Archive for 'July 2016'

    Mobolade Ajomale Qualifies for Rio 2016

    The Urban Knight accomplishes a personal best at the Canadian Track & Field Championships and Rio Selection Trials

    Mobolade Ajomale First Olympian (by Rachael Smith)

    Mobolade Ajomale is Academy of Art University’s first-ever Olympian. Photo by Rachael Smith.

    The “Road to Rio” begins here.

    Breaking further ground in a historic freshman season, Mobolade Ajomale became Academy of Art University’s first Olympian with an incredible personal best in the 100m dash at the Canadian Track & Field Championships and Rio Selection Trials on July 9.

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    Bathroom Germs Spawn Award-Winning Animated Short

    Animation alum Hans Tsai’s short film, Knob, finds success on the festival circuit


    A scene from Hans Tsai’s award-winning animated short film, Knob. Photo courtesy of Hans Tsai.

    Most people don’t find public bathrooms particularly inspiring or appealing. But for Hans Tsai, these breeding grounds for germs sparked the idea for his award-winning 3-D animated short film, Knob. Before attending Academy of Art University to earn his M.F.A. in 3-D animation, Tsai was a registered nurse who worked in a hospital and spent a lot of time in the bathroom trying to keep his hands germ-free.

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    Graduate's 3-D Artist Career Is a Dream Come True


    Steve Hyunsuk Suh’s model for the telepresence box, a futuristic computing device featured on Fox TV’s Minority Report. Photo courtesy of Steve Hyunsuk Suh.

    Ever since he was a young boy growing up in South Korea, Academy of Art University alum Steve Hyunsuk Suh loved art. “Doodling was my favorite hobby because I could directly express what I wanted,” he said. 

    Suh was also a big fan of Disney animated films. And when Pixar came out with Toy Story in 1995, he was mesmerized by the hit movie’s sophisticated animation.

    “I’d never seen anything like it before,” he remarked. “I learned that Toy Story was made with 3-D computer graphics and dreamed of becoming an animation artist.”

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    Academy Students Get Rare Chance to Attend E3 for Free

    “A Disneyland for video game lovers,” the exclusive trade show showcases groundbreaking technologies, products and companies


    (L–R) Academy of Art Univeristy animation students Leo Cruz and Camille Sloan at this year’s E3 event, posing with a LEGO statue of Kylo Ren at the Warner Brothers Games booth. Photo courtesy of Camille Sloan.

    Each year, thousands of video game industry professionals from around the world flock to the Los Angeles Convention Center to attend E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). The premier trade show for computer, mobile and video games connects attendees with others in the field while showcasing leading companies, groundbreaking technologies and exciting new products. 

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    Academy of Art Instructors Make Their Mark


    Bettina Pauly’s finished book, Grimm’s Fairy Tale Theater: Hänsel & Gretel. Photo courtesy of Bettina Pauly.

    Three longtime instructors from Academy of Art University’s School of Fine Art, specializing in book arts and letterpress, were invited by the San Francisco Center for the Book to produce artist’s books for the Center’s Small Plates imprint. Macy Chadwick, Jennie Hinchcliff and Bettina Pauly were chosen by a panel of board members, teachers and community members on the strength of their proposals to create the small-scale books, in an edition size of 100.

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    Film Review: 'Life, Animated' - Strength Through Stories


    Courtesy of Orchard Films.

    Roger Ross Williams’ documentary, Life, Animated, delves into the very specific case of autism for Owen Suskind. Based on the book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, written by Owen’s father, former journalist Ron Suskind, the film comes from the heart and reveals many close-to-the-chest incidences in the Suskind family’s experiences: how they made a breakthrough with his development, and how they look to the future resilient to the difficulty they have faced.

    Utilizing a hybrid of original animation, animated clips from some of Disney’s most prominent films, archived family video footage and talking head interviews with Owen and his family; Life, Animated paints a very individualized story of how a young boy and his family dealt with early onset autism. Ron and Cornelia Suskind express how they felt when at only three years old, their son stopped talking and regressed to incoherent ramblings. Until he was about nine years old, Owen didn’t speak, but what his parents did notice was he would echo certain Disney quotes and once confronted with his father Ron, with an Iago the parrot puppet from Aladdin talking to him and asking him questions, father and son had their first-ever conversation.

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    School of Interior Architecture & Design Student Wins Prestigious Competition in Chicago

    Chia Chi “Nicole” Chang put her space planning and sketching skills to use at the IIDA Student Design Charette, as part of a team applauded for their uncluttered design layout and innovative thinking


    Nicole Chang poses next to her team’s IIDA Student Design Charette winning design. Photo courtesy of the School of Interior Architecture & Design.

    In 2011, Chia Chi “Nicole” Chang was a shy 19-year-old studying English in Seattle, far from her native Taiwan. But beneath that timid exterior, Chang is undeniably motivated, and during her time as a student at Academy of Art University, the interior architecture and design senior has developed a sense of confidence and professionalism that helped her team clinch the top prize at the International Interior Design Association’s Student Design Charette—a prestigious competition held in Chicago each year during NeoCon, the interior design industry’s preeminent U.S. exposition.

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    Landscape Architecture Student Transforms Derelict Footpath Into Pleasant Neighborhood "Street Park"

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    (Pictured left) Robert Muehlbauer, Ridge Lane Neighbors member and (right) Mohammed Nuru, director of San Francisco Department of Public Works with Nahal Sohbati, School of Landscape Architecture M.F.A. student. Photo courtesy of Eric Arneson.

    On her first site visit to a neglected parcel of public property called Ridge Lane, nearly two years ago, Nahal Sohbati was surprised by all the butterflies.

    “The habitat wasn’t very good for them,” she explained. “I did some research and discovered that the whole parcel is located on a ridge, the highest point on a hill. It’s where butterflies go to find a mate.”

    The butterfly mating grounds on Ridge Lane just got bumped up a notch thanks to Sohbati. The Academy of Art University School of Landscape Architecture graduate student transformed the first parcel of a five-parcel strip in San Francisco’s Ingleside neighborhood into a delightful butterfly-friendly walkway where the winged insects can frolic and local residents can enjoy each other’s company in a safe, attractive environment.

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    Spreading the Word

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    Leky Lin at WorldFest Houston. Photo courtesy of Leky Lin.

    At Academy of Art University, students don’t just produce beautiful, inspiring work, they also learn how to get their work out there in the industry. Teaching students about the importance of marketing and PR, but also taking initiative, is something that instructor Patricia J. Pawlak prides herself on, and it seems to be a recipe for success. Recently, MPTV student Leky Lin found out just how valuable this knowledge is as he started promoting his short film, The Lottery, which he produced alongside a crew of past and present Academy students, including screenwriter Raiza Centeno and director Hanrui Wang.

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    Ben Jay Named New Director of Athletics

    With over 25 years of experience, the “national leader in collegiate athletics” is looking forward to taking teams to championships in the PacWest

    Ben Jay

    Ben Jay. Photo courtesy of Art U Athletics.

    Academy of Art University Athletics and President Dr. Elisa Stephens have announced the appointment of Ben Jay as the department’s Director of Athletics. Jay, who brings over 25 years of collegiate athletics experience and was most recently Director of Athletics at the University of Hawaii, will be handed the baton from Senior Advisor of Athletics Terry Tumey, who departs Academy of Art to become director of Athletics at Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps.

    “Ben is a national leader in collegiate athletics,” said Tumey. “From his background with University of Hawaii, the Pac-10 Conference and The Ohio State University, we are both confident and honored to have him guide us into this next chapter of Academy of Art University Athletics.”

    At the start of 2013, Ben Jay was formally introduced as the University of Hawaii’s Athletics Director where he would oversee 145 staff members and coaches along with the nearly 500 student-athletes who competed for the Rainbow Warriors’ 21 sports. 


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    A Legendary Contribution to the Art of Filmmaking

    The Contemporary Jewish Museum plays host to an exhibition spanning the career of Stanley Kubrick


    Stanley Kubrick with his 35mm Eyemo camera on the set of Killer’s Kiss (United States; 1955). © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Photo: Alexander Singer. Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is organized by the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Christiane Kubrick, Jan Harlan, and The Stanley Kubrick Archive at University of the Arts London, with the support of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Sony Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc., Universal Studios Inc., and SK Film Archives LLC. On view June 30–October 30, 2016 at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco.

    Honoring legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, The Contemporary Jewish Museum is displaying about 1,000 objects including memorabilia, letters, personal notes, production photographs, props and scripts. This is the 15th presentation of Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, taking its turn in San Francisco as of June 30 and continuing to be on display until October 30. The exhibit spans the whole career of Kubrick in film from 1945 to 1999, starting from when he was a photojournalist in the 1940s. Some fun relics from the past include the little girls’ twin dresses from The Shining, Venetian masks from Eyes Wide Shut and Joker’s helmet from Full Metal Jacket.

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