Archive for 'October 2016'

    Celebrating Achievement in Design

    Academy of Art University students named among the finalists and winners at the competitive Adobe Design Achievement Awards

    The annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards honor the most promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers, developers and computer artists from around the world. Since its inception in 2001, over 38,000 students from 73 countries have participated in the competition.

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    The Academy Earns Accreditation as SideFX Certified Houdini School

    From feature films, to music videos, video games and live concerts, special effects artists use software called Houdini to make cinematic magic. This summer, Academy of Art University earned the distinction of becoming an official SideFX Certified Houdini School, joining an elite group of 15 international colleges and universities, which meet the software company’s high standards for certification.

    “Becoming a Certified Houdini School is quite significant for the Academy because it lets students know that the Houdini courses meet the standards set by SideFX and teach the skills and techniques that are important in landing a job as a Houdini artist,” said School of Animation and Visual Effects instructor Jonathan Gilbert, who teaches two online Houdini courses (ANM242 and ANM344). “Also, the publicity SideFX provides on their website helps connect people from around the world who are interested in learning Houdini at the Academy.”

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    Touch & Learn: Academy Re-Imagines the Library


    An assemblage of opportunities provides new “ConneXions.’’ Photo by Graham Friedman for Material ConneXion.

    “Look, but don’t touch!” This attitude may fit galleries or showrooms, but for professional creatives, tactile information is a critical part of the design process. To learn about the potential of any material, you must interact with it. Academy of Art University has long recognized this important element in quality education and once again renews its commitment for innovation by hosting the Material ConneXion Library as part of its onsite resources.

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    Strength Through Diversity

    Academy of Art University has always valued diversity. It’s a quality that’s evident in the work of School of Photography international students, whether they’re pursuing their education in San Francisco or online. Many of them use their art to tackle social issues affecting their countries or document traditions and lifestyles that are in danger of disappearing.

    “In my first semester teaching on campus, I had students from Russia, Turkey, China and other countries in my class,” said School of Photography Associate Director Adrienne Pao. “It was an amazing group of people who brought different sets of inspirations and resources based on their backgrounds. We always encourage students to highlight what is unique and individual about the places they’re from—the diversity of our international students’ work is simply stunning.”

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    From Parking To Parks

    LAN students take part in PARK(ing) Day, a global event that uses art and social interaction to encourage discussion


    Visitors learn to fold origami cranes during PARK(ing) Day. Photo courtesy of the School of Landscape Architecture.

    Since 2005, cities all over the world have celebrated PARK(ing) Day annually on every third Thursday of September. PARK(ing) Day is a public event celebrated globally by a variety of people including artists, activists, and landscape architects. 

    The primary objective of PARK(ing) Day is to occupy public parking spaces and transform them into small, temporary parks. By transforming parking spaces into “parklets,” the general public is encouraged to participate and experience their city in an entirely new light. Overall, the purpose of PARK(ing) Day is to make a statement and create discussion among citizens on the value of open spaces in urban settings through art and social interaction.

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    Photography Instructors Team Up On Winning Muni Art Project


    City Walks, the winning Muni Art proposal by School of Photography instructors Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen. Photo courtesy of Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen.

    Two Academy of Art University photography instructors were recently named one of five winners of the 2017 Muni Art contest. Working together, Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen came up with the concept for City Walks, their winning proposal. The pair is now busy creating a series of eight bold, colorful images that will highlight San Francisco’s landscapes and distinctive neighborhoods. From January through April 2017, their final pieces—along with work from the other winning artists—will grace the interiors of 100 Muni buses.

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    Meet Your Models: Claudio Tudisco


    A master of disguise, Tudisco channels his inner warlock. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Claudio Tudisco has provided invaluable performances on the podium for nearly two decades ever since a friend suggested he try artistic modeling. A firm believer that a model’s energy is the key factor in the successful symbiotic relationship between model and artists, he shares a piece of his heart in every pose. A brilliant classical guitar player as well, instructors sometimes request Tudisco to simply sit and strum in order to capture a musician at his trade. When not modeling, he pursues his own creative interests: composing songs and directing soulful music videos to accompany them. Exuding romance and adventure, Tudisco is a true professional, whose passion for storytelling and affecting an ambiance lend to consistently impactful drawing experiences.

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    Academy Instructor Chronicles Her Globetrotting Escapades in New Memoir 'Don't Pee in the Wetsuit'

    In the time between working as a news reporter and starting her teaching career, Michelle Kennedy found adventure and emotional healing on an unforgettable trip around the world

    Seven years ago Michelle Kennedy was a television news reporter at the top of her game when she left her job, packed up her apartment and set off on a six-month trip around the world. 

    Adventure ensued while swimming topless in Costa Rica, wining and dining in Tuscany and careening across canyons in Australia. But as she journeyed through 11 countries with her dear friend, she discovered that the trip wasn’t only about fun and excitement, but about healing as well.

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    M.F.A. Acting Students Bring 'The Misanthrope' to Townsend Street

    In a year where presidential candidates hurl increasingly vicious accusations at one another as Election Day draws near, the theme of hypocrisy that runs through French playwright Molière’s classic 18th century comedy The Misanthrope seems especially relevant. Academy of Art University School of Acting graduate students are busy rehearsing the play in their studio production course. The class is taught by Bruce Williams, who is also directing the play.

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    Academy Alums Help Bring 'BoJack Horseman' to Life

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    An example of work from BoJack Horsemen Lead Storyboard Artist (seasons two and three) and Academy alumnus Giovanny Cardenas. Image courtesy of Giovanny Cardenas.

    Equal parts affecting and absurd, Netflix’s hit animated series BoJack Horseman unites man, woman and beast in the search for emotional fulfillment, while simultaneously skewering Hollywood, celebrity culture and the film industry through blistering dialogue and hilarious sight gags. The title character is not only a washed-up actor hoping to fuel a career renaissance with a memoir and an Oscar campaign, but also an anthropomorphic horse. BoJack’s castmates include a medley of humans and animals. 

    Now three seasons into its run, BoJack Horseman has attracted attention from both critics and actors for its ability to knit an unusual cast of characters into a nuanced animated show. The Critics’ Choice Television Awards recognized the show as the 2016 Best Animated Series. A roster of well-known actors lend their voices to the show, from Will Arnett as BoJack to an ever-growing list of recurring characters and guest stars, some of whom gamely agreed to parody themselves.

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    Meet Your Models: Aaron Bogan

    A drawing session with model Aaron Bogan is like getting caught up in your very own action adventure story. With a background in illustration and a love of comic book lore, Bogan uses his extensive martial arts training to bring his dynamic characters to life. A successful competitive fighter, Bogan took gold in jiu jitsu at the 2014 U.S. Open, beating out the former world champion and solidifying his athletic prowess. However like all great superheroes, Bogan has a big heart and can often be found at his dojo delighting children’s classes with stunts wearing his classic Spiderman suit. You’ll most likely encounter him in one of his numerous comic inspired ensembles (Nightwing, Wolverine or Deadpool!) but his dedication to the craft pushes him to explore new characters, including his ruckus drag persona B-Cup Betty. Bogan’s strength and commitment to excellence makes him a uniquely adept model, while his wit and contagious energy make him a pleasure to work with.

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    Grammy-Nominated Singer-Songwriter Skylar Grey Visits Urban Knights Radio

    The “Love the Way You Lie” songwriter shared her experience of getting back in touch with her authentic self in the Oregon wilderness


    Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Skylar Grey recently stopped by Urban Knights Radio at Academy of Art University before setting out on her current U.S. tour in support of her new album, Natural Causes. Grey spoke to students about her experience in the music industry and described what it was like to not only be young, but to be a female singer-songwriter, who thought her career was over before it even started. She encouraged students to be creative and true to their inner-voice, to experiment with their sound and said that getting back in touch with her true self was what got her noticed by big names like Eminem, Rihanna, Dr. Dre and Nicki Minaj.

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