Archive for 'March 2015'

    Celebrating the Year of the Ram

    Academy students and staff join forces to create an environmentally conscious float for the Chinese New Year Parade


    Academy of Art University’s float during the 2015 Chinese New Year Parade. Photo by Bob Toy.

    On Saturday, March 7, the city of San Francisco celebrated the Year of the Ram during the annual Chinese New Year Parade. The theme for this year’s parade was “Celebrating the Arts and Creativity.”

    Academy of Art University Publications & Special Projects Manager and alumnus Bob Toy was the art director of the float and worked on the design concept.

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    Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Winners Get an Up Close Tour of the Company's Headquarters


    (L–R) Director of the School of Game Development David Goodwine, Minkyung Yu, Jie Gao and Duy Nguyen. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Four Academy of Art University students were recently named runners-up in the 2015 Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest. Blizzard Entertainment is one of the most popular computer game development companies and responsible for creating World of Warcraft among other games.

    This is the fourth year that Blizzard Entertainment’s university relations and World of Warcraft development teams called on college and university students to submit original artwork that would be a great fit for the game.

    As runners-up in the contest, students Minkyung Yu and Duy Nguyen from the School of Game Development, Jie Gao from the School of Visual Development and Pil Chang from the School of Animation & Visual Effects, were awarded with a trip to Blizzard headquarters in Irvine, CA.

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    Edwards' 400m Title, All-Americans Cap NCAAs

    TRK - Team @ Nationals (by Ashley Adams)

    Team at Nationals. Photo by Ashley Adams.

    When all was said and done inside the Birmingham Crossplex on March 14, Academy of Art University track & field came away with seven NCAA Division II All-American trophies in the finale of indoor nationals. Jordan Edwards (Multimedia Communications) earned an individual championship in the 400m dash, then went top three in both the 200m and with his teammates in the 4×400m to highlight the day.

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    Guinn, Sheng Recognized with PacWest Women's Basketball Honors

    WBB - Zoie Sheng (by Jason Harrel)

    Zoie Sheng. Photo by Jason Harrel.

    WBB - Jasmin Guinn (by Rob Garcia)

    Jasmin Guinn. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Helping guide an Academy of Art University women’s basketball squad that showed tremendous resilience during the 2014–15 regular season, junior guards Jasmin Guinn and Zoie Sheng were each selected to All-PacWest Teams in a March 4 announcement by the PacWest office. Guinn, who was named PacWest Player of the Week heading into the conference tournament, earned All-PacWest First Team honors and Sheng, the team’s on-court conductor, was made a member of the All-PacWest Third Team.

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    No. 12 ART U Tennis Sweeps Top Singles to Beat PLNU

    WTEN - Nina Gajdosikova (by Rob Garcia)

    Nina Gajdosikova. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Nationally ranked teams continued to be no problem for the No. 12 Academy of Art University women’s tennis team on March 9 as the Urban Knights defeated their third top-30 ranked NCAA Division II team this season with a 6–3 win over No. 22 Point Loma at the San Francisco Tennis Club.

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    Mitchell Earns First Shutout in Softball's Split with Notre Dame de Namur University

    SB - Brenna Mitchell (by Rob Garcia)

    Brenna Mitchell. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Academy of Art University softball’s offense continued to roll through both sides of a doubleheader with Notre Dame de Namur on March 13, but pitching was the difference as the Urban Knights won game one 7–0 and dropped the backend 7–5. Brenna Mitchell (Interior Architecture & Design) added another first to continue her impressive freshman season, shutting out the Argonauts with a season-high eight strikeouts in the opener at Notre Dame High School. Senior outfielder Haily MacDonald (Graphic Design) remained on fire at the plate, delivering three hits in each contest for now 12 in her past four games and a .455 batting average.

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    Gercken, ART U Baseball Defense Shut Down California Baptist

    BASE - Nate Gercken (by Eric Manlove)

    Nate Gercken. Photo by Eric Manlove.

    A beautiful performance on a beautiful evening was what the Academy of Art University baseball team was treated to on March 12, as senior starting pitcher Nate Gercken (Multimedia Communications) threw a complete game shutout while the Urban Knights played sound defense to beat California Baptist 4–0 in the opener of a four-game Pacific West Conference series at Laney College.

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    Meet Mobile Press

    Academy of Art University launches latest app for marketing and student-driven digital content


    Courtesy of Academy of Art University Mobile Press.

    A tiny de facto department lead by Haydn Adams, also an instructor in the School of Web Design + New Media, has launched Academy of Art University’s own free digital apps for iPad called Mobile Press, now available on iTunes. Still in its beginning stages, Mobile Press will serve as both a marketing tool and a showcase for student-produced digital material at the university.

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    A Fruitful Artistic Partnership

    Zipper_Hawk Crow Bottles

    Zipper and Hawk Crow bottles. Photo by Bob Toy.

    The relationship between art and “real” life fascinated the world long before Oscar Wilde famously weighed in on the subject. At the Academy of Art University, education is guided by a “real-world” approach to preparing students for their lives in the arts. The partnership between Trinchero Family Estates and the School of Graphic Design is a case study, lending real-world art experience for students and marketplace impact for this world-famous winery.

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    Printmaking Kicks Off Spring with Invitational


    Relief prints by undergrad student Ryan Vicente. Courtesy of the School of Fine Art – Printmaking.

    This past February, the School of Fine Art - Printmaking started out the semester by putting on their first annual Printmaking Invitational, showcasing print and book arts, highlighting work from current students. Faculty and students were on hand for the opening reception, as the gallery had a steady stream of people coming through.

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    Be the Best


    What do the best college students and teachers do?  Find tips below on how to improve learning from the author and renowned academic Ken Bain in his books What the Best College Teachers Do and What the Best College Students Do. (Both books by Ken Bain are available to borrow from the Academy library, 180 New Montgomery St., 6th floor).

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    By the Power of Powell Street!


    Katie Longua and Andre Speckert hunt for clues as Velma and Shaggy. Photo by Dax Santi.

    A nostalgic childhood memory for many of us is waking up on weekend mornings to watch cartoons in your favorite pajamas; eagerly following Velma to solve the latest mystery and cheer He-Man as he saves the universe, all over a bowl of Lucky Charms. These early heroes still serve as inspiration for many of us, providing classic characters and setting the theme for this semester’s Costume Carnival, “Saturday Morning Cartoons.”

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    'Boxtrolls' Studio Reps Say Hard Work, Networking and Kindness are Keys to Success


    (L–R) Beth Sousa, Academy of Art University director of 2-D animation / stop-motion; Steve Emerson, VFX supervisor, LAIKA – “The Boxtrolls”; Anna Kvorning, LAIKA creative recruiter; Norm DeCarlo, Academy of Art University School of Animation faculty. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Students from Academy of Art University’s School of Animation and Visual Effects received some career advice on Tuesday, March 3, when representatives from the stop-motion animation studio LAIKA dropped in.

    “You want to be OK in life? You want to be successful? Be nice to people and work your ass off,” said Steve Emerson, visual effects supervisor at the Portland, Oregon-based studio. Joined by recruiter Anna Kvorning, Emerson stressed the importance of networking, while presenting an overview of his career path from TV show intern to department head at a major film studio.

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    Inspiring Insights from Blue Sky Studios


    (L–R) Deb Stone, manager of talent development at Blue Sky Studios and Matt Munn, senior animator at Blue Sky Studios. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Follow your heart and use your time wisely. Senior Animator Matt Munn offered this advice to Academy of Art University students eager to work for the Greenwich, CT-based Blue Sky Studios after treating them to a teaser trailer for the upcoming feature Peanuts on Wednesday, February 25 in Morgan Auditorium.

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    Internship in Paris Leads to Full-time Work for Fashion Design Graduate


    Zhangchi Wang. Courtesy of Zhangchi Wang.

    Zhangchi Wang, Academy of Art University alumna (fashion design, B.F.A. ’12) recently received a full-time position at Saint Laurent Paris after being awarded a French exchange opportunity to study in Paris. Wang began as an intern at Saint Laurent and is now working as a 3-D design assistant. Wang catches us up on everything she’s been doing since graduation.

    What did you study at the School of Fashion?

    I studied womenswear design and also took applied textile classes until level 4.

    Tell us about what you have been doing since graduation and about your internship experience in Paris.

    After graduating, I left San Francisco for Paris and spent a year at Studio Bercot. Right after that, I started my internship at Saint Laurent, which lasted for a year.

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    When Technology Meets Interior Design

    InteriorCrowd, an online interior design platform that has just launched in private beta mode, approached Academy of Art University’s School of Interior Architecture & Design a few months ago to get some of our top students on board to test their app.

    Mercedes Maroni and Jeffrey Ypon were chosen by interior designer and instructor Agustin Sanders as two students who have already shown great talent as up-and-coming interior designers. Ypon explained, “InteriorCrowd is a great platform that will seamlessly connect designers to clients in need of design input.”


    This rendering is one of the design options Mercedes Maroni came up with. SketchUp was used to portray the new room. Courtesy of Mercedes Maroni.

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    Courtesy of Academy of Art University’s fashion journalism program.

    Fashion journalism is a portfolio of ever-evolving vocabulary and tools. Just as a “selfie” has become a new word in the dictionary, journalists today use innovative digital techniques for visual and short-form reporting, via Instagram and Twitter, to share their stories.  

    Academy of Art University has always been at the intersection of new technologies and arts, and this semester’s Open House/Open Studio is no exception. In partnership with SocialPulp, an NYC-based digital tools agency, on Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., the School of Fashion featured an interactive installation fed by Instagram and Twitter as part of the Open House for the fashion journalism program.

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    IAD Shines at the International Interior Design Association Student Design Charette


    Winning group of students: Caroline Nghi Tran (AAU IAD), Minji Lee (AAU IAD), Jiayue He (CCA), Maria Valencia (WVC) and Atithi Prajapati (AAU IAD). Courtesy of IAD students.

    Interior Architecture and Design students from Academy of Art University gathered at FME, a local architecture and design firm, Saturday, Feb. 21 to compete in the IIDA Northern California Student Design Charette. Students crowded around at 8 a.m. to meet with their teammates before hearing what the competition would entail.

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    Bay Area Beat: The Family Crest

    Local band, including Academy instructor Charlie Giesige, gives an unforgettable performance at The Chapel

    The Family Crest

    The Family Crest. Courtesy of Krys Moysard.

    In my life thus far, I’ve seen countless bands and have attended even more concerts, and I’ve performed nearly as many gigs myself. Never in my time as a musician or a fan have I seen a band with half the passion and drive as the Bay Area-based band The Family Crest. The band headlined at The Chapel on Feb. 27 and gave a show I won’t forget.

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    COM Hosts Film Screening Starring Alumnus

    Raymund Aranda stars in feature film Heading Down South


    (L–R) Film Antics group: Juan Sotelo (Partner, Producer, Screenwriter), James Davis, Jr. (Partner, Web Producer, Actor), Raymund Aranda (Partner, Producer, Actor) and Paul Aspuria (Co-Founder, Director, Editor). Photo by Keith Baker.

    On Thursday, March 5, Academy of Art University alumnus Raymund Aranda presented his feature film, Heading Down South, during a screening hosted by the School of Multimedia Communications. Written and produced by Juan Sotelo, the film tells the story of a dysfunctional couple, played by Aranda and Nahreen Tarzi, on a road trip to attend an important, yet stress-provoking wedding. Along the way, they meet a variety of interesting characters, including an eccentric stranger played by James Davis Jr. The film was directed and edited by Paul Aspuria and was shot over the course of three weeks using a Blackmagic RAW digital camera.

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    'Tabitha's Handy Tips!' - Snack Time: Onigiri


    The Liberal Lyrics


    Being broken is fixable.

    It’s why they invented duct tape.


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    AAU Has the Moves


    Emerson Aquino. Courtesy of Dairia Kymber Harvin.

    “Music makes you lose control.” The incredible Missy Elliott said it best and Academy of Art University students agree. Every Friday night at 6:30 p.m., you can find a group of students (including myself) finding the rhythm to your favorite tunes at 620 Sutter’s hip-hop dance class.

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    Bantucentric: #Blackout

    Will New Headshot

    William Rivers. Photo courtesy of William Rivers.

    “We don’t hate you. We just love our color. I just love myself!”—Muhammad Ali

    On March 6, we celebrated blackness, and it was marvelous! For the first time, in a long time, we as a people openly loved ourselves without a care in the world. Using “#Blackout” or “#BlackOutDay,” blacks from all walks of life posted selfies on various social media outlets in solidarity of each other and of the strides that we have made as a people. This wasn’t about models and celebrities that we all glorify. This was about us; the ordinary black people who go every day unnoticed. #BlackOutDay was about us loving us and was without a doubt, a raging success.


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    VFX Students & 'Advantageous' Shine at Park City

    Hard work pays off for StudioX (400A) students, as their work hits the big screen in independent film at the Sundance Film Festival


    (L–R) Director of “Advantageous” Jennifer Phang, Jacqueline Kim, Rachel Bailey, Robert Chang, Sean Gillane, Catherine Tate Jason Patnode, Ricardo Marmolejo, Jumanah Shaheen, Nimisha Kumar, Azra Alkan, Tony Yeh, Darnell Gooch, Mary Kate Dangoia, Meagan Green, Ethan Zhao, Lindsay Elginand Andy Wood. Courtesy of the School of Animation and Visual Effects.

    This past January, Academy of Art University students from Catherine Tate’s StudioX (400A) were dazzled by the bright lights and glitterati of Park City’s Sundance Film Festival and delighted to see their names on the big screen.  The students were reaping the fruits of a labor that began at least a year and a half ago when director Jennifer Phang brought her film Advantageous to StudioX (400A).

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    Film Review: 'A Girl Like Her' - A Story of Two Sides

    Cast of A Girl Like Her

    The cast of 'A Girl Like Her.' (L–R) Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett and Lexi Ainsworth.

    We’ve all seen those films set in high school that are filled with cliques ruled by the popular girls and the jocks. However, it is less common for a film to delve into the psyches of these students in a way that bypasses the stereotypes relied upon by so many stories.

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    A "Giant" Launch for UKR2

    The “sky’s the limit” for Urban Knights Radio with the addition of the new sports talk station, UKR2

    It’s been two and a half years since Academy of Art University’s School of Multimedia Communications launched, and 1.4 million listens on iHeartRadio and the station’s own website later, they have now created a new all sports and talk station called UKR2.

    “UKR2, Urban Knights Radio sports [and talk], brand new to make sure that we cover all the sports at Academy of Art University,” Director of the School of Multimedia Communications Jan Yanehiro said. “You know, we’ve got basketball, men and women’s; we’ve got volleyball, softball, tennis. We want to make sure that we cover all those sports live, 24/7. Then we’ll repeat those games, so everybody can hear them wherever they are around the world.”

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    Speaking the Language of Creative

    Presidential Scholarship recipient Joel Ramirez brings his passion for ideas to the School of Advertising’s ad agency Young & Hungry

    IMG_7530 (1024x683)

    Joel Ramirez. Photo by Jennifer Blot.

    Joel Ramirez is all about ideas. He spends his days generating, dissecting and storing them on a laptop with a sticker that proclaims: “The Big Idea Box.” He’s also quick to say: “I speak three languages: English, Spanish and Creative.”

    On any given Monday or Wednesday, you’ll find Ramirez confabbing with fellow students—in this case, colleagues—at Young & Hungry, the School of Advertising’s off–campus “creative co-op” ad agency.

    He arrives around noon and though class is technically over at 3 p.m., he stays for many more hours fulfilling his duties as art director, conjuring up ways to tell and sell his clients’ visions before scrambling for the last BART train home to Oakland.


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    SF Firefighters Honor Dr. Richard A. Stephens


    Academy of Art University Chairman Emeritus Dr. Richard A. Stephens and President of Academy of Art University Dr. Elisa Stephens with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. Photo by Jana Asenbrennerova for Drew Altizer Photography.

    On February 26, the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program honored Academy of Art University Chairman Emeritus Dr. Richard A. Stephens for his ongoing generosity to the non-profit, which serves 41,000 Bay Area families.

    At an event attended by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, District Attorney George Gascon, as well as firefighters, university academic directors, friends and family, Stephens was honored with a custom vintage fire helmet bearing the Academy logo.

    Danny Gracia, vice president of SF Firefighters Local 798, spoke on the Toy Program’s behalf, thanking Stephens for giving the Toy Program a rent-free home to store and distribute toys.  This gesture allows the program to thrive as the largest of its kind in the United States.

    Gracia presented a helmet that had been transformed into a work of art through a collaborative effort of creative local firefighters. The circa 1950s “New Yorker” model was painted red and white --  Academy of Art University’s school colors -- and embellished with the Academy logo on the shield and “Stephens” on the underside of the brim.


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    Photographic Transformation Through Handmade Processes


    Brady Wilks. Courtesy of Brady Wilks.


    ‘A Poem Could Best Describe’ (Photography, Acrylic Gel Lift, Transfer on Wood, 7.5"×7.5"). Courtesy of Brady Wilks.

    Artist, educator and Academy alumnus Brady Wilks will publish his first book, Alternative Photographic Processes: Crafting Handmade Images, with Focal Press later this year. Wilks had honed his skills for years as a working artist starting in Southern California and then the mid-Atlantic area before earning his M.F.A. in photography through the Academy’s online program. He creates his art through alternative and historical photographic processes like acrylic gel lift/transfers on wood or wet plate collodion positives on metal and glass.

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    ART U's Offense Explodes in PacWest Debut Against No. 22 APU

    The Urban Knights play a strong opener, scoring the most runs in game one since 2011

    BASE - Daniel Skinner (by Rob Garcia)

    Daniel Skinner. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    The night of Feb. 27 started with fireworks when Academy of Art University’s baseball team exploded for 14 runs in a game one victory over No. 22 Azusa Pacific as both teams opened Pacific West Conference play at Laney College.

    The 14 runs in game one were the most the Urban Knights (3–9, 1–1 PacWest) had scored since March 12, 2011. Four different players drove in at least two runs, and eight Urban Knights had at least one base hit. Junior center fielder Joseph Marchini (Multimedia Communications) extended his hitting streak to four games with a 4-for-8 night and junior left fielder Greg Ivory (Multimedia Communications) pushed his streak to seven with hits in both games.

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    Gercken Named PacWest Pitcher of the Week

    BASE - Nate Gercken (by Kenny Chacon)

    Nate Gercken. Photo by Kenny Chacon.

    A school record 13 strikeouts in a complete game victory on Feb. 20 earned Academy of Art University senior starting pitcher Nate Gercken (Multimedia Communications) the nod for Pacific West Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 16–22.

    Gercken struck out the first four batters he faced in game two of a doubleheader versus Northwest Nazarene and five of the first six. He also K’d his final three and four of his last five en route to his second straight win in his second consecutive seven-inning complete game. Gercken’s 13 strikeouts broke the previous ART U single-game record of nine, previously set four different times, including by Gercken himself last season versus American Sports University.

    Gercken also set a new ART U career strikeouts record, collecting his 240th strikeout to surpass the former record of 231 set by Zach Mexicano (2009–12).

    Gercken was in complete control from the outset in the nightcap. The senior had at least one strikeout in all seven innings and struck out the side in both the first and seventh innings to accent the beginning and end of his record start. He did not surrender a walk or an earned run and only allowed three hits.

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    ART U Wins 2015 California Baptist Women's Invite

    WGOLF - Crystal Wang (by Andrew Shortall)

    Crystal Wang. Photo by Andrew Shortall.

    Another solid team effort in the final round on Feb. 24 allowed Academy of Art University’s women’s golf team to win its first tournament since 2012, as the Urban Knights took the team title at the 2015 CBU Women’s Invitational hosted by California Baptist at Victoria Golf Course.

    The Urban Knights had three players finish among the top 10 and all five of their players in the top 25. ART U posted the third-best team score with a 316 and finished the tournament with a 628 total score. Its closest competitor after Monday’s first round, Dixie State, fell all the way back to fourth with a plus-9 differential from the opening round. Host California Baptist finished second, four strokes back at 632.

    “I am so happy with the girls’ performance,” said ART U head coach Elaine Harris. “They have been working really hard this off-season and the results are proof at this tournament.”

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    Nirana Singh Earns PacWest Player of the Week

    SB - Niranah Singh (by Rob Garcia)

    Nirana Singh. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Helping lead Academy of Art University’s offensive charge against Azusa Pacific on Feb. 20–21, graduate student Nirana Singh (Interior Architecture & Design) was named Pacific West Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 24.

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    Urban Knights Close Regular Season with a Win

    WBB - Jasmin Guinn (by Mark Rivera)

    Jasmin Guinn. Photo by Mark Rivera.

    Junior guard Jasmin Guinn (Animation & Visual Effects) showed that she truly enjoyed her trip to Hawaii, notching her third straight 20-point game in as many contests on the islands as the Academy’s women’s basketball team closed its regular season with a 69–59 Pacific West Conference victory over Chaminade at McCabe Gym on Feb. 28.

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    Art History Master's Student Teaches Kids at the Legion of Honor

    Through her internship, Maria Matthies helps Bay Area students explore art through fun activities


    Maria Matthies at the Legion of Honor, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Photo by Celeste Sunderland.

    Working in a museum has been Maria Matthies’ “forever dream” since she was eight years old. A school activity in third grade involving the Mona Lisa and a Piet Mondrian piece sparked an interest in art that has grown over the years, recently leading her to an internship at the Legion of Honor.

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    Presidential Scholarship Recipient to Join School of Interior Architecture & Design

    IMG_7843 (1024x683)

    Presidential Scholarship recipient Ya Ling Li. Photo by Jennifer Blot.

    Ya Ling Li’s story is one of persistence and optimism. When she arrived in San Francisco from China in 2007, she was a shy middle school student who did not know English and, within months, was on the verge of failing several classes.

    Today, the 18-year-old high school senior has a resume that rivals someone twice her age—and she was recently named the first youth to receive a four-year Presidential Scholarship to Academy of Art University. Li’s artistic goals, combined with her history of altruism and giving back to her community, made her application stand out.


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    A Haight Street Drawing Party at SkunkFunk


    A drawing by Academy of Art University fine art instructor Carol Nunnelly from Skunkfunk’s Valentine’s Day event. Courtesy of Carol Nunnelly.

    What do the students of several areas of discipline including illustration, fine art and education have in common? It’s simple; Academy of Art University students love to draw and are known to show up for free cookies and wine just to get the opportunity.

    Academy students Pam Marano (Art Education), Juan Ruiz (Illustration) and Taner Lyon (Illustration) recently spent the afternoon of Valentine’s Day in Skunkfunk USA drawing and “making a difference.” Located at 1475 Haight St. on the legendary corner of Haight and Ashbury, we descended onto the famous spot to draw. Why? The love of drawing and a belief in networking, as well as the love of free cookies and wine. The 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. event on a Saturday afternoon was very successful.

    The event was organized by Joe Castiglione, the event coordinator for Skunkfunk and an M.F.A. graduate in fashion design with an emphasis on menswear and textile design. He graduated in May 2013 and was tasked with coordinating a special Valentine’s Day event at Skunkfunk, featuring an authentic Haight Street experience complete with a band (serenade by Jen Coogan), artists on hand to create fashion drawings for customers to take home an illustration of themselves in a Skunkfunk outfit and refreshments. A lively party atmosphere was evident, as everyone had a great time.

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    Industry Players Share Insights and Advice at Women in Gaming Panel


    Margaret Foley-Mauvais, art director at Zynga and illustrator Karla Ortiz recently took part in Academy of Art University’s Women in Gaming panel. Photo by Bob Toy.

    The video game industry has historically been a male-dominated field, but Margaret Foley-Mauvais, an art director at gaming company Zynga, says more women are in charge now than when she started her career 21 years ago.

    “There are a lot more women running the show and making decisions right along with the men, which is fantastic,” she said February 19, at the Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development’s Women in Gaming panel, where she was joined by another major player in the industry, Karla Ortiz, an illustrator at Marvel.

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    Web Design + New Media Grad Turns Internship into Dream Job at Optimizely


    Neha Saigal. Courtesy of Neha Saigal.

    What does it take to turn an internship into a dream job? Recent Academy of Art University graduate Neha Saigal (M.F.A., Fall 2014) knows. This tenacious School of Web Design + New Media star combined a cutting-edge portfolio, research, and a customized communications approach into a recipe for success.

    Saigal started full-time at San Francisco tech start-up Optimizely in January. Last fall, I sat down with Saigal and quizzed her on her choices, challenges and advice for students. The result is a lesson in the right way to kick off a career.

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    Jewelry and Metal Arts Work Sparkles at The Cannery

    Paper Necklace Cropped Edited - Copy

    ‘A Beautiful Failure’ by Dale Beevers. Photo by Bob Toy.


    Necklace by Neysa Makizuru. Photo by Bob Toy.

    They didn’t want to wait until the Spring Show to show off their work. So a handful of ambitious members of Academy of Art University’s Jewelry and Metal Arts Club secured gallery space at The Cannery, put out a call for entries and assembled a juried show of their work.

    Exploration and Discovery: Advanced Works in Jewelry and Metal Arts features an eclectic and avant-garde collection of wearable and decorative art made from materials ranging from paper and plastic to metal and highly polished wood. The show, which features about 50 works and is open to the public through March 30, is the first of its kind since JEM’s separation from the School of Fine Art – Sculpture. And it succeeds in bringing to light some of the best and most innovative pieces produced in the studios at 410 Bush Street.


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    Macy's Celebrates "The Soul Era"

    In celebration of Black History Month, artists gathered at an inspiring meet-and-greet

    #1 IMG_4116

    Academy of Art University fashion journalism student Dairia Kymber Harvin with celebrity stylist June Ambrose. Photo by William Rivers.

    There is something magical about being surrounded by black excellence. On Wednesday, February 25, “The Soul Era” tour, created by Macy’s in order to celebrate Black History Month, graced San Francisco’s Macy’s in Union Square. Select Macy’s stores held a panel discussion, fashion presentation and an exciting meet-and-greet, creating an empowering atmosphere and fantastic event.

    “The Soul Era” is a nationwide tour featuring celebrity stylists June Ambrose and Johnetta Boone. Ambrose and Boone shared their opinions on prominent designers during the 60s and 70s, trends from those eras that are still popular today and gave general fashion advice. Ambrose spoke about the decline of African American designers. “We’re artists and artists need funding,” she said. “It’s a crisis right now.”

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    'Tabitha's Handy Tips!' - Making Your Bed





    We Make Music With Our Mouths


    Members of the Urban Knotes in Union Square on Valentine’s Day. Photo by My Nguyen.

    Aca-scuse me? There’s a new crew at Academy of Art University. The voices of the Academy have come together to create an a cappella group. The Urban Knotes’ dedication is making sound waves through the Bay Area. These hard working singers spread smiles and laughter in Union Square during this past Valentines Day. On Saturday, February 14, the Urban Knotes’ arrangements of “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, “L.O.V.E.” by Nat King Cole, “Kiss the Girl” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder left couples flabbergasted.

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    Keeping Your New Tattoo Clean

    Now that I may have caught your attention with my previous article about getting a tattoo, I feel it only right to follow up with something that may be even more important than finding the right shop: How do you take care of your new tattoo? Different shops will tell you different things, so keep in mind what your artist will tell you but also go out and look into it yourself.  

    There is no foolproof method for caring for your tattoo, and it can begin to feel tedious at times but it is entirely worth it. When you first get your tattoo, it may feel hot and swollen. If you can, keep it elevated and iced to keep swelling and fever away from the area. If elevating your tattoo is not an option, at least keep it iced.

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    Tuesday Tunes Starts Year on a Musical High

    Edwards Crossing band member Phil Di Leo dropped by UKR to perform some original music and give an on-air interview


    Singer Phil Di Leo of local indie rock band Edwards Crossing performed at UKR’s latest Tuesday Tunes event. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Tuesday Tunes first started at at Academy of Art University two years ago and now it’s more than just a place to get acquainted with the Bay Area’s brightest up-and-coming musicians. It’s also a pit stop for students between classes; a chance for live music to enhance and expand upon the lessons just heard and those about to be.

    On-air performances and interviews are commonplace in the radio industry, and Tuesday Tunes provides the UKR staff with the experience of recording an artist live in the studio. “It’s a chance to highlight all their skills,” said General Manager Matty Staudt.

    On Tuesday, March 3, UKR hosted Phil Di Leo, the founding member of local indie rock band Edwards Crossing. According to Tuesday Tunes tradition, Di Leo played a set of original music and then gave an on-air interview with UKR’s Music Director and host of KETCHUP Myles DeBoer.


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    New Book 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Presents a Compelling Portrait of the Oscar-winning Film

    MZS portraits-2 credit Dave Bunting Jr.

    Matt Zoller Seitz. Photo by Dave Bunting Jr.

    It’s a great time to be a Wes Anderson fan. Not only did the director’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, win four Oscars at last month’s Academy Awards ceremony, but a new book by critic Matt Zoller Seitz, published by Abrams, beautifully captures the film’s aesthetic with artful images and in-depth interviews.

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    From USAF to 'The Red Room'


    James Burleson. Courtesy of James Burleson.

    Actor and Academy of Art University alumnus James Burleson knew he wanted to perform on screen since he was five years old. He first started appearing in shorts and television series in 2008, and last month, he was cast as the lead role in the upcoming Blue Light Pictures feature film, The Red Room.

    Although he always knew he wanted to act, Burleson started his professional life as a training manager and technical writer, serving on active duty in the United States Air Force (USAF). His father served for 26 years in USAF’s Vehicle Maintenance, so Burleson’s family moved every few years and the actor grew up everywhere from England to Texas.

    “I didn’t have the support system really to pursue my ambitions and knowing where to start was just impossible based upon the environments and limitations I was surfaced with growing up,” he said. “My dreams of being an actor were just in my imagination.”

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