Writer Michael Connelly Embraces New Era of TV

    The best-selling author and executive producer of Bosch opens up to MPTV students about his own journey into the industry


    Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens, Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures & Television James Egan and best-selling author Michael Connelly. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Before Michael Connelly discussed the expected fate of TV during his visit to Academy of Art University on Thursday, April 9, he let the audience in on a tidbit from his past—he hadn’t always known he wanted to be a writer.

    “I was following a more traditional track,” Connelly said. “I was an engineering major when I went to college, but I had always been a reader. It actually goes back to [when] I was a witness to a crime when I was in high school. I spent a night in the police station talking to detectives and so forth, and it interested me.”

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    Illustrating the Talent of an Extraordinary Teacher

    Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator in the Arts award to be presented to Chuck Pyle this May

    Chuck Pyle, director of the School of Illustration at Academy of Art University. Photo by Jennifer Blot.

    When Chuck Pyle arrived at Academy of Art in 1972, he had no intention of staying longer than a semester. He was an 18-year-old with big plans: All he needed was a few more techniques for his artist’s arsenal and he’d be off to New York to become a great political cartoonist and bring down President Nixon.

    But his New York plans got derailed—permanently—thanks to an instructor named Barbara Bradley. She recognized Pyle’s talent amid a population of some 520 students, and offered him a bit of unsolicited advice: “Try illustration, you might like it.”

    Without Bradley, Pyle acknowledges, it’s unlikely he’d have become the longtime Director of the School of Illustration (it was at her urging that he returned to his alma mater to teach in the late 1970s), nor the recipient of the Society of Illustrators Distinguished Educator in the Arts award, announced late March.


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    The Art of Wellness

    sasha yoga wellness b&w

    Sasha on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, wearing Hyde organic cotton yoga apparel.

    If you had told me as a grad student that a few years later I’d be doing what I’m doing, I would have laughed, questioned your sanity and gone on with my day.

    Yet here I am: an M.F.A. graduate from Academy of Art University’s fashion merchandising program, happily concocting green smoothies, teaching yoga, coaching clients on wellness and healthy lifestyle habits and working for an organic yoga apparel company.

    We hear stories like this all the time, someone experiencing a health revelation after reading a book, seeing a segment on TV, watching a documentary, surviving a health scare or personal crisis. This is often the way adopting wellness practices works: it can creep up quickly, slyly, with the best intentions of turning your world upside down (or rather right-side-up).


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    Students Reap the Benefits of Annual Printmaking Conference


    Jen Wright and Tyler Balogh share their portfolio of prints collected at the Southern Graphics Conference in Knoxville, TN. Photo by Dennis Peterson.

    Coming off the heels of last year’s SGC International Conference hosted by Academy of Art University, printmaking and graphic design students ventured to Knoxville, Tennessee, the site of this year’s annual event.

    “SGCI was a really great opportunity to meet other printmakers, see what’s being produced in the community and learn new techniques,” said Jen Wright, undergraduate printmaking student in the School of Fine Art.

    “Between demos, lectures and gallery shows there’s so much happening that it can be overwhelming, but in the best way because it’s something I love. In essence, SGCI is like ComiCon for printmakers,” said Wright.

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    Nate Gercken, Senior Class Lead Baseball to Win

    Top performances win out during an Academy record-setting night

    Baseball Senior Day (featuring L to R Nate Gercken, Nick Giotta, James Singzon, Daniel Skinner, Chucky Cavestany, Jordan Thomas, Maclane Brady) (photo by Eric Manlove)

    Baseball Senior Day (featuring L–R: Nate Gercken, Nick Giotta, James Singzon, Daniel Skinner, Chucky Cavestany, Jordan Thomas, Maclane Brady). Photo by Eric Manlove.

    Senior starting pitcher Nate Gercken (Multimedia Communications) delivered a performance fit for Senior Night on April 3, throwing a one-hit, complete game shutout in the final home game of his ART U career to defeat Holy Names 2–0 in a Pacific West Conference game at Laney College.

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    Women's Tennis Seniors Carry No. 11 ART U Past HNU

    Women's Tennis Senior Day (featuring L to R Kinga Kurzbuch, Nina Gajdosikova, & Jenny Johansson) (photo by Mariana Pazos)

    Women’s Tennis Senior Day (featuring L–R: Kinga Kurzbuch, Nina Gajdosikova and Jenny Johansson). Photo by Mariana Pazos.

    A Senior Day victory on April 11 stretched the No. 11 Academy of Art University women’s tennis team’s win streak to six, as seniors Nina Gajdosikova (Graphic Design), Jenny Johansson (Fashion Design) and Kinga Kurczbuch (Industrial Design) each helped lead the Urban Knights to a 6-3 win over Holy Names at the San Francisco Tennis Club.

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    Brenna Mitchell's Career Day Guides Softball to Sweep

    Softball - Brenna Mitchell (photo by Sammy Henderson)

    Brenna Mitchell. Photo by Sammy Henderson.

    Freshman Brenna Mitchell (Interior Architecture & Design) was absolutely on fire April 11, as Academy of Art University completed a season sweep of Holy Names with a pair of victories, 2–0, 7–3. Mitchell delivered a two-hit shutout while striking out the second-most batters in program history (14) in game one, then, back-to-back rallies early in game two were cushioned by a three-run surge via some small ball in the sixth inning and the win was finished off after Mitchell’s first career save.

    “It feels good to get the wins!” said head coach Sonja Garnett. “We had a good team performance, which will certainly give us confidence going into this week.”


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    Jordan Edwards Tops Division II in 200m, 400m at Sun Angel

    Track - Jordan Edwards (photo by Alexander McNally)

    Jordan Edwards. Photo by Alexander McNally.

    Under the lights against world-class runners, Jordan Edwards (Multimedia Communications) posted a pair of impressive times in the 400m and 200m to highlight Academy of Art University in the 36th Annual Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State’s Sun Angel Stadium on April 11. Edwards emerged No. 1 in NCAA Division II in both events while competing against the likes of Olympians Anaso Jobodwana, Ryan Bailey and Kirani James.

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    Academy Students Honor Tenderloin's History

    Artists use shape and color in public displays aiming to help people connect with the city


    (L–R) Kristopher Liwanag, Trinity Holsworth, Juan Ruiz, Michael Stapleton, San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, Derick Moore, President of Academy of Art University Dr. Elisa Stephens, Camlo Looper, Raquel Lupica, Pam Marano, Tim Andrews, Safi Kolozsvari, PG&E San Francisco Senior Manager Stephanie Isaacson, Michael Riordan of PG&E, Director of San Francisco Department of Public Works Mohammed Nuru, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic Randy Shaw, Fine Art instructor Carol Nunnelly, Captain Jason Cherniss of the San Francisco Police Deparment, Executive Director of the School of Fine Art Dr. Craig Nelson and Vice President of Community & Government Relations Rebecca Delgado Rottman. Photo by Bob Toy.

    A team of Academy of Art University students and School of Fine Art instructor Carol Nunnelly have made quite an impression on the Tenderloin District—in fact, they’ve made 13.

    The group of artists donated 1,200 hours to create 13 painted 4-by-8-foot panels, each of which represent an aspect of the Tenderloin’s history—from the 1906 earthquake to the Blackhawk Jazz Club—and are now displayed on the side of the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. substation.

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    LAN Students Design New Garden for Bethany Center Senior Residence


    (L–R) Mike Mao, LAN 680 Instructor G.V. Chang; Director of Community Programs at Ruth’s Table Lola Fraknoi; Vincie Wu, Amelie Li, Michelle Liu, Hilda Lin, and Avery Wu. Courtesy of the School of Landscape Architecture.

    Every afternoon Ita Burmenko goes out to the garden at the Bethany Center, a residence for seniors located in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. She gathers with friends around a patio table or sits in a sunny spot at the far end of the parking lot. The arrangement is adequate for Burmenko, but if all goes as planned, she and her fellow residents will be able to enjoy a much more enriching outdoor space in about two years time.

    Thanks to six graduate students from Academy of Art University’s School of Landscape Architecture, a new plan for the Bethany Center garden revitalizes the existing space by combining comfort, beauty, safety and sustainability, as well as incorporating elements inspired by the artist Ruth Asawa.

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    A Strong Start to Video Game Campaign


    A love for creative design is a family affair for Academy of Art University online game development student Amario Andre, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first video game Abandoned.

    Andre’s father, also named Amario, once worked for Marvel Comics and founded an art school in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Amario’s Art Academy for the Gifted and Talented.

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    Meet Your Models: Connie Foster


    The many faces of Connie Foster. Photos by Shahin Fathi Djalali.

    Artist models are an intrinsic part of the art education experience.  A good model serves not only as a reference, but also as a source of inspiration providing character development and storytelling. In “Meet Your Models,” we’ll sneak a peek inside the creative minds behind the muses.  

    The indomitable Connie Foster has entertained students and teachers alike for over 25 years.  With a personal repertoire of over 50 full characters and a whimsical disposition, Foster is exemplary of a stellar model performance. 

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    Benjamin Cowden Discusses His Kinetic Art with JEM Students

    JEM Crowd Listening to Ben Cowden's Talk

    Mechanical sculptor Benjamin Cowden warned Academy of Art University students from the School of Jewelry and Metal Arts that packed a room during his recent talk that he was sleep-deprived. But even though Cowden—who will teach a kinetic art class at the Academy this summer—is a new father of a 7-week-old daughter, lack of sleep didn’t prevent him from delivering an engaging presentation. He described the sometimes unusual path he’s followed as an artist, a journey that’s combined formal education with diverse hands-on learning opportunities.

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    Pre-College Art Experience Students Showcase Skill and Technique During the Spring Final Exhibition

    Students, along with their families and friends, celebrated having their work shown in a professional gallery for the first time.

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    'Dior and I': The Documentary We've All Been Waiting For

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    Dior atelier observe the collection sketches. Courtesy of Dogwoof.

    Candid, vulnerable and sincere. Frédéric Tcheng delivers a compelling feature-length documentary powerfully merging the prominent French haute couture designer, the revolutionary Christian Dior, with the new to couture Raf Simons who is described by Tcheng as “an uncanny reincarnation of Dior himself.”

    Dior and I takes the viewer on an eight-week journey to the runway revealing the creative process, artistic direction and the unknowingly necessary attention to Dior’s heritage-filled atelier.

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    Keanan Duffty Guest Lectures on Licensed Products and Collaborations at UC Hastings College of Law

    On March 31, the Senior Director of Fashion Merchandising at Academy of Art University Keanan Duffty led a guest lecture for the IP in design class held at UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. During his talk, Duffty discussed licensed products and collaborations, using distinctive humor and sharing personal experiences to emphasize the importance of brand protection.

    British fashion designer, Central Saint Martin’s graduate, member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and punk rocker, Duffty has had some very recognizable collaborators—David Bowie, Reebok and Aveda for instance. Duffty’s apparel has been worn by the masses and sold everywhere in stores from Target to Bloomingdales and Barney’s to Bergdorf Goodman. His shoes have encased the feet of Reebok fans and his signature fragrance has scented the necks of Aveda fanatics.


    Keanan Duffty, Senior Director of Fashion Merchandising, with Professor Dana Beldiman of UC Hastings. Photo by Jeanie Walsh.

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    Bantucentric: Black Student Union

    Come join us to share your ideas and experience the power of community

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    Black Student Union President William Rivers and Vice President Dairia Kymber Harvin.

    “We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”

                                                                                                                                    —Malcolm X

    Bantucentric is all about being ourselves and being proud to be who we are. As black people, it is so easy to fall into the pit of depression and indifference toward your people. It’s so much easier to blend in and give up on your culture or not even search to find that culture because the world you live in tells you that it isn’t important. This column is all about changing that and showing the world that we have a voice and that we matter. The mistake that is made is assuming that it can be done alone.

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    'Tabitha's Handy Tips!' - Cleaning: Charcoal


    The Sum of Us All


    The AllAspects, Inc. crew for Jared Sheppard’s “Cooped.” Courtesy of Gael Muteba.

    A man or woman is the sum of what he or she knows, and in an effort to aid this belief, AllAspects, Inc. shares views, experiences and opinions in order to further the cause of learning. AllAspects, Inc. is a group of Academy of Art University students dedicated to providing information for students, from students, by students. The group is meant to encompass and tackle issues worth hearing and reading about. We are a diverse group of individuals pursuing different fields of interest.

    Man’s greatest weapon is knowledge; man needs it, thrives on it, builds upon it, and ultimately uses it to gain success. Our goal as a group is to share what we do and bring to light to what you do; your art is important so let it be shown. It doesn’t stop there however; all opinions, ideas and stories can be posted to the AllAspects, Inc. Facebook page, and members can be contacted through the page and their respective social media pages.

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    Holy Holi!


    Photo by Elliott Nathan.

    On Saturday, March 28, Academy of Art University students of all majors joined together to throw a mirage of colorful powder at 601 Brannan, leaving behind a great rainbow cloud. The Academy’s Indian Student Association, honoring India’s ancient Hindu celebration, Holi, hosted the event.

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    The Liberal Lyrics

    Love and Liberty

    I would give the world to you

    But it is not mine to give

    I can’t give you the treasures of the Earth

    But you can have the life I live

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    A Teacher of Professionals

    Acting instructor Clark Houston Lewis thrives on nurturing students’ talents


    Clark Houston Lewis working with his acting students. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Academy of Art University School of Acting instructor Clark Houston Lewis was more interested in music than theater when he was growing up. But after earning a degree in choral conducting from the Juilliard School, he gravitated to acting in off-Broadway and regional East Coast productions. He also started coaching other actors and singers. His clients have included stars like Marisa Tomei and other lead actors appearing in Broadway musicals such as A Chorus Line and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. After moving to Los Angeles, he continued coaching and also directed numerous plays, films and television shows.

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    Acting Students Infuse Pulitzer Prize-winning Play, 'Anna in the Tropics,' with Elegance


    The cast of “Anna in the Tropics.” Photo by James Beach.

    The power of literature should never be taken lightly. Especially when it involves matters of the heart.

    Earlier this month, students from the Academy of Art University’s School of Acting stepped into the roles of a varied set of characters in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics. They revealed a profusion of emotional vulnerability, all sparked by a story. But not just any story. One of the most enduring love stories of all time, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

    Read aloud by a “lector” (a figure who traditionally read to cigar factory workers while they rolled tobacco), the novel inspires longing, lusting and adulterous liaisons among the characters—some eye-opening, others tragic.

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    Film Review: 'True Story' - Mea Culpa? - Mea Crap-a.


    (L–R) Jonah Hill as Mike Finkel and James Franco as Christian Longo in “True Story.” Photo by Mary Cybulski. Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

    Ego and narcissism mix into a fine cocktail for the setting of the latest bromance film from actors James Franco and Jonah Hill, though the seriousness of it’s premise is all too real.

    In 2002, an on the rise New York Times field reporter Michael Finkel (Hill) is fired from his prestigious journalism job for writing a composited story about a non-existent young African boy who is sold into bondage on a cocoa plantation. Finkel is stripped of all credibility, thus ruining his career. On the same day that the editor’s retraction is scheduled to print, Finkel receives a call from a reporter in Oregon, inquiring if he has any comment on the Christian Longo murders.

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    Film Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria' - In Search of the Timeless


    Juliette Binoche (Maria Enders) in Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria.” © Carole Bethuel / CG Cinema. A Sundance Selects Release.

    In Clouds of Sils Maria, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart both give intriguing, multi-faceted performances as they play a successful actress and her personal assistant. In this movie, which was written and directed by Olivier Assayas, we watch as the two characters are swept along by the inevitable passage of time, their different ages providing each woman with her own perspective and showing how these both clash and compliment each other. Accompanying this is an in-depth exploration of the nature of relationships, highlighting the differences between a true connection and fleeting desire.

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    A Clean Sweep for Landscape Architecture

    Academy of Art University achieves unique success at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show


    The School of Landscape Architecture pose with their seven awards, including the Best of Show’s Golden Gate Cup. Back row (L–R): Chris Zhong, B.F.A.; Misa Canales, B.F.A.; Daniel Correia, M.F.A.; Jason Jeon, M.F.A.; Nadia de la Torre, B.F.A.; Hilda Lin, M.F.A.; Avery Hu, M.F.A. and Chloe Pu, M.F.A. Front row (L–R): Ashley Wu, M.F.A.; Amirhossein Merikhipour, M.F.A.; Nahal Sohbati, M.F.A.; Eric Arneson, B.F.A. and Baryuth Moran, B.F.A. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Excitement and cheers reverberated throughout the San Mateo Event Center at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show Gala on Tuesday, March 17. Academy of Art University students from the School of Landscape Architecture celebrated a well-deserved total of seven awards, including the Best of Show’s Golden Gate Cup, for the design and installation of their garden, titled Sublimation.

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    Veteran Student's Photograph a Finalist in National Contest

    Late Afternoon in the Garden-140201

    'Late Afternoon in the Garden' by Garrick Morgenweck. Courtesy of Garrick Morgenweck.

    Last winter, Academy of Art University student veteran Garrick Morgenweck snapped a luminescent picture of Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The documentary photography major was struck by the peaceful beauty of the spot he drove past every day while taking a course at the fort in San Antonio, Texas.

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    Academy Alumna Designs Patented Pop-up Gift Baskets


    Shirley Ladler-Dennis of Diva-So-Easy. Courtesy of Shirley Ladler-Dennis.

    Late one December night in 2011, Shirley Ladler-Dennis sat in her living room surrounded by a sea of straw baskets, rolls of cellophane, cards, ribbons and presents. The Vallejo resident was in the midst of her annual holiday tradition—putting together gift baskets for local foster children. Ladler-Dennis loved brightening the lives of the kids who received her baskets, but she was exhausted by the time and effort it took to assemble them. Storing the clunky baskets and other supplies was also a challenge.

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    No. 11 Women's Tennis Takes Down No. 17 UCSD

    WTEN - Nina Gajdosikova (by Rob Garcia)

    Nina Gajdosikova. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    A clash of top-20 teams on March 27 went the way of the Academy of Art University women’s tennis team, as the No. 11-ranked Urban Knights took down No. 17 UC San Diego at the San Francisco Tennis Club.

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    Walk-off, Grand Slam among Highlights at Softball's Tournament of Champions

    SB - Haily MacDonald (by Rob Garcia)

    Haily MacDonald. Photo by Rob Garcia.

    Playing seven games in three days in Turlock at Cal State Stanislaus’ Tournament of Champions, Academy of Art University softball saw a series of great moments while going 3–4 in the tournament.

    Up against Western Oregon on Day 1, freshman Brenna Mitchell (Interior Architecture & Design) was lights out in a relief role, striking out six of the first 10 batters she faced to eventually take the Urban Knights into extra innings still tied 1–1.

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    Urban Knights Dig in with Friends of the Urban Forest

    XC - L to R Chris Costa, Logan Means, Justice Hinojosa, & McKaela Christenson (no credit)

    (L–R) Chris Costa, Logan Means, Justice Hinojosa and McKaela Christenson. Courtesy of the Athletics Department.

    In addition to running the streets of San Francisco, Academy of Art University cross country recently had an opportunity for a different kind of workout, partnering with Friends of the Urban Forest to prepare an area in the Mission for planting trees.

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    Women's Golfer Sterling Hawkins Earns Second Straight PacWest Golfer of the Week Honor

    Sterling Hawkins (by Kenny Chacon)

    Sterling Hawkins. Photo by Kenny Chacon.

    Another career-best round netted Academy of Art University women’s golf freshman Sterling Hawkins (Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media), another Pacific West Conference Golfer of the Week award; this time for the week of March 23–29 after finishing seventh at the Cal State Monterey Bay Women’s Otter Invitational at Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, CA.

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    ART U Volleyball Serves Up Cleaning Campaign

    VB Community Service (by Ed Jackson)

    Volleyball community service. Photo by Ed Jackson.

    Back in March, the Academy of Art University volleyball team spent another beautiful day in San Francisco beautifying the city. All 12 members of the ART U squad pitched in and picked up trash along Ocean Beach and in Golden Gate Park.

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    Architecture Team Creates Playful Design for Market Street Prototyping Festival

    Woodshed Collaborative to present Active Rest, a public climbing structure set to add vibrancy to Market Street


    Doron Serban, undergraduate coordinator of emerging technologies in the School of Architecture. Courtesy of Woodshed Collaborative.

    This month, the heavily trafficked Apple store in Union Square will have competition for the attention of passersby: A large-scale architectural climbing structure designed by a team that includes an Academy of Art University faculty member, an alum and a current student.

    Doron Serban, undergraduate coordinator of emerging technologies in the School of Architecture, plus Brynn Brothers (Interior Architecture & Design, B.F.A. 2013) and M.Arch student Chris Kelusak along with Serban’s friend Josh Cabot - are Woodshed Collaborative, the team behind Active Rest, a winning entry to the Market Street Prototyping Festival.

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    Graphic Design Student Out to Impact Lives Through Customizable Toy and App


    The Frankenstory Labs app. Courtesy of Aaron-Harper Lee.

    Aaron-Harper Lee, Academy of Art University graphic design student, has only one regret: not pursuing her true passion in design earlier.

    “It took a near-fatal car accident and beating the odds of survival to finally put my foot down and chase what I knew was my dream,” said Lee. “A career that impacts people.”

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    Competitive Cyclist and MPTV Student Promotes Academy Cycling Club


    “I always train to be faster; I race with a lot of good athletes out there. What makes me unique is that I’m an athlete, and I am an artist,” said School of Motion Pictures and Television student Victor Tort. Photo by Neil Laxamana.

    World-class competitive athlete and Academy of Art University School of Motion Pictures and Television M.F.A. student Victor Tort is eager to share his love of cycling with his fellow students. By creating the Academy’s first cycling club last year, Tort hopes to build interest, support and sponsorships for the club and lead students in a sport that he is truly passionate about.

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    Students Gain Inside Track on Eventbrite's Exciting Offices


    Tom Censani, senior product design manager at Eventbrite, gives a presentation to visiting Academy of Art University students. Photo by Bob Toy.

    “Make it happen” shines in bright white neon lettering over the entrance to Eventbrite’s seventh-floor offices. It’s there to motivate employees and visitors on their way into the office, a glowing beacon of possibility. On Wednesday, March 25, it greeted students from Academy of Art University, as a group of 20 attended a studio tour with the tech company’s design team.


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    Alumnus and Github Employee Leads Inspiring Design Workshop


    Students from the School of Graphic Design and Web Design + New Media pose with Academy faculty member Ryan Berkey (second from left), Academy Industry Outreach & Curriculum Specialist Gregory Mar (center) and Github Designer Jason Costello (third from right). Photo by Bob Toy.

    Jason Costello graduated from the Academy of Art University in 2011, and he’s been working at GitHub ever since. A student of the School of Web Design + New Media, he joined the young company as their 25th employee, using his skills as an illustrator and usability specialist to contribute as one of Github’s first designers.

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    Winner of Exclusive Ubisoft and Academy of Art University Design Contest Announced

    Ubisoft Front Window Display

    Charbel Zgheib’s winning design on display in the front window at Ubisoft’s San Francisco offices. Courtesy of Ubisoft.

    Academy of Art University’s student-run advertising agency, Young + Hungry a Creative Co-op, took part in a contest where the participants were to “incorporate Ubisoft characters and elements of its corporate DNA to highlight the company’s presence in San Francisco.” The prize: the winning artwork would be displayed in the front window of Ubisoft’s San Francisco offices, located at 625 Third Street.

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    A Colorful Celebration

    Nearly 240 Academy of Art University students gathered at 601 Brannan on Saturday, March 28 to participate in Holi. This celebration of spring included explosions of bright colors, dancing and a color war of red versus yellow

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    Bonjour: Catching Up with the 2014 Paris Fashion Exchange Students


    Jordan Rae Epstein. Photo by Rob Curry.


    Yuko Okudaira. Photo by Rob Curry.


    José Dojaquez. Photo by Rob Curry.

    Every year, a group of designers from the School of Fashion’s graduating class at Academy of Art University are granted the opportunity to share their work in front of an esteemed audience at the Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco. From that group, a select crop of recipients are awarded the Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange, which is a foreign exchange opportunity for student designers to study in Paris at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne or Studio Berçot. Nine months into their year-long exchange program, 2014 Paris Sister City Scholarship Exchange students Jordan Rae Epstein (2014 B.F.A., childrenswear design), José Dojaquez (2014 B.F.A., knitwear design) and Yuko Okudaira (2014 B.F.A., fashion design) fill us in on what they’ve been up to overseas.

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    IAD Student Jake Bliss Shines at the IIDA Honor Awards

    Jake Bliss Next University Winning Project

    Jake Bliss’ winning project from the School of Interior Architecture & Design’s Commercial Design class. Courtesy of Jake Bliss.

    On March 18, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Northern California Chapter hosted its Honor Awards at the beautiful Fox Theater in Oakland.  Every year they aim to encourage new ideas and techniques in the design and furnishing of interior spaces. The Honor Awards are open to design firms in Northern California and host a student honor award portion at each year’s event. The top five student projects are selected, and the students are brought on stage at the event and their place and prize is revealed.

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    The Drama Gears Up for 'The Vagina Monologues' and 'Xenophilia'

    One of the longest running clubs at the Academy is gearing up for their spring events, including a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues later this month

    xenophilia (1)

    Academy of Art University’s Drama Club, one of the longest running clubs on campus, is hosting Xenophilia, the mother of all talent shows on May 1. Since 2000, they have performed a plethora of spectacular performances that have inspired and entertained both students and San Francisco locals alike.

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    Top 5 Songs Now Playing on

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    Sounds of Blackness

    The importance of exploring the roots of music and how this can bring you closer to a culture

    “Oh, you always listen to that white boy music!”

    If you were anything like me growing up, you didn’t seem to fit in very well with the black kids in your classes. This statement was one that I heard quite often, because I listened primarily to punk, metal or screamo music as a child. I didn’t have many black friends at all, and fitting in is always easier when there is more in common than just the color of your skin.

    In the environment that I grew up in, it was undesirable to live the lifestyles portrayed in a great deal of rap and hip-hop music, and therefore, I began to resent the music all together, along with the people around me who listened to it. Rap music was “bad” and was something that I stayed away from with fear of seeming uneducated or dangerous.

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    'Tabitha's Handy Tips!' - Snack Time: Puppy Chow!


    Selfie vs. Self-Portrait

    As selfies continue to rise in popularity around the world, it is useful to explore the history of the self-portrait and find the distinction between self-indulgence and art

    Selfies are nothing new. People have been creating self-portraits since the 15th century; in fact, the first self-portraits were akin to modern day photo-bombs, with artists painting themselves into crowd scenes in historical, mythological or religious paintings. Jan van Eyck’s self-image can be seen in a mirror in the Arnolfini Portrait (1434). Diego Velázquez painted himself into Las Meniñas (1656), a portrait of the Spanish royal family, essentially setting himself up as the first portrait-bomber, the first truly modern artist. An infant might well have said, “Hey, I thought we were going to get a nice family portrait. What’s Velázquez’ big head doing in the shot?”

    Velázquez’ big breakout in painting himself into the portrait was essentially a statement that the artist can be more important than the painting. He proclaimed to the world that this portrait of royals also staked the claim that the artist is greater than the work itself; the artist becomes one with his art.


    Illustration by Academy of Art University student Dylan Vermeul.

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    Academy Grad Produces Popular Fresno Lifestyle Show


    Kristina Rosa working at NBC affiliate station KSEE24 in Fresno, CA. Courtesy of Kristina Rosa.

    After graduating from high school, Kristina Rosa originally planned to follow in the footsteps of her idol, celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Drew Pinsky. She was studying psychology in her hometown of Riverside when a conversation with one of her teachers made her wonder if it was the right field for her.  “My teacher pointed out that I really liked interviewing people,” said Rosa. “I realized she was right.”

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    Film Review: '5 to 7' - A Break from Convention


    Bérénice Marlohe (Arielle) and Anton Yelchin (Brian) in Victor Levin’s '5 to 7.' Courtesy of Walter Thomson. An IFC Films release.

    While an affair conducted between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. may suggest trappings of a clichéd rom-com, 5 to 7 is much more unconventional than that. Written and directed by Victor Levin (Mad Men), the story looks at an extramarital affair through new eyes, to discover the intricacies that lurk in the places many people gloss over when making assumptions about someone’s love life.

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