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Archive for 'December 2016'

    Academy of Art Alumnus Works On New Disney Series

    Mark Seidenberg, one of the school's first animation students, is co-executive producer of Disney Junior's Mickey and the Roadster Racers

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    (L-R) Rob LaDuca (Executive Producer, Mickey and the Roadster Racers), Mickey Mouse, Mark Seidenberg (Co-Executive Producer, Mickey and the Roadster Racers). Photo credit: Disney Junior.

    “After seeing the first little film that I made in class, I knew that's what I wanted to do,” said Mark Seidenberg, one of Academy of Art University’s first animation students.

    Seidenberg is now the co-executive producer and supervising story editor of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, the new Disney Junior preschool series, which is set to debut on Jan. 15, 2017. The show will unveil the wild car-racing adventure between Mickey Mouse and his gang.

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    The School of Web Design & New Media’s Fall 2016 Ideate Conference Showcases Innovation and Opportunity

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    Photo by Raina Maes.

    The School of Web Design & New Media’s Ideate Conference debuted in Fall 2015, but already the daylong summit has become a must-attend end-of-semester event. With a combination of one-on-one portfolio review sessions, face time with prospective employers and a tech showcase featuring trailblazing projects, the multifaceted conference offers students an indispensable tool for building industry knowledge and highlighting their work.

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    A Special Year for the Academy's Car Collection

    The collection wows with 32 cars on display during the annual auto show

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    The 1959 Cadillac 62 Coupe DeVille was in the spotlight at this year’s reception. Photo by Bob Toy.

    For over a decade, the Stephens family has hosted a reception in honor of the annual San Francisco Chronicle International Auto Show, which took place this year at the Moscone Center on Nov. 19–27. 

    Academy of Art University Chairman Emeritus Richard A. Stephens has always had a passion for cars and never dreamed that one day he’d be able to host a collection this huge. Now, at 91 years old, his dream has come true and he is able to share his love for cars with not only his family, but other car enthusiasts in the area.

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    Inside the 21st Annual Faculty + Alumni Fine Art Auction

    Proceeds benefit the Academy’s Student Scholarship Fund

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    School of Fine Art Executive Director of Painting & Printmaking Craig Nelson addresses the guests at the Fine Art Auction. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Just one street away from the hustle and bustle of Fisherman’s Wharf, art collectors and enthusiasts were enjoying wines and hors d’oeuvres under the open arches of The Cannery. It was the Academy of Art University’s 21st Annual Faculty + Alumni Fine Art Auction, held on Nov. 12. Between friendly chats, attendees were carefully observing, ready to bid on 424 original paintings, prints, jewelry and sculptures created by Academy faculty and alumni.

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    In Loving Remembrance: Curran G. Engel

    September 23, 1963 – November 22, 2016

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    We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former instructor, colleague, and friend, Curran Engel. Curran was an integral part of Academy of Art University’s School of Motion Pictures & Television for nearly 20 years, first as an adjunct instructor and most recently as Head of the Producing Track.

    Throughout his time at the Academy, Curran helped shape countless students through his unique combination of thoughtful mentorship and keen insight into the world of independent film. A lover of cinema, particularly classic films, Curran’s passion made him a joy to speak with and learn from. More so, his kindness, clever humor, and gracious manner left an indelible mark on each person he met, as evidenced by the enormous outpouring of love and condolences from family, friends, and former students.

    Curran was a beloved member of the Academy Community and will be sorely missed by all of us at the School of Motion Pictures & Television.  We offer our heartfelt sympathy to Curran’s wife and two sons.


    Producer Leky Lin Harnesses Film Festivals' Promotional Power

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    The Lottery team. (L–R) Jialiang He (Director of Photography), Jingwei Zhou (Composer), Xixi Liu (Editor) and Leky Lin (Producer). Photo courtesy of Leky Lin.

    As producer of the short film The Lottery, Academy of Art University School of Motion Pictures & Television graduate student Leky Lin wasted no time putting classroom teachings into practice. The lessons from Patricia Pawlak’s film distribution and film festival preparation class, in combination with Lin’s work ethic and the strength of the film itself, have propelled The Lottery to remarkable success on the film festival circuit.

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    Men's Cross Country Takes 11th at NCAA Nationals

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    Men’s cross country team at NCAA Nationals. Photo by Jennifer Tavé.

    In a fitting end to the best men’s cross country season in Academy of Art University history, the Urban Knights finished 11th overall, the highest ever by a Pacific West Conference team and four spots ahead of their projection, at the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championships on Nov. 19.

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    Landscape Architecture Alum's VR Skills Land Him a Job at San Rafael Studio

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    Academy alumnus Youngwook Jason Jeon presenting his work to LAN students. Photo by Bob Toy.

    It’s no wonder Academy of Art University School of Landscape Architecture alumnus Youngwook Jason Jeon (M.F.A. ’16) landed a job right after graduation. His portfolio includes something landscape architecture firms don’t often see (not yet anyway)—a virtual reality experience depicting an urban park he designed for his Master’s thesis.

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    Fall Film Festival Debuts Inspirational Student Work

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    A scene from the Studio X project, Stars. Image courtesy of Becky Johnson.

    Academy of Art University’s Morgan Auditorium had its doors open on Nov. 16, as members of the Tea Time Animation Club welcomed everyone to this year’s Fall Film Festival. Enthusiasm ran throughout the rows, while students loudly discussed what they were about to see and the hosts handed out light up accessories. This annual event is to showcase students’ work to their peers and for their fellow film industry students to get inspired.

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    Animation Students Compete in 24 HOURS Contest

    Typically, the pipeline for an animation project is measured in months or years. But what happens if the timeframe is condensed into a single day? A record 690 animation students from 29 schools across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia found out on Oct. 7, during the 14th annual 24 HOURS Animation Contest for Students, which challenges teams of five to create a 30-second animated film entirely from scratch in just 24 hours.

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    School of Advertising's Creative Bootcamp a Huge Success

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    School of Advertising students working together at the Creative Bootcamp. Photo courtesy of Jim Wojtowicz.

    At a recent event hosted by Academy of Art University’s School of Advertising, students got a taste of what it’s like to work under the notoriously tight deadlines of the advertising industry. The Creative Bootcamp event was sponsored by the One Club—a renowned international organization dedicated to promoting excellence within the industry. The School of Advertising has hosted the prestigious event for the last four years and continues to grow its relationship with the One Club.

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    School of Jewelry & Metal Arts Exhibition Opens at 435 Jefferson Gallery

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    Precious metals and smiling faces were aglow at the 435 Jefferson Gallery on Nov. 3, when a cross-section of works by jewelry and metal arts M.F.A. students and alumni went on view in the exhibition Past, Present, Future.

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    Guest Artist Ira Sherman Holds Pneumatic Hinge Workshop for Academy Students

    Over the weekend of November 12–13, 15 students from Academy of Art University Schools of Jewelry & Metal Arts (JEM) and Fine Art – Sculpture (FASCU) took a break from their coursework to participate in a special techniques workshop hosted by JEM and the Jewelry & Metal Arts Club.

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    Wallace Chan Surprises JEM Students

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    (L–R) International artisan jeweler Wallace Chan, School of Jewelry & Metal Arts Director Charlene Modena and Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens. Photo by Maureen Brady.

    Internationally renowned artisan jeweler Wallace Chan surprised Academy of Art University’s School of Jewelry & Metal Arts (JEM) with a visit on Nov. 7.  Chan’s exciting visit caught the students off guard as he casually approached the studio classrooms.

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    New ArtU Esports Program Offers On-Campus Game Room & Competitions

    Enthusiastic students are taking advantage of new gaming opportunities thanks to new space and events

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    Academy of Art University students taking part in the new ArtU Esports program. Photo by Bob Toy.


    Sometimes, a new program aligns so seamlessly with the curriculum and student interests that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t always there. That appears to be the case for the new ArtU Esports program, a collaboration between the Schools of Game Development and Communications & Media Technologies that debuted this fall to immediate and enthusiastic student response.

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    Creating the Ultimate 49ers Fan Experience

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    A screenshot from the Academy of Art University and Zeality collaboration project with the San Francisco 49ers. Photo courtesy of James Egan.

    To emphasize and celebrate the ever-growing medium of virtual reality (VR), students and faculty from Academy of Art University’s Schools of Communications & Media Technologies (COM) and Motion Pictures & Television (MPTV) teamed up with Zeality to create the ultimate San Francisco 49ers fan experience.

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    UKR Wraps up Fall 2016's Tuesday Tunes

    On Nov. 15, Urban Knights Radio held their final Fall 2016 Tuesday Tunes event, which featured San Francisco/Oakland-based band Proto. The Bay Area band, comprised of members Tim, Nick, Mark and Zach, performed a lively 30-minute set at the UKR station, featuring songs off of their 2016 EP, Sofa Prince, as well as their 2015 self-titled EP.

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