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Archive for 'June 2016'

    Woman Meets Machine

    Academy student’s innovative designs are honored at Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute event

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    Designer Alyssa Watson (left) pictured above with award winning MET Gala dress inspired by melting Arctic ice. Modeled by Noémie Medini. Photo by Fujio Emura.

    The Metropolitan Museum’s Manus x Machina – Fashion in an Age of Technology exhibition has been the blockbuster hit of the season. Sponsored by the Met’s Costume Institute, and curated by Andrew Bolton, it has demonstrated the rare ability to unite the two diverse fields of fashion and tech in a way that does justice to both.

    So imagine the surprise of B.F.A. fashion design student Alyssa Watson when she found out that the project she had created had been selected for an exhibition of student work in conjunction with the show.

    “Every semester in design, there’s a final project that’s a face off for a competition,’’ Watson explained.

    “The Met project was on the idea of taking fashion and infusing it with technology. For the last couple of years, I’ve been extremely interested in 3-D printing, and fiber optics, as part of my designs. My project was inspired by the Arctic ice melting, black ice and the shapes created when ice melts.’’

    After going through a laborious submission project, in which her work was evaluated by Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion and Gary Miller, director of Fashion Design, it was selected to be sent in to the Met student competition.

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    Student's M.F.A. Project Explores Her Cuban Roots

    Abigail Gomez MSV Art in the Halls

    M.F.A. painting graduate Abigail Gomez. Photo courtesy of Abigail Gomez.

    Long before diplomatic relations between America and Cuba were restored last year making travel to the island easier, artist Abigail Gomez yearned to go there. Her great-grandfather immigrated to the United States from Cuba. And although Gomez never got to meet him, she’s always been fascinated with the country and her Cuban heritage.

    “Cuba was beyond intriguing to me,” explained the 2015 Academy graduate who earned her M.F.A. in painting online. “I’m a third-generation Cuban, and the language and traditions weren’t passed down to me. It was necessary for me to experience Cuba and discover it so I could know more about my roots and who I am as an artist and a Latino American citizen.” 

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    School of Architecture Executive Director Mimi Sullivan's Firm Wins Local & National Awards

    Saida + Sullivan Design Partners are recognized for their contribution to affordable housing project

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    Academy of Art University's Executive Director of the School of Architecture, Mimi Sullivan. Photo by Bob Toy.

    The American Institute of Architects – San Francisco recently awarded a Commendation for Social Responsibility to Saida + Sullivan Design Partners (SSDP) and LMS Architects. This award demonstrates a high standard for design excellence and social responsibility. SSDP’s principal Mimi Sullivan also serves as the executive director to the School of Architecture at Academy of Art University. Saida + Sullivan Design Partners served as the Executive Architects for the 474 Natoma affordable family housing community. SSDP worked in collaboration with LMS Architects and BRIDGE Housing, a San Francisco-based property development firm focused on expanding low-income and affordable urban housing options. Nibbi Brothers were the contractors on 474 Natoma.

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    Students' Film Explores Challenges Faced By Iranian Immigrants

    Taraneh Golozar and Farbod Khoshtinat collaborated on short film A Persian Affair

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    (R-L) Producer Taraneh Golozar and director Farbod Khoshtinat. Photo courtesy of Taraneh Golozar.

    Each year, many Iranian families hoping to start a new life in the United States apply for one of 50,000 Diversity Immigration Visas granted by the government through a lottery. On the surface, it would seem that securing one of the coveted visas would be a dream come true. But a compelling short film by two Academy of Art University M.F.A. students from Iran explores why some of these immigrants don’t get the happy ending they envisioned after settling in their new home. 

    A Persian Affair was written and produced by Taraneh Golozar and directed by Farbod Khoshtinat. The story focuses on Iman, a 17-year-old Iranian boy, and his mother, immigrants who live in Los Angeles. After his conservative, sometimes violent father dies, Iman’s relationship with his mother slowly deteriorates. He believes his once subservient mother has abandoned their traditional values—and him—when she leaves him alone at night to work at a mysterious job.

    “The idea for the movie started a long time ago after I talked to [a] woman about the challenges she’d faced after immigrating here with her son,” said Golozar, who graduated from the School of Motion Pictures & Television last year and majored in producing.

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    Celebrity Makeup Artist Ve Neill Talks 'Hunger Games' & Offers Advice For Aspiring Makeup Artists

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    Elizabeth Banks (left, as Effie Trinket) and Ve Neill (right, makeup artist) on the set of The Hunger Games. Photo by Murray Close. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

    What do Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen and Hollywood makeup artist Ve Neill have in common? They’re both strong women who know exactly what they want and won’t give up until they’ve got it—even when the odds aren’t in their favor. 

    Back in the 1970s there wasn’t room for women in the film industry’s male dominated makeup department, but Neill wasn’t going to let that stop her. The Academy Award-winning trailblazer whose film credits include Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, as well as The Hunger Games series, forged a career for herself on her own terms. With no mentors and no schools for makeup artists she took the logical next step and headed to a sci-fi convention where she met some guys dressed up as characters from Planet of the Apes.

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    Collaboration Is the Name of the Game at 2016 Spring Show

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    Students mingle while awaiting to show their work to industry guests at the 2016 Spring Show Student Showcase. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Industry professionals were impressed by the quality of the work and the ways students from diverse schools worked together

    Business cards were flying on opening day of Academy of Art University’s Spring Show Student Showcase on Monday, May 23, as representatives from companies like Oculus, GoPro, Restoration Hardware and Industrial Light and Magic explored the vast range of work on view at 2225 Jerrold Avenue. From exquisite sculptures, jaw dropping illustrations, intricate architectural models, and dazzling automotive prototypes, the Academy’s annual showcase of the best work coming out of its 23 schools was certainly impressive. But what struck visitors the most wasn’t only the fine craftsmanship and high level of innovation but the collaborative effort behind many of the works on view.

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    COM Students Who Built Urban Knights Radio Graduate

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    The founding core students of Urban Knights Radio. (L–R) Lorena King, Elizabeth Sweeney, UKR General Manager & COM instructor Matty Staudt, Kevin Rosenbaum, Casey Franco and Torina Giannetto. Photo courtesy of Matty Staudt.

    In just a few years, Academy of Art University’s Urban Knights Radio has grown from a little box in a room that no one knew about into a full-fledged station with an eclectic mix of shows and thousands of listeners. When School of Multimedia Communications instructor Matty Staudt joined the Academy to expand its radio program, he envisioned training students how to build and run a real station. With the help of a core group of freshman students who worked with him from the earliest days of the project, he achieved that goal. Staudt couldn’t be prouder of the five students who graduated last month and the legacy they’ve left the Academy: Casey Franco, Torina Giannetto, Lorena King, Kevin Rosenbaum and Elizabeth Sweeney. 

    “Radio is now the cool spot where people want to be, because these students worked hard to create that kind of culture,” said Staudt. “Even after they completed around to produce shows and content. They didn’t have to do that—the classes were electives. They wanted to. This was their station and they cared about it. I helped launch it and mentored them, but the students ran Urban Knights Radio, which was always my goal.”

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    Taking Paper Beyond the Drawing

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    The White Walker (Night’s King) from Game of Thrones. Photo by Jeff Nishinaka.

    The School of Fine Art – Painting course offerings have found an engaging new presence with world-renowned illustrator and fine artist Jeff Nishinaka’s recent contributions to the online and onsite curriculum. Nishinaka’s work leverages the structural properties of three-ply paper, patience and dedicated focus as presented in the refined process of paper sculpture. 

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    When Design Meets Ethics

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    Final model for homeless shelter by Lamiae Ameziane. Photo by Doron Serban.

    Much goes unnoticed in the hectic noise of the city. Even the homeless—some of whom are desperate to be noticed—tend to be pushed to the background of what society chooses to acknowledge. 

    San Francisco’s homeless population is a unique one, but while many are aware of this rarely do many choose to participate in its alleviation. We share the city with the homeless but we pay little attention to them. 

    The same could be said of architecture. We live, play, transit and work in the built environment but many hardly notice the buildings that frame every moment of each day. Homeless shelters tend to be just as forgettable, or even avoided by the public. A decade ago, San Francisco had 1,910 shelter beds, which has since decreased substantially despite an increase in the homeless population (Heather Knight, SF Gate, 27 June 2014). 

    When architecture decides to do better—when we decide we ought to do better—design and ethics merge into exceptional statements about who we are as people and what we’re willing to do for others.

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    Barry Bostwick Dishes On 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' & Acting

    After playing Brad in the 1975 movie, the actor is an authority on the iconic story

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    Actor Barry Bostwick with the cast of The Rocky Horror Show. Photo by Bob Toy.

    After the May 12 performance of the School of Acting’s The Rocky Horror Show, a very special guest took the stage to answer questions from members of the cast and audience. Barry Bostwick—who played innocent and geeky Brad in the 1975 movie based on the Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show—spent an hour dishing on what it was like to be part of the iconic film, dispensing acting advice and cracking up the crowd with his quick wit and self-deprecating humor.

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