has been the designated month to celebrate and remember great events in American history having to do with black people. While that’s all well and good, I personally believe that not only should every day be a fine time to express and be proud of who you are and where you came from, but that Black History Month should never be solely dedicated to the acts of blacks in America. As a people, we have deep roots all over the world and though it has been made easier to forget where you come from, any human being’s life can be greatly enriched by the knowledge of their own people’s legacy on this Earth.

    Personally, it is a pain to not know where I come from. There is hope, though. There are many ways to discover one’s heritage. If you happen to have about $300 dollars burning a hole in your pocket, then you’re welcome to request a specialized DNA test from, which will give you the full rundown of where your people originated. That’s not the easiest method for the average person, but is probably the most accurate.


    Read More »

    Club Mixer Selfies!

    Did you snap a selfie with our selfie frame at the Club Mixer? Share it on Twitter and Instagram and tag it with #ourworldyourworld to be featured in a future edition of Academy Art U News.

    Luis Barrera Wins 'Academy Idol'

    The Academy of Art University’s School of Multimedia Communication’s annual singing competition Academy Idol entered its fourth season this past fall. The competition allowed students to test their performance skills under bright lights and on a live stream at

    Read More »

    And the Oscar Goes To...

    The stars of Hollywood will be celebrating their peers at the 87th Annual Academy Awards, taking place later this month on February 22 on ABC at 7e/4p. But before the winners are announced, Academy Art U News’ editorial and design staff (KC • Kirsten Coachman, Editor, RC • Rosalea Collinge, Copy Editor, JL • Shou June Lin, Layout Designer, and AV • Amanda Vigil, Digital Editor) shared their picks of who will take home a statue at the 2015 Oscars.



    Read More »