Archive for 'September 2015'

    Recognition on an International Platform

    Creative Quarterly issues 39 and 40 feature winning work from students in the School of Graphic Design


    'Fluidity' poster series by M.F.A. graphic design student Hsuan-Yun Huang. Courtesy of Hsuan-Yun Huang.

    Several students from Academy of Art University’s School of Graphic Design were named winners and runners-up in Creative Quarterly magazine’s most recent design competitions.

    “This is a highly sought after publication in the art and design field so it’s very visible,” said Tom McNulty, undergraduate associate director for the School of Graphic Design. “It’s very, very significant making it as a winner in this publication or as runner-up. It’s international and national.”

    Creative Quarterly was recently named one of the top 100 art and design publications in the world. The publication strives to not only showcase great work but also asks the question, “Where does your inspiration come from?”

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    ART U Sports Medicine Assists With 49ers Training Camp

    49ers - Jessica Reinhart2  (photo by Meg Williams)

    Jessica Reinhart. Photo by Meg Williams.

    As the country’s spirits rose with the return of football season, Academy of Art University graduate assistant athletic trainers Jessica Reinhart and Kevin Williams had the privilege of being closer than any to the action. Both served as summer athletic training interns for the San Francisco 49ers in Levi’s Stadium for the entire preseason after a year of dedicated work with the Urban Knights.

    “I was most excited about being the first female athletic training intern that has worked with the 49ers,” said Reinhart. “I wanted to show them that females can successfully work in this type of setting, and I want to pave the way for more females to have this same amazing opportunity.”

    “I have only worked in high school and college settings, so I was excited about learning what it is like to work as an athletic trainer at the professional level,” said Williams. “Also, this camp gave me a great opportunity to network and meet other athletic trainers in the Bay Area.”

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    Pulp Artist, Online Instructor Honored for Work

    Academy of Art University online illustration instructor Thomas Gianni has won his second Robert E. Howard Foundation award and joked that he feels like a two-time Oscar winner.

    Gianni, who resides in Chicago, won the award for his dust jacket work for a western, pirate and four Fists of Iron books. He also won his first Rankin Award from the foundation last year for his pulp art. 

    “The first one was a boxing scene in the ring and some indication of crowd in foreground,” Gianni said, describing the jackets he won the award for. “They’re all from pulp stories of the 1920s and ‘30s and capture the feeling of the era. The art from the pulp magazines was very distinctive and there are many different kinds of titles for pulp magazines: detective, fantasy and science fiction. There’s a very big following for old pulp stories and artists.”

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    Academy Alum Continues to Build on His Recipe for Success

    When Academy Art U News interviewed David McBride last spring, he had just finished writing and illustrating his first children’s book, Dimitri Has His Head in the Clouds. Dimitri is a young boy with a rich fantasy life who doesn’t always fit in with his peers at school and sometimes gets in trouble with his teachers. But at home, his imagination is allowed to flourish and takes him on exciting adventures. 

    McBride, who earned an M.F.A. in animation through the Academy of Art University’s online program, was also enjoying success with his animated short film, David and Dax False Reality. A spoof of reality TV, the film was featured at this year’s Animfest in Athens, Greece.

    We caught up with McBride to find out what he’s been up to lately. In addition to continuing to promote Dimitri Has His Head in the Clouds at events such as a recent reading at a local library, the New Jersey resident is busy with a number of other projects. 

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    Cartoon Network Storyboard Artist, Recent Grad Shows Off Personality


    'Frog Knight.' Illustration by Mark Galez.

    Cartoon Network storyboard artist Mark Galez said he didn’t really know anything about the art niche until he talked to Shaun Featherstone, storyboard coordinator for the School of Animation & Visual Effects at Academy of Art University. “He explained that it was basically like animating except you draw out the whole story. That sounded awesome,” Galez said. “So I tried it out and instantly loved the whole process and felt that storyboarding is what I should pursue. From then on, I did everything I could to understand more about storyboarding and it eventually led to where I am today.”

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    Architecture Students Set the Scene at Night Light


    Three architecture student models hang in the entrance to the SOMArts building during the Night Light exhibit. Photo by Aleyna Carvalho.

    On the night of Saturday, July 18, SOMArts Cultural Center hosted the fifth annual Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party as part of their ongoing exhibition, “Making A Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Spaces.” In the foyer of their main building—a 26,190-square foot warehouse in SOMA that contains exhibit and performance spaces as well as facilities for ceramics, photography and printmaking—a series of structures hung suspended from the rafters and LED lights glowed above the heads of entering guests. Animal, alien, spiky and elegant, at first glance these works could be labeled as mobiles or sculptural installations, but a closer look at the placard below revealed their true origins: architectural explorations and propositions.

    Students from Academy of Art University’s School of Architecture had the opportunity to exhibit their work from spring 2015’s studio course in site operations and tectonic systems, self-generating logics. Geared towards second-year students, the course has a strong emphasis on collaboration, as students work together in groups to innovate, design and construct models.

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    A "Fantabulous" Guide to the Fashion Styling World


    Celebrity wardrobe stylist Nicole Beckett. Courtesy of Nicole Beckett.

    Ever wonder what it takes to break into the fashion and film industries? Celebrity wardrobe stylist and costume designer Nicole Beckett knows. She has worked with some of Hollywood’s top talent throughout her career, including Sofia Vergara, Ben Stiller and James Van Der Beek. In Beckett’s new book, The Fantabulous Girl’s Guide to Wardrobe Styling, she shares her knowledge with aspiring wardrobe stylists and costume designers about what it takes to get your start in two of the most notorious industries.

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    Film Review: 'Sleeping With Other People' - Unconventionally Romantic


    Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) in Leslye Headland’s film 'Sleeping With Other People.' Courtesy of Linda Källérus. An IFC Films Release.

    Directed by Leslye Headland, Sleeping With Other People, comes from Gloria Sanchez Productions, a branch of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions that focuses on female-helmed projects.  With the latter company behind films like The Other Guys, from the outset Sleeping With Other People has the same stamp of quality all over it. Both hilarious and supremely touching, this is a story that explores the multiple facets of infatuation, friendship and love, while offering us a little something different from the predictable rom com. This, all wrapped up nicely in the talented countenances of Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis, makes for funny and entertaining viewing.

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    Students Showcase Designs For Jaguar Sports Cars of the Future

    Jaguar designers “impressed” by final presentations for Jaguar + AAU Corporate Sponsored Class


    One of the designs on display at the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum was the Jaguar M-Type by Guangxu Jin (Keen). Photo by Bob Toy.

    Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum and Dr. Elisa Stephens paused to admire a 1964 Jaguar XKE during a stroll around the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum last month. A beauty, for sure. But Jaguar’s design director hadn’t flown all the way from England to see classic models from the past. On the contrary. He was there to see what a Jaguar sports car might look like in the future. 

    On Tuesday, August 18, 12 students from the School of Industrial Design’s Jaguar + AAU Corporate Sponsored Class showcased their final projects. Tasked with designing a sports car for 2030, they presented an array of futuristic vehicles that incorporated autonomous driving with new possibilities for steering, data display and social interaction.

    “I was impressed and pleasantly surprised at the depth of exploration of ideas,” Callum said. “And it has inspired me, I have to say.”

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    MPTV Students Create Web Sitcom During Collaborative Course

    Skill sets were combined and flexibility was the key during the fast paced sessions that emulated behind the scenes life 


    Katherine Genge, Alex Sandru and Pawan Tangsritrakul on the set of web sitcom 'Grounded.' Photo by Bob Toy.

    Over the summer, a group of Academy of Art University students transformed an empty room at 466 Townsend Street into a bustling film studio where they shot five episodes of a web sitcom called Grounded. The show revolves around two flight attendants, Roz and Stuart. Both have had flings with a philandering, bisexual captain whose shenanigans are putting their airline in jeopardy. The two are forced to be roommates and deal with the captain’s antics, when they’re grounded in his love shack. 

    Grounded was the result of a course that gave students from different departments the chance to work together in an environment designed to mimic the behind the scenes world of an actual TV sitcom.  

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    Study Abroad: Italian Odyssey


    Graduate students at the Ara Pacis in Rome. Courtesy of Susan Ogilvie.

    We always hear of a “once in a lifetime trip,” and I am now amongst the fortunate to have traveled in May and June of 2015 with Academy of Art University instructors David Riffert, Steven Williams and Kevin Forman and 19 other Academy students to beautiful Italy. 

    I had considered such a journey beyond my reach in so many ways, considering what I imagined to be a very expensive trip; too much time away and personally exhausting. But with encouragement, I decided to go and loved every moment.

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    A Fashion Scholar Takes New York

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    Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan. Courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan.

    She’s the winner of a $5,000 YMA Scholarship, an Oscar de la Renta intern in New York and a B.F.A. fashion merchandising student here at Academy of Art University. Who is this inspiring individual? Her name is Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan. 

    Hendrawan’s journey into her promising career took off after she received her YMA FSF scholarship. YMA is an international non-profit organization composed of influential members of the fashion industry. Scholarships are regarded as a very worthwhile investment in the future of the fashion industry. “At first, I had no idea that winning the scholarship would generate a lot of opportunities to come in the future,” Hendrawan said. “Marie Colletta from the YMA [organization], gave me a really huge opportunity that I could never even dream of getting, which was to intern for Oscar de la Renta’s production team.”

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    Fashion Dreams in the Big City

    This past January, Busara Boussard was one of the lucky Academy of Art University students that were awarded a $5,000 YMA FSF scholarship along with an opportunity to select an internship in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City or Greensboro.

    At first, Boussard could not believe that she had actually won the scholarship. “I didn’t know I was going to win. I was crying, it was so exciting ... and winning the scholarship felt like a big wake up call,” she said during a recent phone interview.

    Attracted to the city life, Boussard selected a design internship at Ralph Lauren in New York City. These past few months, she has been learning the ins and outs of how a multi-million dollar company runs. “My biggest surprise of all has been seeing how each department relies on one another to function properly,” said Boussard. “It felt great to know that they also relied on me even though I was just the intern.”


    Busara Boussard. Courtesy of Busara Boussard.

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    Animation Instructor Bruce Nicholson Adds Cinematography Courses to His Repertoire

    The Academy Award-winning visual effects artist has worked on nearly 50 films from Star Wars and The Matrix Reloaded to Iron Man 3

    In 1976, Bruce Nicholson landed his first big job on a feature film—a little movie known as Star Wars. A springboard into the realm of battling starships and snow-stomping AT-AT walkers, that film propelled the visual effects master on a journey into the magic of cinema. 


    Academy of Art University animation instructor Bruce Nicholson. Courtesy of Bruce Nicholson.

    Nearly 40 years later, with two Oscar wins and a filmography spanning dozens of beloved blockbusters, Nicholson, who has taught visual effects classes in the School of Animation & Visual Effects since 2013, will be teaching M.F.A. cinematography courses as well. 

    “The [School of Animation & Visual Effects] is thrilled that Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Bruce Nicholson will be teaching visual effects cinematography and history of visual effects classes,” said VFX Supervisor and Compositing Lead Catherine Tate. “Bruce has worked on nearly 50 feature films, including The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Poltergeist.”

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    Painting the Whimsical World from Sausalito


    Academy of Art University alumnus Salvatore Giacona in his studio in Sausalito. Courtesy of Salvatore Giacona.

    Sicilian-born Salvatore Giacona, who attended Academy of Art University in the early 1970s, embodies a pure joy for painting. At 72 years old, Giacona still paints with oil on canvas every day in his Sausalito studio. His subjects range from sceneries to animal faces to the mysteries of the universe. His paintings are literally piling up around him, yet each is precious and has a singular story. Giacona was born, it seems, with this intense drive to paint. 

    “When I was maybe seven, I had an urge to paint. Out of the blue I had to paint!” said Giacona. “And right away, I mixed my colors with oil [and] powder. You could buy the powders in Palermo, to mix with oil, so I could paint. And I painted on bathroom tiles that you could find in rubbles after the war.”

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    Academy Instructor's New Book Helps Artists Capture Human Movement

    Long-time Academy of Art University instructor Valerie L. Winslow toyed with the idea of creating a book about anatomical illustration for many years. Since she started teaching figurative art and artistic anatomy at the university’s School of Fine Art in 1989, her students also encouraged her to write such a book. 

     “They thought I taught anatomy in a way that made it easy to understand,” said Winslow. “But there were already lots of books on the subject on the market, so I couldn’t see any point for me to add to them.”

    Then a couple of animation students helped her change her mind. They were fascinated by her demos that showed how when one muscle contracted, it produced a certain movement. 

    “They told me they’d been looking for a book that illustrated how individual muscles move,” Winslow said. “That’s when a light bulb went off in my head. I was so proud of my students for seeing the need for this kind of book.”

    Classic Human Anatomy in Motion Valerie L. Wiinslow

    The cover of “Classic Human Anatomy in Motion.” Courtesy of Valerie L. Winslow.

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